Authorship ICO unable to fulfill bounty campaign promise to participants
Users who participated in the Authorhip token’s bounty campaign expected $10 worth of ATS tokens in their Ethereum wallets got an email from Authorship team which basically said:
“We can’t send the ATS tokens due to technical issues, we will give you 3 free ebooks to read after our platform launches”.
Here is the lengthier (full) version of the email from Authorship team: (online version of email available here)
We would like to update everyone regarding the Bounty Campaign status.
As you are probably already aware, since yesterday we have started to process bounty campaign withdrawals. This gave birth to a cascade of disappointed messages (thousands of them) from users who noticed their accounts got suspended. We apologize for not being able to get back to everyone, it’s just not humanly possible given the volume of messages we received.
We would like to clarify why an account get suspended in the first place: the #1 reason is that from the same IP as yours there’s been over 20+ other registrations. This is in 99% of the cases a clear sign of fraudulent registrations (people create multiple accounts to earn more ATS tokens).
In the remaining 1% of the cases, everyone claims a fair usage (their entire 100+ work colleagues registered too, they live in a campus and everyone else shares the same IP, 200+ friends came by his home, etc.).
While these, could in theory be valid reasons, it turns out most of the time it’s just an excuse, as such as a rule any such duplicate registrations have been suspended.
The second reason why people get suspended is for fraudulent referrals. They use services like TOR or VPN to change their IP and create multiple accounts (usually hundreds of them). These are easily to spot as most of the time the names and emails are random numbers/fake names/emails. Turns out many people claim to be using TOR or VPN for genuine reasons, thus they shouldn’t be suspended either. If that is correct or not, it’s something one can’t really affirm with 100% certainty.
People tried to cheat the referral system through other methods as well, but we won’t get into more details; you got the overall idea.
We tried our best, did all that was humanly possible to discern between the genuine and fraudulent registrations considering that about 90% of the people who registered to our bounty campaign still doesn’t know what Ether is, not even today. We realize everyone jumps of joy when they hear about $10 free, but we’d have personally hoped for a different kind of results.
Having the final filtered list of users which we can make the payment to, our tech team prepared an automated way of processing the payments. Since there have been close to 10,000 participants to be offered ATS tokens, a manual processing payment was not humanly possible.
And here another set of problems started:
Around 15% of the users emailed us after submitting the form that they sent us a wrong address, that they want to change it, for various reasons. As clearly indicated, that it impossible as once a payment was introduced into the automated processing system, nothing can be changed about it.
Around 20% of the users who requested a withdrawal entered an invalid address (they either entered their BTC address, their ETC instead of ETH address, or some non-valid address).
Around 40% of the users who requested a withdrawal used a non ERC-20 compatible address despite our best efforts of explaining this and forcing everyone to mark a checkbox confirming this.
Because of all of these, it turns out we ended up to choke the ETH network with transaction and errors to the point where the few peers that were still accepting our transactions for distribution through the network rejected all connections.
We hardly managed to make the investors payments as a result, manually, one by one, as the automated way was out of the question now. There are still around 60 investors out of the 1900 total whose payments are still being stuck, somewhere in “processing”. If you are one of the unlucky few, please contact us a.s.a.p. and we’ll make sure to retry the payment until it gets through.
We ended up with only 20% of all the withdrawal requests processed, the rest were rejected for various reasons and all retry attempts failed. Some transactions been stuck jumping from peer to peer for almost 24 hours before failing.
Given the current circumstances where we are making payments to wrong/not valid addresses, makes little sense to continue this never-ending struggle. This forced us to take the following decision:
Users who already received their ATS tokens, congrats: your transaction went through successfully, you can use your ATS tokens.
Users who didn’t receive their free ATS yet, I am sorry to inform you that all distributions have been suspended.
Considering that most of the users only earned 75 ATS, it’s been decided that a fair compensation will be granted to everyone who participated in our bounty campaign in exchange.
ALL USERS, including the initially suspended ones, will receive, as a sign of our appreciation for your interest in our upcoming project a COUPON valid for the purchase of 3 BOOKS for FREE. You will not have to pay anything. The 3 books cost can be, in total, up to $100.
Once the Authoship platform is up and running, you can use the coupon to order 3 books, of your choice, absolutely for free. This, for most of the people who participated on our bounty campaign has a bigger value than the 75 ATS they received.
Your coupon code is : BOUNTY3FREE
You can use this coupon as soon our platform is available to receive 3 books for free. Please remember your email address (the one you received this email to, as the coupon is connected to your email address).
You don’t need to complete any form, the coupon was already applied to this email address.
We apologize for the entire situation and thank you for your support. You’ve all been incredible.
Help us make this promising idea of a book friendly future a reality!
PS: the remaining ~650,000 ATS tokens left from the distribution will be offered, through lottery to 25 investors who contributed to our token sale by ETH. The 25 random winners will be picked Wednesday 20th and announced on our blog.