IcoRating: A Deep-Learning System for Scam ICO Identification

Shuqing Bian, Zhenpeng Deng, Fei Li, Will Monroe, Peng Shi, Zijun Sun, Wei Wu, Sikuang Wang, William Yang Wang, Arianna Yuan, Tianwei Zhang, Jiwei Li

Cryptocurrencies (or digital tokens, digital currencies, e.g., BTC, ETH, XRP, NEO) have been rapidly gaining ground in use, value, and understanding among the public, bringing astonishing profits to investors. Unlike other money and banking systems, most digital tokens do not require central authorities. Being decentralized poses significant challenges for credit rating. Most ICOs are currently not subject to government regulations, which makes a reliable credit rating system for ICO projects necessary and urgent. In this paper, we introduce IcoRating, the first learning--based cryptocurrency rating system. We exploit natural-language processing techniques to analyze various aspects of 2,251 digital currencies to date, such as white paper content, founding teams, Github repositories, websites, etc. Supervised learning models are used to correlate the life span and the price change of cryptocurrencies with these features. For the best setting, the proposed system is able to identify scam ICO projects with 0.83 precision. We hope this work will help investors identify scam ICOs and attract more efforts in automatically evaluating and analyzing ICO projects.

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