Aphelion, the NEO-powered peer-to-peer trading platform, has announced that it has been forced to close due to a lack of use two years after raising $4.8 million in an ICO. The announcement, made yesterday, ends more than two years of development and illustrates once more the impact of the collapsing crypto economy, where projects are closing on a weekly basis, reminiscent of the dot-com boom of the late 1990s/early 2000s.
It is with great disapointment we must report our groundbreaking DEX and project is taking steps to close down. After nearly 2 years and successful applications across all channels and 10s of thousands of lines of open source code that the market has finally taken its toll.
— Aphelion (@Apheliontoken) October 8, 2019
Death Knell Finally Sounds for Aphelion
Aphelion was known to be in trouble back in November 2018 when it announced that it was “pausing” trading, laying some of the blame at the door of “recent action” regarding US citizens and their access to exchanges. In June this year the CEO Ian Holtz announced that the project was almost out of money, resulting in the biggest exchange hosting the token, KuCoin, removing it. The death knell has now finally sounded, with a post detailing the rationale behind the closure blaming the lack of interest in the crypto space post-2018 and the resultant dismal volume on the exchange:
After nearly 2 years and successful applications across all channels and 10s of thousands of lines of open source code that the market has finally taken its toll. Ultimately, users are not using the DEX and trading NEO based assets overall which makes the project unsustainable.
Was Aphelion a Scam?
The post added that, unsurprisingly, the company had been operating for a loss throughout 2019, and a small capital raise only served to delay the inevitable. The token price, which declined sharply from highs of $0.67 in June 2018 to $0.006 just six months later, has been flatlining ever since, offering the team little opportunity to sell tokens to raise funds. This price action has given rise to accusations of the project being a scam, with suggestions that Holtz artificially inflated the token price in order to sell his token stash, among other allegations. Of course only Holtz will know for sure what his intentions were, and with the project now about to close down we will likely never know how legitimate or otherwise this enterprise was.
Aphelion scam confirmed – Telegram and Reddit admins have abandoned CEO Ian Holtz. Team is gone and development stalled. Please be vigilant and do not use Aphelion wallet or DEX as there are known bugs and your support queries will no longer be addressed! …
— Cryptodot (@cryptodotnews) October 3, 2019