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Author Topic: Global Standard Bank - the first Bitcoin bank?  (Read 10458 times)
Fakeman
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July 11, 2011, 05:27:23 PM
 #21

There is a photo showing a ground floor location at http://www.globalstandardbank.com/Global_Standard/What_is_Bitcoin.html , same logo but it says "First Global" instead.  Appears kinda photoshopped IMO. I can't find any record of "GLOBAL STANDARD BANK LLC" on the Quebec or federal registration sites, fed site turns up nothing and the Quebec site gives many irrelevant sites to sift through. I don't really know enough French to make better use of the advanced search there.

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imperi
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July 11, 2011, 05:59:17 PM
 #22

They are on scamfraudalert.com now.

http://www.scamfraudalert.com/escrows-transportation-shipping/28282-global-standard-bank.html
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July 11, 2011, 10:26:22 PM
 #23

There is a photo showing a ground floor location at http://www.globalstandardbank.com/Global_Standard/What_is_Bitcoin.html , same logo but it says "First Global" instead.  Appears kinda photoshopped IMO.
Some quick analysis agrees:
http://errorlevelanalysis.com/permalink/9735fe2/

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July 11, 2011, 11:15:08 PM
 #24


Office building in Seattle/Tacoma from Skyscraperpage forum.


Purported location of Global Standard Bank, from their web site.
(Deleted on Global Standard Bank site. Backup copy follows)
)

(Google Image search WIN. Global Standard Bank FAIL.)
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July 11, 2011, 11:50:32 PM
 #25

More fake images.


Image of Florida Community Bank at Ave Maria from the carpentry firm that built it.


Purported "Bank Offices - Global Standard Bank begins global operations July 2011"
From Global Standard Bank's Flickr page.
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July 12, 2011, 04:04:04 AM
 #26

The "press release" at http://www.free-press-release.com/news-global-standard-bank-the-first-bitcoin-bank-aims-to-bring-bitcoin-to-a-mainstream-audience-1309877530.html mentions Brenda Sufer as a contact person. Apparently that's the name of a real estate agent based in Montreal, wonder if there's any connection?

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Herodes
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July 12, 2011, 04:13:32 AM
 #27

They have this nice statment on their pages as well:

Quote
About $130 USD of Bitcoins are currently in circulation and, due to it's increasing popularity, the value has risen more than 6,000 percent this year alone.

Emphasis is mine.

http://globalstandardbank.com/Global_Standard/What_is_Bitcoin.html
ctoon6
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July 12, 2011, 04:41:58 AM
 #28

http://www.mywot.com/en/scorecard/globalstandardbank.com If they are US based, i think it would be fairly easy to steal their domain as well.

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July 12, 2011, 05:45:37 AM
 #29

They must be reading this forum. They quickly deleted their faked image of their building after it was shown to be fake.
But there are backup copies. 
imperi
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July 12, 2011, 05:47:03 AM
 #30

I think they gave up on the Wikipedia front. It could be disastrous if one of the major Bitcoin portals links to them... boy that would generate some negative publicity.

People like them are messing up the image of Bitcoin, and possibly scamming people. It makes me kind of upset actually.
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July 12, 2011, 08:56:26 AM
 #31

Great sleuthing guys, we'll mention this in tomorrows show - I'll also reach out to them for an interview on the show to let them answer some of these questions, anybody find an email/phone that looks like it goes somewhere beyond a strawman?

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July 12, 2011, 09:10:04 AM
 #32

Great sleuthing guys, we'll mention this in tomorrows show - I'll also reach out to them for an interview on the show to let them answer some of these questions, anybody find an email/phone that looks like it goes somewhere beyond a strawman?

I emailed Gary (http://who.godaddy.com/whois.aspx?domain=globalstandardbank.com&prog_id=GoDaddy)
No reply, my guess is that he is not actually the owner, and that the scammers have just hijacked his email to throw people off the trail. The reason I think that is his design pages all look abandoned (several years out of date), and they very very different in style and construction from this scam site.

Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex and more violent. It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction.
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July 12, 2011, 12:59:32 PM
 #33

The owner made a statement.

From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Global_Standard_Bank

Quote
Lets be fair

We admire the passion shared within the Bitcoin community both on Wikipedia and on the Bitcoin Forum. However, it is unfair and premature to start calling Global Standard Bank a scam or fraud, when we just started (last Week) and there has not been any negative experiences reported among our customers. We are very sorry that some of you do not like our website or the program used to build the site, but we are not web designers, we are a small group of professionals with varied backgrounds from banking and sales to law and administration. That being said, we appreciate your comments and where possible we will use your input to improve our site. Again, as we are brand new, there will no doubt be growing pains in our company and with our site.
Many of the photos on our site are stock images, which we will be slowly replacing as we develop our business. Pictures that may have offended users, or found to be misleading have been removed, and are only a projection of where we plan to take our company. At no point did we ever state that they were pictures of our offices, but given the possible conclusion that they are anything more that marketing material - they have been removed as well.
Our Montreal office is located as described on our website, which we share with several other notable companies and national brands. You are each welcome to visit us at our offices at anytime during business hours, but due to the high security nature of our business, we accept visitors by appointment only. Please call our office, and we will be pleased to meet with you.
We are a dually registered Canadian Federal Corporation, which until our launch, we operated as a numbered company to maintain the secrecy of our project until ready for public disclosure. You are welcome to visit the Industry Canada and Quebec websites to verify this but, if you have lived in Canada or especially Quebec, you will know that such postings do not appear immediately - sometimes a week or two. If you don't see our listing, please check back again.
We meant no disrespect to members of the Bitcoin Forum, for not posting or replying to posts regarding Global Standard Bank. We are not members of the forum, which means that we cannot post, except in the newbie section which is of little help today when all the posts were made about us. Also, members of the Bitcoin Forum are by large not our market. Our goal is to bring Bitcoin to a larger audience, out of the forums and bring it into everyday life as a common currency. Most users within the forums use exchanges like Mt. Gox or Tradehill, and would never use our type services which are geared towards retail customers; and they have significant technical savvy to properly secure their Bitcoins against hackers. Just as some investors with technical knowledge of the Forex market, buy and sell currencies directly from brokerages and others with average knowledge or less, deal with their local bank for conversion. We are not in competition with any of the exchanges, we are in, or developing a retail market for Bitcoin.
Social networking sites are an important component to our online marketing, and we would never "unfriend" anyone without cause, and if this did happen, it was either by mistake or due to a technical problem, and we are sorry if we offended anyone in this regard.
So, in the sprit of fair play, why don't you see what happens with Global Standard over the next few months and years before starting to give us serious names like Fraud or Scam. We accept the challenge to run our business in a manner that brings credit to Bitcoin and the community as a whole. Once again, thank you for your input and critical eye which has only caused us to improve our website and business. Should you have any questions or concerns please give us a call or email me directly.
Highest regards,
James Moore Global Standard Bank jim@globalstandardbank.com
p.s. The user bitcoineer is unknown to us, and is not connected with Global Standard Bank. We thank you for the thought of including us into Wikipedia, even if it is a little early to be here. jm — Preceding unsigned comment added by Global Standard (talk • contribs) 07:47, 12 July 2011 (UTC)
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July 12, 2011, 02:30:14 PM
 #34

Wait,
so the "owner" is disowning the guy who has been leading the wikipedia charge for them?

I'll reach out to jim@globalstandardbank.com and see where it gets us.  It a pretty amusing justification for the office pictures "Well we didn't know anyone would actually think these were pictures of where we are... why would anyone think that?" 

Honestly though, if they wanted to participate in the community you're stuck in the newbie zone for the first 5 posts, and for professional groups that represent outside interests I believe that requirement is waived with a simple request, right?

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ctoon6
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July 12, 2011, 02:32:29 PM
 #35

it only takes like 30 min to get 5 posts.

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July 12, 2011, 03:09:31 PM
 #36

OK folks,
Got an interview request out to them, any specific questions you want to have answered?  If so, post 'em up ASAP.

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ctoon6
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July 12, 2011, 03:10:50 PM
 #37

why did they fake the images.
do they have proof they are backed up by anything

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July 12, 2011, 03:41:15 PM
 #38

Question:

1. How do you expect to be a trusted bank when you start your business in an unethical way? Ie. fake images, lies (claiming to not knowing about the wikipedia article).
2. Why is the web site registrated in the name of a web-designer and not your company? (Apparently this web designer does not answer e-mail according to this thread)
3. How will you go about proving that you can really guarantee 5000 BTC worth for every account?

If you're in fact legit, I wish you the best of luck, if you're not, you could crash and burn.
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July 12, 2011, 04:44:31 PM
 #39

Looks like they're willing to talk, but prefer indirect text.   If we get boilerplate/evasive responses I will request a follow up via vox.

Question list so far ( no particular order, I will order them before they go out)

*Who is Brenda Sufer , and what role does she serve in your organization.

*With the stated 5000BTC per depositor guarantee (roughly 70,000USD at current value), and with the stated purpose of reaching a more mainstream market than those already "in the community", why do all the public views of your operation seem to be, frankly, cheaply faked? 
Related Issues: Given the capital required for this type of operation, why did you:
1) Use a free, no-name, no-exposure press release site
2) Use an exterior shot of another, similarly named bank with the name of the bank edited out?
3) Use an interior shot from a bank in Florida, when you claim to operate in Canada?
4) Basically set off every "This is a scam" alert you could with your website, ranging from registration by a private individual who does not seem to be related to your operation or responsive in any way, have a domain only registered for a year, etc, require lots of identification to apply but offer very little information about your own company... etc...

I think this one is a followup question depending on what kind of response we get to some of the above
*How do you expect to be a trusted bank when you start your business in an unethical way? Ie. fake images, lies (claiming to not knowing about the wikipedia article).

*How will you go about proving that you can really guarantee 5000 BTC worth for every account?

*Who are you?
*Are you licensed with any governments?  Whose regulatory authority do you fall under, if any?
*Your literature mentions you may freeze account balances when for example recieving checks through the mail, with the purpose of protecting the bank (and its depositors) - What if any other circumstances would result in you freezing customer funds?  What process/standards will you follow in resolving any such freeze?


Quote
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: James Moore <jim@globalstandardbank.com>
Date: Tue, Jul 12, 2011 at 3:55 PM
Subject: Re: Interview Request
To: Bit Talk <bittalkradio@gmail.com>


Hi Atom,

Thank you for the email. We are happy to answer any questions, or address any concerns from the community. Please send us a list of your questions, and we will gladly send you our response.

Jim

On 2011-07-12, at 10:40 AM, Bit Talk wrote:

> Hi Jim,
> we've been following the growing controversy over your project Global Standard Bank/the bitcoin community, and wanted to give you an opportunity to get out in front of this - Up for answering some questions?
>
> Let us know what time/tech works best for you.
>
> -Atom
> Host, BitTalk with Atlas & Atom

NEED MORE QUESTIONS! POST MOAR

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July 12, 2011, 06:49:12 PM
 #40

Ok, heres the first email sent

Hi James,

Lets start off with the basics here, we can get into things like project capitalization, in a subsequent email....

With the stated 5000BTC per depositor guarantee (roughly 70,000USD at current value), and with the stated purpose of reaching a more mainstream market than those already "in the community", why do all the public views of your operation seem to be, frankly, cheaply faked?

Specifically, why did you
1) Use a free, no-name, no-exposure press release site

2) Use an exterior shot of another, similarly named bank with the name of the bank edited out?

3) Use an interior shot from a different bank in Florida, when you claim to operate in Canada?

4) Basically set off every "This is a scam" alert you could with your website, ranging from registration by a designer, rather than your corp. who does not seem to be related to your operation or responsive in any way, have a domain only registered for a year, etc, require lots of identification to apply but offer very little information about your own company... etc...

5) Deny affiliation with the Wikipedia poster, when it seems nobody not involved with your operation even knew you existed until the wikipedia edits showed up?  Are you standing by your statement that none of your business associates either officially or of their own volition modified you into the Bitcoin wikipedia article?

And some more background....

Who are you?
What is your goal?
How long have you personally worked with Bitcoins?  How did you get your start?
What is your background?
How large is your company?
How long have you been in business?
Do you have any references?
Do you have any investors from the community who are familiar with your project?
If not, what are your investors backgrounds and goals with this project?

I think that a real bitcoin bank is needed, and I think the model you're putting forward makes a bunch of sense, but at the same time the way the bank has chosen to enter the market has not given you much credibility, we look forward to your responses.  You're also not the first bitcoin bank, FlexCoin launched last month, and it appears you launched on July 5  Will you be keeping that branding?


-Atom
Host, BitTalk with Atlas & Atom

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