LAToken's ICO for US Customers; Scam or Poor Marketing?

Cryptocurrency Forum - Oct 9th 2017

  1. V4Vendetta

    V4Vendetta

    Joined:
    Apr 2017
    From:
    Texas
    I've been seeing multiple ads on Facebook and Twitter recently for LAToken; yet another ICO on the Ethereum network. Like many ICO's you can find a slew of positive and negative information online and LAToken is no exception. Many YouTubers are touting LAT to be the next big thing and another coin that could significantly raise in value. While these claims are yet to be seen, I decided to check them out. Their website provides a link to contribute to the ICO and when you click on it, it takes you to a page where you can create an account, set up a basic wallet, and contribute ETH in exchange for LAT tokens. So I thought, why not, I feel lucky today. So I created an account, entered a small amount of ETH in the contribution field and clicked on Get xxx LAT. It then brought up a Terms and Conditions page which had a general legal jargon section you’d expect from any ICO agreement, but below that were a few Check Box sections asking to verify whether or not you were a US Citizen or Permanent Resident, or a Citizen or Resident of China (excluding Hong Kong). If you are to check the box indicating that you are in fact a US Citizen, it will not let you proceed. Okay, so at this point you would think the main website would have told you about excluded countries; well, it doesn’t. Even the Contribution Tutorial video on the main wallet page doesn’t mention it. So, did it suddenly change? So I took to Google to find out. An article from Medium.com stated that LAToken had in fact opened up its token sale to US Citizens and Residents (https://medium.com/@latoken/latoken-opens-up-for-us-investors-8efd89f594c2). Similarly BlockchainNews had posted an article on September 7th also stating that the token sale was now available to US Citizens and Residents (http://www.the-blockchain.com/2017/...d-ii-of-its-token-sale-open-for-us-investors/). Newsbtc.com had posted an article on August 23rd and mentioned that the token sale was not available to US Citizens (http://www.newsbtc.com/2017/08/23/latoken-raised-85-million-within-first-day-public-token-sale/), but apparently they decided to offer the token sale to US Citizens and Residents during Round 2. So going back to the token sale page I’m a bit confused at this point. Which is it? So I headed over to Twitter to see if there was some more information as to what is actually going on and found an article they posted on October 6th that said they had in fact closed the sale to US Customers (https://www.inc.com/chris-j-snook/r...rency-has-stopped-accepting-us-investors.html). Okay, so I guess that is that. They tried, but due to “stormy regulatory waters” they decided to suspend the sale to the US. Seems like just part of doing business, but wait, what about that Medium article that said that LAToken had “passed the Howey Test (https://medium.com/@latoken/latoken-opens-up-for-us-investors-8efd89f594c2)? And why bother to continue to advertise to US Citizens if they can’t participate in the token sale anyway? But it gets worse. One Twitter user took to LAToken's Twitter page to condemn some of the contradictory marketing, and apparently, call the CEO out directly for taking some US Citizens contributions after they pulled the sale from the US, and then allegedly didn’t return the contribution.
    Here is the screen shot he posted to one of the CEO, Valentin Preobrazhensky's, postings.
    LAToken advertising contradicts reality.png

    @RecReal includes images from the Medium article I posted earlier, the disclaimer contradicting Medium's article (which still has not been updated), and advertising images of LAToken apparently poised to be listed on exchanges like HitBTC and Bittrex soon. @RecReal's post was in response to a twitter post the CEO made: Valentin's twitter post 1.png
    Okay, so apparently he's just reiterating the decision that was made around Oct 6th. It could definitely have been advertised a bit better to US investors, but the only issue left is the claim that some people have yet to be refunded.
    RecReal response.png
    A question to which no one has responded yet. Maybe there is no foul play here, could be just a lot of claims and speculation, but any ICO that is attempting to gain a stable place in the ever emerging crypto market needs to cover all its bases. Another twitter user on the same post asked if US customers who have already contributed will still get their coins, to which there has been no response.

    So in summary, do I think LAToken is a scam? I doubt it. They seem to have a interesting product and are trying to capture a relatively untapped market using crypto as the bridge, but they do seem to be lacking a bit in effective marketing strategies and if it's true that they won't return contributions after they decided to pull out of the US market, after they said they would service the US market, but only before they said they wouldn't, then they may have a hard time keeping customers if they're starting out in bad faith with some of their marketplace. Also, I find it odd that the CEO would proclaim in the tweet above that "we are not a security" but still suspend US contributions. Isn't by saying you 'aren't a security' mean that there's no real reason to pull out while citing issues with possible SEC interpretations which other ICO's have seemed to have no problem with? Plus the fact that you've already sold some tokens to the US market already, and have apparently no plans of reversing those orders, why suddenly stop now? It just seems like a very odd roll out and that a few basic things could have been done differently to ensure investors that LAToken is acting in good faith from start to finish.
     

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