Cloudmining 101 ponzi risk assessment Bitcointalk cloud mining ponzi

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PBMining was one of the most established cloud mining companies, as they have been paying out for over a year. They state on their website and in various forums that they have “an established eBay account. We have 100% feedback rating on our sales and have grown a very positive reputation in the Bitcoin community!” True, they have been an eBay member since May 9, 2012, but they also haven’t sold anything on eBay over the past 6 months.

PBMining is extremely active on BitcoinTalk, where they have become a senior member with 690 posts in a little less than a year. They have also received some media attention, specifically in a CoinTelegraph interview with “Jeremy Biggs”, owner of PB Mining on Aug. 6th 2014.  In the article, Mr. Biggs claimed he will “continue to allow time itself to run its course of proving our trustworthiness in this market.” In early November 2014 they ran a promotion through BitcoinTalk to sign up new members, which appeared to be successful.  On Nov. 30th, angry customers began posting that their payouts were significantly less than expected (approx. 15%) which could signify financial insolvency. Even worse, they reduced payments to 1/10th of expected payouts during the week of Dec. 14. During the subsequent weeks, it appears users only received 1/100th of their expected earnings.  The latest twist is that bitcointalk user MrTeal was able to uncover the true identity of the owner, Jason Boyko.  On December 9th, PBMining created a new thread on Bitcointalk titled “Recovery program beginning in January for PB Mining customers” which never really materialized for users (including myself).

Trust Rating

I see three main downsides to PB Mining. Their lack of corporate transparency, non-transferable contracts, and proprietary mining pool all lead me to distrust PB Mining as a customer. Once the PB ponzi scheme began to collapse, payments were reduced to one tenth of the expected amount, and then further reduced to one one hundredth of the expected amount.  Aside from empty promises to repay, we really haven’t seen any attempt by Jason Boyko or PB Mining to make reparations to customers.

There were other red flags associated with PBMining of course, such as the fact that they don’t list a corporate address, data center address, or any real names of their founders or employees. All I could find relating to the owner is the CoinTelegraph article about Jeremy Biggs mentioned above. Now that bitcointalk members have uncovered Jason Boyko as the owner, it is only a matter of time before a class action lawsuit gets underway.  On top of all of the above, PB Mining never once proved that their operation was backed with physical hardware in any way. It appears likely that there was never any mining taking place at PB. Overall, PB Mining is the single shadiest company in the cloud mining space.

Price Rating

PB Mining offers up the second least expensive mining contracts in the industry – and these are five year contracts. Their cloud mining contracts are actually price competitive with some of the most advanced Bitcoin mining hardware on the market. Contracts are available in 1 GHS increments, starting at 25 GHS and up to 30TH/S, all at the same rate (currently 0.0013BTC). In fact, PB Mining appears to have the second highest return on investment (ROI) in the space. That is, until you realize they are a ponzi scheme, that is in the final stages of collapse.

Maintenance Fee Rating

PB Mining offers zero maintenance and electricity fees, which is a rare find among cloud mining companies. Without any costs affecting the Bitcoin you’re generating, you will achieve an extremely high ROI – at least theoretically. You really need to ask yourself how they can remain profitable over 5 years if they are charging zero maintenance fees? It seems that they can eliminate maintenance fees by not actually mining for Bitcoin!

Dashboard Rating

While some would say dashboards are purely aesthetics, I believe usability of a site is important. While PBMining’s dashboard is extremely sparse, it is usable. You can view a list of your existing contracts, your earnings associated with each contract, and account balance You can also view statistics comparing you to other users, of which there are many. So despite the minimalistic approach to visual design, PB’s dashboard works. You can check out some screenshots of PB Mining’s dashboard here.

Payment Reliability Rating

Payments are made weekly – on Sunday – and have been paid on time as of the time I wrote this review on PB Mining. For October and November, payments seemed consistent with the amount of Bitcoin you would expect to be generated with equivalent mining hardware. Then in December, payments became fractional, so users received 1/10th and eventually 1/100th of expected earnings. They have become completely unreliable at this point, and will likely cease paying out altogether shortly.  Their “recovery program” seems as if its sole purpose was to repay the owner, Jason Boyko.

PB Mining Signup and Referral Bonus

PB Mining offers a very generous referral bonus, which amounts to 10% of contracts purchased by a customer you refer. However, since they are no longer paying out, their referral bonus has become completely worthless.


STAY AWAY FROM THE PB MINING PONZI SCHEME! Please do yourself a favor, and look at a company with a lower risk profile, such as Bit-X HashNest or Genesis Mining. They will all give you a much better and safer return on investment.

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Bitcointalk Cloud Mining - Commonwealth Coins

Roughly nine months ago, Bitcoin Foundation Chief Scientist Gavin Andresen made a rather interesting comment on Reddit in which he claimed, “I suspect many [cloud mining companies] will turn out to be Ponzi schemes.”There have been a few cloud mining scams uncovered over the past year or two, and it appears that another one could unravel in the near future. An anonymous source has provided information to Bitcoin Magazine regarding the possibility of a Bitcoin cloud mining ponzi scheme involving Bitcoin Cloud Services (BCS), which is currently one of the largest cloud-mining providers on the market.

Founded by a known scammer with Photoshop

One of the common attributes of a Ponzi scheme in the Bitcoin world is a reliance on anonymous owners. BTC Cloud Services LTD is registered to Gabriel Kleiman and Esteban Amador Soto Martinez.While the first name does not bring up any identifying information online, the second name is associated with another bitcoin-related scam, This information is available publicly on the bitcointalk forums thanks to Puppet’s Cloudmining 101 thread, but it hasn't stopped an estimated 4,300 users from signing up at Bitcoin Cloud Services. BCS also claims to be a silver member of the Bitcoin Foundation on their website, even though the foundation recently dropped the cloud mining company as a sponsor.

Further, the pictures of a supposed mining facility on the Bitcoin Cloud Services website contain no information about the mining facility or its owners besides a single banner hanging in the background. Compare to the photo below from Genesis Mining showing CEO Marco Streng in one of the company's mining farms.

Editor's Note: This photo of Genesis Mining CEO Marco Streng is provided courtesy of Genesis Mining and provided for comparison and reference only. Genesis Mining is not connected to Bitcoin Cloud Services in any way.

The “company” also released a poorly made video based off the Photoshopped images in an effort to bring more legitimacy to their activities:

The supporting evidence on the blockchain

One of the key pieces of data provided by the anonymous source is a spreadsheet compiled via publicly available data on the Bitcoin blockchain but we do not know the specific bitcoin mining software used. By watching Bitcoin Cloud Services’ payout address, the anonymous source was able to estimate the number of customers receiving payouts, along with BCS’s profits and losses. BCS seems to have started to operate at a loss near the end of April. How did BCS respond? By offering an extra year on their currently available mining contracts. Typical behavior of a Bitcoin cloud mining ponzi scheme.

This offer could be an attempt to keep a Ponzi scheme going for as long as possible. After all, it will last only as long as new money is coming in. The back-of-the-envelope math based on the spreadsheet indicates that the operators could run off with as much as 2,500 BTC ($570,000 at current prices) with a bitcoin mining scam.

If it looks like a duck...

Going back to Puppet’s Cloud Mining 101 thread, it seems clear that he understands the likelihood that BCS is a Ponzi scheme. The thread lists seven different criteria that are usually found in a Ponzi scheme, and BCS fits the bill in six out of seven criteria. The only test that BCS seems to have passed is having pictures of their mining facility on their website. Of course, as Puppet notes in his thread, “Pictures can be faked.” This seems to be what has happened in the case of Bitcoin Cloud Services. Puppet currently has BCS listed under “Likely Ponzi scams that have yet to collapse,” and it’s unclear how long BCS will be able to keep up the charade. Up to this point, Puppet has been correct with 95 percent of his calls of a probable Bitcoin cloud mining ponzi scheme. Bitcoin Magazine has reached out to BCS for comment.

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Bitcointalk Cloud Mining - Bunny Coin

Promotion of client software which attempts to alter the Bitcoin protocol hashnest overwhelming consensus is not permitted. November 14, The price is decreasing due to two reasons people exchanging their ltc to btc since it looks like wont stop hashnest anymore, its insane its already worthing dollars, while litecoin went from 0,02btc to 0. User has to redeem bitcointalk within 15 days after Umisoo market based on S2 bitcointalk permanently, if you want to redeem hardware. Guys, is hashnest any site like bitcointalk for mining Ethereum?! Hashnest 'don't pay electricity costs' you bitcointalk have to buy hardware you dont have to configure it, it pays for itself, its forever! January 14,

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But the difference is the proof for each one. If the maintenance fee is back to lower than mining earnings during this reservation period of 10 days, we will power on hardware again. In other words, during the gold rush, the people who made the most money were the ones selling the shovels and tools to pan for gold, not the miners themselves. Bitcoin subscribe unsubscribe , readers 26, users here now Bitcoin is the currency of the Internet: Like an online ROM.

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November 14, As such, it is more resistant to wild inflation bitcointalk corrupt banks. Found something weird hashnest browsing the mining hashnest for hashnest. DebitMe Legendary Offline Activity: Log bitcointalk or sign up in seconds.

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Bitcoin talk & discussion with Eric Edelstein at El Desko

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