After the GOX disaster took so many people by surprise, I feel that it’s worth bringing forward the madness that’s happening over at GAW for those that may be considering throwing some money their way. This especially with the launch of their “hash coin” later today.
First off, I’m not some whistle blower or insider with secret information, just an enthusiast who cannot believe the amount of money people appear to be giving them despite red flags from here to forever. I know this post likely won’t do anything, but given the number of people casually trying to get into cryptocurrencies and seeing GAW as a good/accessible option it’s worth trying to bring up the discussion.
You should always be aware of anyone promising anything too good to be true. Here we have a company that has promised guaranteed returns and "profitability" more times than I can count. There is no such thing as a sure thing, especially in markets as unpredictable as crypto, and especially on the scale they talk about. Also those returns have yet to materialize for anyone but the very first buyers (interesting...).
They’ve created their own forum and aggressively policed any thread they have access to across the web to stamp out negative feedback. Their customer service by all accounts is a disaster and the only way to get a timely response is to post publically. There are many accounts that they ended up sending out whatever hardware they had lying around to people trying to buy their custom machines (war machines, etc) and then denying it.
On their forum you get money for upvotes, lose money from your account for downvotes, get bonus money from the CEO if he likes your post, and with enough downvotes you get autobanned. You can imagine what kind of a community this creates. Negative posts of any kind get you banned and the threads removed by admins immediately.
Next we have their pool system. They have their own pool (Zenpool) that always seemed to have the best payout, yet no explanation of how it is remotely possible. It doesn’t take a think tank to imagine how easy it would be to sell your propriety mining pool as a higher buy in, subsidize the difference in rates out of pocket to secure purchases and then do whatever you want with the money.
Zenpool and cloud hashing contracts are the most incredibly perfect setup for a Ponzi scheme you could ever create, and people continue to buy despite the utter lack of transparency, explanation, or established reputation that would make this seem credible. Imagine this, give me 20 dollars today and I’ll give you 1.2 cents a day (minus maintenance) instead of the 1.1 cent you would get elsewhere. Sure sounds like a cost effective way to raise a bunch of money fast.
If GAW disappeared tomorrow with everyone’s money it would in hindsight seem like the most obvious thing in the world. I am not saying that it is a Ponzi scheme, just that JESUS CHRIST does it look like one with no effort to prove itself otherwise. Even if it’s not a Ponzi scheme this sure does seem like it could be one of those Butterfly labs situations where a lot of personal stuff (e.g. private jets) gets charged to company cards until they go bankrupt.
Finally we have “Hash Coin” – there are so many things wrong with this it’s hard to summarize. You can read their QA here
. But in short they’re launching an ICO that, in their words: “will go “public” for just over $20 a coin.” According to “analysts and banks”. And that “there will be a “bank” that will manage, to some degree, the valuation of Hashcoin” However of course you cannot know who these bankers or analysts are as: “The identities of both the analysts and banks will be released once the ICO has completed and the merchant marketplace established in the near future.”
And this magic coin will have a market cap of 5Billion (!!). For quick reference Bitcoin sits at roughly 4.4.
I am sure there is a debate all on its own for the ICO, but it betrays such a huge misunderstanding of some of the fundamentals of this space all it does is create more red flags for me.
Somewhere there is a whitepaper that is “done” but instead of releasing it for community review and feedback they’ve plowed ahead with some crazy bankeanalyst backed offering in which everyone – especially you – can make boatloads of money. This ICO deserves a post on it’s own, but given that it’s launching tonight there should be plenty on entertainment there for later. Again, their quote "A white paper will not answer ICO questions. That is what is more important."
In short: They’re running a system with constantly promised returns that has done anything but that. They’re running what could easily be a textbook Ponzi scheme on a huge scale with zero transparency. They’re issuing their own currency that “analysts” and “banks” have assured them will be worth giant multiples of what you will be able to buy it for, and have a market cap of 5,000,000,000 USD.
I'm all for people trying wild and crazy (and big) ideas in the space, but another GOX (Butterfly Labs, etc.) is not what we need. If GAW is a legitimate well run organization then the community should ask for more transparency and information before giving them any more money.
And finally, there’s this post
. (*update, they took down the image but someone sent me a screenshot
They literally have post praising themselves for taking money from a man who has a sick family and mounting medical bills for a product that will likely never (ever) return to him what he paid for it. And the image they have chosen for this post - well, it's of the CEO and community manager in a private jet. (** update 2, I was contacted by someone who claims to own the site and says it's not affiliated with GAW. So, fair enough for a disclaimer. They are however still doing these things even if it's a repost of theirs, so point still stands.)
TL;DR Everyone gives GAW money despite the fact that they are too busy flying on private jets to answer your support emails or explain how their definitely-not-a-ponzi-scheme operation works exactly. But hey, let's all go buy some Hash Coin* which is totally better than Bitcoin! (*whitepaper pending)
(edit: formatting) Update:
" draft is out for hashcoin, and it's hilarious. We're 20 days out from their ICO and they haven't released anything for the community to review or comment on, and if this is the direction they're going it's going to be quite the ride. Update 2:
It's been mentioned a number of times here, but worth noting for anyone even remotely looking at the hashlets and their "guaranteed profitability" that maintenance fees are 80% of earnings at this point. The break even point for all products is never given any kind of difficulty increase and multiple years assuming none. I cannot say I understand how GAW calculates profitability, but doesn't seem to be the way I do. Update 3:
And a couple more to underscore the point. From their own terms of service: "Hashlets are virtual service units related to mining services, but are not mining hardware." Hashlets are not real, might not have anything to do with hardware! "11. Termination and Modifications. a. Services may be terminated by us, without cause, at any time." And, GAW can simply cancel the service at any time and keep your money! Update 4:
Link to the SEC site to report suspicious activity: https://denebleo.sec.gov/TCRExternal/questionaire.xhtml Update 5:
CoinFire publishes story on possible dishonesty on the part of GAW with regards to partners, gets hacked. Thread with more information here: http://www.reddit.com/Bitcoin/comments/2n7c9coinfire_publishes_article_with_details_about_gaw/
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