An altcoin that is marketed as technology with potential, but is really just sold to make money with no promise of a future use case.

A scamcoin is certainly something to watch out for. The name says it all. A scamcoin is a cryptocurrency created for the express purpose of enriching its creators and marketers and initial or secret investors while taking money from people who believe the coin is a legitimate project. 

Many of the ways you can identify a scamcoin are similar to the ways you can identify a ponzi scheme. Namely:

  1. Grand promises. Do they promise breakthroughs that are head and shoulders better than all their competitors? Some sort of miracle cure? Perhaps using some sort of incredible brand new technology? Watch out. Their promises should be realistic and deliverable. 
  2. Developers without much experience in the project they are creating. A scamcoin can be spotted when the people making the grand promises don’t have any experience actually making the project. Perhaps they say they have a whole team of experienced engineers or developers -- but this must be verified not just with pictures of the team but video as well. 
  3. Unrealistic promises of profit. Many scamcoins will promise incredible returns in a short span of time. This is a classic trap, since no one knows how a new technology will perform when it’s released or how many bugs it will have that need to be patched. Steer clear of companies promising moonshot profits in a short span of time. 

Remember to follow your instincts and common sense when examining coins. If you find a project you feel has incredible potential, do your research and don’t invest more than you can afford to lose.