“New year, new me” moniker doesn’t seem to apply to the world of cryptocurrency, as suspicious, scam-like projects are popping up all over the place with unbridled intensity. The latest project that got exposed for its shady dealings and behavior is one called Apollo (APL).
It all culminated when a Reddit user took a deep dive into this “all-in-one cryptocurrency” that has promised to deliver features like smart contracts, sharding, and never-before-seen privacy. User RozzyPoffle began his deconstruction of Apollo by explaining that none of those features are implemented right now, further adding that he seriously doubts project’s inexperienced developers are even capable of delivering them. He even exposes one rather weird thing about the project: apparently they created the Apollo website through Wix.com, a platform designed to help people with zero coding experience establish their online presence.
He goes further into the project’s technical insufficiency by citing the fact that Apollo is nothing but a fork of another cryptocurrency called NXT with a couple of tacked on lines of code that don’t actually change anything of note (except lowering the block time to 2 seconds). He also mentions how Apollo team is aggressively shilling and hyping up their project while at the same time dumping their APL onto the naïve market. There seems to be some tangible evidence behind this accusation, as a Reddit thread from three months ago does show an APL address (allegedly belonging to the team) engaging in consistent token dumping.
Rozzy then goes on to expose the project’s active brigading and policing of their social media. While any project has an absolute right to moderate what gets shared in their chat rooms, it seems like Apollo actively suppresses any users who ask questions about the project’s technology/codebase or suggest that maaaaybe it’s a good idea to sell your APL tokens after they went up 700% in one week.
Finally he addresses the project’s main man, Steve McCullah. The founder of Apollo has apparently been involved in some shady dealings in the past. From being tied to a $29,000 kickstarter scam where he claimed he was raising funds for a documentary expedition to Congo in the search of living dinosaurs to developing sudden expertise in areas such as biology and cryptocurrency, the man does have quite a resume on him. He also provides evidence of McCullah calling for the community to brigade people who are critical of Apollo, the effects of which can be seen in the replies to the tweet below.
McCullah does seem like an individual hell-bent on blowing hot air into the faces of his community, as his promotional efforts rarely seem to match actual reality. Rozzy sums up 4 major points that McCullah uses to divert criticism from Apollo:
- “”3rd generation cryptocurrency” (as if forking NXT in 2018 magically makes this project better than all others),
- Ultimate privacy (Guess what? It’s not private at all! They use a coin scrammbler in the wallet- something which exists for bitcoin, ethereum, and many other coins – and claim that this makes their coin have the greatest privacy of any coin ever,
- Decentralized file-storage (we all know storing files on the actual blockchain itself is essentially impossible, especially with NXT’s tech – not that they even have any product out for this claim anyway. Don’t worry, it’s “coming soon” though)
- Their coin “Forging” system – something already implemented by NXT that they have given a new name to
Others pointed out additional problems with McCullah/Apollo, including no real developments of updates, focusing on the project’s growing price as a reason to invest, being located in Russia away from the SEC grasp, and having an army of devoted shills who have little idea about crypto (including one slightly more knowledgeable and popular called John McAfee).
Apollo’s main man has since responded to the claims, claiming that what seem to be legitimate, evidence-backed criticisms are nothing more than FUD from people who “have a grudge” towards the project and McCullah.
His complete response can be found in this article written by journeyto100k. He explains that project development has been ongoing, with infrastructure being set up to support Apollo’s problematic 2 second block intervals. Several community members questioned these developments, claiming they bring strong elements of centralization into Apollo.
He also denies the accusations of social media brigading and further adds how he would never jeopardize the growth of Apollo currency by selling his tokens OTC. Interestingly enough, he wasn’t able to offer a good explanation on the address that has been dumping APL tokens onto the market, simply saying he wasn’t “in a position to investigate at the moment”. Just to hype the project up a bit more, he adds the following zinger:
“As I stated before, there is no reason for anyone involved with the Apollo Foundation to sell on any exchange because we get constant OTC offers from investors that purchase amounts too large for exchanges.”
Furthermore, he offered a flimsy excuse regarding his previous dinosaur-related activities, making him look rather clueless/naïve. Finally he explains his fake biology degree as nothing more than a misunderstanding on his part.
McCullah’s explanation didn’t seem to work that well, as Apollo currency is currently down 37% on the daily. This sharp drop indicates that either a serious part of the community lost faith in Apollo, or the main honchos simply realized the jig is up, gave up on pumping their bags further and dumped everything on the market.
If this Apollo fiasco has any lessons for the wider crypto market, it’s that you should always do a deep investigation into the projects you wish to invest in. Also, reserve double scrutiny for projects shilled by McAfee and never give your money to someone who believes dinosaurs still exist.