There has always been a black market for personal ID — fake passports etc have been around for years and countless teenagers have bought fake ID at some time or other. But, now there is a new fake ID market — it’s for Know Your Customer (KYC) purposes and the source of the need for them is the crowdsale.
KYC requirements are now pretty universal for ICOs. Initially KYC was introduced to screen out Chinese and U.S. buyers in some ICOs and it was also introduced to allay the fears of those who believed that ICOs were about as regulated as the Wild West.
Instead, it seems that the whole KYC-Crowdsale connection may have backfired.
Now there are Telegram channels dedicated to selling fake KYC documents and buying the documents needed to make the fakes. Customers can also acquire all the tools need to pass an ICO’s KYC, including passport scan, selfie, scanned bank statement and utility bill.
According to News at Bitcoin.com, Russia is the main source of the fake ID packs that sell for as little as $50. And it isn’t just Americans and Chinese who are buying them, it’s everybody! Investors who reside in countries that permit ICOs have also been snapping up fake IDs as a means of protecting their own identity.
It seems that a few crowdsale projects have been compromised through the hacking of the third party handling their KYC, while others have had their mailing list leaked. There have also been cases of blackmail, with hackers
claiming to have filmed the victim watching online porn, threatening to send the video to their friends and family if they don’t pay a ransom.
Now some are wondering if forcing KYC on crowdsale investors is such a good thing — what do you think?