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Author Topic: Bryan Micon's Butterfly Labs Scammer Investigation including Josh Zerlan  (Read 99250 times)
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February 25, 2013, 09:15:26 PM
 #221

The confusing part is that BFL HAVE shipped FPGA product in the past, very successfully, so they've proven to be a legitimate outfit, as far as intent to deliver goes.

If you had asked me in December which companies I'd pin as the more likely scams, I would've said Avalon and ASICminer, and ironically, they're the first and currently only ones with proven ASICs, while BFL, last generation's leader, is stumbling around in the dark. 4 months of delays, while still pushing their ads? If not for their FPGA success, I'd definitely mark their ASICs a scam.



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February 25, 2013, 09:42:15 PM
 #222

The confusing part is that BFL HAVE shipped FPGA product in the past, very successfully, so they've proven to be a legitimate outfit, as far as intent to deliver goes.

If you had asked me in December which companies I'd pin as the more likely scams, I would've said Avalon and ASICminer, and ironically, they're the first and currently only ones with proven ASICs, while BFL, last generation's leader, is stumbling around in the dark. 4 months of delays, while still pushing their ads? If not for their FPGA success, I'd definitely mark their ASICs a scam.


well then I suggest digging into the FPGA orders that customers rec'd.  My preliminary research is that BFL basically bought the units in bulk and re-sold in smaller quantities, branded as BFL prodcuts.  They don't seem to work very well either:

https://forums.butterflylabs.com/fpga-single-minirig-support/

https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=60586.0

and when it comes to orders of magnitude, the FPGA run would be a drop in the bucket compared to the no-limit pre-order taking that has been happening the past 8 months or so.

I'm flying FPV race drones these days. Check out my YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/c/MiconFPV
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February 26, 2013, 03:58:12 AM
 #223

BFL better start maturing quickly before they start to realize that the Top dog in the industry is actually a wet puppy that can't handle the dog eat dog world.

Josh get your fucken act together and start doing good for your customers. They depend on you. DON'T FUCK THIS UP!

The dogs are getting closer and they smell the blood on the trail.

edit: The reason I said this was there is talk of another company making chips and are looking for others to make integrated boards to implement these chips. I don't know much about this and won't pretend to be knowledgeable about it either.

However there is a large vacuum for asic competitors and the void will fill in time. So don't think your the only one out there looking to make money.
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February 26, 2013, 04:42:22 AM
 #224

https://forums.butterflylabs.com/announcements/692-bfl-asic-status-2.html#post16043

Quote from: Josh Zerlan
25 Feb 2013 Update

I know people have been waiting on an update for awhile. The simple fact of the matter is there hasn't been any solid updates to offer. I know people are desperate and starving for information and I wish I could provide new information every day, but some days there just isn't new information. Luckily there is some new information today. It's not the best information (such as we are shipping today!) but it is at least an update.

We had expected the bumping to be done by now, as per the previous update(s). That has not been completed yet. There are a number of reasons why this is the case, and we are not pleased with any of them. The bumping facility, which we have no direct contact with, did not complete the NRE on the timeline we had spoke to the packaging facility about. As I've written in previous posts, we are dealing with such an accelerated time scale that all of these facilities simply aren't used to dealing with. It's been a learning experience for both us and for the facilities we are using. The upside, such as it is, is that going forward, we will have all the large, time sucking hurdles already out of the way and the rest of the chips should breeze through without issue, as all the NRE, tooling, design, planning and machines will already be configured for what we need.

Since Friday we have been, in a word, agonizing over how to make up for lost time. Obviously, we can't make up for all the lost time, but what we have decided is to effectively burn (this is not a technical term, I simply mean we are using one of the wafers for testing instead of creating chips out of it) one of the initial six wafers for testing. This is definitely not something we wanted to do, as it will reduce our initial chip count from a potential 6000 to 5000 chips for the first set of wafers. We are doing this because it will buy us 7 - 12 days for the second set of wafers (and the remaining set of wafers down the road). The time frame between the 1st set of wafers and the 2nd set of wafers should be reduced to a matter of a few days.

Why are we burning the wafer, what advantage does that give us and how can that accelerate the timeline? As many of you already know, we have had the 2nd set of wafers holding with the last layers being unfinished until we confirm we have everything the way we want it on the first set of wafers. We've already started the process to continue laying down layers up until about the last 5 layers or so - by burning one of our precious wafers, we can send it to the ASIC engineers who can essentially wire bond it manually and test the chips, but the wafer will become useless for creating usable chips. By doing this, they will verify that everything is how it needs to be and we can give the foundry the go-ahead to finish the second set as well as the bulk of the chips immediately. The second set of wafers should be done and on their way to us by the time we get chips in house in KC, and the bulk wafers should be done shortly after that.

The test wafer is already on it's way to the ASIC labs and should arrive tomorrow. Presumably it will take a better part of the day to get everything situated and for the testing to begin, so I don't expect to hear anything until late Tuesday or sometime on Wednesday assuming everything goes well. In the meantime, the bumping facility will be bumping the remaining 5 wafers, which should be shipping out on Friday to the packaging house, whom we are paying extra to stay on for the weekend and start the packaging process. We expect at least some of the chips to be on their way to Chicago by Tuesday, where they will be mounted and sent out to our engineers and KC for testing and final MCU programming. At that point, once the MCU programming is confirmed we'll begin assembling the units. Right now, I'm planning on a week from Friday to be the day, but I'm just gonna say that's subject to change at the moment, although I don't anticipate a change right now.

The ASIC team has promised me pictures of the wafer tomorrow, Tuesday the 26th. As soon as I get those, I will be posting them. As soon as I hear something with regards to the chip testing, I will be posting that as well. If I'm not posting an update, it's because there's nothing new to report.

that, my friends, is just making shit up.

I'm flying FPV race drones these days. Check out my YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/c/MiconFPV
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February 26, 2013, 04:44:17 AM
 #225

I assume "burning" the wafers is code for "pre-mining shitloads of bitcoins"

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February 26, 2013, 05:00:22 AM
 #226

That whole post was Greek to me. Burning wafers? Just get the shit done.
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February 26, 2013, 09:46:23 AM
 #227

That whole post was Greek to me. Burning wafers? Just get the shit done.

Its just Josh learning. Over the past few weeks he learned that "2 days" means "the bumping process takes 2 days, but can only be started in 16 days" and that packaging facilities have their own internal planning and arent going to be bribed for a tiny 5 or 6 wafer order.  Shocking.

So now he learned that testing chips takes longer than 24 hours so they are tossing away ~6000 chip candidates to get a handful of chips in testing a few days earlier than otherwise possible. That is 8 months after they started taking your money.  Does that make sense? No. Unless you planned this completely wrong, started production before testing and are still trying to stick to a ridiculous timetable you shouldnt have ever promised in the first place. And even then it doesnt make a lot of sense, because you can only test so much on wire bonded chips. Among other things, it will tell you nothing about the physical properties of the BGA chip  and its going to be hard to do any board level testing.

But he will learn that too, eventually.
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February 26, 2013, 07:10:25 PM
 #228

https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=147038.0

lol lookie what I found
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February 27, 2013, 03:51:49 AM
 #229

What's a "bumping" facility?  What's NRE?


The more I read these threads and Micons posts, Josh's posts and ensuing flamewars, I am lead to believe AVALON has shipped 10 working units, the rest are defective, and BFL lab miners are held together with rubber bands and band aids.

blease resbond -> 1BYJKxpntNn6TZbM5M5CWkEb8vr8vDcBrr
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February 27, 2013, 05:31:09 AM
 #230

What's a "bumping" facility?  What's NRE?


The more I read these threads and Micons posts, Josh's posts and ensuing flamewars, I am lead to believe AVALON has shipped 10 working units, the rest are defective, and BFL lab miners are held together with rubber bands and band aids.
Avalon has far more than 10 units hashing at the current time (at least that's what I got from pool operators).

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February 27, 2013, 03:49:48 PM
 #231

Noice display pic,

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March 05, 2013, 04:36:26 AM
 #232

My preliminary research

Some slightly more sophisticated research revealed ages ago that BFL bought a limited quantity of high-end but last-generation FPGAs at a steep discount for use in the singles.
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March 05, 2013, 04:37:12 AM
 #233

that, my friends, is just making shit up.

"i dont understand, therefore making shit up"
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March 05, 2013, 04:39:13 AM
 #234

Its just Josh learning.

Pretty much this.

And even then it doesnt make a lot of sense, because you can only test so much on wire bonded chips.

Going by the recent update, this was also spot on.
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March 05, 2013, 08:36:20 AM
 #235

Its just Josh learning. Over the past few weeks he learned that "2 days" means "the bumping process takes 2 days, but can only be started in 16 days" and that packaging facilities have their own internal planning and arent going to be bribed for a tiny 5 or 6 wafer order.  Shocking.

So now he learned that testing chips takes longer than 24 hours so they are tossing away ~6000 chip candidates to get a handful of chips in testing a few days earlier than otherwise possible. That is 8 months after they started taking your money.  Does that make sense? No. Unless you planned this completely wrong, started production before testing and are still trying to stick to a ridiculous timetable you shouldnt have ever promised in the first place. And even then it doesnt make a lot of sense, because you can only test so much on wire bonded chips. Among other things, it will tell you nothing about the physical properties of the BGA chip  and its going to be hard to do any board level testing.

But he will learn that too, eventually.

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March 07, 2013, 07:45:43 PM
 #236

What's a "bumping" facility?  What's NRE?


The more I read these threads and Micons posts, Josh's posts and ensuing flamewars, I am lead to believe AVALON has shipped 10 working units, the rest are defective, and BFL lab miners are held together with rubber bands and band aids.

ha.. funny but, said if it's true.

i've got to give BFL credit though.. very few companies can pull this off regardless of being a scam or not!!!

they take preorders way out... get all that money.. then they either scam everyone or actually deliver the product..
here's the best part:
they use other people's money to fund everything (fail or not) andddd when they are testing it they get all those EXTRA bitcoins all to themselves..
so no matter how you look at it BFL is going straight to the bank and buying yachts.
they'll mine as much as possible and "release" it as late as possible and will have $10mil+ sitting in their bank accounts

ok
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March 07, 2013, 10:26:35 PM
 #237

watching...

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March 08, 2013, 01:00:51 AM
 #238

Isn't there like a 1000 BTC bet somewhere that will pay out in a few days?
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March 08, 2013, 08:22:31 PM
 #239

I cancelled my 2nd order (February) today until they deliver my 1st order (September). The feedback I was given by BFL_StevenM is quite concerning....


Quote
[08:00 PM]   BFL_StevenM : Kelti, message arrived 6 hours ago and is in refund queue.

Quote
[08:03 PM]   BFL_StevenM : Kelti, refund queue is more like an Intel Hyperthread: one of lots of work queues, but not all queues can be processed at once.

Quote
[08:03 PM]   BFL_StevenM : So just like Hyperthreading...it's not so hyper.

Quote
[08:04 PM]   BFL_StevenM : 2-3 days, because Refunds are not the only queue.

Quote
[08:04 PM]   Kelticfox: 2-3 days? :O How big is the refund request queue? So basically it's okay to hold to peoples cash for 2-3 more days.... so much for Josh's statements....

StevenM then ignored me so I asked directly:

Quote
[08:12 PM]   Kelticfox : StevenM: Can you please answer the question? Why is the queue so long? Is there a lot of refunds or do you not have BTC to refund? Josh said that refunds would be given immediately.... 2-3 days is not immediately

Quote
[08:17 PM]   Kelticfox : so BFL_StevenM is now ignoring me..... great. Excellent customer services!


So there is a queue for refunds, the queue is apparently that big that it will take 2-3 days to get to my refund request...

Veni, Vidi, Cidere, Prenda In Gen, Interlitum Verlgo Stipes, Dissiptum.
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March 09, 2013, 01:06:34 PM
 #240

I cancelled my 2nd order (February) today until they deliver my 1st order (September). The feedback I was given by BFL_StevenM is quite concerning....


Quote
[08:00 PM]   BFL_StevenM : Kelti, message arrived 6 hours ago and is in refund queue.

Quote
[08:03 PM]   BFL_StevenM : Kelti, refund queue is more like an Intel Hyperthread: one of lots of work queues, but not all queues can be processed at once.

Quote
[08:03 PM]   BFL_StevenM : So just like Hyperthreading...it's not so hyper.

Quote
[08:04 PM]   BFL_StevenM : 2-3 days, because Refunds are not the only queue.

Quote
[08:04 PM]   Kelticfox: 2-3 days? :O How big is the refund request queue? So basically it's okay to hold to peoples cash for 2-3 more days.... so much for Josh's statements....

StevenM then ignored me so I asked directly:

Quote
[08:12 PM]   Kelticfox : StevenM: Can you please answer the question? Why is the queue so long? Is there a lot of refunds or do you not have BTC to refund? Josh said that refunds would be given immediately.... 2-3 days is not immediately

Quote
[08:17 PM]   Kelticfox : so BFL_StevenM is now ignoring me..... great. Excellent customer services!


So there is a queue for refunds, the queue is apparently that big that it will take 2-3 days to get to my refund request...

In fairness, if they do process you within a couple of days that's that, call it good.

I have no idea why you imagine anyone actually cares what Inaba says, whether at BFL or anywhere else.

Isn't there like a 1000 BTC bet somewhere that will pay out in a few days?

They lost the ~2k March one. Currently a ~300 btc one for April 1st, something like 5:1 against BFL delivering. The similar Avalon bet shows 8:1 odds for Avalon.

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