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Author Topic: Global Standard Bank - the first Bitcoin bank?  (Read 10011 times)
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July 13, 2011, 10:17:35 PM
 #41

Response:

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

Hi Atom,

Thank you for the opportunity of answering your questions and responding to your concerns. I am following the format herein so as not to miss any of the points you have touched on.


>
> 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?

It is our view that "cheaply faked" is a matter of opinon, and while there have been several comments like this from members of the Bitcoin Forum, the overall response to our website has been very positive.  Some have said that our website looks great, and others have compared it to established Bitcoin sites which have put little effort into design. Also, when we learned that another bank offering was launching on June 30th, we decided to fast track our launch in effort not to lose market share.

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

We used free-press release and other readily available marketing tools like social networking sites because we had decided on a soft launch as a form of beta testing. We can make all the predictions in the world, but there is no substitute for real world marketing and actual clients.
>
> 2) Use an exterior shot of another, similarly named bank with the name of the bank edited out?

Yes we did have a picture of a random building with a similar name and logo to ours in our original pages. This photo, and the artwork contained within were part of a mock up we made of our site prior to launch, and projects an image of where we would like to take the bank in the future. Just as you have modified photos on your own website to include the Bitcoin logo, it is simply a marketing image.  At no point did we say that it was our building, nor did the building have the name of our bank or our logo. Due to the change in timetable we decided to leave them in temporarily, but as you are aware they have been since replaced with actual photos of our office.
>
> 3) Use an interior shot from a different bank in Florida, when you claim to operate in Canada?

The photo you are referring to did not appear on our website, but on our flickr page, along with many random photos of everything from world flags to television images. We did not modify any of the photos in any way, but merely added a tag line "First Global Bank begins operations July 2011" This was done as a marketing effort to draw attention to the bank, which it has. As this has offended some people the photos have been removed.

>
> 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...

One would think Scam Alert, would be when someone is actually scammed, and not when people do not like your site design and use of images. Our site was registered by Gary, whom  de facto, is our webmaster. Although he did not design the site himself, he takes care of technical aspects of it. I cannot answer for him as to why he did not respond to an email enquiry, but I can suppose that perhaps he did not want to enter into any controversy or create any conflict between his client, and the public. It seems odd to me that someone with questions would email Gary in the first place, instead of contacting us directly. We have several of our e-mail addresses listed on our site, as well as our address, and telephone numbers, and nothing to hide. As to why our domain is only registered for a year - I have no idea, but I imagine that it is no different than annual renewals of everything from insurance to corporations.

Our requirement for identification is only in keeping with FINTRAC (Financial Transactions and Report Analysis Centre of Canada) requirements. Other than proprietary information, we are transparent in our operations, such as providing our office address, phone number, and how it works. The mechanism for our accounts, the legal aspects and our policies can all be found on our website. We make no claims of paying interest, or fail to explain how this is accomplished.

>
> 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?

I cannot speak to what people may do of their on volition, but officially we did not make a page on Wikipedia. In fact I discovered the Wikipedia article when searching Yahoo.com to see if our website had made it to their listing. As to wether it was posted by a member of our staff is unknown to us at this time. However, your question about Wikipedia is somewhat a moot point, as the denial of knowing this person is not that we disassociate ourselves but to make a point that the "owner" of our company was not engaged in any edit war with anyone. This is the fact, and of course we stand by it.
>
> And some more background....
>
> Who are you?

I am the VP of Marketing and Client Services at Global Standard.
>
> What is your goal?

Our goal at Global Standard is to add value to the community and our business by being a responsible corporate citizen, taking excellent care of our customers, and providing positive returns for our stakeholders. My personal goal is to to the very best job I can.

> How long have you personally worked with Bitcoins?  How did you get your start?

I had never heard of Bitcoin before coming to work at Global Standard, but I am now converted, and see the huge potential of the project and the possible global impact of the currency. I am proud to be part of the Bitcoin revolution.

> What is your background?

My personal background is traditional banking, where I was recruited to Global Standard after 10 years with a Major Canadian bank. My background is not different from many of us at Global Standard that come from traditional bricks and mortar professions. To my knowledge, none of us have been involved in online business start-ups like Global Standard, with the exception of a couple of engineers that are working with us that may have had some experience in this regard.

> How large is your company?

Because we are entering into a new market, and we face the potential of stiff competition in the near future - our actual number of employees is confidential information, but of the publicly visible personnel we have is 5 in Montreal and 3 in Toronto, and a myriad of others on a contractual basis, providing everything from IT support to marketing and design.



> How long have you been in business?

We have been in business since 2010 and operated as a Canadian Numbered Corporation, until July 5 2011 when we launched our website.


> Do you have any references?

Are you offering me a job?  

> Do you have any investors from the community who are familiar with your project?

No, all of our investors are from outside the Bitcoin community.

> If not, what are your investors backgrounds and goals with this project?

The background of our investors is business, financial services, investments and sales, I cannot speak to the personal goals of individual investors, but I am sure they share the same goal as that of the company, which is to create value.
>
> 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?

They say the proof is in the pudding, and as such I am confident that the Bank will build creditability over time. We have made significant investment in our project and intend to be here for the long haul, and not for immediate gains. As for not being the first Bitcoin bank, that remains to be seen. By the looks of it, FlexCoin seems more like a e-wallet and mining pool than a bank, and the details of how it all works appear ambiguous. We wish them well because we can not imagine a world with only one Bitcoin bank since we firmly believe in its' huge potential.

At Global Standard our initial offerings are only a taste of what we have planned. Within the near future, we plan on introducing other financial products and services that mirror that of traditional banking.

Thanks again for your questions, we look forward to hearing your show.

Best Regards
Jim


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July 13, 2011, 10:36:16 PM
 #42

The last answer about introducing services that mirror traditional banking made me laugh, atleast for a few seconds.

We are trying to move away from traditional offerings which would surely involve traditional fees.

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July 13, 2011, 10:46:45 PM
 #43

Shouldn't the thread title be changed, at least until we have more than a suspicion ?

(I dont always get new reply notifications, pls send a pm when you think it has happened)

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July 13, 2011, 10:51:44 PM
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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?
That is correct.

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July 13, 2011, 11:20:25 PM
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Shouldn't the thread title be changed, at least until we have more than a suspicion ?

I already changed it once per request here, and I'm not a moderator, I don't feel like changing things back and forth. I'm not here to work.'

edit:

fine
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July 14, 2011, 02:30:02 AM
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I don't know about you guys but a few lines of text don't make me trust. but i guess that's up to you guys, and what you do with your bitcoins.

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July 14, 2011, 03:32:15 AM
 #47

Some standard due-diligence questions:

  • What is the actual name of your corporation, and in what jurisdiction is it incorporated?
  • What is your D-U-N-S number, for your Dun and Bradstreet rating?
  • "Global Standard Bank" is not listed with Canadian federal corporation search or Quebec corporation search.  Explain.
  • Are your employees bonded? If so, who is your bonding company?
  • Do you carry errors and omissions coverage? If so, who is your carrier?
  • Has any executive employee of your company ever been convicted of a criminal offense?
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July 14, 2011, 03:39:38 AM
 #48

Some standard due-diligence questions:

  • "Global Standard Bank" is not listed with Canadian federal corporation search or Quebec corporation search.  Explain.

I think he said it's registred just as a number to have a soft start

(I dont always get new reply notifications, pls send a pm when you think it has happened)

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July 14, 2011, 05:14:25 AM
 #49

Some standard due-diligence questions:

  • What is the actual name of your corporation, and in what jurisdiction is it incorporated?
  • What is your D-U-N-S number, for your Dun and Bradstreet rating?
  • "Global Standard Bank" is not listed with Canadian federal corporation search or Quebec corporation search.  Explain.
  • Are your employees bonded? If so, who is your bonding company?
  • Do you carry errors and omissions coverage? If so, who is your carrier?
  • Has any executive employee of your company ever been convicted of a criminal offense?

Good start - anyone else have additional questions?

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July 14, 2011, 07:47:25 PM
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Some standard due-diligence questions:

  • What is the actual name of your corporation, and in what jurisdiction is it incorporated?
  • What is your D-U-N-S number, for your Dun and Bradstreet rating?
  • "Global Standard Bank" is not listed with Canadian federal corporation search or Quebec corporation search.  Explain.
  • Are your employees bonded? If so, who is your bonding company?
  • Do you carry errors and omissions coverage? If so, who is your carrier?
  • Has any executive employee of your company ever been convicted of a criminal offense?

Good start - anyone else have additional questions?

Relating to these 2 points listed above:
  • What is the actual name of your corporation, and in what jurisdiction is it incorporated?
  • "Global Standard Bank" is not listed with Canadian federal corporation search or Quebec corporation search.  Explain.

Why is the word 'bank' in your company name? (And have you really been granted a registered trademark on it? Or is that more of your 'mock-up').

Here is why I'm asking: From http://corporations.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/cd-dgc.nsf/eng/cs01191.html:
Quote
"Your corporate name cannot suggest, for example, that you are a branch of the government or that you offer services or products governed by financial legislation, such as trusts, loans, insurance and banking. "
Emphasis mine.

Here it is again slightly more detailed:
http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/cd-dgc.nsf/eng/cs01797.html#connoting
Quote
A corporate name containing any of the following words is likely to be rejected unless the words are used in such a way that it is clear that the proposed corporation will not be a financial intermediary nor a bank: (Regulation 22)

    annuity, assurance, assurances
   bank, banc, bancorp, banco, bankco, banker, banking
    casualty, fiduciare, fiduciary, fiducie
    guaranty, indemnity, life, loan, loanco
    mortgage, insurance (unless used with the words "agency, agent, broker, service")
    pret, savings, surety
    trust, trustco, warranty

If you are an actual bank, you will be listed by The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions Canada (OSFI) http://www.osfi.gc.ca/WWWapps/lists/eng.asp?s=1&g=1&i= (but your not).


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July 15, 2011, 05:43:35 PM
 #51

Notice the lack of replies from "Global Standard Bank" to basic due diligence questions, questions where the accuracy of the response can be checked.

The previous questions about faked pictures were answered by hand-waving.  That's not good enough for an organization which claims to be "a new truly global bank for a new global world".

This appears to be a scam operation until proven otherwise.
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July 15, 2011, 11:46:32 PM
 #52

Notice the lack of replies from "Global Standard Bank" to basic due diligence questions, questions where the accuracy of the response can be checked.

The previous questions about faked pictures were answered by hand-waving.  That's not good enough for an organization which claims to be "a new truly global bank for a new global world".

This appears to be a scam operation until proven otherwise.

Nobody has reported being scammed yet, and they are at least (now) making an effort towards legitimacy, so I don't want to be too harsh on them. However, I agree that they have been misleading which I take very seriously from a business. Bitcoin has a very vulnerable economy right now and I don't want to see it tarnished.
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July 16, 2011, 02:11:20 AM
 #53

Notice the lack of replies from "Global Standard Bank" to basic due diligence questions, questions where the accuracy of the response can be checked.

The previous questions about faked pictures were answered by hand-waving.  That's not good enough for an organization which claims to be "a new truly global bank for a new global world".

This appears to be a scam operation until proven otherwise.


Having worked at several startups, his explanations make sense. That stuff (soft launches as betas, mockups making it into production, etc) *does* happen.

That said, I absolutely want answers to the additional due-diligence questions you laid out above.

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July 16, 2011, 03:32:52 AM
 #54

 
https://www.globalstandardbank.com/

ROFL nice bank  Roll Eyes

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July 16, 2011, 04:52:39 AM
 #55

Right. They don't have a valid SSL cert.  They're using the default cert for Bluehost.  Which, among other things, means they fail Payment Card Interface standards and can't accept credit cards.

They don't even have a dedicated IP address, let alone a dedicated server. They're on shared hosting with a shared IP address.  Forward DNS for "globalstandardbank.com" returns "box761.bluehost.com [66.147.244.61]".  DomainTools says that 1,294 web sites use that IP address.  That looks like the Bluehost $4.95 per month entry level hosting package. ("From the business owner to the individual who desires full functionality on a small budget, Bluehost provides your complete web hosting solution.") There's nothing wrong with running a minor web site on Bluehost, but a bank? Those guys claim to be opening accounts and accepting deposits.

I don't know whether to laugh or cry. This is pathetic.
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July 18, 2011, 06:33:49 PM
 #56

Global Standard Bank was just deleted from Wikipedia by a vote of 7 to 0.
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July 22, 2011, 02:52:06 AM
 #57

Anyone else get a PM from a user who says he sold some BTC to them?

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