TRON Genesis Hard Fork: an elaborate and sophisticated scam

A scam attempt involving TRON was thwarted today, but not before causing some chaos on social media after the account of a moderator in the coin’s subreddit was compromised in an attempt to make the fake “hard fork” look credible.

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Just weeks after the TRON mainnet went live, the community got hit with one of the largest and most well-executed scams in cryptocurrency history, with two different “hard forks” reportedly announced on blogs that looked strikingly similar to the Tron Foundation’s official outlets.

One of these announcements, now deleted by Medium after the account that created it got suspended, was for something called “Tron Genesis.”

According to the actors in this particular scheme, a group of developers dissatisfied with founder Justin Sun’s “loss of direction” decided to fork the project using Skycoin’s blockchain.

“Justin Sun lost his direction and we couldn’t back him up anymore. Competing directly with Ethereum is not what we wanted nor do we think the team is capable to become [sic] serious competitors to Ethereum which is a class of its’ [sic] own. We wanted to be a truly decentralized entertainment blockchain platform on a decentralized internet, not another Ethereum,” the scammers wrote.

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To supposedly claim these “TRXG” tokens, holders of TRX were asked to follow a convoluted process that involved the creation of a new Ethereum wallet on MyEtherWallet and the exchange of private keys – something that raises alarms immediately. What makes this scam sophisticated, however, is how it was propagated through social media. On Reddit, the announcement was pinned by one of the moderators of r/Tronix, the largest subreddit for TRON.

It turns out that the moderator’s account was compromised and the scammers managed to infiltrate the subreddit, making the announcement look legitimate, as if though there really was a mutiny in the Tron Foundation. Fortunately, users picked up on the scam quickly and flooded the announcement with comments warning others that this is fake, followed by speculation on what happened to the moderator’s account.

Scams like these could cripple a coin, even if not successful. It turns out that, at least this time, TRX is chugging along, recovering firmly from a slight dip in the middle of the day just after the scandal broke out.

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Author Miguel Gomez
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