While cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin attempt to break new boundaries, BitConnect’s goal is to become the biggest Ponzi scheme in history.
Are the rumours true or is there really a trading bot behind the scenes? Let’s discuss.
YOU WILL LEARN:
How BitConnect Are Claiming They Can Pay Investors So Much
Our 11 Red Flags
What Is The CryptoGurus Opinion On BitConnect?
- What Is BitConnect?
- How Does BitConnect Work?
- Are They Solving Market Problems?
- The BitConnect Team
- Our 11 BitConnect Red Flags
- When Will BitConnect End?
- Mt Gox Potential?
- Follow Future Posts
1. WHAT IS BITCONNECT?
In their words:
BitConnect Coin is “an open source, peer-to-peer, community driven decentralized cryptocurrency that allows people to store and invest their wealth in a non-government controlled currency, and even earn a substantial interest on investment”.
In our words:
It is an investment programme that promises entirely unrealistic returns, with very little evidence to support their claims.
2. HOW DOES BITCONNECT WORK?
The process works like so:
- You deposit Bitcoin on a given Bitcoin address in order to purchase BitConnect Coins from the BCC Exchange.
- You then lend your BCC back to BitConnect whose ‘trading bot’ will make use of their ‘Volatility Software’ in order to accrue daily interest on your investment
- The level of interest you receive depends on the level of your investment but your money remains locked in the system for between 120 and 299 days – dependent on the level of your investment
- You are paid daily interest and receive your initial investment, plus all of the intreest accrued, once the lockdown period has expired.
- You are then able to withdraw your funds in USD, or reinvest back into the system.
3. ARE BITCONNECT SOLVING REAL PROBLEMS?
With all of our reviews, we include a section about the market problems that the Cryptocurrency is solving. We do this because we believe that the underlying technology of Cryptocurrencies is truly staggering.
The potential to improve on the current systems that we’ve created through the innovative use of the blockchain is truly remarkable.
Contrasting this, is BitConnect who solve zero market problems.
In fact, as they’re most likely a scam, they’re adding to many of illegitimacy connotations surrounding Bitcoin and all Cryptocurrencies in general. Good job BitConnect.
4. THE BITCONNECT TEAM
There is not a single piece of information regarding the team on the BitConnect website. There is no mention of when the company was founded, who owns it or where it is physically based out of. The owners also pay an annual fee to keep their details hidden from public record.
5. OUR 11 BITCONNECT RED FLAGS
1. Their Website
When you first open their website you are certainly not met with an abundance of information, in fact you have to dig pretty deep to even find out what BitConnect claim to do.
In between the grammatical errors you can find an entirely unhelpful animated video featuring buzz phrases such as “financial freedom” and “Income stability in an unstable world”.
2. No Whitepaper
BitConnect have no whitepaper; the go to document for most ICO investors. It is incredibly rare and concerning for a project to not produce one.
3. No Long-Term Aims or Ambitions
The BitConnect roadmap only goes as far as November 2017; beyond this date, there seems to be no further aims or objectives for the company. Looking at past stops on their roadmap, the primary focus seems to be on marketing and driving new money into the project, as opposed to any kind of project development.
This potentially highlights the real motivation for those involved.
4. ‘GUARANTEED PROFITS!!!’
This phrase alone makes me shiver a little; we all know that you can never guarantee profits, especially in an industry as volatile as Cryptocurrencies. Yes, the overall market has been on the rise for a while but no-one can say for sure what is around the corner. It’s simply not realistically possible to GUARANTEE profit for all of their users.
A great article from Crypto Investor calculated the exact figures behind their claims. He found that if all of BitConnect’s claims were true, a $10k investment accruing compound weekly interest would return $337,253 in year.
Extrapolating this further, the same $10k investment would be worth just under $15 trillion after six years. Usually, we would explain how unrealistic this is but, in this case, we’re talking about a $10,000 investment returning the GDP of a small country in six years; come on now.
5. No Transaction History
While we’re not asking BitConnect to give me their secret algorithm, if there is one, it would be nice for investors to at least have access to a transaction history. Currently, there is no proof as to how this bot makes its money, or where any money is being held.
This just raises more questions and a reluctance to answer will only continue to raise further suspicions.
6. The 5m Disappearing Coins And $1 billion Market Cap
On November 3rd 2017, BitConnects market cap dropped by nearly $1.5 billion in less than two hours due to a recalculation of the coins circulating supply; dropping from 7.1 million to 2.1 million coins.
We have no idea what happened to those 5m tokens that were taken out of supply – it’s just another ridiculous page in BitConnect’s fairytale that will end in a swift collapse.
7. They Want Bitcoin, Not BitConnect Coin
You also have to ask yourself why the company are asking to receive Bitcoin as opposed to their own coin? Is this because they know that once the plug is pulled, the BitConnect Coin is going to be worthless?
Once the site is shutdown the owners will still hold Bitcoin, which will still have a significant market value, while the users will be left empty handed.
8. The BitConnect Exchange
The BitConnect exchange currently deals with nearly 95% of all transactions involving BCC. Since they possess the only exchange BCC can be readily traded on, the chances for market manipulation are extremely high.
With the core premise of BitConnect being a scam in the first place, it’s fair to say that we would expect market manipulation is occurring also.
9. Misuse Of The Referral System
It has seen a recent overhaul but the initial referral system offered by BitConnect just did not seem sustainable; it was an eleven tiered pyramid with users able to collect 0.01% interest for an infinite number of referrals past this.
This has led to a number of YouTube promoters collecting upwards of thirty thousand referees and allowing them to claim they have made ridiculous amounts of money through the system.
BitConnect have recently announced that a change in the system. Ironically, they’ve illustrated this change through the use of a pyramid diagram!
10. Dash and Vitalik Buterin
For a long time, people have been wanting to hear the opinions of some of the Cryptocurrency elite and, while many have kept quiet, Vitalik Buterin (Co-Founder of Ethereum) was recently asked his opinion about the project on Twitter.
His response was rather short but it certainly speaks volumes; “If 1%/day is what they offer, that’s a Ponzi”.
Another opinion came from the offical Twitter account of Dash, who many believe have one of the smartest and brightest teams around and it simply said “CoinMarketCap, take BCC down! You are supporting a Ponzi scheme! #scam”.
A respected company like Dash wouldn’t lodge accusations lightly; they have to be 99.99% sure that their statement is true otherwise they are risking an awful lot. Let’s be honest, we’re all 99.99% sure.
11. Companies House
November 7th 2017 could soon be considered an important day in cryptocurrency; BitConnect Ltd. were issued with a notice from Companies House that read as follows.
“Companies Act 2006 (Section 1000(3)): The Registrar of Companies gives notice that, unless cause is shown to the contrary, at the expiration of 2 months from the above date (November 7th 2017) the name of Bitconnect Ltd. will be struck off the register and the company will be dissolved. Upon dissolution all property and rights vested in, or held in trust for, the company are deemed to be bona vacantia, and accordingly will belong to the crown.”
While we are not able to say with complete certainty that the BitConnect involved is our BitConnect, mainly down to the fact that their owners pay an annual fee to keep all of their details hidden. The market certainly seemed to think this was true as their coin price dropped by more than 25% in the days following this issue.
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6. WHEN WILL BITCONNECT END?
Speaking to other Crypto-enthusiasts, it’s pretty clear that the majority of people know that BitConnect is a Ponzi scheme and yet people still continue to invest. Why is this?
The issue is that the price of BitConnect coins simply keeps on increasing. The reason behind this is because, other than relatively irregular complaints, BitConnect continue to pay out the promised rates.
How Are BitConnect Paying People?
The answer is not a trading bot. No trading bot in the world can turn $10,000 into $15 trillion in any time frame.
Realistically, there are probably 2 ways:
- Using new investors’ money to pay the old investors i.e Ponzi scheme 101
- The BitConnect team are most likely investing their earnings into Bitcoin. As the price of Bitcoin increases, they are able to sell off small amounts to pay investors anything extra that they need to.
When Will BitConnect Stop?
Many people are saying that these two elements above are key and, as long as money continues entering BitConnect and the value of Bitcoin keeps rising, BitConnect could continue for a long time.
We don’t agree; the letter – as quoted above – issued to BitConnect by the UK government brings in the question of regulations.
In regular financial markets, Ponzi schemes usually collapse as soon as their true nature becomes evident. In the case of BitConnect, this hasn’t occurred which is why we believe that governments will step in as regulations are gradually brought into the market from around the work.
With the threat of strong legal action, it’s likely that the BitConnect team may take their money and run – they’ve already made many millions, why would they continue with the threat of jail time looming over their heads?
7. MT GOX POTENTIAL?
What Happens When BitConnect Collapses?
For some cryptocurrency followers, this situation trigger thoughts of the MT Gox Exchange collapse in 2014. For those who don’t know, the MT Gox exchange handled 80% of all Bitcoin transaction at the time and it suddenly shutdown and filed for bankruptcy.
It is not officially known whether this was an act of fraud or embezzlement, or whether the system was in fact hacked as their CEO claimed. The end result was the equivalent of nearly $100 million disappearing overnight and faith in cryptocurrency being shaken with the market taking a big hit.
The worry here is, if many people’s beliefs surrounding BitConnect turn out to be true, the sudden disappearance of a top 20 cryptocurrency (based on current market cap) could begin a series of negative discussion and could once again see the market plummet.
This of course depends on how developed the market is at the time – if BitConnect were to collapse before Cryptocurrencies gained mainstream adoption, it could be devastating on the market.
If it were to occur at a time when the market is more educated about the underlying blockchain technology, it seems less likely to cast negative connotations on the whole market – you wouldn’t think that the internet is bad because of an internet scam but you may have thought that before you knew much about the internet.
Stay as far away as you can from BitConnect.
While there is no denying that people are making money from this system, there is very little information that supports any form of legitimacy and their entire system relies on the continual input of new money.
If this revenue stream dries up then there is no future to the system. Equally, if the price of Bitcoin was to take a hit, BitConnect’s would equally struggle to pay investors.
For us, the introduction of regulations could be the end for BitConnect and the market may some day looking back at the day BitConnect received the letter from Companies House as the moment it all began to collapse.
We’re going to end with the famous quote “If it seems too good to be true, it probably is”.
Disclaimer: None of the above is financial advice. Always do your own research.
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This article has been provided by our business analyst; Aaron Laver.