ICO Analysis: Much Ado About OneGram
Hacked received a tip about an upcoming ICO called OneGram. We began our investigation and immediately noticed more than one red flag. Some digging revealed more concern. This report is not meant to be a condemnation of OneGram, and certainly not a warning against alternative money systems that comply with religious convictions around the world. Instead, it is a factual warning based on long experience in cryptocurrency, which has long been unfortunately rife with get rich quick schemes, scams, and bad actors.
First things first, there are three entities involved in OneGram, which claims to back every token on its blockchain with a single gram of gold, currently valued around $40. The first entity is OneGram itself, and it is closely related to Gold Guard, a separate firm which will handle the ICO and gold transactions through a firm through Australian-based ABX (Allocated Bullion Exchange). The information on the Gold Guard page led one to believe that the firm had been operating in the Dubai free zone for ten years or so, but this was answered by their CEO as being a misunderstanding on the part of the writer. Instead, the firm is going to be contracting through ABX to acquire the gold grams. This was a red flag to the writer for obvious reasons: so you’ve created another entity to create the appearance of a safe partnership, your opening price is $40 whereas most ICOs open in far lower figures.
The $40 valuation is tied directly to the exchange value of gold at time of launch, but the price of gold will not necessarily determine the value of OneGram tokens. This doesn’t necessarily make a lot of sense, since a gold-backed currency’s value is actually directly tied to the global price of gold indefinitely. The CEO said, via phone (after a very suspiciously-bot-sounding receptionist was eventually hung up on and the CEO returned the call), something to the effect of, “Well, of course we can’t guarantee the market. It could go either way.” Effectively, this would mean that if the price of gold dropped, a OneGram holder would have to wait for the market itself to drop in order to cash out – they would not be able to acquire more gold as a result of the loss in value.
The idea is not to be able to hold and speculate on digital gold certificates, but rather have a digital ledger, Shariah compliant, which has some allegedly inherent value.
According to the CEO, who said his name was Abrahim Mohammed and promised this writer some additional information including photographs of a meeting with ABX people but then did not deliver over the next 48 hours, when someone decides to actually call in their gold certificates for the grams of gold, the coins on the blockchain related to those grams will be destroyed. This is perhaps the one really unique and advantageous aspect of OneGram: it would seem that overtime the supply will be further limited, and within reason this can mean a more valuable token than the grams of gold themselves.
Yet, still, there does not seem to be enough transparency. At this time we cannot fully analyze the currency due to the lack of known entities, clear evidence of legitimate practices, and the like. Handing the actual acquisition and gold transfer services off to ABX seems a good move, and for what it’s worth ABX Global appears to be a legitimate company formed in 2011. Due to all the uncertainty and as yet not great informational issues regarding OneGold, we have to advise against any investment at current time. Gold scams are much too common and have been going on for so long that a new gold venture must almost prove that it is not a scam before getting any sort of basic accreditation from journalists and investors alike. This issue will be revisited when more information has been gathered over the coming weeks.