Is Apollo a crypto scam in the making? Online community believes it is

The world’s largest crypto IPO postponed

Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) have raised over $10 billion over the past two years, but reports indicate that nearly 80% of these fledgling startups will fail, either due to poor business planning, incompetent management teams, or the fact that they were an outright scam to begin with, plain and simple. The prevalence of shady behavior has raised the ire of regulators, as well as a major portion of the crypto community, which can attack with the fury of vigilantes, if provoked.

Just such an attack has been raging in the press for the past few days over Apollo (APL), a digital currency established in 2017, which founders have termed as the “all in one cryptocurrency”. The token’s price has experienced extraordinary peaks and valleys, which some have viewed as controversial, an obvious indication that either a “pump-and-dump” scheme is afoot or management is overly hyping a bad product offering.

Common courtesy has never been a trait of the Internet or its public chat rooms. If suspicious behavior is suspected, a torrent of abuse typically follows. In the case of Apollo, the initial assault came in the form of an article by a fellow whose nametag is “Crypto Gear”. His deep dive collected fine points about the development project and pointed out several flaws. There have also been issues with Apollo’s alleged “active brigading and policing of their social media”, thereby suppressing questions it deems too awkward or too inquisitive about its technical underpinnings.

Other opinionated commentators soon took the baton on Reddit, a favorite discussion website for crypto matters. Critiques followed that questioned the experience of the development staff, the lack of any promised features being delivered, their being located in Russia, and even the elementary nature of the company’s website. Another concern was the recent transfer of billions of APL tokens. Other attacks were directed at Steve McCullah, its founder, and John McAfee, its chairman.

People question McCullah’s background and claim that he has been involved in several scams. McAfee has recently fled the U.S. due to felony charges from the IRS. In a bizarre twist, his departure came after he announced his presidential bid for 2020, strange but true.

McCullah has since refuted these allegations, stating that some people obviously “have a grudge” against him and his project. He spoke of his development progress, denied his editing of social media, and claimed he was not selling APL tokens. He was mute when it came to explaining who was dumping their coins. The crypto community, however, does not appear to be convinced by his words.

Over at Jelurida, the company that manages NXT and whose code was supposedly stolen by Apollo, Lior Yaffe, its founder, gave his thoughts on the issue:

It’s a pure money grab. The features they promised in their roadmap are either trivial or very complex beyond their ability or simply impossible.

Is Apollo the latest scam or legit?

You may have to be your own judge on that verdict. As for the market’s opinion, trading of APL tokens commenced at the end of September of last year. Its initial market cap was $24.5 million, but it has been a rollercoaster ride from that day forward. The cap figure fell to $6.9 million in December, but soon rose seven-fold to $50.7 in mid-January. After these recent tirades in social media, it has fallen 46% and rests at $27.6 billion, slightly above its initial opening valuation.

The first message for investors is that, yes, you still can stumble upon a token that can rise 700% in a week, but price volatility and liquidity are such that you may not be able to realize your total gain before prices collapse. The second lesson is that, as one observer put it “you should always do a deep investigation into the projects you wish to invest in,” and be extra careful to double scrutinize marketers that love to spread hype.

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