China’s Crypto Project Molecule(MOL) Blockchain Shuts Down,to Return ‘Remaining’ ETH to Investors

China-based cryptocurrency project Molecule (MOL) Blockchain announced on February 2 it  shut down operations and would return the remaining ETH which the team raised through its initial coin offering(ICO) to investors due to the brutal crypto winter, according to the statement.

Launched in September 2017, Molecule Blockchain claims to describes itself as a DAG-DPOS blockchain with 50 millisecond transaction speeds, aiming to create a decentralized economy on mobile. Last year, the project which has filed 5 blockchain patents within a year reportedly run an advertisement on the NASDAQ big screen, a landmark building in New York’s Times Square, to drum up substantial hype.

The project issued its own ERC-20 token MOL in September 2018, and raised an unknown amount of ETH through an underground ICO activity to finance its operations. With a total supply of 40 billion tokens, 65% of MOL are said to be dispersed to the community, according to its vaguely worded white paper.

Being listed on two crypto exchanges, Bit-Z and FCoin, the token, which peaked at just $0.000349 on October 28, is now down to nearly zero. These two exchanges have permanently removed the token on February 27 after the MOL’s shutdown statement.

The ICO-funded startup said in the statement which is released on its official website that they decided to return the remaining ETH to the community as they failed to continued the project in the shape presented in the whitepaper owing to the fund shortage caused by the prolonged crypto winter.

It also added that it would shut down operations, halt code updates, and permanently suspend tradings of MOL tokens on March 1.

It gave investors only half a day to transfer their MOL holdings that sit in the popular crypto wallet imToken to a designated address, and asked them to provide the ICO-funded startup with  name, the amount of ETH they invested in the project,the amount of MOL and wallet address in an email. MOL holders needed to reply the email before 12 p.m., Feb.26, or they would not be refunded.

Although it appears to be an example of a responsible move to return funds raised through ICO after the project failure, adding to concern is  the project has not made it clear how many ETH tokens will be returned to the community, and how to deal with the investors who bought the token in the secondary market.

It is not uncommon in China, home to a large number of ICO scams and disguised pyramid scheme despite the government’s blanket ban on crypto activities, that blockchain projects founders dump the tokens and run away with the money. Despite ICO market cooling down, investors should be vigilant of scams pushing unrealistic returns that sound too good to be true and do homework first.

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