Investor Concern Over NEX ICO Browser Extension
NEO-based ICO Neon Exchange has come up with some innovative ways of launching its ICO, though potential investors have raised security concerns.
Neon Exchange, or NEX, describes itself as “a platform for complex decentralized cryptographic trade and payment service creation”. The ICO will start in April and the company is taking measures to ensure that token distribution is as fair as possible.
Potential investors will first have to show their interest by registering. A lottery will then determine which people on the list will be invited to invest. The “first lottery will select up to 25k participants to contribute up to $1,000 each”. Any remaining spots will be allocated by a second lottery.
An initial investment round will occur in April, with a second round, if necessary, extending the sale by two days, with the maximum investment increased to $9,000. Unlike most ICOs, the NEX ICO will be conducted in NEO, a Chinese-developed Ethereum alternative.
The lottery and limit are designed to ensure that participation is well-distributed and equitable. However, the method of transferring funds has caused some concern within the community.
Rather than give email addresses, potential investors will have to provide passport or ID numbers then pay for NEX tokens using an in-house browser extension. This extension allows users “to interact with decentralized apps (dApps), as well as send and receive NEO, GAS and NEP-5 tokens”.
However, Neon Exchange’s insistence that investors use this extension has caused some controversy. One user took to reddit to say that the plugin has “rights to see and modify (!) all information on any website you visit. So in theory it can change any address which you want to send funds to”.
Fellow reddit user “unignorant” who is a moderator of the NEO subreddit and appears to be Ethan Fast, one of the NEX project’s co-founders, said that the use of the plugin allowed “easy interaction with dApps on the web, including the Neon exchange website” and that the NEX team believes that, “the NEX extension is now the most beautiful wallet available for managing NEO based assets”.
For those concerned that the extension would have the power to read and change data, “unignorant” added that, “any extension can do something like that” which was why you should “never install an extension you don’t trust”. To assuage investor concerns he said that the NEX team was “having our code audited by a security firm, and will make the results of that audit public.”
Other community members backed him up, pointing out that other extensions like adblockers and Ethereum dApps plugin Metamask also have the same rights over a user’s content. For those still worried about the extension, it can be disabled when not needed and only enabled when interacting with the Neon Exchange.
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