Is ICONbet DApp on the ICON Blockchain a Scam?

Is ICONbet DApp on the ICON blockchain a scam?

ICONbet has received a lot of support from the ICON Foundation and currently provides most of the daily transactions on the struggling ICON blockchain. Based on our previous dealings with ICON we were naturally suspicious of this DApp. The website for the DApp includes a link to a whitepaper that attempts to show that the game is fair by using a Secure Hash Algorithm (SHA3-256) of the block timestamp.

The whitepaper ends with the following text “The ICONbet team is globally distributed. Given the ever-changing and uncertain regulatory environment for blockchain-based games, tokens, and DAOs, the team has decided to remain anonymous“. It’s safe to say that the team behind the DApp are part of the ICON team and have access to the centralised nodes used by the ICON blockchain.

The ICONbet DApp follows most of the rules of roulette and as it’s supposed to be operated by a Decentralised Autonomous Organisation (DAO) the game is known as DAOlette. One major difference between DAOlette and real roulette is the restriction on placing bets on 0 (shown as a bomb on the wheel).

Many players have complained of the wheel coming up on a bomb more often than statistics would suggest and this manifests itself in one of two ways. Either 3 bombs in 3 spins of the wheel or 3 in quick succession of around 20 spins. Despite heavy promotion on Twitter and paid ads on DApp sites there are only a couple of dozen players.

ICONbet after heavy promotion only has a couple of dozen players

So is ICONbet a scam or not?

We started by using the website to place bets on the wheel spin and noticed the same alarming frequency of bombs reported by other players. Maybe the website was biased towards certain users or specific ICX addresses. As the DApp is simply a smart contract on the ICON blockchain we built our own bot to “spin the wheel”. The bot has several advantages over the website like avoidance of malware, much higher betting frequency and the ability to analyse the results.

The ICON blockchain uses 24 centralised nodes to create blocks and each node creates 10 blocks before the duty is passed to the next node. The time to produce a block increases slightly when the block producer changes so this is a good time for a node to drop an extra bomb on an unsuspecting player. Our bot was designed to skip the first block produced by each node to avoid these bombs.

With centralised nodes producing the blocks the assertion that the game must be fair as it’s based on SHA3-256 of the block time is simply wrong. Even our basic bot can demonstrate that taken over an average of 10,000 wheel spins it only takes around 400 microseconds to change any winning spin block time into a losing spin block time (or vice versa). The ICON blockchain has a block time of approximately 2 seconds or 2000000 microseconds. Therefore increasing or decreasing the block time by 400 microseconds is an adjustment of just 0.02%. Block times on the network vary much more than this so the node operators can easily adjust the times to suit the wheel spin outcome they desire.

BLOC8 team top 3 ICONbet wager war

As shown above we made it to 3rd place in the ICONbet wager war on the 21st September. This was basically achieved due to the high frequency wheel spins created by our bot compared with using the ICONbet’s clunky website. For most people, us included, a top 3 position comes at a cost. Based on the claimed house hedge of 1.5% you can expect to lose over 1,000 ICX during the day. This is compensated by 15 to 25% of the wager war fund but this is only 10% of the house excess and some days there is no excess, despite over 300,000 ICX being wagered. The top 3 position also earned us about 110,000 TAP tokens.

TAP tokens are the DAOs native token but it heavily favours the anonymous ICONbet development team so they don’t have much intrinsic value. Not surprisingly the ICON blockchain shows that ICONbet financiers also play DAOlette. LuckyWhale and Rok23 BXMT currently hold at least 6.5M and 4.9M TAP respectively across 3 known blockchain addresses. As LuckyWhale took top spot on the day we came third we checked their bets for the day and the following day. On the day they came first from 445 wheels spins they were hit with just 8 bombs compared with at least 21 that most players would receive. More remarkable was the betting pattern over the 2 days. LuckyWhale placed dozens of large bets (1000 to 4000 ICX per wheel spin) and they were almost all winners compared with bombs against 10 to 100 ICX bets.

Statistics show that to earn 6.5M TAP you need to lose a huge amount of ICX if the “wheel” is not biased. One of LuckyWhale’s wallets can be found here but the more important wallet is here. It shows the first wallet transferring 22,634 ICX over a 2 week period to the second wallet and then sent off to a cryptocurrency exchange. So during the time a lot of the 6.5M TAP was earned LuckyWhale was also regularly earning ICX by “beating” the house hedge.

So even if you have had a bad run with “nuclear” bombs compared with regular bombs you can console yourself in the knowledge that some punters are regularly beating the odds. Check out all the bets placed by Wager War winner for 9 October 2019, Mart0593. Does a strategy of placing apparently random large bets works as a strategy at DAOlette? Probably not as indicated by a punter which we have nicknamed ForeverLosing. The odds of a losing spin are exactly the same whatever amount of ICX you wager, 1 ICX, 10 ICX or 4000 ICX it’s all the same. After more than 300 wheel spins the punter was down about 4% compared with the claimed house hedge of just 1.5%. So ForeverLosing adopted the random big bet strategy and increased the regular bet size of 2 to 10 ICX to a whopping 1500 ICX. Big bet yes but with a claimed 81% chance of winning it should be fairly low risk. Boom, first spin at the new mega bet size and it’s a losing bet! That took the unlucky punter to cumulative losses of almost 21%.

ForeverLosing’s online dataset has over 1,100 wheel spins, cumulative loss of almost 14% and still about 4% excluding the single mega bet. That particular punter should have contacted us before placing his mega bet as it broke a few of the golden rules of ICONbet that you pick up after tens of thousands of wheels spins. Please contact us if you haven’t worked out the obvious pitfalls of this DApp. All the ICONbet gambling data that we analyse is available on ICON’s tracker but it’s not very user friendly so our bot does all the hard work for you. Use our contact page if you want a permanent record of your DAOlette wheel spins or you want a copy of the golden rules. We ask for a small donation for running our bot over your data but we even accept the ICONbet TAP token that you no longer want.


  • ICON Foundation supports ICONbet
  • All the ICONbet developers are anonymous
  • It takes under 400 microseconds for an ICON node to change a winning spin to a losing spin
  • Apparent wheel bias
  • Not allowed to bet on bombs which makes manipulation by nodes easier
  • Players not sticking around to use the ICONbet DAO

We will leave it to the reader to decide if they think ICONbet is a scam. We welcome comments from P-REP candidates, ICX holders and anyone interested in the ICONbet DApp. If you found this information, or any of our articles useful, please contribute to the BLOC8 blockchain evangelical cause of cleaning up crypto. If you would like copies of the data or further details please use our contact page.

ICON Project P-REPs and Censorship

Can the ICX ICON Project be turned around?

ICON Project

Do we think a failing blockchain like the ICON project can be turned around?

Yes, it’s never too late to change course and steer away from the rocks.

Would we recommend software developers use the ICON blockchain?

No, at this present time we would advise them to use the Ethereum Classic (ETC) network.

How long have we been critical of the ICON Foundation?

Our supporters know that we raised issues more than 18 months ago but they were never addressed by the Foundation or Min Kim.

Why did we stand down from the P-REP testnet?

It became quite clear that the only way to make it into the top 22 was to hide the truth from the ICON community and we were not prepared to do this.

P-REP Candidates

Why do we support IConnect Global of Africa as a P-REP?

IConnect has been reluctant to join in the P-REP cartel practises (see censorship below) and this indicates they are a truly an independent team. It would be an injustice for an entire content to be excluded from the ICON network. Africa has a large proportion of the world’s un-banked and Satoshi’s vision for blockchain technology was for it to be available for all.

Do we think known rogue P-REP candidates are interested in the ICON community?

Candidates like ICX Australia and UBIK Capital thought it was appropriate to “buy votes” and their sudden change of heart doesn’t make them worthy of your ICX vote.

Why have we been so critical of Rhizome?

A leopard doesn’t changes it’s spots and in our opinion anyone that votes for this candidate is just hoping to offload their ICX to new investors that haven’t seen the uncensored data we hold. With ICON trying to arrange a listing for ICX on US cryptocurrency Exchanges it’s vital that shilling is stamped out.

Is this website or the BLOC8 team associated with IConnect?

Absolutely not and the IConnect team became a P-REP candidate in March 2019. Details of their team and proposal are available on the ICON website. Outside of Africa it’s quite easy for candidates that were involved in the ICO to buy a position in the top 22 i.e. less than $160,000 required when the ICO bonus is taken into account.


Do we think P-REP candidates should also be social media moderators for the ICON network?

There is a clear conflict of interest and when a team becomes a P-REP candidate they should give up their right to moderate on social media platforms like Reddit, Twitter and Telegram.

How can the ICON community be better represented on social media platforms?

The ICON Project needs to prevent anonymous individuals from moderating social media posts. Technology exists to validate a moderators ID without exposing it to the wider internet community.

Why is censorship resistance important?

It ensures existing and potential investors of blockchain tokens are able to establish fact from fiction.

What are we doing to ensure data is not censored?

We use Steemit and ironically the ICON blockchain to ensure the data that we painstakingly collate is available for all to see. We also own several Unstoppable Domains like cryptonewsarticles (.zil and .crypto), ICONProject.zil and ICONProject.crypto. We will be publishing our data about the ICON Project via IPFS in due course like these words of “wisdom” from CEO wannabe Min Kim .

12 Ways to spot a failing ico

failing ICO projects identified by crypto news article writers

Those of you that follow us on Twitter or Telegram may already know how to spot a failing ICO but we were asked to add the details here and in the general Cryptocurrency sub Reddit. It’s widely accepted that most altcoins will ultimately fail. Some ICOs were outright scams, others were simply ill-conceived and others are years away from providing a return for their investors. Let’s get started with the 12 ways to spot a failing ICO:

  1. Lack of direct contact between Founders and community
  2. Reluctance to discuss the project in social media channels that they don’t have full control over i.e. constantly shot down in general Crypto sub-Reddit threads.
  3. Banning critical thinking from their social media channels i.e. removing posts and banning users if they are not 100% positive towards the project
  4. Arranging for individuals to be blocked from posting in ANY public Telegram groups
  5. Arranging for individuals to be shadow blocked on Twitter
  6. Supporting known bad actors in the ecosystem like Rhizome to promote the project
  7. Token moon boys and P-Rep stooges try to discredit articles and videos of known influencers
  8. Failure to build anything meaningful since ICO launch
  9. Producing fake news to promote the project
  10. Founders with a lack of integrity
  11. Making the mistake of thinking everyone is in crypto for the money
  12. Disrespecting the community that pays their salary every month

Have you spotted the ICO you invested in from the red flags above? Should you continue to hold altcoins like ICX, XRP and TRX? If 99% of altcoins are destined to fail then it’s unlikely you have picked a winner and it’s probably time to look at another blockchain project.

ICX whale Dr Ben Lee dreaming of 10,000 transactions per second on ICON blockchain
Dr Ben Lee Tweet 6 September 2019

A few weeks earlier ICX whale Dr Ben Lee was asked by Michael Gu of BoxMining what level of transactions he hoped to achieve in the next 5 years. His answer “we are aiming for something like 500 TPS but it’s really hard to get“.

ICON blockchain project struggling?

Please add your comments about the ICO you invested in or the altcoin you bought that you think might be failing. If the Founders of the associated tokens read your comments they will have the opportunity to prove without any doubt that they are not a failing ICO.


Brian Li of Rhizome accused shiller of ICX and BitConnect

P-REP candidates have been canvassing ICONists to stake their ICX with effect from 26 August 2019. We have spent hundreds of hours over the last few months reviewing P-REP candidates. As per our earlier articles the blockchain ecosystem is riddled with bad actors and this article will highlight the P-REPs you need to avoid. As per the needlessly complex IISS 2.0 published by the ICON Foundation you risk losing 6% of your ICX if you stake with a rogue P-REP.

We have been pushing the ICON Foundation to produce documentation that the average ICONist can understand. We believe they are reluctant as it will highlight the inflationary effect of IISS 2.0 based on the current levels of transactions on their blockchain. Millions of transactions will be required everyday to counter the inflation caused by paying rewards to ICONists and P-REPs. At present the ICON blockchain shows just 7,000 to 39,000 transactions per day.

P-REPs have been accused of a whole host of unsavoury antics including:

  • Doxing (doxxing) innocent families – see victims Tweet
  • Shilling ICX to over $13 and promoting BitConnect (see Comments section)
  • Trying to bribe ICONists by handing over P-REP rewards
  • Producing fake or misleading articles about ICON
  • Publishing blockchain verified lies about an ICX TX Challenge contractor
  • Banning ICONists from social media groups without justification
  • Lacking integrity and showing no respect towards ICON community members
  • Creating cartels of P-REPs to control the network

Please note the accusations have come from various sources including fellow P-REPs and the ICON Foundation. Some P-REPs have made our list purely by demonstrating over and over again that they don’t have the required knowledge to take on the task as a block producer. Let’s look at a particular example of some of the data we hold. Telegram user Sigmoid Freud posted this fairly innocuous comment in the main ICON group a few days ago.

P-REP Brian Li of Rhizome accused of shilling ICX and BitConnect

Within minutes the post was removed by moderators standing as P-Rep candidates. Sigmoid was of course referring to a well known article on Steemit that was heavily edited when the community rumbled what Brian Li of RHIZOME was up to. This is an archived screenshot of the original article with a reference to an insider that Brian Li was working with to shill ICX. This helped pump ICX to over $13 and that is why there are so many disgruntled token holders today.

Brian Li buy ICX before January

Screenshot of article revised by Brian Li and as recorded on Steemit today. Significant differences and the unacceptable shilling has changed to marketing. Ask yourself are these really the kind of people we want controlling the ICON network? The before and after screenshots are recorded on the ICON blockchain as a permanent record of how some unfortunate investors were duped into buying ICX at grossly inflated prices.

Here is the list of P-REP candidates that do not deserve your vote based on our painstaking research. If you would like copies of the data that we hold or feel your team was unfairly included in this list please use our Contact form or add your comment below this post. Remember this is a dynamic list and P-REPs will be added and removed as they change their policies. In addition further disclosures are included in the comments section below this article. Readers should familiarise themselves with our earlier articles about ICON which we posted in the months prior to producing this list. Please be sure to review the list on a regular basis and stake you ICX accordingly. We recommend ICONists join Telegram groups that are not heavily moderated by P-Rep candidates such as this one. Also subscribe for updates to this article by clicking the bell “icon” that appears in most browsers as you read through the article.

  1. ICON Foundation
  2. RHIZOME (only Rhizome team should vote for this P-Rep)
  3. ICX Australia
  4. ICX_Station
  5. ICONation
  6. Ubik Capital
  7. Everstake
  8. DSNC
  9. Certus One (possibly stood down as a P-REP)
  10. Sharpn
  11. PICONbello
  12. VELIC
  13. Signal9

We do NOT invest in ICX and we have not received any payment for publishing this article. If you are looking for details of the BLOC8 DApp they can be found here. Unlike most of the DApps currently on the ICON blockchain BLOC8 can be used from smartphones and desktop PCs. Whichever teams you select for ICX staking we advise covering a large number as it keeps the teams on their toes and reduces your potential losses from token burn penalties. If rogue actors are selected as block producing P-REPs for the ICON blockchain it could have untold consequences for ICONists and the price of ICX. If you are reading this post via the homepage rather than the direct URL click Comments for feedback and latest updates.

We are now in a position to recommend IConnect Global (Twitter Telegram value for money team) as one of our preferred P-REPs for the ICON blockchain. As soon as you are able, cancel any votes you have placed with Rhizome and move them to IConnect but remember not to stake all your ICX with a single P-REP for fear of the 6% ICX burn penalty. Here are a few of our tweets about IConnect and recommend you FOLLOW BLOC8 on Twitter for independent news of the ICON blockchain.

Email 1 MILLION ICX ICON TX Challenge

ICX ICON TX Challenge email

Email sent by BLOC8 2 July 2019 regarding the 1 Million ICX ICON Tx Challenge



6 ์›” 24 ์ผ ์›”์š”์ผ์— BLOC8์—๊ฒŒ 6 ์›” 22 ์ผ ํ† ์š”์ผ์— ๋ณด๋‚ด ๋“œ๋ฆฐ ์ด๋ฉ”์ผ์— ๋‹ค์Œ ๋‹ต์žฅ์„ ์ด๋ฉ”์ผ๋กœ ๋ณด๋ƒˆ์Šต๋‹ˆ๋‹ค.

์นœ์• ํ•˜๋Š” Bloc8
์ค‘๋ณต ์˜์‹ฌ๋˜๋Š” ์„œ๋น„์Šค๋ฅผ ์ผ์‹œ ์ค‘์ง€ํ–ˆ์Šต๋‹ˆ๋‹ค.
๊ฑฐ์˜ ์˜์‹ฌ๋˜๋Š” ์„œ๋น„์Šค๋ฅผ ํ™•์ธํ•œ ํ›„ ํ™•์ธ ํ›„ ์ƒํƒœ๊ฐ€ ๋ณ€๊ฒฝ๋ฉ๋‹ˆ๋‹ค.

๋ฌผ๋ก  ํ™•์ธ ๋œ ์ค‘๋ณต ๋ ˆ์ง€์Šคํ„ฐ๋Š” ๋” ์ด์ƒ ๋ณด์ƒ์„๋ฐ›์„ ์ˆ˜ ์—†์Šต๋‹ˆ๋‹ค.
ํ˜‘์กฐ ํ•ด ์ฃผ์…”์„œ ๊ฐ์‚ฌํ•ฉ๋‹ˆ๋‹ค.

๋ธ”๋ก ์ฒด์ธ ์„œ๋น„์Šค๊ฐ€ ์ค‘๋ณต ๋˜์–ด๋„ ๋” ์ด์ƒ ๋ณด์ƒ์„๋ฐ›์ง€ ๋ชปํ•œ๋‹ค๋Š” ํ™•์‹ ์„ ๊ฐ–๊ณ  ์žˆ์Œ์—๋„ ๋ถˆ๊ตฌํ•˜๊ณ  6 ์›” 25 ์ผ ํ™”์š”์ผ์— ์ˆ˜๋งŒ ํšŒ์˜ ICX๋ฅผ ์ง€๋ถˆํ–ˆ์Šต๋‹ˆ๋‹ค. ์ด๊ฒƒ์€ hx976bdedbc5b7a5be2fcc59b5b6acbbc14bb5be60์— ์˜ํ•ด ์ž‘์„ฑ๋œ SCORE cxef795d2e19cada777511640d591735e1cc47c471๋กœ ํ™•์ธ๋ฉ๋‹ˆ๋‹ค.

ICON ์ถ”์ ๊ธฐ ๋Š” 600 ICX (ํ•˜๋ฃจ์— 200 ICX์—์„œ 3 ์ผ๊ฐ„)๋ฅผ ์ง€๋ถˆํ–ˆ๋‹ค๊ณ  ํ‘œ์‹œํ•ฉ๋‹ˆ๋‹ค. ๋ธ”๋ก ์ฒด์ธ์„ ํ™•์ธํ•˜๋ฉด ํ•ด๋‹น ์ฃผ์†Œ์—์„œ ICON์„ ICON Challenge Wallet ์ฃผ์†Œ์—์„œ 132,579 ๊ฐœ์˜ ICX๋ฅผ๋ฐ›์€ ๋กœ ๋ณด๋ƒ…๋‹ˆ๋‹ค. ๋„ ICON์—์„œ 83,852 ICX๋ฅผ ๋ฐ›์•˜์Šต๋‹ˆ๋‹ค.

BLOC8 ํ”„๋กœ์ ํŠธ๋Š” ICON ์žฌ๋‹จ๊ณผ ๊ณ„์•ฝ์„ ๋งบ์–ด ํ•˜๋ฃจ 200 ICX์˜ ๋Œ€๊ฐ€๋กœ ํ•˜๋ฃจ์— 2 ๋งŒ ๊ฑด์˜ ๊ฑฐ๋ž˜๋ฅผ ์ฐฝ์ถœํ–ˆ์Šต๋‹ˆ๋‹ค. ๊ณ„์•ฝ ์กฐ๊ฑด์— ๋”ฐ๋ผ ์žฌ๋‹จ์€ ๋‹จ์ผ ๋‹จ์ฒด๊ฐ€ ํ•œ ๋ฒˆ๋งŒ ์œ ์‚ฌํ•œ ๊ณ„์•ฝ์„ ์ฒด๊ฒฐ ํ•  ์ˆ˜ ์žˆ๋„๋ก ํ—ˆ์šฉํ–ˆ์Šต๋‹ˆ๋‹ค. ICON TX Challenge ์ง€๊ฐ‘์—์„œ ์ง€๋ถˆ ํ•œ ๊ธˆ์•ก์€ ๊ท€ํ•˜๊ฐ€ BLOC8๊ณผ ํ•ฉ์˜ํ•œ ์กฐ๊ฑด์„ ์œ„๋ฐ˜ ํ•œ ๊ฒƒ์œผ๋กœ ๋‚˜ํƒ€๋‚ฌ์Šต๋‹ˆ๋‹ค.

BLOC8์€ ํ•œ๊ตญ ๋ฐ ๋‹ค๋ฅธ ๊ตญ๊ฐ€์—์„œ ๋งˆ์ผ€ํŒ… ๋ชฉ์ ์œผ๋กœ ์ ˆ์‹คํžˆ ํ•„์š”๋กœํ•˜๋Š” ๋„คํŠธ์›Œํฌ ์ŠคํŠธ๋ ˆ์Šค ํ…Œ์ŠคํŠธ๋ฅผ ์ˆ˜ํ–‰ํ•˜๋Š” ๋ฐ์žˆ์–ด ์ตœ๊ณ ์˜ ํŒ€์ž„์„ ๋ถ„๋ช…ํžˆ ๋ณด์—ฌ์ฃผ์—ˆ์Šต๋‹ˆ๋‹ค. ์ด๊ฒƒ์€ BLOC8์ด 246 ๊ฐœ ํ”„๋กœ์ ํŠธ ์ค‘ ํ•˜๋‚˜ ์ธ ICX๋ณด๋‹ค ๋” ๋งŽ์€ ๋ˆ์„ ์ง€๋ถˆ ๋ฐ›์•˜๋‹ค๋Š” ์ ์—์„œ ์ž…์ฆ๋˜์—ˆ์Šต๋‹ˆ๋‹ค.

์žฌ๋‹จ์— ๊ท€ํ•˜๊ฐ€ ์— ๋ฌธ์„œํ™” ๋œ๋Œ€๋กœ ์—ฌ๋Ÿฌ ์ฐจ๋ก€ ๊ณ„์•ฝ ์กฐ๊ฑด์„ ์œ„๋ฐ˜ํ–ˆ๋‹ค๋Š” ์ฆ๊ฑฐ๊ฐ€ ์ฃผ์–ด์กŒ์Šต๋‹ˆ๋‹ค.

์žฌ๋‹จ์€ 7 ์›” 31 ์ผ๊นŒ์ง€ ๋„คํŠธ์›Œํฌ ์ŠคํŠธ๋ ˆ์Šค ํ…Œ์ŠคํŠธ๋ฅผ ์œ„ํ•ด BLOC8 12,000 ICX๋ฅผ ์ง€๋ถˆํ•˜๊ธฐ๋กœ ๋™์˜ํ–ˆ์Šต๋‹ˆ๋‹ค. ์šฐ๋ฆฌ๊ฐ€๋ฐ›์€ ICX๋Š” 4,200 ๊ฐœ ๋ฟ์ด๋ฏ€๋กœ ์—ฌ์ „ํžˆ ICX๋Š” 7,800 ๋‹ฌ๋Ÿฌ์ž…๋‹ˆ๋‹ค. ๋‹ค์Œ 24 ์‹œ๊ฐ„ ์ด๋‚ด์— 7,800 ๊ฐœ์˜ ICX๊ฐ€ BLOC8 ํ”„๋กœ์ ํŠธ๋กœ ์ „์†ก๋˜๋„๋ก ์ค€๋น„ํ•˜์‹ญ์‹œ์˜ค. ICX ICON TX Challenge๋Š” ํ•œ๊ตญ ๊ธฐ์—…์ธ ICONLOOP์—๊ฒŒ ํฐ ์ˆ˜์น˜๋ฅผ ๋ถˆ๋Ÿฌ ์™”์Šต๋‹ˆ๋‹ค.



On Monday 24th June you emailed BLOC8 with the following reply to an email we sent you on Saturday 22nd June.

Dear Bloc8
We suspended duplication suspected services.
We checked almost duplication suspected services and will change status after check.

Of course, confirmed duplication registers cannot get rewards anymore.
Thank you for your support.
ICON Team.

Despite your reassurances that duplicated blockchain service would not receive anymore rewards you proceeded to pay them tens of thousands of ICX on Tuesday 25th June.  This is confirmed with SCORE cxef795d2e19cada777511640d591735e1cc47c471 which was created by hx976bdedbc5b7a5be2fcc59b5b6acbbc14bb5be60.

ICON Tracker shows you paid them 600 ICX (3 days at 200 ICX per day). If you check your blockchain you will see that address sent ICX to which received 132,579 ICX from the ICON Challenge wallet address. also received 83,852 ICX from ICON.

The BLOC8 project entered into a contract with the ICON Foundation to generate 20,000 transactions per day in return for 200 ICX per day. The terms of the contract stated that the Foundation would only allow any single entity to enter into a similar contract once. The payments from the ICON TX Challenge wallet shows you are in breach of the terms agreed with BLOC8.

BLOC8 has clearly demonstrated they were the best team at carrying out the stress test of your network as you desperately required for marketing purposes in Korea and elsewhere. This is evidenced in that BLOC8 was paid more ICX than any of the 246 projects stress testing the network for the Foundation.

Evidence was given to the Foundation that you were in breach of the terms of the contract on numerous occasions as documented at

The Foundation agreed to pay BLOC8 12,000 ICX for stress testing your network up to the 31st July. As we have only received 4,200 ICX you still owe us 7,800 ICX. Please arrange for the 7,800 ICX to be transferred to the BLOC8 project within the next 24 hours. The ICX ICON TX Challenge has brought great shame to South Korean business ICONLOOP.



์ฑŒ๋ฆฐ์ง€์˜ ์ฃผ์š” ๋ถ€๋ถ„ ( “ICON blockchain ํ…Œ์ŠคํŠธ”)์„ “์Šน๋ฆฌ”๋กœ ์„ค์ •ํ•˜๋ฉด BLOC8์€ ๋„์ „ ๊ณผ์ œ์˜ ์ตœ์ข… (์‚ฌ์†Œํ•œ) ๋ถ€๋ถ„์—์„œ ์„ ๋‘ ์ฃผ์ž ์ค‘ ํ•˜๋‚˜ ์—ฌ์•ผํ•ฉ๋‹ˆ๋‹ค. ICX ICON TX Challenge๋ฅผ ์œ„ํ•ด Reddit ์Šค๋ ˆ๋“œ๋ฅผ upvotingํ•˜์—ฌ BLOC8 ํŒ€์ด ์ˆ˜ํ–‰ ํ•œ ์šฐ์ˆ˜ํ•œ ์—…๋ฌด์— ๋Œ€ํ•œ ๊ท€ํ•˜์˜ ์ง€์›์„ ๋ณด์—ฌ์ฃผ์‹ญ์‹œ์˜ค.

Having “won” the main part of the challenge (stress testing ICON blockchain) BLOC8 must be one of the front runners in the final (minor) part of the challenge. Please show your support for the excellent work done by the BLOC8 team by upvoting their Reddit thread for the ICX ICON TX Challenge.

ICON TX Challenge

A guest post by a blockchain evangelist on the BLOC8 team about the ongoing ICON TX Challenge.

The blockchain ecosystem is awash with scams and bad actors. ICO exit scams, hackers, pump and dump schemes and shilling by heavy bag holders etc. If you are ever given advice about crypto ensure you know the context of the advice. Ask how many coins they hold and the evidence to back up their claims.

I’m British and the wrong side of 40 (not a 15 year old kid). I learnt much of the basics of blockchain from fellow, dual nationality British and Greek, blockchain evangelist Andreas Antonopoulos.

As a nation Brits have a very strong sense of fair play but that’s not to say we don’t have our fair share of scammers. It sickens me to be told by a P-Rep candidate that I should play the game and join the scammers. The same P-Rep candidate and Telegram group moderator also wrote to me to say I should rejoin their groups under an alias. Absolutely no way, if I’m not welcome as BLOC8 I’m not welcome at all.

Swiss registered blockchain project ICON announced on the 4th May, via their Medium blog, the ICON TX Challenge. ICON offered 1 million ICX tokens to developers using their blockchain. The date for the challenge was set to run from 3rd June to 31st July. The 1 million tokens were to be distributed as follows:

  • 100,000 for up to 250 teams following approval of a suitable SCORE (Smart contract on the ICON blockchain) including referral bonuses.
  • 600,000 tokens for 60 million transactions to be processed via their chain.
  • 300,000 tokens split equally between six teams based on the merit of their website / DApp.

With 60% of the tokens being made available for processing transactions it was obvious that ICON set the challenge primarily to stress test their network in a “real world” environment. They were also hoping to attract more developers as ICON is not known to have broad appeal to developers. Rules of the Challenge were quite clear that each team of developers could only apply once. This is to ensure tokens are allocated fairly amongst many developers rather than just a few. Each team would be allowed to process up to 20,000 transactions per day and receive 200 ICX tokens per day (reimbursed weekly) as a reward.

I expected developers from around the world to be racing to enter the challenge before the maximum of 250 entrants was reached. How wrong was I. A month after ICON’s announcement and as the challenge started just 12 teams had signed up. I tried to contact Ricky Dodds via Twitter and Reddit to ask why next to nobody was interested in the challenge. I drew a blank as he doesn’t accept contact from the crypto community so I asked ICON, via an email, to get Dodds to contact me. My email was sent to ICON 3rd June and on the 9th June Dodds (@doddric on Telegram) sent me an email with the subject “Reaching out”. My email reply to him is shown below.

ICON TX Challenge email to Ricky Dodds 9 June 2019

A perfectly civil and simple request for ICON to adhere to the rules of their challenge. ICON only respond to their known shillers, fanboys and heavy bag holders so I wasn’t too surprised that Dodds never replied to the email. I continued to watch as more and more fake teams were added to the challenge. Rewards for processing transactions are processed on a weekly basis with the first payment made to BLOC8 on the 11th June. As tokens are transferred via the blockchain I could see that all the fake teams had also received tokens. Probably 100,000 tokens in the first week to fake teams. I contacted ICON over and over again but little or no response.

As nothing was being done by ICON I reached out to well respected community member, and P-Rep candidate, Spl3en via Telegram on the 17th June. He had also noticed that fake teams were processing transactions as part of the ICON TX Challenge. Independently we had both worked out that more than half the teams in the challenge weren’t entitled to tokens. He was in contact with Daeki Lee of ICON and I also contacted him via Telegram. On the 18th June, the day the token rewards were due to be distributed for week 2 all teams received an email to say they would be paid a day late. Finally I thought ICON had seen sense and were removing the fake teams before they distributed tokens to the legitimate teams.

I was wrong again, on the 19th June ICON distributed around 150,000 tokens to the fake teams, so now about 250,000 tokens in all. Below is a tiny extract from my chat with Spl3en, which was published online without my permission.

Spl3en comments in a Telegram chat session.

After this image was published online Spl3en beat a hasty track over to the forum where it had been posted. No doubt shillers, fan boys and heavy bag holders sent him to the forum as he hadn’t posted anything for 10 months. He tries to argue his Telegram chat was taken out of context but he deleted the chat session in an attempt to remove the “context”. Fortunately I had already archived the full chat log and it’s available online here. It’s clear from the image what Spl3en thought but as a P-Rep candidate he made a vain attempt to backtrack. Meanwhile I am getting abuse from the shillers, fan boys and heavy bag holders that I’m calling out ICON because I didn’t win the competition or ICON didn’t approve our application. The challenge is still ongoing and BLOC8 has received the maximum available tokens to date from ICON as evidenced by the ICON TX Challenge dashboard.

Some members of the community thought ICON was going to run a DEX but ICON were actually just writing the software for a DEX. They were hoping that someone would pick up the code and run with it but so far nobody has shown an interest in it. Could the ICON project handle another embarrassment? It’s not really important who created the fake teams for the challenge but just be aware that some legitimate teams struggled to get approved whereas over 100 trash sites were approved by ICON. It’s the shoddy way it was handled by ICON that’s the issue. As a blockchain evangelist I am simply exposing ICON for disrespecting legitimate teams and the community as a whole. Legitimate teams were “robbed” of the 250,000 tokens that ICON gave to teams that were not eligible to be in the challenge as notified to them by Spl3en, myself and others.

It’s not important what you think about awarding developers rewards for merely stress testing the network. It’s not important if you think that the legitimate teams got well rewarded or not. The issue is ICON set a challenge for the crypto community and ICON messed up BIG TIME. @Alexyos88 on Twitter included a screenshot of another post in the forum and added:

“The Tx challenge has become a bad joke – thanks to the dilettante executives from ICON.”

The forum post was asking Daeki Lee who created the 100+ fake teams?

  1. ICON management as they were embarrassed as only 12 teams joined the challenge and they wouldnโ€™t get the โ€œreal worldโ€ stress test that they were looking for.
  2. Members of the ICON team thought it would be good for ICON or they wished to make a significant personal gain from the challenge.
  3. External scammers that ICON should have known would try to game the system.

Any answer was very embarrassing for ICON. The full chat log of our discussions with Daeki Lee are available here as I also archived that before he deleted it. At this point I believe ICON went into overdrive and hastily arranged the Telegram AMA session. Having been called out Min was angry whereas he should have been apologetic. Min, Dodds and Lee were all part of the AMA.

On Monday 24th June ICON disqualified 93% of the teams that they had sent a warning to. This disqualified 81 teams but there were still several dozen more fake teams in the challenge. ICON maintains an online Google spreadsheet for teams to monitor approval, rejection or disqualification from the challenge. It is currently here and we have an offline archived copy in case it is taken down by ICON. The additional fake teams can be identified by following the blockchain transactions of this wallet.

On Tuesday 25th June I alerted Binance and the crypto community via Twitter and Telegram that the wallet needed to be locked down and I even went as far as asking for all ICX wallets to be locked down until the scammer(s) can be traced. I believe one or a few individuals now have over 300,000 ICX from the 600,000 TX part of the challenge. If you check that wallet you will see that ICON paid the fake teams associated with it 19,800 ICX on pay day 3 (25th June).

So even though ICON had disqualified them they still went ahead and handed over ICX for the previous weeks scam tx.

Remember this is pay day 3, more than three weeks into the challenge and ICON were notified by me 16 days earlier of the fake teams. Why on earth would ICON continue to pay fake teams after BLOC8 had already gone public with the issue? Look back at Spl3en’s chat comment “But I wouldn’t be surprised at all if most of the traffic is originated from them, directly or indirectly, and not from external developpers”. Note the word indirectly. To process 140,000 tx per week each team needs to spend around 224 ICX, and be reimbursed 1400 ICX. If you are running over 100 fake teams you need to spend over 22,400 ICX and receive at least 140,000 ICX “reward” from ICON.

If ICON agreed with an external individual / group to indirectly process tx for them during the challenge they would be “honour” bound to keep handing over the ICX “rewards”. Based on the analysis I have done I am calling for Daeki Lee to stand down with immediate affect and a full apology from ICON for the shambles of a challenge.

In conclusion, don’t simply believe anything you hear from ICON and their devoted team of shillers and P-Reps. Do your own research as they might not be working in your best interests. A few days after the AMA Min tweeted #ChangeIsComing and then immediately blocked well known community member, BittBurger. Please feel free to add your comments here but make them factual. I don’t eat babies for breakfast or have two heads despite what the ICON “team” will tell you. Comments confirm 216,000 went from ICON TX challenge wallet to 2 wallet holders and can be verified on the ICON blockchain. The ICON TX Challenge has proved very challenging so far for ICON.

Tether and Bitfinex Response to NY Attorney General Claim of Fraud

Tether and Bitfinex response to New York Attorney General claim of fraud

Tether and Bitfinex have submitted their defense against the claims of fraud made by NY Attorney General, Letitia James. Stuart Hoegner has submitted an affidavit and Zoe Phillips a Memorandum of Law. In this post we will review the assertions offered by the legal counsel for Tether and Bitfinex.

Fractional Reserve Banking

Hoegner and Phillips argue that as the Federal Reserve is only required to hold 10% of deposit funds in cash then the defendants shouldn’t need to hold 100% in cash. This is a very weak argument as the Federal Reserve holds fiat and Tether is a cryptocurrency which is expected to be traded 24 / 7. If banks have liquidity problems they can simply shut up shop for a few weeks, as they did in Cyprus in 2013 while they were waiting for an EU bailout. Legal counsel is wrongly trying to compare fiat and crypto. One reason people invest in cryptocurrencies is their distrust of fractional reserve banking so this argument hardly provides any comfort.

Website Disclosure

Legal counsel asserts that the website of Tether Ltd disclosed details of the $900 million loan facility prior to the filing by the NY Attorney General. On this basis, they argue that they didn’t try to mislead anybody regarding Tether funds. Again this is a weak argument as the Tether website, even today, states 100% backed and “from time to time, may include other assets and receivables from loans made by Tether to third parties, which may include affiliated entities.” If the defendants were being open and above board they wouldn’t use the term “from time to time” and fail to disclose the size of the loan between the related parties. In the documents submitted by Hoegner and Phillips, they accept that USDT is currently only backed 74% in cash and if the full loan amount is drawn down this will fall to just 68%.

No Harm Done to Citizens of New York

The defense team argues that Tether has always been redeemable at par value and that citizens of New York have not lost any funds, to date. Effectively they are asking the Attorney General to withdraw the case until such time as Tether can’t be redeemed at par value. By that argument, if the Civil Aviation Authority knows that Boeing 737’s are not safe we should wait for a few planes to fall out of the sky before we ground them.


A lot of case law is cited, especially by Phillips, including the claim that Tether is neither a security nor a commodity and furthermore Tether is not an investment. Maybe not, when measured against traditional securities and commodities, but crypto traders use Tether as a hedge against the rise and fall of cryptocurrencies with the expectation that USDT can be redeemed on par with USD. Traders might want to consider an exchange like Coinbase until such time as the related party loan between Tether and Bitfinex is confirmed as lawful.

UPDATE 2 May 2019

The arrest of Reginald Fowler was announced Tuesday 30 April 2019 for alleged bank fraud. The indictment refers to various bank accounts held by Fowler and Global Trading Solutions LLC (GTS). For those that have still not figured this out, it is believed that GTS via Crypto Capital processed fiat transfers on behalf of Bitfinex.

Is coinbase a GOOD way of buying bitcoin?

Coinbase Ethereum Classic tokens sent to Trust wallet

We are fast approaching 2019 and Bitcoin recently celebrated its 10th anniversary. Despite this, there are very few low-cost ways to buy Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Let’s start by saying that for now, the best way is to purchase crypto from a trusted friend. They should be able to help you set up a suitable wallet and transfer the tokens at your agreed price.

If you don’t have a friend that’s clued up on crypto or they are looking to HODL their CDAs (Cryptographic Digital Assets) then what do you do?

  • Buy Bitcoin at an ATM
  • Buy Bitcoin with Paypal funds
  • Buy Crypto on Coinbase with a bank transfer or debit / credit card
  • Check out

We don’t recommend using ATM’s at this current time. They are convenient if you have one in your area, but the costs are worse than old school, fiat transactions. Hopefully in time the fees will come down but for us ATM’s are a last resort route to owning crypto. There are ways of buying Bitcoin with Paypal but the systems we have tested cost more than using an ATM. Around 20% in costs and unless you have no way of spending your Paypal funds its another route best avoided.

We have never used so we will leave our review of what they offer to a later article. Ultimately most owners of crypto are going to use an exchange to trade between the thousands of different tokens. There are hundreds of exchanges, ranging from low volume niche markets to multi-billion dollar global enterprises.

Coinbase Exchange

One very well known exchange is Coinbase and it’s one we recommend to people new to the blockchain. Coinbase can be used from a PC or a smartphone but we prefer the Trust wallet for mobile use. This URL is a referral link and anyone purchasing a $100 or more of cryptocurrencies will receive an extra $10 from Coinbase. The referral link also helps us to fund this site. The exchange accepts funds via bank transfers and credit / debit cards but many credit card providers block purchases of CDAs. In Europe, a SEPA transfer to their nominated account costs just โ‚ฌ3 and takes 2 or 3 working days.

Once your funds have been credited to your Coinbase account you should purchase a token such as Ethereum Classic (ETC) and then transfer the tokens to your Trust Wallet. Trust wallet is about to add Bitcoin support to their iOS and Android wallet but for now our suggestion is to buy ETC on the exchange. Once you have transferred the ETC to your Trust wallet your smartphone should show something like the image at the top of this article. Costs for using Coinbase in Europe, excluding the UK, are quite reasonable:

Costs of using Coinbase are broadly similar across the globe but some countries, like Australia, Canada and Singapore don’t have the bank transfer account funding option. Funding your account from a UK bank account is free and withdrawals cost ยฃ1. Trust wallet is preferred to the Coinbase wallet as it accomodates all the major blockchains including Ethereum, Tron, ICON, Wanchain and Callisto etc. We will publish a follow-up article on some of the major exchanges but for this exercise, we just used Coinbase as an easy route to your first CDA purchase.

Android Acinq Eclair Bitcoin Lightning Network Wallet

Android Acinq Eclair Bitcoin Lightning Network Wallet

We have previously covered the Trust and Saturnย cryptocurrency wallets for handling BitUnits, but this article will cover the Eclair lightning network wallet.

Watch how the Eclair wallet is used at Brisbane airport to buy a coffee in the video below. More and more merchants are adopting the lightning network for “micropayments” with some not accepting any other form of payment. This makes it important for you to have a basic understanding of how to set up the Elcair wallet.

We are not going to go into great detail about the lightning networkย but what we will say is that it is likely to become more important than the Bitcoin blockchain network. The lightning network (LN) is a second layer network primarily used to prevent the Bitcoin blockchain getting to an unmanageable size. Today it’s around 200 GB, and that is duplicated across thousands of full nodes around the world.

As crypto payments become more and more popular, we are going to use a “temporary” record for most of the transactions. This temporary network is much faster and cheaper than the full Bitcoinย blockchain network. It can take several hours for a Bitcoin transaction to be confirmed whereas a lightning network transaction is processed within seconds.

If you go into a coffee shop to buy an Espresso, the shop owner can’t wait hours to decide if you have enough Satoshis to pay for the drink. So you need a wallet which works with the lightning network. For Android users, we recommend the Eclair wallet by Acinq.Eclair lightning network wallet

The screenshot above is my Eclair wallet paying a 2 cent invoice which I raised via the Zap desktop lightning wallet. Taking a closer look at the wallet and ignoring the actual payment we see a wallet balance of $25.71 with $13.04 in Bitcoin and $12.67 allocated to the lightning network.Eclair lightning network wallet balances

Eclair Lightning Network Wallet

The Eclair wallet can be used as a regular Bitcoin wallet, but there are far better wallets available if you are not using the lightning network. Currently, you can fund channels on the lighting network with a minimum of 0.001 BTC and a maximum of just under 0.043 BTC. With BTC trading around $6,300, that’s $6.30 to $270. So if your local coffee shop has adopted the lightning network you might open a channel for $6.30 (0.001 BTC). The $12.67 shown in my wallet for lightning channels was two channels, each with 0.001 BTC. With some merchants, you might have to open a channel directly with them but as the network expands an open channel with a major node should allow you to pay most merchants.

With Eclair the process is to send an on-chain (regular Bitcoin blockchain transaction) balance of BTC to the address shown in your wallet. Remembering it will need to be at least 0.001 BTC after networkย costs, so perhaps 0.0011 BTC. When you add a channel with Eclair it asks if you want the on-chain transfer to be completed fast (approx 20 minutes), medium (2 hours) or slow (12 hours). The network fees will be higher the faster you want it processing but note the quickest is 20 minutes. This means you should be funding the channels ahead of spending the Bitcoin you allocate to the channel.

If you open a 0.001 BTC channel directly with the coffee shop and use the Elcair wallet to pay for your $3.00 Espresso, you will still have $3.30 for the next time you visit. However you are not paying for your coffees in advance, you are simply putting funds on one side “in the fast lane” for when you need them. You can close a channel in Eclair whenever you want by selecting the channel in the Lightning Channels tab.

Closing a channel in Eclair

As shown in the screenshot above, you will be asked to confirm the channel closure but only select force-close if the merchant’s node is shown as offline. If you force-close a channel, you will have to wait for 144 blocks to be added to the Bitcoin blockchain before the funds become usable on-chain. With each block taking about 10 minutes it means a 24-hour wait whereas a regular channel close will normally be completed within one hour.

We will be covering some great things you can buy with your Eclair lightning network wallet in future articles so be sure to have at least one channel adequately funded.

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