It all started at the beginning of this year. In early January, BiteBTC, a cryptocurrency exchange, reported that they occurred a fire within their data centers. From this point on, the users of BiteBTC couldn’t even imagine the pain they will have to go through. We interviewed one of the companies that BiteBTC used as a cover to hide their illegal activities. The company – FinanceFirst LTD., was on the footer of BiteBTC for quite some time, indicating the official address and company name. Recently Investment Stab started receiving e-mails from the victims of BiteBTC. That’s when they found out that their company is being used by fraudulent purposes.
After the fire, BiteBTC claimed that their main backup servers were destroyed. Interestingly enough, this happened three days before the annual Proof-of-Keys event, where users withdraw their funds located on exchanges in order to see the exchange’s ability to provide solvency. Apparently, BiteBTC failed, as, after the fire, many users started complaining that they can’t access their accounts. Since then, we have dug a little deeper and tried to educate our readers on this possible scam.
Today, it seems like they are still operating the same way as they were after the fire. We still receive customer complaints about this exchange. They are locking users funds, and banning them form the website. The most common practice is to use a higher price of other cryptocurrencies, so that newcomers register in order to use the arbitrage opportunity within the exchange. Their first deposit is successful as well as the first trade. The problems start when customers are trying to withdraw larger sums than $100. Their accounts immediately get blocked and they receive an e-mail explaining that they have violated the company’s terms of service. When contacting the support team, usually there is no answer or they just describe that there is nothing a user can do.
Additionally, their Twitter profile is packed with negative user complaints and it looks like they are still operating. Of course, now they have changed the website footer to a different company FirstFinance LLC which is supposedly based in Seychelles.
Approached By Falsely Accused Owners
When we first reported about BiteBTC we found customer findings of the possible owners of BiteBTC. Once we published the article, a few weeks later we got approached by a company which was previously mentioned on the website footer of BiteBTC as their legal name and address. The company was FinanceFirst Pte. LTD. It is a Singapore company which specializes in educational material on investing in their blog Investment Stab. They contacted us by saying that they have nothing to do with BiteBTC and that their company name is being used by scammers! They even shared a message to all users who got scammed by BiteBTC.
Since we are still receiving e-mails from BiteBTC victims, we decided to do an interview with the owners of FinanceFirst Pte. Ltd, and their company Investment Stab. They explain how they encountered the scam and what can the victims possibly do if they realize that they have been scammed. Enjoy!
Explain who you are and what is your primary business?
We are Investment Stab, a financial blog under the company FinanceFirst Pte Ltd, registered in Singapore. Our primary business is in media advertising.
When did you first find out about BiteBTC using your company’s identity?
We first got a few emails in our corporate mailbox around the second half of 2018. We thought that these were scam emails and so we deleted them and brushed them off. We only started to take notice in early 2019 when the victims started contacting us on LinkedIn. It was then when we did a Google search on ourselves did we realised that BiteBTC had used our name for fraud.
How do you think and why they chose your company?
We were unlucky? They chose a company that is new, has a finance name, dealing in the media industry, is relatively small, and in a country that is currently being promoted internationally as a fintech hub.
How has that affected your business and its credibility? Financial issues?
It hasn’t affected the normal dealing of our business, but it has affected our credibility when it comes to us publishing our content to our audience. The more critical issue is that it has impacted us personally as our directors’ personal information was leaked online, and it led to victims coming to harass us.
The BiteBTC scam seems to be still ongoing, are there any extra steps that you as a company have taken against BiteBTC? Have you had any communication with them? Maybe legal works?
They have since changed the company name they used to another company’s. We have also lodged a police report on BiteBTC. We can only tell the public we are not related to BiteBTC and hope that people don’t become the next victims.
What is your opinion, what needs to be done to stop scammers like BiteBTC from continuing to operate? Many victims have filed multiple complaints in various countries, do you think that helps? Can the authorities do something?
People need to be more educated, do more research, and not be blinded by greed. This was what we set out to do: to get people financially educated and informed.
What is the best advice what to do if you just found out that you got scammed by BiteBTC?
Contact the local authorities regarding the scam, and provide the authorities with all the relevant information that could aid them in their investigation. Also, be mentally prepared that the money might never be coming back to me.
Any further steps you are executing regards this issue? Can the community help?
If the community has any new information, do share it with their local authorities, or pass the information to the forums/blogs/chat groups created for this scam. What us at Investment Stab can do, is to educate, and spread the word that BiteBTC is a scam and that there could be many more of such scams preying on unknowing investors. Investors need to stay alert, and not put in their life savings. As with all prudent financial planning, never invest money that you cannot afford to lose – because you just might lose everything if you invest in a wrong company.
Your advice to cryptocurrency enthusiasts?
The cryptocurrency world is just like the dot-com bubble in the early 2000s, there are going to be crypto that will be wildly successful, and creates lots of richest. The 2000s created really successful companies like Amazon, Adobe, ARM, eBay; but 99% of those other dot-com companies also crashed. The same pattern will happen in the crypto world – some will succeed, many will crash, we just don’t know yet which one will belong to which side, so invest cautiously.
Thank you Investment Stab/FinanceFirst LTD. for your time! We hope that this issue will soon be taken care of and addressed globally. Be sure to visit their website and check out their blog! They have amazing material on traditional assets and investing in the traditional markets.