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Author Topic: Butterflylabs Huge SCAM  (Read 383685 times)
jordaninthesky
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July 24, 2013, 07:22:35 PM
 #2221


BFL's prices were clearly listed in USD, not BTC.  Therefore, the refund they give will be in equivalent USD value.  If BTC had dropped to $0.25/ea between the time of the order and now, do you think people would be complaining that they received back 20x the original Bitcoins they had paid?  Or, if BFL was doing what you want, and only refunding the original BTC amount, do you think people would be complaining that they received a BTC refund only worth $65 when they paid $1,300 of BTC to begin with?  The fact of the matter is, the only fair way to refund people is by using the original written purchase price, which was denominated in USD, not BTC.

BFL clearly stated that they accepted BTC as a form of payment.  Barter laws would sanctify this point.  After a certain amount of time of nondelivery, people have the right to demand a refund, and if the value of BTC was falling with no hopes of ever bouncing back, customers would have to settle for the BTC that they spent to be returned.  If you have your device, and know that you will not make the BTC back on it that you spent, then it is not "profit" in terms of BTC.  You cannot just switch $ with BTC so freely just because we are all aware of exchange rates.  I get that you are trying to be optimistic though.

bcp19 comes out here and says things like "Since BFL *is* shipping, they aren't a scam".  Right, like just as long as you are getting a percentage that you were promised, it's not a ponzi scheme.  "Since BFL is shipping to a few people, they aren't scamming everybody as much as originally thought." -  That's the best logical conclusion.

Furthermore, I need to address this: "Technically they were investors as it was known at the time that BFL did not have this technology in hand and would be creating, testing and perfecting it."

Technically the chips were on the final phase of production, and they are shipping the ASICs in October 2012.  So you believe what you want.  Where they optimistic.  Yes.  Did they lie?  Also yes.
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darkmule
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July 24, 2013, 07:34:25 PM
 #2222

I'll agree that the prices were denominated in USD.  I'd also agree that people who purchased would, in a refund situation, only be entitled to USD, not BTC.  I've seen a couple people trying to get refunds denominated in BTC, and that would frankly be complete bullshit.

In a breach of contract situation, you are generally entitled only to the value of what you contracted.  Since BTC has vastly appreciated, you are not entitled to a windfall profit by getting back what you exchanged for USD to purchase something that wasn't delivered.

It still remains a gigantic dick move by BFL, but while I think their violation of consumer protection laws and mail order laws is, in fact, illegal, nobody is going to get back BTC they used to buy BFL equipment.  Even if they won a lawsuit.  Just because that's not how contract law works.

So on this one issue, BFL is in the right.

That doesn't change the fact that people who bought a unit with BTC could have done a hell of a lot better by staying away from BFL and doing something else instead.  It just means that among their other jerk moves, this one wasn't illegal.
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July 24, 2013, 07:51:06 PM
 #2223


BFL's prices were clearly listed in USD, not BTC.  Therefore, the refund they give will be in equivalent USD value.  If BTC had dropped to $0.25/ea between the time of the order and now, do you think people would be complaining that they received back 20x the original Bitcoins they had paid?  Or, if BFL was doing what you want, and only refunding the original BTC amount, do you think people would be complaining that they received a BTC refund only worth $65 when they paid $1,300 of BTC to begin with?  The fact of the matter is, the only fair way to refund people is by using the original written purchase price, which was denominated in USD, not BTC.

BFL clearly stated that they accepted BTC as a form of payment.  Barter laws would sanctify this point.  After a certain amount of time of nondelivery, people have the right to demand a refund, and if the value of BTC was falling with no hopes of ever bouncing back, customers would have to settle for the BTC that they spent to be returned.  If you have your device, and know that you will not make the BTC back on it that you spent, then it is not "profit" in terms of BTC.  You cannot just switch $ with BTC so freely just because we are all aware of exchange rates.  I get that you are trying to be optimistic though.
Please do show the barter laws that "sanctify this point," because what you're saying is, if Bitcoins became worth a penny each, BFL would be a-ok to refund everyone their original BTC used to buy a $1,300 product?  So I would get back $2 worth of BTC as a "full refund", and this would be ok with you?

It's not profit in terms of BTC, but it is still profit as defined by, well, everyone, the IRS included.

If I traded you 20 pounds of gold for a gold mining operation, and then those 20 pounds of gold suddenly became worth 5x what they were because of speculation, would I not have a profit if I was only able to mine 15 pounds of gold over the useful life of the gold mining operation?  Of course not - I'd have made a profit of 15 * 5 - 20 = 55 = almost 3 times my original investment.
jordaninthesky
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July 24, 2013, 08:02:38 PM
 #2224

Yeah, that's how you interpret the bottom line.  But if you were measuring the bottom line based on gold, then no.  I'm not questioning that you are getting ahead in terms of $.  I'm questioning the integrity of the process.  If I traded someone 5 flawless diamonds for a machine that they personally valued at $55 million, but they never gave me the machine.  I'd be entitled to my 5 flawless diamonds back, right?  But if the value of diamonds decreased while waiting on the machine, and then the person said never-mind, and gave the diamonds back, I possibly have a lost opportunity-based lawsuit.

Darkmule has an excellent point, because it can be calculated that BFL were in it for the money and not BTC.  However, they were intentionally deceptive in appearing like they were fully supporting the BTC network, and they have said contradicting things:  from one being that they are going to secure the value of your investment, to then saying that BTC is a gamble; no liability!  So the grey area allows for many victims to be exploited.
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July 24, 2013, 08:47:48 PM
 #2225

Yeah, that's how you interpret the bottom line.  But if you were measuring the bottom line based on gold, then no.  I'm not questioning that you are getting ahead in terms of $.  I'm questioning the integrity of the process.  If I traded someone 5 flawless diamonds for a machine that they personally valued at $55 million, but they never gave me the machine.  I'd be entitled to my 5 flawless diamonds back, right?  But if the value of diamonds decreased while waiting on the machine, and then the person said never-mind, and gave the diamonds back, I possibly have a lost opportunity-based lawsuit.

Darkmule has an excellent point, because it can be calculated that BFL were in it for the money and not BTC.  However, they were intentionally deceptive in appearing like they were fully supporting the BTC network, and they have said contradicting things:  from one being that they are going to secure the value of your investment, to then saying that BTC is a gamble; no liability!  So the grey area allows for many victims to be exploited.

It sounds like we mostly agree then.  Has there ever been a successful lost opportunity-based lawsuit?

Also, what do you mean that BFL said they were "going to secure the value of your investment"?
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July 24, 2013, 08:49:54 PM
 #2226

Surprise, surprise - always knew it sounded too good to be true...
becoin
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July 24, 2013, 09:00:00 PM
 #2227

I doubt I'll make my BTC back either.  But I'll still be making a huge profit.
So, how will you make profit without ever making back the BTC you've invested?
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July 24, 2013, 09:01:23 PM
 #2228

Yeah, that's how you interpret the bottom line.  But if you were measuring the bottom line based on gold, then no.  I'm not questioning that you are getting ahead in terms of $.  I'm questioning the integrity of the process.  If I traded someone 5 flawless diamonds for a machine that they personally valued at $55 million, but they never gave me the machine.  I'd be entitled to my 5 flawless diamonds back, right?  But if the value of diamonds decreased while waiting on the machine, and then the person said never-mind, and gave the diamonds back, I possibly have a lost opportunity-based lawsuit.

Darkmule has an excellent point, because it can be calculated that BFL were in it for the money and not BTC.  However, they were intentionally deceptive in appearing like they were fully supporting the BTC network, and they have said contradicting things:  from one being that they are going to secure the value of your investment, to then saying that BTC is a gamble; no liability!  So the grey area allows for many victims to be exploited.


Contracts only work because the government enforces them.  And the government only enforces them in dollars, nothing else. You can sign a contract that says you'll provide X BTC at their price in March, 2016 - and if you default you'll have to pay the march 2014 prices. But the government will allow you to pay in dollars. If they go up in price even more you don't have to buy them, you just need to pay the march 2016 value, even if the lawsuit takes years.  

The only way you could legally get your BTC back is if you had a contract with BFL stating you had the right to request a refund in bitcoin, and even then at most you could get would be USD worth the current value of bitcoin.

SgtSpike
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July 24, 2013, 09:03:15 PM
 #2229

Surprise, surprise - always knew it sounded too good to be true...
What do you mean?  I'm hashing with BFL ASICs as we speak... just because some people claim that they are a scam doesn't mean they are.
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July 24, 2013, 09:24:08 PM
 #2230

I'll agree that the prices were denominated in USD. 
That is not important at all. What is really important is what currency is mentioned on the commercial invoice. This is the official document that every court of law is considering if there is a litigation. There are two currencies on the BFL's invoice which means both are equally binding depending on the currency of the transaction. If you paid in BTC the currency of transaction is BTC. BFL is trying to convince me that transferring BTC to BFL I have actually purchased USD... No. If I wanted USD I'd have transfered my BTC to MtGox, not to BFL. On top of it, BFL has no right to exchange BTC into USD for their customers as they are not licensed as currency exchange.

Here it is the invoice:





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July 24, 2013, 09:25:41 PM
 #2231

Contracts only work because the government enforces them.  And the government only enforces them in dollars, nothing else.

I wouldn't say only because the government enforces them.  Contracts mostly work because people mostly intend to live up to their agreements.  Invoking government intervention to force the other party to live up to the agreement is a last resort.

It's correct that monetary judgments in the United States are going to be in dollars.  However, the court might analyze the actual agreement to find out what that dollar value is.  The dollar value might not be the exact equivalent of the exchange rate between BTC and USD at the time of the agreement.  If the court has to analyze it, it's a very fact-sensitive analysis.

There's another option a court has in a contract case, which is to order one party to do whatever was contracted.  This is called "specific performance."  For instance, you're Liberace and you agreed to do a show at Carnegie Hall.  Or you're BFL, and you agreed to deliver a bunch of shit you have no intention of delivering.  Or you're Josh Zerlan, and you have agreed to suck a hundred cocks in public and swallow every time.  Courts almost never do this.  

They assign a dollar value to whatever you contracted to receive, and that is what you get in the judgment.
lucasjkr
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July 25, 2013, 12:41:32 AM
 #2232

I'll agree that the prices were denominated in USD. 
That is not important at all. What is really important is what currency is mentioned on the commercial invoice. This is the official document that every court of law is considering if there is a litigation. There are two currencies on the BFL's invoice which means both are equally binding depending on the currency of the transaction. If you paid in BTC the currency of transaction is BTC. BFL is trying to convince me that transferring BTC to BFL I have actually purchased USD... No. If I wanted USD I'd have transfered my BTC to MtGox, not to BFL. On top of it, BFL has no right to exchange BTC into USD for their customers as they are not licensed as currency exchange.

Here it is the invoice:


What???

The currency on the invoice is dollars. You chose to pay in bitcoin, so they informed you how much it would cost in Bitcoin, because they will then likely convert those BTC to dollars. Their a US company selling product denominated in US Dollars. Someone buying their stuff in Euro would also have seen their money get converted to dollars - should they demand a refund months later, they would only be able to expect to receive dollars back, which may or may not convert back to the same amount of Euros.

Next, what are you talking about exchanging BTC into dollars? They sold you something in USD. You paid in BTC. They converted the BTC to USD. If they're not allowed to convert BTC to USD, how can they order parts, pay overhead, pay taxes or anything else? Regardless, FinCEN is QUITE clear that a company selling an actual product for BTC is not a currency exchanger.

This is something that goes both ways. Hind sight is 20/20 and everyone has to stop acting as if they were so much wiser than they actually were. If you knew that BTC would be worth what it is now, then shame on you for selling them back in June. What about that guy who paid 10,000 BTC for a pizza? Or are you saying that if BTC had instead fallen to 60 cents and Butterfly Labs cancelled all outstnding orders and returned to each customer the exact number of Bitcoins they had sent in, that you'd be 100% OK with it? Of course you wouldn't.

Lastly. Your little icon with the ant crawling. Everytime I see it on my screen, my first instinct is to wipe the bug off my screen. Would you mind changing that, maybe? Smiley
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July 25, 2013, 12:48:14 AM
 #2233

I'll agree that the prices were denominated in USD. 
That is not important at all. What is really important is what currency is mentioned on the commercial invoice. This is the official document that every court of law is considering if there is a litigation. There are two currencies on the BFL's invoice which means both are equally binding depending on the currency of the transaction. If you paid in BTC the currency of transaction is BTC. BFL is trying to convince me that transferring BTC to BFL I have actually purchased USD... No. If I wanted USD I'd have transfered my BTC to MtGox, not to BFL. On top of it, BFL has no right to exchange BTC into USD for their customers as they are not licensed as currency exchange.

Here it is the invoice:


What???

The currency on the invoice is dollars. You chose to pay in bitcoin, so they informed you how much it would cost in Bitcoin, because they will then likely convert those BTC to dollars. Their a US company selling product denominated in US Dollars. Someone buying their stuff in Euro would also have seen their money get converted to dollars - should they demand a refund months later, they would only be able to expect to receive dollars back, which may or may not convert back to the same amount of Euros.

Next, what are you talking about exchanging BTC into dollars? They sold you something in USD. You paid in BTC. They converted the BTC to USD. If they're not allowed to convert BTC to USD, how can they order parts, pay overhead, pay taxes or anything else? Regardless, FinCEN is QUITE clear that a company selling an actual product for BTC is not a currency exchanger.

This is something that goes both ways. Hind sight is 20/20 and everyone has to stop acting as if they were so much wiser than they actually were. If you knew that BTC would be worth what it is now, then shame on you for selling them back in June. What about that guy who paid 10,000 BTC for a pizza? Or are you saying that if BTC had instead fallen to 60 cents and Butterfly Labs cancelled all outstnding orders and returned to each customer the exact number of Bitcoins they had sent in, that you'd be 100% OK with it? Of course you wouldn't.

Lastly. Your little icon with the ant crawling. Everytime I see it on my screen, my first instinct is to wipe the bug off my screen. Would you mind changing that, maybe? Smiley
Heh - I see becoin is still spouting off the same old crap he was when I first put him on ignore.
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July 25, 2013, 01:44:31 AM
 #2234

I'll agree that the prices were denominated in USD. 
That is not important at all. What is really important is what currency is mentioned on the commercial invoice. This is the official document that every court of law is considering if there is a litigation. There are two currencies on the BFL's invoice which means both are equally binding depending on the currency of the transaction. If you paid in BTC the currency of transaction is BTC. BFL is trying to convince me that transferring BTC to BFL I have actually purchased USD... No. If I wanted USD I'd have transfered my BTC to MtGox, not to BFL. On top of it, BFL has no right to exchange BTC into USD for their customers as they are not licensed as currency exchange.

Here it is the invoice:


What???

The currency on the invoice is dollars. You chose to pay in bitcoin, so they informed you how much it would cost in Bitcoin, because they will then likely convert those BTC to dollars. Their a US company selling product denominated in US Dollars. Someone buying their stuff in Euro would also have seen their money get converted to dollars - should they demand a refund months later, they would only be able to expect to receive dollars back, which may or may not convert back to the same amount of Euros.

Next, what are you talking about exchanging BTC into dollars? They sold you something in USD. You paid in BTC. They converted the BTC to USD. If they're not allowed to convert BTC to USD, how can they order parts, pay overhead, pay taxes or anything else? Regardless, FinCEN is QUITE clear that a company selling an actual product for BTC is not a currency exchanger.

This is something that goes both ways. Hind sight is 20/20 and everyone has to stop acting as if they were so much wiser than they actually were. If you knew that BTC would be worth what it is now, then shame on you for selling them back in June. What about that guy who paid 10,000 BTC for a pizza? Or are you saying that if BTC had instead fallen to 60 cents and Butterfly Labs cancelled all outstnding orders and returned to each customer the exact number of Bitcoins they had sent in, that you'd be 100% OK with it? Of course you wouldn't.

Lastly. Your little icon with the ant crawling. Everytime I see it on my screen, my first instinct is to wipe the bug off my screen. Would you mind changing that, maybe? Smiley
+1
When I read the invoice statement, I had the same thought and you nailed it on the head.  While BTC is a crypto currency in it's own right, it is like any other currency/stock/asset in that it has worth in USD, which is what the BFL miners were priced with.  It would not matter if you paid Rubles, Francs, Euros, Pounds, Yen, Dinar Silver, Gold, BTC, LTC,  your new car, etc. for a BFL product, as it was converted into USD and used as has been mentioned many times before to pay for chips, boards, cases, office supplies, salaries, power supplies, utilities, etc.

Your petty little "Gee, I sold stock to speculate on something that took longer than expected and now that the stock price has skyrocketed, I'm suing the Company for the earnings I would have made if I hadn't sold it to buy this product" is a huge pile of manure.  If BTC were worth $1 right now and they insisted on repaying you in BTC your tune would be far different.

I do not suffer fools gladly... "Captain!  We're surrounded!"
I embrace my inner Kool-Aid.
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July 25, 2013, 02:05:07 AM
Last edit: July 25, 2013, 02:47:01 AM by jordaninthesky
 #2235

I thought the point was that BFL claimed capacity to deliver.  $, BTC, or any other form of payment should not be "cashed out" to be "spent", else the thing turns into a ponzi scheme and they can't pay everyone.

They are appealing to customers that don't exist yet at the expense of everyone else, using stupid excuses, (often the same excuse over and over), to "justify" the delay of shipment, with assertive self-righteous standing that they aren't responsible for your delay in satisfaction.  Do you guys remember when BFL were going into detail about how they were going to "future-proof" their asics?  What does that mean standing next to the notion that "BTC is gambling, our stuff could be garbage tomorrow, no refunds"?

Seriously, you maybe hashing right now...  But what you paid for was an experience to be had last year.  If that had happened, you would not be here trying to defend BFL, as well as yourself for settling for "kind of shitty".  You'd be out on the country side sharing the gospel of btc, with your fancy sportcar, meanwhile plunging money into stocks for infinite power engines.

Just saying...  A lot has changed, and the original product sold was not the product delivered, and for 98% that isn't even the case yet.

Also, if you pay from another country, and your warranted a refund, the money you get back, is your own currency, and for the same amount.
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July 25, 2013, 05:10:08 AM
 #2236

I thought the point was that BFL claimed capacity to deliver.  $, BTC, or any other form of payment should not be "cashed out" to be "spent", else the thing turns into a ponzi scheme and they can't pay everyone.

They are appealing to customers that don't exist yet at the expense of everyone else, using stupid excuses, (often the same excuse over and over), to "justify" the delay of shipment, with assertive self-righteous standing that they aren't responsible for your delay in satisfaction.  Do you guys remember when BFL were going into detail about how they were going to "future-proof" their asics?  What does that mean standing next to the notion that "BTC is gambling, our stuff could be garbage tomorrow, no refunds"?

Seriously, you maybe hashing right now...  But what you paid for was an experience to be had last year.  If that had happened, you would not be here trying to defend BFL, as well as yourself for settling for "kind of shitty".  You'd be out on the country side sharing the gospel of btc, with your fancy sportcar, meanwhile plunging money into stocks for infinite power engines.

Just saying...  A lot has changed, and the original product sold was not the product delivered, and for 98% that isn't even the case yet.
I'll grant you that.  But it doesn't make BFL a scam.  People were still able to get a refund  at any time if they weren't satisfied with BFL's progress.

Quote
Also, if you pay from another country, and your warranted a refund, the money you get back, is your own currency, and for the same amount.
The money you get back is your own currency, but NOT the same amount.  It is whatever amount makes up the same purchasing value at the time of purchase.  Someone who pre-ordered one of Tom's ASIC's (forgot what they were even called at this point) and paid with Euros on a credit card was actually refunded a slightly different amount, based on the latest exchange rate.  And it was a refund amount dictated by the credit card company, not by Tom, because it was a charge-back.

This just further proves the point that businesses generally consider the listed purchase price to be the price of the product, irrelevant of how other currencies might fluctuate against it.
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July 25, 2013, 06:04:34 AM
 #2237

What???

The currency on the invoice is dollars.
There are two currencies on the invoice - BTC and USD! Can't you see? Are you blind?
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July 25, 2013, 06:40:32 AM
Last edit: July 25, 2013, 06:53:54 AM by becoin
 #2238

They sold you something in USD. You paid in BTC. They converted the BTC to USD. If they're not allowed to convert BTC to USD, how can they order parts, pay overhead, pay taxes or anything else? Regardless, FinCEN is QUITE clear that a company selling an actual product for BTC is not a currency exchanger.
1. They sold me something priced in BTC. It is quite clear looking at the invoice!

2. I paid BTC. They converted BTC into USD 100%, 50% or none at all. Depends on the setting in their merchant account with BitPay.

3. Of course, they have the right to convert THEIR BTC, euros, pounds or whatever into every other currency they want. But this is ALREADY THEIR BTC, not customers BTC! BFL claim they converted customers BTC into USD, that is why they refund in USD. How can you claim you refund in USD without even knowing my USD bank account?! Converting currencies on behalf of your customers requires currency exchange license. Period.

4. Refund is nothing else than a reversal of a transaction. This is why it is ALWAYS done in the currency of the transaction. If you have a credit card run in GBP and you pay for a product priced in USD it is YOUR bank (the credit card issuing bank) that is doing the conversion from GBP into USD and sending USD to the merchant. Your bank has the license to convert currencies for their customers! Merchant never sees your GBP as the CURRENCY OF TRANSACTION is USD. Respectively, if a refund is requested and processed it is merchant's bank that is sending back USD and it is YOUR bank that is converting those USD back into you GBP account. As you see, what happens is very very different from the case if you pay in BTC.

5. The same applies if customer paid via PayPal. Customers can't pay with PayPal if they don't have an agreement signed and account opened with PayPal. But they can pay via BitPay without having any relation or even knowing who are BitPay. And this is ONLY possible because they paid for their pre-orders in BTC acting upon the instructions they get from BFL during checkout process. Once those BTC are on BFL's account with BitPay, BFL can do whatever they want and customers have no control on it. If BFL have no capacity to manage the BTC currency exchange risk they should not accept payments in BTC.

6. BFL strongly oppose full BTC refunds as they are a big profit source for them. Firstly, because BTC is still unregulated as a currency and as a method of payment and secondly, because receiving BTC and later refunding in USD, gives them FREE OPTION CALL to profit from BTC /USD exchange rates differences between payment and refund dates. No court of law will approve such a practice because what is profit for them is a loss for their customers that paid in BTC!
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July 25, 2013, 12:06:40 PM
 #2239


I'll grant you that.  But it doesn't make BFL a scam.  People were still able to get a refund  at any time if they weren't satisfied with BFL's progress.


Except you can't get a refund from BFL. They ARE a scam.
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July 25, 2013, 01:13:06 PM
 #2240


Just saying...  A lot has changed, and the original product sold was not the product delivered, and for 98% that isn't even the case yet.

I'll grant you that.  But it doesn't make BFL a scam.  People were still able to get a refund  at any time if they weren't satisfied with BFL's progress.


Actually, it does make them a scam.  Especially with a year backlog and (selective) forced refunds, as well as lost opportunities caused by smoke screening Avalon's real opportunity, with consistent lies showing it's pretty much transparent and intentional.  I wouldn't use another ASIC company's policies to justify how charge-backs are made.  I do like the invoice point that becoin brings up.  BFL made every effort to appear like they were supporting the BTC network as well as its currency.  Also you didn't touch my point about BFL using people's preorder money to work on R&D.  BFL reps used to deny this point.  But it's pretty obvious by now.  LOL.

It's a PONZI scheme.  They are probably even mining with customers machines to stay afloat.  It's logical considering what they have allowed so far.
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