Twitter has been dealing with an Ethereum scambot problem on its platform for months and now its reach to the extent that Elon Musk has tweeted about it. Although Vitalik Buterin is not very impressed with the tweet Elon has put in.
Elon Musk terms Ethereum scambots “Mad Skillz”
Elon Musk name has been used across Twitter, where users have posted messages of Ethereum donations and in return would be giving back 10x of coins. Utilising the oldest trick in the book, the online scammers pretend to be a recognized figure of authority, offering big payout for small initial investments. It, not just Musk, the scammers have so far mirrored the accounts of President Trump as well as those of cybersecurity tycoon John McAfee and Ethereum cofounder Vitalik Buterin.
One such scammer message posted in response to a genuine Elon Musk tweet, which reads
“My friends am admiration work hard technology innovate. Please send bitcoin I am excellent work hard technology study differential equation”
to which Elon Musk had replied,
I want to know who is running the Etherium scambots! Mad skillz …
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 8, 2018
Vitalik Buterin not impressed with the tweet
Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin has since noted the occurrence marked the first time Musk had tweeted about Ethereum. Unfortunately, Buterin was slightly disappointed that the reason to mention Ethereum was the Twitter scam epidemic and not the technology behind it.
I do wish @elonmusk‘s first tweet about ethereum was about the tech rather than the twitter scambots……..@jack help us please? Or someone from the ETH community make a layer 2 scam filtering solution, please? https://t.co/biVRshZmne
— Vitalik “Not giving away ETH” Buterin (@VitalikButerin) July 9, 2018
Scambots all over Twitter
The army of bots going around Twitter first made its way to the platform in January. While the occurrence originally extended only to a small group of blockchain personalities, the scambot network gradually spread to spamming nearly every micro-influencer in the cryptocurrency space.
Camouflaged as giveaways and get-rich-quick schemes, the fake tweets would encourage trustworthy users to send money to a random Ethereum address. Contrary to the promise of doubling down their investment though, sending any funds would result in an immediate loss of funds.
Following numerous requests to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey to do something about the ever-expanding scambot, some blockchain micro-influencers made attempts to warn their followers against the cryptocurrency scam by including ‘Not giving away ETH’ directly in their usernames.
Vitalik himself has alerted users in his tweet on February 1 which read
If you send me 0.1 ETH, I will send you nothing, because I am too lazy.
— Vitalik "Not giving away ETH" Buterin (@VitalikButerin) February 1, 2018
“He also added ‘Not giving away ETH’ to his twitter handle”
Meanwhile, the bots keep getting smarter. In fact, users recently noticed that – due to a bug which allowed Twitter accounts to update their usernames without losing their verified badge – scammers had begun using verified accounts to pull their tricks.
Twitter’s unwillingness to address the issue has inspired some developers to take matters into their own hands, designing solutions to alert users about any cryptocurrency scams. But given that many of these solutions have since stopped functioning against the growing smartness of these bot’s, chances are the problem will persist until Twitter moves to introduce an appropriate filtering mechanism – like it should’ve months ago.
Will Twitter take cognizance of the issue and stop this scambots? Do let us know your views on the same
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Nilesh Maurya has been associated for past 8 years as an Investment Banker with Omega Capital, a bespoke Investment Banking outfit having offices in Mumbai, New York, Singapore, and Dubai. He has been a regular contributor to business publications such as Business India and Market Express and has been a mentor to many start-up companies. Nilesh Maurya has been associated for past 8 years as an Investment Banker with Omega Capital, a bespoke Investment Banking outfit having offices in Mumbai, New York, Singapore, and Dubai. He has been a regular contributor to business publications such as Business India and Market Express and has been a mentor to many start-up companies. Follow him on Twitter at @KoinKing1 or connect with me on linkedin.