Sergei Mavrodi is no stranger to the crypto community, although his efforts focused more on the Russian Twitter, with mostly a Russian-speaking following on Telegram. But the case of the MMM ICO may be one of the most colorful scams, following the death of the founder. Mavrodi was presumed dead from heart attack at the age of 63, but a closed-lid funeral raised further doubts whether this is not the ultimate exit scam.
Despite the high activity of Russian media, the sudden death of Mavrodi is shrouded in uncertainty.
Lately, the MMM structure, a well-known pyramid scheme that surfaced every few years in countries around the world. One of the latest rounds of the scheme came in Nigeria, and after the announcement of Mavrodi’s death, Nigerian social media saw mentions of African magic actually punishing Mavrodi for stealing people’s money.
Meanwhile, holders of the now-defunct Mavro tokens are incapable of selling them on Yobit, since the digital asset is practically defunct, with no potential buyers.
ICO Exit Scam, Too?
But there is one more way in which Mavrodi tried one final swindle – this time, by running an ICO that collected more than 800 Ethereum. The ICO is now closed, and allegedly, the project would go on without Mavrodi. At its heart, the MMM token system also has the elements of a pyramid scheme, although its haul is much smaller.
At this point, the new Mavro token has not been launched yet, although there are promises it would appear on the Yobit exchange, in place of the old digital asset. To add insult to injury, there is a second wave of scammers offering to sell fake Mavro tokens. There are several Etherscan addresses holding tokens of that name.
The current MVR token address reveals one large wallet with more than 65% of tokens, and a few hundred smaller buyers. The ICO is tiny in scale compared to the MMM pyramid, which gained notoriety in Russia.
— MAVRO (@MAVRO_COIN) March 31, 2018
The Twitter communications of the ICO have stopped at the end of March. The official Telegram channel has an indefinite message that Mavrodi has stopped communication – no official death notice, or any proof that the event is not an exit scam. The latest messages indicate that the project could possibly go on, but as the time without communication expands, it is possible that the MMM ICO was, quite simply, another blatant scam.
The MMM fiasco may remain largely unknown to the wider crypto community, as the marketing efforts were pointed to a Russian-speaking audience, a subset of the crypto world which sees quite different projects compared to other international ICOs.