Real Estate Cryptocurrency Takes People’s Money, Then Shuts Down and Vanishes

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      Realux pitched itself as making “real estate open to everyone, at a very low cost in a very easy way” using a complex system of tokens backed by real estate investments. It would “resolve, once and for all, the wealth gap by removing all barriers, costs, middlemen, social background, and other limitations,” its white paper claimed, by tokenizing real estate, or creating blockchain tokens that represent the value of owned buildings. All investors had to do to start was buy some RLX tokens, which launched on Monday backed by hype from viral tweets and YouTube videos published by influencers promoting the coin.

      By Tuesday morning, Realux’s Twitter account, website, and Telegram channel were all gone, and the price of RLX had taken a nosedive, as spotted by independent blockchain researcher zachxbt. The token’s price reached an apex of around $0.0026 and is now sitting at $0.000329 after a massive sell-off that occurred mere hours after launch. According to blockchain records, it was the creator of the token contract that dumped 70 million RLX tokens at once for a profit of just under $24,000.

      Such personalities helped to make the company appear legitimate, spamming the internet with claims that people must buy in before it was too late. One YouTube personality, Jim Crypto, posted a six-minute video hyping up the company, saying that the supposed “blockchain-based technology” fractionalizes and “tokenizes real estate assets” and lets people benefit from the booming real estate market from the “comfort” of their home.

      Realux’s website and white paper have been taken down, but Motherboard was able to view a version of both using the Wayback Machine. Together, they made clear that the scheme preyed on the hopes of people who wanted to benefit from the gains in the real estate market but didn’t have the necessary money to do so through traditional means.

      Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction

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