Mini Football Token's Aggressive Marketing Has Many Users Wondering If It's Legit

BSC News offers an in depth look at the intricate ploys behind making a project appear as though it’s the real deal.

By
Kyle Heise
on
October 23, 2021
Category:
BSC News

Harmless On First Glance

It’s not easy to spot a token unworthy of value. The power of a well-crafted marketing pulpit can help sway and manipulate the interpretation and value of a token. 

The behavior of Mini Football and its development team turned heads and disrupted social media and smaller ends of the blogosphere. The token has seen the spotlight from mainstream publications like the Athletic to smaller vlogs on YouTube giving analysis. 

The token has shown great appeal on the surface, gaining promotional support for major players in world football. Now, after a few months of shilling the BSC community, the footballing world, and being published in this publication, we’ve decided to dive in and see for ourselves.

However, Mini Football may not pass the smell test. Using some strategies needed for common crypto research and internet intuition, the project shows several concerns. Here we’ll dive into some of the red flags and hopefully teach new and veteran investors how to spot a bad egg.

Source - Mini Football directly adopting EA Sports’ FIFA series card graphic

The Red Flags

First, The token has a small social media following. The Twitter followers are barely over 13.5k, while the Telegram yields 44.7k. The token has an outward-facing philosophy of giving, with a weekly giveaway of prizes sustaining many of the holders.

Aside from the regular problems that come with investing in a small-cap micro shit coin, Mini Football has some immediate red flags visible on its website:

  • Overall benign presentation but simply sketchy looking website
  • Poached licensed graphics and imagery from FIFA
  • No public address
  • Only has one visible community member
  • No major exchange listing

The tokenomics is another definitive red flag. Despite proclaiming to be a token dedicated to giveaways, it gives quite a bit to its developers. The transaction rate for developers is high at 14%, while the return for holders is a measly 1%. The project is tilted in favor of one group here. Furthermore, the token has a supply of 100 Quadrillion. That is an absurd amount of supply that makes the feasibility of holding for-profit almost laughable. 

The project has teased a top exchange listing from the get-go in its Telegram. If you scroll back, you’ll see that nearly each week, a potential exchange listing is shilled by the developers and the community’s ‘hodlers.’ The team has teased exchanges like Gate.io and Bithumb. 

The developers of Mini Football took to Telegram to bemoan that it was Bithumb that backed out of the deal. The team provided no evidence of any conversations between Bithumb and Gate.io. 

BSC News reached out to Mini Football regarding this, but they have not responded. 


Caught Red-Handed?

Some significant elements of concern date back to late August when the Mini Football token went through a series of pumps and dumps. The team itself claims these were scheduled and for marketing. 

Now there is no problem with pumping a token for creating marketing funds—as long as that’s what the funds are used for. 

The behavior over these few days caused a frenzy in the Telegram—in which some members claim censorship occurred---and resulted in a Medium post from a developer from the project ShillMoon developer who called out the team. 

“We will look at a BSC token that gained over 50,000 holders and ballooned to an $80M market cap within 11 days of launch. On Day 12, however, the price collapsed, over 80% down from the all-time high. This collapse was not unpredictable. If you follow the dev team’s historical calls on the contract, you can see that throughout the life of the token, thousands of investors were bled out and dumped on by the devs. To date, the devs have received over $1 million from selling MiniFootball tokens and withdrawn it to Binance,” the post reads.

The accusations from the ShillMoon dev are not unconfounded. The Mini Football team and its holders do not refute the evidence outright—instead, they preach transparency in their Telegram. The process, they claim, was done for marketing, and Binance was chosen as the holding place for security. 

The post from the ShillMoon dev also details a chaotic manipulation of the developer fee from transactions. The 14% fee should be a red flag itself, but the post also details how the fee jumps from 14% to 18% to 77%, back to 20% again to 50% down to zero and back to 15%, and more for 12 days. 

The token reached an all-time high on August 23rd of $0.000000000843, but within two days fell sharply in what appeared to be a series of coordinated whale dumps. One dump did result in the devs losing $750k. The transaction fiascos and the pump and dumps all occurred over the first two weeks the project began. 

The Mini Football team gave a response in their Telegram to the FUD created from the post. The reply more or less stated that all moves by the team have been transparent. The group says it took action to avoid being a victim of a pump and dump from an outside actor. They said they took action to ensure the survival of the protocol. 

The team from Mini Football has only put out the statements in the Telegram and routinely invites all critiques to come into the Telegram rather than to face exposure in public. 

Additionally, the $1 Million taken for the Binance account is purported to have potentially been used to help secure the famous footballers’ promotions. However, that cannot make up that whole amount and does not consider the dilemma presented through these hastily paid advertisements.


Notable Victims

Celebrities should hold some weight for their actions, but even they, like crypto newbs, can fall victim to these calculated venal forms of marketing. Tokens that are shilled and so quickly celebrated can indicate a red flag. 

In the case of Mini Football, we have several brief videos and boilerplate tweets that give credence to paid promotions. Josh Kamps, a Ph.D. student at University College London studying cryptocurrency, told The Athletic that the Mini Football token appears to have been created to attract players and investors unfamiliar with cryptocurrency. It’s easy to fall for a simple name. 

Joey D’Urso of The Athletic confirmed that the cameos were paid for through Cameo, which uses celebrities for public statements. Almost no player who has their image or likeness is aware of anything from the project, and all ‘promotions’ appear to be paid. Two of the players, Thiago Silva of Chelsea and former Liverpool great John Aldridge, knew very little about the projects, according to The Athletic. 

Source

The Mini Football team refers to these in Telegram as sessions and chats with the players. The videos for players like Thiago Silva only cost $500 on Cameo. An Instagram post for Ronaldinho fetches around a similar price. So far, there have been 13 different promotions by 12 players, and if each one averaged over $400, that’s barely $5000 total. 

Those who have heard something have tried to distance themselves. Silva’s representatives confirmed to the Athletic that he has suspended his participation with the token and did so only out of a suggestion from a friend.

Despite this, Silva’s image and likeness continue to be plastered all over the product’s social media. If these players knew half of what they were promoting, you’d likely see more pull out. These types of shills are common and should be seen as a red flag.

There is also a Mini Football game application that is available on both iOS and Android. Together these games have over 400,000 downloads. It is possible the players confused the titles or figured the token for a more reputable source.

Sadly, The Athletic is a paid sport subscription reader for avid sports fans. The article from them held some of the essential information to expose the legitimacy of the project. The likeness of the average Binance Smart Chain user getting through the paywall of this site would be quite a feat. 

BSC News reached out to Mini Football regarding this matter also, but again they have not responded. 


New Found Utility

To give the team the benefit of the doubt, they are just barely two months old. Many protocols go through clever marketing to help and Mini Football has not been entirely devoid of positivity. Many folks made off with large sums through the pumps. This is the reality of crypto: some losers and some winners.

One main attraction for the Mini Football token has been the giveaway mentality from the start. 8% of every transaction is dedicated to a giveaway fund those throws back a prize to holders every week. Prizes range from a Playstation 5 to footballing merchandise. 

Mini Football released a beta fantasy football game on their website on October 11th. So far, the game has attracted just over 1000 users from the rankings on their website. The site says it will take nine weeks for any numbers to proliferate on the website, so we’ll see if they can come through on this in time.

The potential for NFTs from the project could be significant. If the project could follow through and produce NFTs from a few of the names, it could make up for some lost face. They have some huge names, but the continued negative press could cause more personalities to distance themselves.

The token generally needs to get listed on an exchange before anyone should take it seriously. Two months of stringing users along is not a good look. Ultimately, this coin is micro-cap coin may just be playing in a league too high.

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Kyle Heise

Born and raised in the East Bay of California. He has studied and worked on three continents and lived in eight countries. Kyle resides in San Francisco. He holds bags mostly in Ethererum, Cake, and BSC GameFi projects.

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