'Dutch' man behind ICO scandal wants to refund investors: Amsterdam law firm

The believed to be Dutch man behind an Ethereum-based startup called Confido, who disappeared last week with over 300 thousand euros in cryptocurrencies raised in an ICO, wants to refund his investors, according to a letter Amsterdam law firm Jonkers en Van Gemert posted on the startup's website.

Confido, founded by a person called 'Joost van Doorn', described itself as a blockchain app for tracking parcels. The company raised money with a so-called initial coin offering (ICO) between November 6th and 8th. An ICO is often described as being in between an IPO and a crowdfunding action. Investors use cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin or Ethereum, or sometimes traditional currency with a credit card, to buy tokens that in some cases are like shares in a company, and in other instances are used like currency to make purchases or support nonprofit organizations. 

Last week Sunday, Van Doorn posted a message online saying that he had "legal problems". After that Confido's website, Facebook and Twitter profiles, blogs on Medium and the LinkedIn page of founder Van Doorn all suddenly disappeared from the internet.

The Confido website is now back online, showing only the letter from the Amsterdam law firm.

"Our client sincerely regrets the rumors concerning Confido that appeared in the news last week", the law firm writes. "Our client emphasizes that Confido is not a scam and that there were never any intentions to disadvantage investors. However, the project - despite the dreams of the developers - is not feasible within the scope of the results of the ICO. Therefore, our client decided to stop the development of Confido."

The letter goes on to say that Confido's online presence was removed "due to serious threats against [their client's] life" And that their client is making preparations for refunds. Investors are invited to make contact through an email address.

Noud van Gemert, one of the lawyers at Jonkers and Van Gemert, confirmed to Quote that the letter is indeed from the law firm. But he refused to comment on who their client is and whether he is really called Joost van Doorn. 

Early this month the Dutch authority on financial markets AFM and Dutch central bank DNB warned Dutch investors against ICOs, saying that they are vulnerable to fraud, deception and manipulation.