In today's Finshots we talk about Tata Coin and the wild wild west where shitcoins are born
A few months ago, Tata Sons approached the Delhi high court after stumbling upon a rather nefarious scheme. They were notified that two companies (based in the UK and US) were floating crypto tokens with the name $Tata. And while you may be inclined to think that this is an obvious play on the popularity and goodwill of the Tata brand name, things aren’t so straightforward here.
One of the accused in the matter ran a website called www.hakunamatata.finance and if you pay close attention to the name, there’s a “tata” involved at the end. Hakuna Matata also happens to be a phrase in the Swahili language — roughly translating to the words “no worries.” The phrase was made popular in the movie “Lion King” and as such, there’s another angle here worth exploring.
Tata Sons meanwhile argued that both companies engaged in the sale and purchase of this odd cryptocurrency by targeting Indian nationals. The whitepaper describing the $Tata cryptocurrency also makes a mention of a charity partner based out of India. And considering the website did attract an Indian audience, you could make a case that the court did have jurisdiction over the matter even though the companies weren’t based out of India. However, after much deliberation, the court argued that they wouldn’t interfere in the matter because Tata Sons couldn’t definitely prove through evidence that the companies intended to target Indian customers through their websites. As the judge noted — “I do not find, in the aforesaid pages on the various social media accounts of Defendant 1, any intent, covert or overt, to target customers in Delhi. If at all they target customers, they target customers across the world.”
And as such, Tata couldn't get the courts to side with them. But that’s not the story here. The story is about shitcoins — or cryptocurrencies that hold little to no value. These are coins marketed by a group of people trying to swindle investors of their hard-earned money. And like Tata coin, they almost always seem to follow the same playbook. A playbook that looks something like this.
- Use a platform like Waves to create a new coin. If you’re adept at this, you could wrap up the initial formalities in under 15 minutes. This should give you a sense of how easy it is to actually set up your own cryptocurrency.
- Second and this is the most important bit. Pick a nice name. It doesn’t matter if it’s a play on “Hakuna Matata” or the “Tata brand name”, you have to pick a name that has a nice ring to it. You can also get creative here and use the names of other popular personalities if you so wish. Maybe a political leader or a famous cricketer. Go crazy with your imagination
- Create a whitepaper describing the vision behind the cryptocurrency. Don’t worry —It doesn’t have to be precise so long as you make use of all fancy buzzwords like “PancakeSwaps.” And here’s the kicker — Nobody’s going to read it anyway. In fact, you don’t even have to write it yourself. Here are a bunch of professionals on Upwork who’ll write it for you and may I add, some of these rates look like an absolute bargain.
- Finally, you have to promote shitcoins if you intend to take them to the moon. Go on Reddit and make a thread about how this will change the world. Put together a telegram group and use lots of emojis as you hype up your newly minted shitcoin.
- And once you have enough suckers buying into the idea, take all the money that people gave you so willingly and you can get away scot-free.
Simple. That’s all you have to do. And if all this seems too good to be true, let me assure you it’s not. Here’s what happened with a new digital token — Squid, inspired by the popular Netflix show Squid Game. The developers launched the new cryptocurrency after assuring people they’d launch a “play-to-earn” game modelled after the TV show and when enough people bought into the idea, they made off with close to $3 million. It’s crazy.
And if you’re wondering what happened to Tata Coin, well here’s a YouTube comment summarizing that bit — “I went to my hakuna matata token on trust wallet when I was just checking all my tokens and saw that my investment in hakuna matata dipped by 90% lol.”
The comment also goes on to talk about a developer who swindled money while floating the project and it should come as no surprise that people who bought Tata Coin got the rug pulled from under their feet. They were scammed. So if you’re betting on some new cryptocurrency with a shiny name and an incomprehensible description, well, remember the playbook.
Remember how easy it is to make and market a shitcoin.