Let me begin this article by asking you an important question. If you’re the owner of any cryptocurrency project – or any billion dollar project – and you know that your project’s name is being used by scammers to rob people of their money, what would you do. Would you remain silent? Or would you do everything in your capacity to let people know that scammers are using your name to dupe them? If you would do the later, then you’re not going to like what TRON founder Justin Sun is being accused of. He has suddenly found himself at the center of a major cryptocurrency scam, not because he was involved with the scam in any way but only because he did little to alert the victims of scam in time. And by the time he acted, one of the victims had committed suicide.
The scam we’re talking about unfolded in China. You may not know it already, but in our neighbor country TRON is known by a different name. It’s known as “Wave Field” there. Googling the term also reveals some marketing material of TRON’s early days bearing this name. According to a recent report by Decrypt, some scammers used this alternative name of TRON for their crypto Ponzi scheme in last few months. They called their scam “Wave Field Super Community”, and claimed to be a Super Representative of TRON network. Then they asked people to send their TRX to any particular wallet in order to receive huge rewards, as it usually happens with scams. The scam first appeared on Chinese social media sites earlier this year, and around that time many investors asked Justin Sun for some clarification. However, Justin didn’t issue any clarification, which created confusion and people continued to invest in the scheme.
Justin’s clarification finally came 3 days ago on 5th of July. And here’s what he said:
As a leading blockchain protocol, there are Ponzi schemes using #TRON, #BitTorrent or #uTorrent names like “MMM #bitcoin, #Ethereum pyramid & #EOS ecosystem schemes”. We will never ask you to send money. Be careful & hodl your $TRX/ $BTT
— Justin Sun (@justinsuntron) July 5, 2019
However, by the time Justin sent out this tweet, the havoc had already been wreaked. The scammers of Wave Field Super Community had run away with $30 million, and one single mother who had borrowed the funds to purchase TRX for investing in this Ponzi scheme had committed suicide. And that’s the point where Justin Sun found himself at the center of controversy. Cryptocurrency news site CCN published an Op-ed describing the scam, and argued that Justin Sun caused the suicide of that woman. This created a major controversy as Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao and Justin’s other friends in the cryptocurrency circles lambasted CCN for falsely accusing Justin. You can see some of their tweets below:
I agree, CCN should apologize and delete the article, or change it to "CCN caused the suicide by not writing an article reporting the scammers".
— CZ Binance (@cz_binance) July 7, 2019
It's the responsibility of investors to Do Your Own Research (DYOR)
That said, we need to find innovative ways to mitigate scammers' success
— Misha Lederman (@mishalederman) July 5, 2019
Now, these people are right with the fact that every investor must do some research before investing their money in any security or token. But does it mean that the founders of major cryptocurrency projects are completely free from all sort of responsibilities to alert people if their name is being misused? I don’t think so.
Anyways, the episode serves as yet another lesson to all of us. Never invest your money before doing proper research on the project in which you’re investing it. Because who knows… if there are some scammers on the other end. And if that happens, you’ll have no one to blame except for yourself, as you can see in this scenario!