SHOCKING: BiteBTC is still Scamming ICOs And Users! UPDATE!

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The UPDATED text is at the end of the article!

Recently we covered a news story about BiteBTC.com. To recap – they announced that a fire had occurred within their data centers on new years eve and that all their main backup servers were destroyed. After this, a storm of negative user complaints fired about their accounts being inaccessible. They neither could access their accounts nor withdraw any funds. Above all, this happened three days before the annual Proof-of-Keys event, where users withdraw all their funds from exchanges to see the exchanges ability to provide solvency. Naturally, this raised a lot of suspicion about a possible exit scam. When we published the article, BiteBTC.com blocked us on Twitter. What kind of message does this send to us? Let’s see how far the situation has escalated up until now.

BiteBTC.com changes their legal address.

While browsing the bitcointalk.com forum, we found a senior user (subwoofer12) post who had noticed that bitebtc.com changed the footer of their front page. In order to confirm these claims, he demonstrated a couple of screenshots from the bitebtc.com website. Previously their footer, on which we based the information about their legal headquarters, was:

“Copyright © 2018 FINANCEFIRST PTE. LTD. All rights reserved. Consumer advisory – FINANCEFIRST PTE. LTD. (UEN 201706635G) the holder of FINANCEFIRST stored value facility, does not require the approval of the Monetary Authority of Singapore.”

However, now they have changed the footer to:

“Copyright © 2019 First Finance LLC, Seychelles. All rights reserved. Consumer advisory – First Finance LLC the holder of BITEBTC stored value facility, does not require the approval of the Seychelles Financial Services Authority.”

In contrast to the previous information, there is not much you can find about this new Seychelles location they have provided. It is an off-shore zone. Typically such companies go offshore to avoid taxes, money laundering, and corruption claims.

As subwoofer12 writes: “Perhaps trying to hide owner/shareholder information by incorporating in Seychelles, it’s a little bit late for that now.”

The owners of BiteBTC.com?

The user Subwoofer12 did very good work on finding information about this particular case. He managed to get the business profile of their company from the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) Of course, this information could not be 100% accurate.

It shows that the owners of FINANCEFIRST PTE. LTD. are two Singapore citizens Ng Chee Siang (The director) and Sim Zi Chao (The secretary).

Also, subwoofer12 found a little of background information on these two guys, he writes:

“If these two want to resolve the situation you can start by returning all the money that you’ve stolen from your customers
There’s a chance these are the wrong people, but I’m almost sure that I’m correct. Both of them have an interest in finance, they used to run this blog together https://investmentstab.blogspot.com/ Viewing post activity on LinkedIn shows them liking topics related to Blockchain
It seems that they met each other while interning at the Bank of America in Singapore, looking at their work history on LinkedIn the periods of time match up.”

We do not assure that these are the people behind BiteBTC. We are only portraying what is available on the internet and what people are claiming.

BiteBTC.com now is asking for 0.01 BTC deposits to restore accounts!

The bitcointalk.org forum thread on this case was quiet for a while, but a few days ago a user westbanker posted an image which shows that the official BiteBTC support e-mail asks for a 0.01 BTC deposit to rectify his account.

If this is true, then this is an absolute madness!

Here is a e-mail conversation from with westbanker and the BiteBTC.com support:

“Me: When are my funds going to get restored to my account? I have been waiting almost 2 months.

Them: We will have to rectify your account for that
Once we rectify your account
Your issue will be resolved immediately.
Reply us back so we can tell you the procedure to rectify your account!

Me: How do we rectify my account?

Them:
You will have to make a deposit of 0.01btc to the rectification wallet address we will provide for you to rectify your account.
Once we rectify your account the btc will be refund back to you and after that your issue will be resolved immediately.
Reply us back so we can provide you the rectification wallet address to deposit into!

Me: I habe to give you money to get my money back? No, that’s not how this works.
You are scamming people. Give me my fucking money back

Them:
We’ve nothing to do with your money
Just to rectify your account
Then once we do that
Your money will be refund back to you immediately

Me: Why do I have to send you money to get my money back? Please explain that to me

Them:
The btc is for us to rectify your account so that your issue can get resolved
We’ve nothing to do with your money
It will be refund back to you once the rectification is done

Me:
Explain exactly how you need more money to rectify my account.

What are you spending money on to rectify your own files?

Them:
It’s not your work
It’s our work okay!
If you want your issue to get solved
You do what we asked you to do
Or you leave
And your issue will never get resolve

It’s not your work; You do what we asked you to do, or leave… Wow, this looks like a great example of how you should never communicate with your clients.

Twitter communication

As I mentioned above, BiteBTC Twitter blocked Best Coin Investments after we published the article. But as we all know – that cannot stop us from accessing their content. The strange thing is – they are operating like nothing would’ve happened. They’re making airdrop auctions, showing-off that they now have $100M in daily volume, and posting information on newly listed coins. However, every single post has at least one user saying that you should definitely read more about this exchange, and even more users asking for a refund.

But this tweet is just literally something out of this world:

Apparently, their Twitter manager has no idea that there isn’t such thing as a February 30.

Go check it out yourself. You will soon discover not to do any business with this exchange because of the bad reviews. Lots and lots of users are advising not to use this exchange.

Fraudulent token listing

While regular users are waiting for their refunds, BiteBTC successfully operates in listing new coins. However, there are claims of some ICO projects that BiteBTC has collected the listing fee, but somehow failed to pass the exchange’s verification process. Needless to say that they also haven’t received a refund.

“Dear Globycoin Team,
Thank you for your response!
We’ve received your payment and forwarded your request to our developers.
Your coin will be listed within 5 business days because of a queue.
I will inform you in 24 hours about your listing.
Additionally, we can list your coin within 24 hours for additional 0.1 btc Premium Listing fee or within 48 hours for additional 0.05 btc Express Listing fee.
Additionally, I would like to offer you to run Airdrop to attract more traders to your coin.
Please check some of our previous campaigns:
https://twitter.com/bitebtccom/status/983671610594025473– 1K participants in less than 2 days;
https://twitter.com/bitebtccom/status/994578155926106112– 400 participants in less than 12 hours.
I’ll be glad to offer you special conditions and run your airdrop within 1 week.
Thank you for being a part of BiteBTC community!”

– Response to Globycoin

So it looks like they are mainly living off of ICO listing fees. Also, Best Coin Investments is not the only one who got blocked by them on Twitter.

“We Team EGEM paid the listing fee and got “listed” but none of our coin holders could trade. When I asked Steven (the sales rep) about this he offered to sell me “Market Making services” – how is that for a scam.
We complained on their twitter and alerted the other coins that were paying the listing fees and got blocked”

Conclusion

From our perspective, this looks like a 100% scam. The communication with users is beyond any criticism. They claim that they have started coin redistribution, but somehow, nobody has received it.

If anyone from BiteBTC.com wants to back up these claims, please contact us at info@bestcoininvestments.com!

Some users claim that the owners are arrested in Singapore, but that is unofficial. However, that might be the reason for deleting the trade history of all the users. Also, they moved their company to Seychelles, which is very strange.

What is even more shocking, not mentioning the “You do what we asked you to do or you leave” comment, is that one of the solutions that they provide their users is registering again and trading with no initial balance. “You can open a new trader account, pass the KYC verification with the same photo id and start trading with no initial balance.”

Bitcointalk.org users claim that they have not received any refunds as BiteBTC.com claims.

Also, users from bitcointalk are submitting requests to CoinMarketCap to delist the exchange, in order to stop them.

This is unbelievable how an exchange with this kind of reputation can still manage to operate. It could be that all those accounts which are engaging with them are fake, just to make the exchange seem live. Hosting airdrops just for twitter engagement seems odd as well. We all know that the air-drop hunters don’t care what, who or where, “just gimme the damn coins”. But a new low for the cryptocurrency exchange business would be the combo of scamming users and ICOs as well. It looks like they feel so infamous at this point.

Needless to say that people are engaging with the police to stop this madness.


Links to previous articles about BiteBTC
Is BiteBTC a scam exchange?
Proof-of-keys: The exchanges that failed

We also did an article on how to choose the best exchange for trading, giving a few examples of good exchanges:
How to choose the best crypto trading exchange!

Moreover, we recently did an explanatory article on how to report scammy exchanges:
7 Ways How to Report a Scam Exchange


Update:
We received an e-mail from one of the BiteBTC customers who also suffers from the exchange. He told us that only 3 days ago the exchange stole 0.45 BTC from him. Their excuse is that he had violated the terms and conditions. However, the user says he didn’t violate any rules, they just blocked him! He cannot access his account and judging by the e-mail he received from BiteBTC, this is their final decision.
This is the e-mail he received:


If you are a victim of BiteBTC or have some useful information about this particular subject, contact us at info@bestcoininvestments.com, or send an e-mail to a group of people who share the same negative experience with BiteBTC at bitebtcfraud@gmail.com.

Source:

https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=4612714.720
https://imgur.com/a/t2LiFe1
https://imgur.com/czyOcMI
https://www.cryptoinfowatch.com/bitebtc-when-scammers-run-a-crypto-exchange/

Proof-of-keys: The exchanges that failed

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Recently, in January 3rd, happened the annual proof of keys event. Created by Trace Mayer, it advises traders to withdraw all their Bitcoins to see the exchanges’ ability to provide solvency. Unfortunately, there were a few precedents which appear to have failed the annual occasion. 

The loudest case: Singapore based BiteBTC.com reports fire three days after the occurrence

On January 3rd, the exchange reported that their data centers experienced a fire during new years eve. Specifically, according to their announcement, the fire happened on January 1st.

They write:

“On January 1, 2019, a fire occurred in the data center where the exchange servers are located, as a result of which part of the data on the main and backup servers was destroyed.
All crypto coins wallets are safe, but we need time to restore the balance sheets and trading history of about 7% of traders from earlier backups.
We ask to fill in the form to the support service with the indication of your recent transactions and operations with wallets.
We apologize and ask to treat this situation with understanding.”

BiteBTC.com provided no further evidence. In the meantime, many users complain about their account status as they neither can withdraw their funds nor access their accounts.

However, users can still create accounts at this time, and suspiciously enough, Bitcoin is trading at higher prices. According to CCN, this is a common exit-scam strategy. Even Coinmarketcap.com updated the status of the exchange saying: “We have received reports that user deposits are being withheld. Please be careful with your funds.”

We advise not to deposit any funds in this exchange while such confusion is in the air. We have sent reporters to Singapore to check out their headquarters for any evidence. More info is soon to come!

Many other exchanges report problems

Poloniex

Some crypto traders know that Poloniex freezes accounts, and locks withdrawals from time to time. This is the main reason why they don’t use that exchange anymore. This is no exception. During January 3rd, many people complained about their transactions taking even up to four days. People share no surprise with the exchanges ongoings.

On the other hand, Poloniex is one of the early bird exchanges in the crypto-sphere. It launched in 2014 and still is one of the largest and popular exchanges there is. Many traders start their trading days exclusively with Poloniex.

Bitfinex and Coinbase

Bitfinex is yet another exchange which reported issues on their platform exactly on January 3rd.

This tweet raised a lot of suspicion among traders. However, this was a very short issue. They resolved it in an hours time. So technically this does not apply as a failed Proof-of-keys issue. But weirdly enough, Coinbase also reported issues with BTC/USD trading pairs on their exchange Coinbase Pro. Tweeters started exchanging opinions about this weird coincidence. There was only a half hour between Bitfinex and Coinbase tweets. Go figure. All their services are back up and running now.

Robinhood

Trace Mayer’s proof of keys twitter thread became a place where people posted their observations about several exchanges failing Proof of keys. A Twitter user @ansalhar Ben Westgate posted a reply to Trace Mayer saying:

“@RobinhoodApp Failed Proof of Keys 2019 Promised and Did Not Deliver. “Coin Withdrawals At this time we don’t support coin withdrawals, though we plan to do so in the future.””

Moreover, Robinhood still is yet to answer to this accusation as their Twitter activity ends on January 2nd.

Purse.io

Although PurseIO is not an exchange, you can deposit Bitcoins within their platform. Purse allows users to buy things with Bitcoin via Amazon Prime. A Twitter user @crypto_senior posted that they have halted withdrawals “with no reasonable explanation”.

However, PurseIO’s support manager, with a Twitter username @Codiox quickly responded that everything within the site, including Bitcoin withdrawals, are working fine.

HitBTC

As we recently reported many complaints arose blaming HitBTC for freezing customers’ accounts. Lots of FUD were shared around the crypto-sphere, but now it looks like HitBTC is backing all these claims, and says they have responded to everyone in Reddit and Twitter as well. They blame Cointelegraph for creating articles in a biased manner, with a series of compiled quotes, saying: “We’re always in touch”.

HitBTC started replying to users on Twitter


Proof-of-work shakes up the crypto ecosystem.

All these precedents, except BiteBTC mysterious fire issues, are minor. All users’ funds are safe. But people have some thinking to do right now. You should ask yourself, whether you trust these exchanges. Because this year, you could say that Proof-of-keys was not that big of a movement. Trace Mayer is not that familiar within China-based traders and Asia in general. It could take time for this movement to reach that side of the world. But one thing is for sure – this movement will become larger and larger with every New Year approaching. Maybe this is the time when to switch to Decentralized Exchanges?

This subjective tweet sums this occasion up pretty well:

Source:

https://goo.gl/oYARoJ
https://www.proofofkeys.com/#failures
https://goo.gl/zH3AbZ
http://archive.vn/lME4K

Photo by Luka Siemionov from Pexels

HitBTC Freezes Customers’ Accounts. Beware!

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Just recently, judging by a twitter thread by Trace Mayer (@TraceMayer), HitBTC disabled Bitcoin withdrawals on January 1st. That comes just before January 3rd when the Proof of Keys event will take place, organized by Trace Mayer himself. He writes: 


Just now HitBTC replied to Trace Mayer’s twitter post saying: “We believe we didn’t. Let us assist your friend in this. We encourage him to do the following: 1. Click the “this form” link; 2. Find out what’s the hold up; 3. Receive help from our team; 4. BEWARE!! (optional step, if still necessary).”

Proof Of Keys

This movement, organized by Trace Mayer, is meant for crypto traders, who use third-party services to store their crypto assets. It happens every January 3rd, and the purpose is to test out the solvency of crypto exchanges. This way traders can detect whether these third-party exchanges hold the funds that they are theoretically storing.

Frozen Funds

Also, just a day ago, Reddit user “pedxsposts a complaint saying that his funds have been frozen multiple times. “Six months ago my account got suspended. After months of sending 40 plus emails, HITBTC finally unfroze my account. I immediately withdrew most of my funds, but left a small amount to day trade. I did that because HITBTC promised that “No further automated restrictions will be applied,“” he writes continuing, “with the proof of key date approaching, I felt that HITBTC is the prime suspect for being insolvent, so I tried withdrawing my BTC. Guess what, they blocked the withdrawal and froze my account again.”

Even more, since then many users shared their experiences with HitBTC, and generally speaking – they are not that flattering. A twitter user @Kadieron writes: “I hate HitBTC. They stole $1200 from me, which is a lot in my circumstances.” Also, @Hugo2569 writes that “users [of HitBTC] can tell that message is not unusual on that exchange…”

Signs of a Scam

Altogether, it is not clear whether they locked all users’ funds, or only these particular subjects’. But the fact itself that just before January 3rd, HitBTC locks the withdraw function, has raised suspicion.

Many tweeters say that the information about HitBTC is very stingy. However, a lot of users report that this is a common thing within the exchange: long withdrawals and sometimes frozen accounts. Contacting customer support always takes ages, and many suggest to avoid this exchange. Also, tweeters were mentioning claims of false volume within the exchange, but overall all these accusations are not proven, so they are more like a FUD (Fear Uncertainty Doubt) rumor.

HitBTC headquarters, judging by their legal information.

Not your keys, not your Bitcoin

That is the main reason why Trace Mayer founded “Proof Of Keys” movement. We strongly advice not to use third-party exchanges to store your crypto assets. Users usually have no control over their keys, and the future of their investments solely lays on the exchanges shoulders. The exchange might exit-scam, they might declare bankruptcy, and one-sidlingly close accounts and freeze funds. The best way to store your Bitcoins is in cold storage, where you control the keys of your funds. Or use a DEX (decentralized exchange), but they are not that developed yet and hasn’t got the volume for day trading, so it’s obvious why most day traders go for more popular exchanges.

Source:

reddit.com
hitbtc
cointelegraph.com
proofofkeys.com
ccn.com

Photo taken from HitBTC.com