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Author Topic: Avalon is (unfortunately) a scam. Here is why.  (Read 37716 times)
cedivad
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January 29, 2013, 05:08:40 PM
 #21

His computer will only work in NYC? This blows my mind!
He either checks the connecting ip or has the certificates on a pc there.

My anger against what is wrong in the Bitcoin community is productive:
Bitcointa.lk - Replace "Bitcointalk.org" with "Bitcointa.lk" in this url to see how this page looks like on a proper forum (Announcement Thread)
Hashfast.org - Wiki for screwed customers
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Each block is stacked on top of the previous one. Adding another block to the top makes all lower blocks more difficult to remove: there is more "weight" above each block. A transaction in a block 6 blocks deep (6 confirmations) will be very difficult to remove.
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January 29, 2013, 05:11:36 PM
 #22

https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=139704.msg1488175#msg1488175

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January 29, 2013, 05:14:56 PM
 #23

There is no evidence whether BFL or Avalon are scams.

They both could be, they both could not be.

But, I don't agree with throwing one under the bus for that reason without solid evidence.

Why can't we wait a week to see if anyone receives an ASIC before making these types of threads?

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January 29, 2013, 05:16:59 PM
 #24

Why can't we wait a week to see if anyone receives an ASIC before making these types of threads?
Because on thursday they will get 700 * 1500$ worth of preorders.

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Bitcointa.lk - Replace "Bitcointalk.org" with "Bitcointa.lk" in this url to see how this page looks like on a proper forum (Announcement Thread)
Hashfast.org - Wiki for screwed customers
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January 29, 2013, 05:17:14 PM
 #25

There is no evidence whether BFL or Avalon are scams.

They both could be, they both could not be.

But, I don't agree with throwing one under the bus for that reason without solid evidence.

Why can't we wait a week to see if anyone receives an ASIC before making these types of threads?
They ask money. They must proove they are not scammers. Presumption of innocence doesnt work here.
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January 29, 2013, 05:19:06 PM
 #26

Question to forum administration: maybe this is right moment to ask Avalon stuff to publish proof of Avalon ASIC existance or shut down any (possible) scam activity?
I will try to explain myself.
Generally the forum does not play the scam hunting game. It could never do as good a job protecting you as the lump of great matter between your ears— but if it does a half-assed job perhaps you'll think you're safe when you're really not.  Stuff usually only gets binned/marked as a scam when its so obvious that the scam attempt amounts to spam or when it's generally considered as proven.  Buyer beware.

Quote
BitSyncom used this forum to advertise its product, got preorders on this forum, used forum to keep (or not) customers informed about order status... But more than one week after we didn't saw any evidence that product were shipped... even more: existed.
There actually exists more evidence than they are making public, I don't really understand their PR strategy.   It seems to me that the particular approach they are taking will bias the costs and rewards to the more irrational risk takers in the community— and I don't know that its a good thing. But they did point to the extreme time costs of dealing with the public, and I certainly see the point there.

Personally, based on what I know, I think it is unlikely to be a scam. But it doesn't need to be a scam to have problems and there are clearly some problems— if nothing else then in the shipping and funding of the next batch. Keep in mind that I'm a batch #1 customer too, so I may be a victim of a bit of hopeful thinking. At the same time: I have never been scammed, I have correctly identified and avoided many scams in the Bitcoin community, and I'm saying this even though Avalon hasn't been responding to my emails in the past week  (Unfortunately their shipping delays have put their shipping right on top of a cross country move for me,  and the complete uncertainty with respect to shipping times means I can't schedule my flights to be around to receive the hardware— so I'm likely going to have to pay someone to camp out at my old address until the parcels arrive).

I will not, however, be placing a second batch order— but I don't know how much of this is because "unlikely" isn't good enough for my personal scam tolerance vs the fact that my first batch order satisfied my current interest in 110nm ASIC miners. Probably more the latter— as I'd probably consider loaning money to them

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January 29, 2013, 05:19:56 PM
 #27

So... don't pre-order from Batch #2 until there is evidence of working devices.

That is my plan at least... no one HAS to order anything...

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January 29, 2013, 05:22:31 PM
 #28

So... don't pre-order from Batch #2 until there is evidence of working devices.

That is my plan at least... no one HAS to order anything...

Although I must say: life isn't about "making sure" but rather "enduring the uncertainty".

 Roll Eyes
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January 29, 2013, 05:22:53 PM
 #29

You know they'll fill that 2nd batch in hours right? Even with this total PR fail...

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January 29, 2013, 05:27:20 PM
 #30

There actually exists more evidence than they are making public, I don't really understand their PR strategy.
gmaxwell, are you saying that you have seen any pictures or videos that you think are evidence, which are not public?

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January 29, 2013, 05:45:04 PM
 #31

There actually exists more evidence than they are making public, I don't really understand their PR strategy.
gmaxwell, are you saying that you have seen any pictures or videos that you think are evidence, which are not public?
I can imagine a sophisticated scam where carefully constructed "leaks" are used to dupe trustworthy™ people into 'laundering' weak evidence in order make it seem stronger— If I tell you I've seen photos, some people will believe me more than _any_ photo they could have possibly been shown, and I may have missed some glaring flaw in the evidence that would have been discovered had it been made public... and while— as mentioned— I don't think Avalon is scamming here, it occurs to me that to avoid contributing to this kind of game in the future I ought to act consistently:  If Avalon wants the benefit of people confirming that there is more evidence, then they should make it public.

So, I'll leave it at: Scam or not, they could easily provide lots of additional information. Fans call everything proven here, haters call everything disproven here. This is one of the reasons that 'evidence' is not all that good protection against scams in this sort of thing. Considering the kind of funds involved even from batch#1 surely a scammer could go buy a crate of fans, throw them on a bench, and call it an assembly line. The reason I think they should post more and are confused that they aren't isn't because I think it will protect anyone from getting ripped off— but simply because it's good PR that will help them collect more money.

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January 29, 2013, 05:50:17 PM
 #32

@gmaxwell, I think we understood perfectly, thank you.

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January 29, 2013, 05:55:18 PM
 #33

Or the mods could simply message them and say show our community more proof or we will delete your threads as there have been too many
scams around here and we wish to protect our users in the only way we can.

The people with the money normally have all the leverage. But in this goofy community it seems like the sales person who promises something
has all the power. I guess greed is the reason things are upside down around here.

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gmaxwell
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January 29, 2013, 06:04:49 PM
 #34

Or the mods could simply message them and say show our community more proof or we will delete your threads as there have been too many
scams around here and we wish to protect our users in the only way we can.
It couldn't be done transparently without increasing false confidence in some cases. It can't be done in secret without turning the forum into a potential extortion racket (or at least subjecting it to credible allegations that it is one).  You do not want either of these outcomes.

Fortunately, centralized authority is not the only way to get things done. Prospective customers could put funds in escrow (even a trustless blockchain escrow) and make transparency demands— "You get our money only if you do X, Y, and Z and by putting funds in this escrow we prove that we're not trolls making demands to waste your time or upset your business".  This would avoid the above pitfalls.

The biggest problem I see with it is that I can't think of an X, Y, or Z that would materially reduce risks — except getting working units in the hands of some trusted third party and they claim to already have that in motion— given that they need the funds upfront to fund their production. A lesser issue is that if the community wanted to do it they'd have to come to a consensus on the terms very quickly.  If people could come up with and agree on some terms (that I don't think are insane), I'd be willing to act as a signer on an escrow for this.

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January 29, 2013, 06:28:43 PM
 #35

I guess greed is the reason things are upside down around here.

+1

Sure is.

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January 29, 2013, 06:33:56 PM
 #36

I'm pretty new at this, but they did test out the units that shipped, right? Why not just go ahead and make a video of that happening? I'm sure there would still be people calling it a fake, but at least there would be something.  In all honesty, with the amount of money involved here I'd just personally deliver a few working units to trusted community members and let word of mouth do the rest.

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January 29, 2013, 06:46:58 PM
 #37

I'm pretty new at this, but they did test out the units that shipped, right? Why not just go ahead and make a video of that happening? I'm sure there would still be people calling it a fake, but at least there would be something.  In all honesty, with the amount of money involved here I'd just personally deliver a few working units to trusted community members and let word of mouth do the rest.

The only reasonable explanation is that they cannot or just like being drama queens. your choice.

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January 29, 2013, 07:10:11 PM
 #38

Avalon has me concerned from a business standpoint in addition to it sounding a little like a Ponzi scheme at this point.

Here are my thoughts:

- They PROBABLY have SOME units ready to ship as they're confident that they'll get a couple (to date, two) out to "testers" so they can post their reviews.

- My thoughts about them opening up round #2 pre-orders has me concerned that they're running out of money from the initial round of pre-orders and need additional capital to meet their goals

- The fact that they're ONLY using BTC this time around concerns me because it's not trackable and it seems like they're gambling that the price of BTC will continue to go up

- "No Refunds" sounds like the final blow as to their having business issues because what they're essentially saying is that they need to use the capital to pay bills and once you pay, money is gone.

- The network hash rate would lead me to believe that there are no ASIC's currently even operational (unless they're testing on a private chain, which would be weird because they COULD make some money off their testing)

I have concerns for those who still have their money with Avalon, or with any ASIC manufacturer in general. I think greed got the best of people. SURE, at current difficulties and network hash rate if you're THE FIRST on the network with an ASIC you'll probably stand to make good money... but after more ASIC's spin up, your profits should start dropping sharply. But perhaps there's another thread on this.

All I can say is, good luck to anyone who invested thousands of their hard earned dollars on this. It's quite the gamble on your part!


     
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January 29, 2013, 07:15:03 PM
 #39

The only reasonable explanation is that they cannot or just like being drama queens. your choice.
Cannot is not a reasonable explanation. I can make a demo video even though I have nothing.


We have been through this before.

Setup the asic unit. power it up. login. start the software. create a video showing things.
create account at a mining pool. point asic device at it. get pool owner to agree that is actual mining on their pool. they are easy to contact.
 
setup a few more of these asics devices and point at the same account. before you know it you have 100s and 100s
of gigahashes mining away and you show screen shots or what have you.

So, do you know of someone who has enough gpus around to fake that sorta test? ha. i don't.

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January 29, 2013, 07:19:47 PM
 #40

Avalon has me concerned from a business standpoint in addition to it sounding a little like a Ponzi scheme at this point.

Here are my thoughts:

- They PROBABLY have SOME units ready to ship as they're confident that they'll get a couple (to date, two) out to "testers" so they can post their reviews.

- My thoughts about them opening up round #2 pre-orders has me concerned that they're running out of money from the initial round of pre-orders and need additional capital to meet their goals

- The fact that they're ONLY using BTC this time around concerns me because it's not trackable and it seems like they're gambling that the price of BTC will continue to go up

- "No Refunds" sounds like the final blow as to their having business issues because what they're essentially saying is that they need to use the capital to pay bills and once you pay, money is gone.

- The network hash rate would lead me to believe that there are no ASIC's currently even operational (unless they're testing on a private chain, which would be weird because they COULD make some money off their testing)

I have concerns for those who still have their money with Avalon, or with any ASIC manufacturer in general. I think greed got the best of people. SURE, at current difficulties and network hash rate if you're THE FIRST on the network with an ASIC you'll probably stand to make good money... but after more ASIC's spin up, your profits should start dropping sharply. But perhaps there's another thread on this.

All I can say is, good luck to anyone who invested thousands of their hard earned dollars on this. It's quite the gamble on your part!

I think we're all saying the same thing; this new "batch #2" stinks of unspoken problems. As gmaxwell said, anyone could make up a demo video; its a mystery as to why team Avalon won't do it themselves. They are more than capable of doing that and NGzhang with regards to his icarus / lancelot projects have been able to prove that his previous FPGA projects worked. Through BFL's admission, we already know that there are problems with QFN packaging and it appears from the little information that exists online from team Avalon (I feel like I'm saying something out of Pokemon lol..) is using QFN packaged chips. My guess is that they either rushed to ship out what products they could and purposefully didn't do a demo because they feared it would give BFL an edge (this part is really a mystery to me as both companies seem to already be cash / asset committed to their own designs already at this stage in the game).
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