How reliable are ICObench and their experts?

One beautiful morning, I was rudely awakened by the shocking information on my email that my expert status has been revoked for “working in several agencies”. This was truly surprising for me as I had joined ICObench based on my expertise precisely from with “working in several agencies” - how else can one gain diverse and massive experience?

Fact: 60%+ of ICObench Experts are Agency Owners or Involved with an Agency

 One beautiful morning, I was rudely awakened by the shocking information on my email that my expert status has been revoked for “working in several agencies”.

 Message about ICO Bench expert status

This was truly surprising for me as I had joined ICObench based on my expertise precisely from with “working in several agencies” - how else can one gain diverse and massive experience? Those ICOs I have worked with are listed on my profile and not rated by me. I am transparent about everything I am doing for the community but now, it seems that this transparency is brought to a bad light by some stroke of an inconsistency in applying the rule for “experts”. 

While I know the logic in not granting expert status to persons who might render a “favorable rating” when an ICO is being serviced by their own agencies, I am surprised by this targeted attack on me, while excluding other persons from the same rule. 

The initial purpose of my investigation and this resulting report is to clarify matters surrounding this “no relation to agency” ruling, and why I believe the rule was later made to bear down upon me and another colleague - on the same day! I am a very congenial man and strive to harmonize with all in the space but something that smells “fishy” will surely be exposed personally by me, not as a case of “vendetta” but to allow a fair judgment for all. Let the rule exempt no one if it is to be FAIR. 

Among 350 experts listed in ICObench, 60%+ are agency owners or involved with an agency

This is a fact, and let people, who have also been discriminated against or those who knew anyone who suffered the same discrimination, speak out to confirm that such exists. I personally know a good number of them and replied to this effect. I am publicly showing samples of some, not to vilify these “experts” but to make it known to the community about the ruling which spares some, but ferrets out others. Here are some names.

Ian Scarffe, ICObench #2 man has agency connections

Take a look at his profile. and his agency association is evident:

 Ian Scarffe ICObench expert

 Opinder Preet Singh

Let’s look at

 Opinder Preet Singh, ICObench expert

 Blockslab is listed on his ICOBench profile and its services scope clearly indicates that it’s an agency. 

Amarpreet Singh

Another profile that we can look at is that of Amarpreet:

 Amarpreet Singh, ICObench expert

Amarpreet was part of TokenAsia (or still is unofficially?).

Tweet about Amarpreet Singh 

 Reaching out to ICObench for clarification about this situation gained me this response:

Message from ICObench


That ideally means if we mark our LinkedIn status as “no longer working there”, we should be reinstated. How comforting!

 And the line above clearly states that they do not allow any other expert with agency association CURRENTLY to be an expert.

The #1 ICObench expert, Luca, apparently enjoys protection from the ax

Here’s proof of his association with an agency from a chat screenshot. Looks like they understand ICObench rules and keep it a secret.

ICObench #1 expert has agency connection 

Tina Fotherby

Another ICObench expert mentioned that she runs a PR Agency and the Company.

Tina Fotherby ICObench expert

Now, when I confronted ICObench with the fact that most of their experts are part of an agency, they said they would look into it and it has been months now and still, NOT EVEN 1 PERSON has at least modified their profile to remove the agency association, or had their “expert” status revoked. So did ICObench reach out to those who were explicitly mentioned? If they were notified, won’t they have modified their profile by now, at the very least?

 Message from ICObench


So, how easy would it be to notify someone of the revocation if that rule applies to him/her as well? A 5 minutes job!

 Don’t get me wrong, I know a majority of experts in ICObench personally and have met most as well. This has nothing to do with them, but is instead a call for ICObench to demonstrate fairness and treat everyone as subject to the rule of “no agency involvement to qualify or continue with the expert status”.

Correctness and "Eligibility" of ICObench Experts

Now comes another matter which has occupied me for months which now, I must bring to your attention in the name of FAIRNESS and TRANSPARENCY to the community by which we SHOULD derive our authority as “experts”. Let’s now explore the "correctness" and "eligibility" of ICObench experts.

Take this as an example from their #2 man Ian Scarffe. The average rating he gives is 4.4/5. Almost all are 555 and 554 ranges. "3" rating is hardly there (mostly seen only in early Feb) let alone “1” and “2”. Now, we know that the majority of the ICOs are lacking in quality and a major portion ends up as a scam. If that is the case, how can one rate so high for every ICO? What’s the motive?

 This is the response from ICObench:

 Message from ICObench

So basically, ICObench does not take into consideration the quality of ratings or of the experts, as clearly mentioned above. Now, the question is, why would you trust those ratings which are coming from experts who are unqualified or untrue to their role? Or should we stop trusting ICObench for failing to address these spurious ratings?

That’s the thin line of distinction between freedom of choice vs spam or treachery.   

Further, let me show you a screenshot of inaccurate data that cannot be fixed due to some technical limitation but ICObench doesn’t bother about fixing it either. What other oversights have gone on that we are NOT made aware of? Or simply were left ignored because they can’t be bothered?

 Message from ICObench

How else can we clean the space of scams and spurious dealings if such authority is taken from those who are honest?

It’s really “fishy” when people who publicly mention and claim agency association RIGHT IN THEIR ICObench profiles don't have their status revoked. How can anyone clean up a system when they cannot even clean up their ranks? Evidently, a greater force is at play, a graver matter has brought about this revocation judgment on me and my colleague.

There is the matter of my complaint on an ICO, managed by a top Community Management Agency, which brought to light the questionable dealings of some “experts” in the crypto space. Is it due to their influence that this targeted revocation was enforced?

Weigh the pieces of evidence carefully and consider if there’s wisdom to be gained from my findings. Choose to act as part of the community and for the benefit that the choice to speak out will bring to others, not only to yourself.