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Author Topic: The Bytecoin Scam - A Continuation  (Read 853 times)
BDRatings
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June 21, 2018, 01:33:41 PM
Merited by smooth (10), jwinterm (7), owlcatz (5), suchmoon (4), Hueristic (1)
 #1

Claim
Bytecoin is run by a highly disingenuous team, whose goal is most probably to maximize own gains by tricking people like you to buy the BCN token. Bytecoin can be classified as scam, not in the liberal interpretation often thrown around here, but in the classical sense.

Who am I and why am I investigating Bytecoin?
I am a fellow cryptocurrency enthusiast who in late 2017, early 2018 decided to start up a free cryptocurrency ratings agency, BD Ratings, to compete with Weiss Ratings (I guess you remember their entrance in the space). The coin selection process is random, drawn from Bitcoin block nounces. When finally block # 511650 hit, the two last digits of the nounce 207761428 selected the coin that by marketcap was number 29 on coinmarketcap.com. By that time, that happened to be Bytecoin. So this is not a targeted hit piece; I dived in to Bytecoin with an open mind just as I had done with other coins prior to this rating. I profit absolutely nothing by bashing Bytecoin. Neither do I profit anything from potential increased traffic to my coin ratings.

My membership status on bitcointalk.org is Newbie, so I can't provide pictures in this thread right now. I do however keep a number of printscreens as proof should they be required later. And finally, I decided to post this as a new thread because of the relatively low traction it has gotten elsewhere. No cryptocurrency newspaper I contacted has shown an interest in the findings. With this thread, I hope to change that as the proof of wrongdoing is massive. The inconsistencies are provided in separate "issues", all independent of each other. This means that the Bytecoin team ought to refute every single issue, and not come with a sweeping rebuttal. Let's hold them accountable.

What these claims does not include
In 2014, rethink-your-strategy turned the spotlight to multiple serious discrepancies in the official Bytecoin issuance story. The Bytecoin team's claim of a chain stretching back to 2012 seemed suddenly dubious. Read up on that historical thread (https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=740112.0) as well if you like, it is one of the best out there. My investigation starts where that thread ended. The main overlapping issue seems to be the evidence provided of the use of sockpuppets, but other than that I provide new findings.

Intro
Bytecoin was announced on the 12th of March 2014 by user DStrange on bitcointalk.org (BCT). The coin was based on the new, privacy focused CryptoNote technology, thus using the memory-bound CryptoNight consensus algorithm that was quite resistant to ASIC’s back then. DStrange was not a developer; he appears to have stumbled upon Bytecoin when trying to mine a useless Bitcoin clone with the same name. He quickly put on the Bytecoin cloak and started handing out free coins.

Issue I: Early sockpuppets

(Note: for links and proof references, go to the Medium articles provided at the end of this post)

First to reply to DStrange’s post was user Lamalicious, hailing the project as looking like Satoshi’s second venture. Lamalicious registered on BCT on the 23rd of December 2013, the exact same date as DStrange. Another early poster in the thread, EndlessWin, also registered on the 23rd. Another user, Rias, appeared in the Bytecoin thread and showed great interest in the project. Rias wrote his first post on BCT on 20th of Jan 2014. So did the user Danni. DStrange first wrote something on BCT on the 21st of Jan 2014. EndlessWin created his first post on the 21st as well. Lamalicious created his first BCT post on the 22nd of Jan 2014, as did user Hexah. Cheesus first posted on BCT on the 23rd. Hexah, Cheesus and Danni registered their accounts with minutes apart.

And this is where it gets stranger. From the 5th of February to the 5th of March that year, all seven of these users go completely dark. Just before the 5th of February, and just after the 5th of March, two weird things happened as well. All seven are posting on the BCT “Beginners & Help” section, welcoming newcomers. DStrange even welcomes Rias in person. Danni interacts with DStrange in another thread about favorite movies. In one thread, Rias welcomes one person two separate times, probably forgetting to switch logged in account. Hexah is in that same thread saying hello as well. Note that this is one week before DStrange gets the Bytecoin announcement thread going, so they are not supposed to have met yet.

The second weird thing is that the seven supposedly independent users all show an interest in Putin and the invasion of Ukraine that occurred by this time. So to spell it out clearly, seven users that started writing on BCT at more or less the exact same time (many of which registered on the same day even), went dormant for one month, activated at the exact same time to post in the welcome-section of BCT as well as about the Crimea conflict, to finally rally under the Bytecoin flag later that March. rethink-your-strategy also started mapping this, but not to the full extent as he focused on other issues.

A couple of pages in, on 11th of April and onward, user Keeminakar ignites the rumor that Satoshi is involved with Bytecoin. FasterStronger joins the discussion, praising the coin. MadridReal perpetuates the Satoshi rumor. Qwerty777, and Agent99 add to the discussion as well. They are all registered on the dates 20th, 21st or 22nd of March 2014. They are all likely Russian/Ukrainian (notice the use of Russian emoticons where semicolon is omitted due to standard keyboard layout/preferences, as well as the interest in Russian translations, talk of Russian relatives etc.). All five of these users stop posting altogether on the 14th, 15th and 28th of September 2014. Then they are dormant for almost 4 years, when out of nowhere, four of them start posting again in February 2018, seemingly sold to new owners considering the change of writing style.

In June that same year, rethink-your-strategy starts uncovering discrepancies in the CryptoNote web page and whitepaper. He quickly also confirms that a certain BCT user that performed detailed blockchain analysis on the Bytecoin chain to prove its legitimacy, was actually a bought account. This is when more sockpuppets come forward to defend Bytecoin. madzooka is the first one, and a quick user analysis reveals a common pattern. madzooka’s earlier posts complain about missing some Bitcoin meet-up in Cleveland, USA. He also writes that he is interested in a certain California meet-up. What is evident is that English is not his first language, and a few posts later — there they are — the Russian emoticons. He also discussed the Ukrainian crisis prior to Bytecoin involvement, and he wrote in the newbie section of BCT, exactly according to pattern. User DNScode repeats the operation; defending Bytecoin against rethink-your-strategy’s accusations, while having earlier written in the newbie section, discussed the Ukraine conflict, and lastly used Russian emoticons. His account was registered on the 19th of March 2014, just in line with the other sockpuppets created on the 20th, 21st and 22nd. greenteanosugar chimes in. This user is registered 19th of March, then goes silent on 15th of September like most of the others. GreedyBoy, registered on the 20th of March, fiercely defends Bytecoin short thereafter. He gives away his background by Russian emoticons, the goes dark September 13th 2014 before re-appearing 4 years later with what seems to be a new account owner. Other probable sockpuppets are AtomicDoge, werrindor, David1978, Rockefeller, Meggie, JJKirsch, Monkeyseemonkeydo, TonyZX, Stanford, jolipenria, JPSelzer.

Issue II: Jenny Goldberg
On the 25th of July 2017, new BCT user BCN_official announces that she, Jenny Goldberg, is the new Bytecoin community manager. She confirms that old Bytecoin developers are still involved with the project, and that there is a strong roadmap going forward. From that point in time, she has been extremely active on the Bytecoin Reddit, Twitter and BCT. The problem here is, to no ones surprise, that Jenny Goldberg uses Russian emoticons (https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=512747.msg21724861#msg21724861). It is not evidence of connection to the 2014 sockpuppets, but it sure as hell must be uncommon to be named Jenny Goldberg as a Russian. And Jenny is listed on the official bytecoin.org webpage.

What may be the only published audio recording of a Bytecoin team member, this Youtube video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RqLWFcSUlwo) confirms a few things earlier suspected. English is not Jenny’s native language, listen for yourself. The sound also indicates that some kind of voice changer was applied.

Applying Jenny’s twitter account to the Twitter Archiving Project data capture yields the following result:

"translator_type":"none","protected":false,"verified":false,"followers_count":123,"friends_count":47,"listed_count":1,"favourites_count":0,"statuses_count":6,"created_at":"Tue Apr 10 09:28:22 +0000 2018","utc_offset":null,"time_zone":null,"geo_enabled":false,"lang":"ru"

The last word proves that Jenny used a computer with Russian language settings while setting up her account, or that she has such language settings right now. I verified the validity of this method by checking multiple Swedish Twitter accounts and they all yielded “lang”: “sv”.

Jenny Goldberg claims as you may know to reside in or around Barcelona. It came as no surprise then when I found a Barcelona crypto meetup group where the Bytecoin logo is utilized and where a Jenny G is admin. The group with its 175 members have 1 past meetup with 57 attendees. Looking at a couple of comments for this meetup, we find:

It is possible that anyone doesn’t know the location? It is a fake meetup?! I already asked on telegram and I received no answer! What a pity! - Theresa T

60 ppl confirmed and no one apart from us is asking about the location :/ so strange.. Idk maybe the info is somewhere else, in Telegram for example? I don't have an account so haven't check it. Anyway, given the circumstances I won't go >.< - Mariona

The meetup shows indeed no location at all. Wanting to double check, I contacted another confirmed attendee by mail. His answer: Hello, I believe it did not happen. I was waiting for the location to be announced but it never was, and people complained about it on the Meetup Comments.


Issue III: AssetRush
Jenny is the Bytecoin community manager as well as CCO of AssetRush (https://assetrush.com/), a new venture mainly providing token promotion services. When skimming their webpage, you will notice that they seem to have 7 team members, Jenny included. Just a little more than a month ago, I posted the following reply on BCT (https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=740112.msg34881099#msg34881099). You will notice an investigation of the AssetRush team started back then, and interestingly, the full team numbered closer to 20 — all with different pictures of the same distinct photo style. This means most of the team members have been taken off the webpage since then. Only 5 of the now 7 team members were on the earlier team.

What proof is there to this claim of almost 20 team members? You can see in the BCT post that I link to Twitter users no longer found on the AssetRush team list. Other BCT users reply to that post after also reviewing the team webpage, acting as verification that all those disappearing team members were in fact on the AssetRush webpage earlier. It is still possible to manually look at all earlier team members since the webpage still hosts their pictures in the background. Just change the number in this link string and you will see at least 16 different team members (I saved all pictures): https://assetrush.com/img/teamFaces_6.png

Out of the 20 or so people, only 4 had Twitter accounts. They were all created between 4–12 April 2018. Twitter is quite common these days, so one might wonder why not a single person out of a qualified team of 20 had a personal twitter account prior to their AssetRush venture. Twitter seems to archive some user stats, including creation dates, so by this method, 4–12th April was confirmed. Hovering over users’ profiles shows creation date as well.

Back in April, I continued the investigation of AssetRush team members by checking their LinkedIn profiles, which only 5 of them had. Jenny has the oldest LinkedIn account it seems. Her feed activity started in July 2017. This is in line with the birth of the BCN_official Reddit user as well as the re-activation of the then dormant bytecoin_bcn Twitter account. CEO David Booker’s first activity was two months ago so we can assume he joined LinkedIn then. Yet he has over a 1000 followers — something many active networkers out there fail to achieve. He is also using Russian emoticons, which seems weird for someone with that name. David Petrachini’s feed activity started two months ago as well. Yet he had over 1300 followers. The account is now even terminated, possibly because I pointed these discrepancies out in April. David’s Twitter account is still active, but unfollowed Russian news outlets immediately after I pointed this fact out. Martina Sarto’s feed started a few weeks after David’s. She had 658 followers last time I checked. Now her account is terminated. Jenn Bruney seemed to have joined LinkedIn just after Martina but still managed to get 726 followers before terminating her account. These high amounts of followers obtained so quickly are obviously bought, and any LinkedIn veteran can confirm that. The account shut-downs are probably part of some cover-up of the whole Bytecoin/AssetRush mess. It must be a loss for them as the administration of all accounts, and the work put down to make them look and seem normal, is lost.  David, Martina and Jenn all tweeted in a way that confirmed my suspicion that English is not at all their native language.

Try the links yourself:
https://www.linkedin.com/in/david-petrachini/
https://www.linkedin.com/in/martina-sarto/
https://www.linkedin.com/in/jenn-bruney/
https://www.linkedin.com/in/jennygoldberg/
https://www.linkedin.com/in/booker-david/


Questions that demand answers:
  • How does the Bytecoin team explain all the sockpuppets present in the BCT ANN thread, many tied even to the OP DStrange? You have never addressed this issue since I mapped all of them.
  • Can Jenny once and for all admit that 'Jenny Goldberg' is a pseudonym, now when we see through the massive maskirovka undertakings taken on Twitter, LinkedIn, meetup.com etc.?
  • Can Jenny elaborate on the Bytecoin meetup in Barcelona and why it seems to have been faked?
  • Can Jenny once and for all come clear with the purpose of AssetRush, why she faked all those team members, and if the Bytecoin team is involved in that as well?

What can you do?
If you sit on relevant information about Bytecoin and AssetRush not brought up in this thread, please post it here. If the information is sensitive due to anonymity preferences, you may contact me at bdratings@protonmail.com and I will respect your wish to privacy.

If you have contacts in relevant media outlets, please forward this information. I am certain the story is good enough to drive traffic.


Endnote
Most of the above claims are laid out in two of my previous articles. For detailed proof with links and other references, go to them.
https://medium.com/@bdratings/bytecoin-puppets-among-us-7381db79c468
https://medium.com/@bdratings/an-update-on-the-bytecoin-farce-3ae34ce45ba8

,or check the very end of this thread: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=740112.msg34853259#msg34853259
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jwinterm
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June 22, 2018, 01:35:35 PM
 #2

Nice work. Just FYI, if you didn't know "Jenny" controls the /u/BCN_Official account on Reddit as well.
keyrun
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June 22, 2018, 01:38:33 PM
 #3

Bytecoin has a suspicious start, operation, it was nearly dead before again rejuvenating.
Though a large supply limits how much people can manipulate it, still I believe the developer have a huge portion to play with.

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charlotte04
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June 22, 2018, 02:02:59 PM
 #4

Claim
Bytecoin is run by a highly disingenuous team, whose goal is most probably to maximize own gains by tricking people like you to buy the BCN token. Bytecoin can be classified as scam, not in the liberal interpretation often thrown around here, but in the classical sense.

Who am I and why am I investigating Bytecoin?
I am a fellow cryptocurrency enthusiast who in late 2017, early 2018 decided to start up a free cryptocurrency ratings agency, BD Ratings, to compete with Weiss Ratings (I guess you remember their entrance in the space). The coin selection process is random, drawn from Bitcoin block nounces. When finally block # 511650 hit, the two last digits of the nounce 207761428 selected the coin that by marketcap was number 29 on coinmarketcap.com. By that time, that happened to be Bytecoin. So this is not a targeted hit piece; I dived in to Bytecoin with an open mind just as I had done with other coins prior to this rating. I profit absolutely nothing by bashing Bytecoin. Neither do I profit anything from potential increased traffic to my coin ratings.

My membership status on bitcointalk.org is Newbie, so I can't provide pictures in this thread right now. I do however keep a number of printscreens as proof should they be required later. And finally, I decided to post this as a new thread because of the relatively low traction it has gotten elsewhere. No cryptocurrency newspaper I contacted has shown an interest in the findings. With this thread, I hope to change that as the proof of wrongdoing is massive. The inconsistencies are provided in separate "issues", all independent of each other. This means that the Bytecoin team ought to refute every single issue, and not come with a sweeping rebuttal. Let's hold them accountable.

What these claims does not include
In 2014, rethink-your-strategy turned the spotlight to multiple serious discrepancies in the official Bytecoin issuance story. The Bytecoin team's claim of a chain stretching back to 2012 seemed suddenly dubious. Read up on that historical thread (https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=740112.0) as well if you like, it is one of the best out there. My investigation starts where that thread ended. The main overlapping issue seems to be the evidence provided of the use of sockpuppets, but other than that I provide new findings.

Intro
Bytecoin was announced on the 12th of March 2014 by user DStrange on bitcointalk.org (BCT). The coin was based on the new, privacy focused CryptoNote technology, thus using the memory-bound CryptoNight consensus algorithm that was quite resistant to ASIC’s back then. DStrange was not a developer; he appears to have stumbled upon Bytecoin when trying to mine a useless Bitcoin clone with the same name. He quickly put on the Bytecoin cloak and started handing out free coins.

Issue I: Early sockpuppets

(Note: for links and proof references, go to the Medium articles provided at the end of this post)

First to reply to DStrange’s post was user Lamalicious, hailing the project as looking like Satoshi’s second venture. Lamalicious registered on BCT on the 23rd of December 2013, the exact same date as DStrange. Another early poster in the thread, EndlessWin, also registered on the 23rd. Another user, Rias, appeared in the Bytecoin thread and showed great interest in the project. Rias wrote his first post on BCT on 20th of Jan 2014. So did the user Danni. DStrange first wrote something on BCT on the 21st of Jan 2014. EndlessWin created his first post on the 21st as well. Lamalicious created his first BCT post on the 22nd of Jan 2014, as did user Hexah. Cheesus first posted on BCT on the 23rd. Hexah, Cheesus and Danni registered their accounts with minutes apart.

And this is where it gets stranger. From the 5th of February to the 5th of March that year, all seven of these users go completely dark. Just before the 5th of February, and just after the 5th of March, two weird things happened as well. All seven are posting on the BCT “Beginners & Help” section, welcoming newcomers. DStrange even welcomes Rias in person. Danni interacts with DStrange in another thread about favorite movies. In one thread, Rias welcomes one person two separate times, probably forgetting to switch logged in account. Hexah is in that same thread saying hello as well. Note that this is one week before DStrange gets the Bytecoin announcement thread going, so they are not supposed to have met yet.

The second weird thing is that the seven supposedly independent users all show an interest in Putin and the invasion of Ukraine that occurred by this time. So to spell it out clearly, seven users that started writing on BCT at more or less the exact same time (many of which registered on the same day even), went dormant for one month, activated at the exact same time to post in the welcome-section of BCT as well as about the Crimea conflict, to finally rally under the Bytecoin flag later that March. rethink-your-strategy also started mapping this, but not to the full extent as he focused on other issues.

A couple of pages in, on 11th of April and onward, user Keeminakar ignites the rumor that Satoshi is involved with Bytecoin. FasterStronger joins the discussion, praising the coin. MadridReal perpetuates the Satoshi rumor. Qwerty777, and Agent99 add to the discussion as well. They are all registered on the dates 20th, 21st or 22nd of March 2014. They are all likely Russian/Ukrainian (notice the use of Russian emoticons where semicolon is omitted due to standard keyboard layout/preferences, as well as the interest in Russian translations, talk of Russian relatives etc.). All five of these users stop posting altogether on the 14th, 15th and 28th of September 2014. Then they are dormant for almost 4 years, when out of nowhere, four of them start posting again in February 2018, seemingly sold to new owners considering the change of writing style.

In June that same year, rethink-your-strategy starts uncovering discrepancies in the CryptoNote web page and whitepaper. He quickly also confirms that a certain BCT user that performed detailed blockchain analysis on the Bytecoin chain to prove its legitimacy, was actually a bought account. This is when more sockpuppets come forward to defend Bytecoin. madzooka is the first one, and a quick user analysis reveals a common pattern. madzooka’s earlier posts complain about missing some Bitcoin meet-up in Cleveland, USA. He also writes that he is interested in a certain California meet-up. What is evident is that English is not his first language, and a few posts later — there they are — the Russian emoticons. He also discussed the Ukrainian crisis prior to Bytecoin involvement, and he wrote in the newbie section of BCT, exactly according to pattern. User DNScode repeats the operation; defending Bytecoin against rethink-your-strategy’s accusations, while having earlier written in the newbie section, discussed the Ukraine conflict, and lastly used Russian emoticons. His account was registered on the 19th of March 2014, just in line with the other sockpuppets created on the 20th, 21st and 22nd. greenteanosugar chimes in. This user is registered 19th of March, then goes silent on 15th of September like most of the others. GreedyBoy, registered on the 20th of March, fiercely defends Bytecoin short thereafter. He gives away his background by Russian emoticons, the goes dark September 13th 2014 before re-appearing 4 years later with what seems to be a new account owner. Other probable sockpuppets are AtomicDoge, werrindor, David1978, Rockefeller, Meggie, JJKirsch, Monkeyseemonkeydo, TonyZX, Stanford, jolipenria, JPSelzer.

Issue II: Jenny Goldberg
On the 25th of July 2017, new BCT user BCN_official announces that she, Jenny Goldberg, is the new Bytecoin community manager. She confirms that old Bytecoin developers are still involved with the project, and that there is a strong roadmap going forward. From that point in time, she has been extremely active on the Bytecoin Reddit, Twitter and BCT. The problem here is, to no ones surprise, that Jenny Goldberg uses Russian emoticons (https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=512747.msg21724861#msg21724861). It is not evidence of connection to the 2014 sockpuppets, but it sure as hell must be uncommon to be named Jenny Goldberg as a Russian. And Jenny is listed on the official bytecoin.org webpage.

What may be the only published audio recording of a Bytecoin team member, this Youtube video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RqLWFcSUlwo) confirms a few things earlier suspected. English is not Jenny’s native language, listen for yourself. The sound also indicates that some kind of voice changer was applied.

Applying Jenny’s twitter account to the Twitter Archiving Project data capture yields the following result:

"translator_type":"none","protected":false,"verified":false,"followers_count":123,"friends_count":47,"listed_count":1,"favourites_count":0,"statuses_count":6,"created_at":"Tue Apr 10 09:28:22 +0000 2018","utc_offset":null,"time_zone":null,"geo_enabled":false,"lang":"ru"

The last word proves that Jenny used a computer with Russian language settings while setting up her account, or that she has such language settings right now. I verified the validity of this method by checking multiple Swedish Twitter accounts and they all yielded “lang”: “sv”.

Jenny Goldberg claims as you may know to reside in or around Barcelona. It came as no surprise then when I found a Barcelona crypto meetup group where the Bytecoin logo is utilized and where a Jenny G is admin. The group with its 175 members have 1 past meetup with 57 attendees. Looking at a couple of comments for this meetup, we find:

It is possible that anyone doesn’t know the location? It is a fake meetup?! I already asked on telegram and I received no answer! What a pity! - Theresa T

60 ppl confirmed and no one apart from us is asking about the location :/ so strange.. Idk maybe the info is somewhere else, in Telegram for example? I don't have an account so haven't check it. Anyway, given the circumstances I won't go >.< - Mariona

The meetup shows indeed no location at all. Wanting to double check, I contacted another confirmed attendee by mail. His answer: Hello, I believe it did not happen. I was waiting for the location to be announced but it never was, and people complained about it on the Meetup Comments.


Issue III: AssetRush
Jenny is the Bytecoin community manager as well as CCO of AssetRush (https://assetrush.com/), a new venture mainly providing token promotion services. When skimming their webpage, you will notice that they seem to have 7 team members, Jenny included. Just a little more than a month ago, I posted the following reply on BCT (https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=740112.msg34881099#msg34881099). You will notice an investigation of the AssetRush team started back then, and interestingly, the full team numbered closer to 20 — all with different pictures of the same distinct photo style. This means most of the team members have been taken off the webpage since then. Only 5 of the now 7 team members were on the earlier team.

What proof is there to this claim of almost 20 team members? You can see in the BCT post that I link to Twitter users no longer found on the AssetRush team list. Other BCT users reply to that post after also reviewing the team webpage, acting as verification that all those disappearing team members were in fact on the AssetRush webpage earlier. It is still possible to manually look at all earlier team members since the webpage still hosts their pictures in the background. Just change the number in this link string and you will see at least 16 different team members (I saved all pictures): https://assetrush.com/img/teamFaces_6.png

Out of the 20 or so people, only 4 had Twitter accounts. They were all created between 4–12 April 2018. Twitter is quite common these days, so one might wonder why not a single person out of a qualified team of 20 had a personal twitter account prior to their AssetRush venture. Twitter seems to archive some user stats, including creation dates, so by this method, 4–12th April was confirmed. Hovering over users’ profiles shows creation date as well.

Back in April, I continued the investigation of AssetRush team members by checking their LinkedIn profiles, which only 5 of them had. Jenny has the oldest LinkedIn account it seems. Her feed activity started in July 2017. This is in line with the birth of the BCN_official Reddit user as well as the re-activation of the then dormant bytecoin_bcn Twitter account. CEO David Booker’s first activity was two months ago so we can assume he joined LinkedIn then. Yet he has over a 1000 followers — something many active networkers out there fail to achieve. He is also using Russian emoticons, which seems weird for someone with that name. David Petrachini’s feed activity started two months ago as well. Yet he had over 1300 followers. The account is now even terminated, possibly because I pointed these discrepancies out in April. David’s Twitter account is still active, but unfollowed Russian news outlets immediately after I pointed this fact out. Martina Sarto’s feed started a few weeks after David’s. She had 658 followers last time I checked. Now her account is terminated. Jenn Bruney seemed to have joined LinkedIn just after Martina but still managed to get 726 followers before terminating her account. These high amounts of followers obtained so quickly are obviously bought, and any LinkedIn veteran can confirm that. The account shut-downs are probably part of some cover-up of the whole Bytecoin/AssetRush mess. It must be a loss for them as the administration of all accounts, and the work put down to make them look and seem normal, is lost.  David, Martina and Jenn all tweeted in a way that confirmed my suspicion that English is not at all their native language.

Try the links yourself:
https://www.linkedin.com/in/david-petrachini/
https://www.linkedin.com/in/martina-sarto/
https://www.linkedin.com/in/jenn-bruney/
https://www.linkedin.com/in/jennygoldberg/
https://www.linkedin.com/in/booker-david/


Questions that demand answers:
  • How does the Bytecoin team explain all the sockpuppets present in the BCT ANN thread, many tied even to the OP DStrange? You have never addressed this issue since I mapped all of them.
  • Can Jenny once and for all admit that 'Jenny Goldberg' is a pseudonym, now when we see through the massive maskirovka undertakings taken on Twitter, LinkedIn, meetup.com etc.?
  • Can Jenny elaborate on the Bytecoin meetup in Barcelona and why it seems to have been faked?
  • Can Jenny once and for all come clear with the purpose of AssetRush, why she faked all those team members, and if the Bytecoin team is involved in that as well?

What can you do?
If you sit on relevant information about Bytecoin and AssetRush not brought up in this thread, please post it here. If the information is sensitive due to anonymity preferences, you may contact me at bdratings@protonmail.com and I will respect your wish to privacy.

If you have contacts in relevant media outlets, please forward this information. I am certain the story is good enough to drive traffic.


Endnote
Most of the above claims are laid out in two of my previous articles. For detailed proof with links and other references, go to them.
https://medium.com/@bdratings/bytecoin-puppets-among-us-7381db79c468
https://medium.com/@bdratings/an-update-on-the-bytecoin-farce-3ae34ce45ba8

,or check the very end of this thread: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=740112.msg34853259#msg34853259

Yep. I got also hype with that coin and I went down together with that. I honestly made that bad decision that I regretted as an investor.
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June 22, 2018, 09:23:05 PM
 #5

Nice work. Just FYI, if you didn't know "Jenny" controls the /u/BCN_Official account on Reddit as well.

Yeah, and she posted in the same thread as good old DStrange back in 2017. This means her activity overlaps with the "old team".

https://www.reddit.com/r/BytecoinBCN/comments/6sp00o/warning_bells/
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June 22, 2018, 10:04:53 PM
 #6

'Jenny', the official BCN community manager, now urges BCN supporters to report my Medium account in order to shut it down again. Also, Jenny's friend and co-worker 'David Petrachini' finally replied on Twitter. I wonder what excuse he will give for why he recently deleted his 2 month old LinkedIn profile with over 1300 contacts.

See Jenny's call to arms here: https://www.reddit.com/r/BytecoinBCN/comments/8sz6fh/lets_stop_the_fake_news/
David's tweet: https://twitter.com/DavidPetrachini/status/1010184440058966016
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June 23, 2018, 10:24:24 AM
 #7

Very interesting to observe your "ratings".

What are the coins you rate as "precious"?
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June 23, 2018, 10:34:41 AM
 #8

Very interesting to observe your "ratings".

What are the coins you rate as "precious"?

Thank you, but that is a bit off topic here. Feel free to browse my Medium blog to check the coins rated so far. BTC is rated highest out of those.
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June 23, 2018, 06:24:01 PM
 #9

I find this Ironically amusing. Smiley



[Hackernoon] Community Management: An Exclusive Interview with Jenny Goldberg

Quote
Oh, my favorite question. The best practice is to be transparent and honest with your community.

https://hackernoon.com/community-management-an-exclusive-interview-with-jenny-goldberg-f04e52b94b82?source=user_profile---------0----------------



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June 23, 2018, 07:15:06 PM
 #10

LOL... Seriously?  Roll Eyes

"My experience has shown me that you shouldn’t even try to hide something from your community. To do so creates a serious risk of losing all the support and enthusiasm that you have so painstakingly built. If your community sees that you are not a reliable person, their emotional divestment will be immediate, and their financial divestment will follow very shortly. It’s a pity that it took me a few months to realize this, but experience is often bitter."

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June 23, 2018, 07:36:40 PM
 #11

Quote
"My experience has shown me that you shouldn’t even try to hide something from your community. To do so creates a serious risk of losing all the support and enthusiasm that you have so painstakingly built. If your community sees that you are not a reliable person, their emotional divestment will be immediate, and their financial divestment will follow very shortly. It’s a pity that it took me a few months to realize this, but experience is often bitter."

Who wrote this? It's rather intelligent. He/She get's my merit.
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June 23, 2018, 09:03:15 PM
 #12

Quote
"My experience has shown me that you shouldn’t even try to hide something from your community. To do so creates a serious risk of losing all the support and enthusiasm that you have so painstakingly built. If your community sees that you are not a reliable person, their emotional divestment will be immediate, and their financial divestment will follow very shortly. It’s a pity that it took me a few months to realize this, but experience is often bitter."

Who wrote this? It's rather intelligent. He/She get's my merit.

Why, she's the head of a scam coin that does none of the above she speaks of... Roll Eyes

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July 23, 2018, 03:24:37 AM
 #13

Quote
You Can Now 51% Attack a Coin for as Little as $500

https://news.bitcoin.com/you-can-now-51-attack-a-coin-for-as-little-as-500/

Quote
Bytecoin Could Be Attacked for Just $557

I love how they singled this scam coin out. Lol

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July 23, 2018, 05:13:58 PM
Last edit: July 24, 2018, 05:54:30 PM by Mrcharles
 #14

Claim
Bytecoin is run by a highly disingenuous team, whose goal is most probably to maximize own gains by tricking people like you to buy the BCN token. Bytecoin can be classified as scam, not in the liberal interpretation often thrown around here, but in the classical sense.

Who am I and why am I investigating Bytecoin?
I am a fellow cryptocurrency enthusiast who in late 2017, early 2018 decided to start up a free cryptocurrency ratings agency, BD Ratings, to compete with Weiss Ratings (I guess you remember their entrance in the space). The coin selection process is random, drawn from Bitcoin block nounces. When finally block # 511650 hit, the two last digits of the nounce 207761428 selected the coin that by marketcap was number 29 on coinmarketcap.com. By that time, that happened to be Bytecoin. So this is not a targeted hit piece; I dived in to Bytecoin with an open mind just as I had done with other coins prior to this rating. I profit absolutely nothing by bashing Bytecoin. Neither do I profit anything from potential increased traffic to my coin ratings.

My membership status on bitcointalk.org is Newbie, so I can't provide pictures in this thread right now. I do however keep a number of printscreens as proof should they be required later. And finally, I decided to post this as a new thread because of the relatively low traction it has gotten elsewhere. No cryptocurrency newspaper I contacted has shown an interest in the findings. With this thread, I hope to change that as the proof of wrongdoing is massive. The inconsistencies are provided in separate "issues", all independent of each other. This means that the Bytecoin team ought to refute every single issue, and not come with a sweeping rebuttal. Let's hold them accountable.

What these claims does not include
In 2014, rethink-your-strategy turned the spotlight to multiple serious discrepancies in the official Bytecoin issuance story. The Bytecoin team's claim of a chain stretching back to 2012 seemed suddenly dubious. Read up on that historical thread (https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=740112.0) as well if you like, it is one of the best out there. My investigation starts where that thread ended. The main overlapping issue seems to be the evidence provided of the use of sockpuppets, but other than that I provide new findings.

Intro
Bytecoin was announced on the 12th of March 2014 by user DStrange on bitcointalk.org (BCT). The coin was based on the new, privacy focused CryptoNote technology, thus using the memory-bound CryptoNight consensus algorithm that was quite resistant to ASIC’s back then. DStrange was not a developer; he appears to have stumbled upon Bytecoin when trying to mine a useless Bitcoin clone with the same name. He quickly put on the Bytecoin cloak and started handing out free coins.

Issue I: Early sockpuppets

(Note: for links and proof references, go to the Medium articles provided at the end of this post)

First to reply to DStrange’s post was user Lamalicious, hailing the project as looking like Satoshi’s second venture. Lamalicious registered on BCT on the 23rd of December 2013, the exact same date as DStrange. Another early poster in the thread, EndlessWin, also registered on the 23rd. Another user, Rias, appeared in the Bytecoin thread and showed great interest in the project. Rias wrote his first post on BCT on 20th of Jan 2014. So did the user Danni. DStrange first wrote something on BCT on the 21st of Jan 2014. EndlessWin created his first post on the 21st as well. Lamalicious created his first BCT post on the 22nd of Jan 2014, as did user Hexah. Cheesus first posted on BCT on the 23rd. Hexah, Cheesus and Danni registered their accounts with minutes apart.

And this is where it gets stranger. From the 5th of February to the 5th of March that year, all seven of these users go completely dark. Just before the 5th of February, and just after the 5th of March, two weird things happened as well. All seven are posting on the BCT “Beginners & Help” section, welcoming newcomers. DStrange even welcomes Rias in person. Danni interacts with DStrange in another thread about favorite movies. In one thread, Rias welcomes one person two separate times, probably forgetting to switch logged in account. Hexah is in that same thread saying hello as well. Note that this is one week before DStrange gets the Bytecoin announcement thread going, so they are not supposed to have met yet.

The second weird thing is that the seven supposedly independent users all show an interest in Putin and the invasion of Ukraine that occurred by this time. So to spell it out clearly, seven users that started writing on BCT at more or less the exact same time (many of which registered on the same day even), went dormant for one month, activated at the exact same time to post in the welcome-section of BCT as well as about the Crimea conflict, to finally rally under the Bytecoin flag later that March. rethink-your-strategy also started mapping this, but not to the full extent as he focused on other issues.

A couple of pages in, on 11th of April and onward, user Keeminakar ignites the rumor that Satoshi is involved with Bytecoin. FasterStronger joins the discussion, praising the coin. MadridReal perpetuates the Satoshi rumor. Qwerty777, and Agent99 add to the discussion as well. They are all registered on the dates 20th, 21st or 22nd of March 2014. They are all likely Russian/Ukrainian (notice the use of Russian emoticons where semicolon is omitted due to standard keyboard layout/preferences, as well as the interest in Russian translations, talk of Russian relatives etc.). All five of these users stop posting altogether on the 14th, 15th and 28th of September 2014. Then they are dormant for almost 4 years, when out of nowhere, four of them start posting again in February 2018, seemingly sold to new owners considering the change of writing style.

In June that same year, rethink-your-strategy starts uncovering discrepancies in the CryptoNote web page and whitepaper. He quickly also confirms that a certain BCT user that performed detailed blockchain analysis on the Bytecoin chain to prove its legitimacy, was actually a bought account. This is when more sockpuppets come forward to defend Bytecoin. madzooka is the first one, and a quick user analysis reveals a common pattern. madzooka’s earlier posts complain about missing some Bitcoin meet-up in Cleveland, USA. He also writes that he is interested in a certain California meet-up. What is evident is that English is not his first language, and a few posts later — there they are — the Russian emoticons. He also discussed the Ukrainian crisis prior to Bytecoin involvement, and he wrote in the newbie section of BCT, exactly according to pattern. User DNScode repeats the operation; defending Bytecoin against rethink-your-strategy’s accusations, while having earlier written in the newbie section, discussed the Ukraine conflict, and lastly used Russian emoticons. His account was registered on the 19th of March 2014, just in line with the other sockpuppets created on the 20th, 21st and 22nd. greenteanosugar chimes in. This user is registered 19th of March, then goes silent on 15th of September like most of the others. GreedyBoy, registered on the 20th of March, fiercely defends Bytecoin short thereafter. He gives away his background by Russian emoticons, the goes dark September 13th 2014 before re-appearing 4 years later with what seems to be a new account owner. Other probable sockpuppets are AtomicDoge, werrindor, David1978, Rockefeller, Meggie, JJKirsch, Monkeyseemonkeydo, TonyZX, Stanford, jolipenria, JPSelzer.

Issue II: Jenny Goldberg
On the 25th of July 2017, new BCT user BCN_official announces that she, Jenny Goldberg, is the new Bytecoin community manager. She confirms that old Bytecoin developers are still involved with the project, and that there is a strong roadmap going forward. From that point in time, she has been extremely active on the Bytecoin Reddit, Twitter and BCT. The problem here is, to no ones surprise, that Jenny Goldberg uses Russian emoticons (https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=512747.msg21724861#msg21724861). It is not evidence of connection to the 2014 sockpuppets, but it sure as hell must be uncommon to be named Jenny Goldberg as a Russian. And Jenny is listed on the official bytecoin.org webpage.

What may be the only published audio recording of a Bytecoin team member, this Youtube video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RqLWFcSUlwo) confirms a few things earlier suspected. English is not Jenny’s native language, listen for yourself. The sound also indicates that some kind of voice changer was applied.

Applying Jenny’s twitter account to the Twitter Archiving Project data capture yields the following result:

"translator_type":"none","protected":false,"verified":false,"followers_count":123,"friends_count":47,"listed_count":1,"favourites_count":0,"statuses_count":6,"created_at":"Tue Apr 10 09:28:22 +0000 2018","utc_offset":null,"time_zone":null,"geo_enabled":false,"lang":"ru"

The last word proves that Jenny used a computer with Russian language settings while setting up her account, or that she has such language settings right now. I verified the validity of this method by checking multiple Swedish Twitter accounts and they all yielded “lang”: “sv”.

Jenny Goldberg claims as you may know to reside in or around Barcelona. It came as no surprise then when I found a Barcelona crypto meetup group where the Bytecoin logo is utilized and where a Jenny G is admin. The group with its 175 members have 1 past meetup with 57 attendees. Looking at a couple of comments for this meetup, we find:

It is possible that anyone doesn’t know the location? It is a fake meetup?! I already asked on telegram and I received no answer! What a pity! - Theresa T

60 ppl confirmed and no one apart from us is asking about the location :/ so strange.. Idk maybe the info is somewhere else, in Telegram for example? I don't have an account so haven't check it. Anyway, given the circumstances I won't go >.< - Mariona

The meetup shows indeed no location at all. Wanting to double check, I contacted another confirmed attendee by mail. His answer: Hello, I believe it did not happen. I was waiting for the location to be announced but it never was, and people complained about it on the Meetup Comments.


Issue III: AssetRush
Jenny is the Bytecoin community manager as well as CCO of AssetRush (https://assetrush.com/), a new venture mainly providing token promotion services. When skimming their webpage, you will notice that they seem to have 7 team members, Jenny included. Just a little more than a month ago, I posted the following reply on BCT (https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=740112.msg34881099#msg34881099). You will notice an investigation of the AssetRush team started back then, and interestingly, the full team numbered closer to 20 — all with different pictures of the same distinct photo style. This means most of the team members have been taken off the webpage since then. Only 5 of the now 7 team members were on the earlier team.

What proof is there to this claim of almost 20 team members? You can see in the BCT post that I link to Twitter users no longer found on the AssetRush team list. Other BCT users reply to that post after also reviewing the team webpage, acting as verification that all those disappearing team members were in fact on the AssetRush webpage earlier. It is still possible to manually look at all earlier team members since the webpage still hosts their pictures in the background. Just change the number in this link string and you will see at least 16 different team members (I saved all pictures): https://assetrush.com/img/teamFaces_6.png

Out of the 20 or so people, only 4 had Twitter accounts. They were all created between 4–12 April 2018. Twitter is quite common these days, so one might wonder why not a single person out of a qualified team of 20 had a personal twitter account prior to their AssetRush venture. Twitter seems to archive some user stats, including creation dates, so by this method, 4–12th April was confirmed. Hovering over users’ profiles shows creation date as well.

Back in April, I continued the investigation of AssetRush team members by checking their LinkedIn profiles, which only 5 of them had. Jenny has the oldest LinkedIn account it seems. Her feed activity started in July 2017. This is in line with the birth of the BCN_official Reddit user as well as the re-activation of the then dormant bytecoin_bcn Twitter account. CEO David Booker’s first activity was two months ago so we can assume he joined LinkedIn then. Yet he has over a 1000 followers — something many active networkers out there fail to achieve. He is also using Russian emoticons, which seems weird for someone with that name. David Petrachini’s feed activity started two months ago as well. Yet he had over 1300 followers. The account is now even terminated, possibly because I pointed these discrepancies out in April. David’s Twitter account is still active, but unfollowed Russian news outlets immediately after I pointed this fact out. Martina Sarto’s feed started a few weeks after David’s. She had 658 followers last time I checked. Now her account is terminated. Jenn Bruney seemed to have joined LinkedIn just after Martina but still managed to get 726 followers before terminating her account. These high amounts of followers obtained so quickly are obviously bought, and any LinkedIn veteran can confirm that. The account shut-downs are probably part of some cover-up of the whole Bytecoin/AssetRush mess. It must be a loss for them as the administration of all accounts, and the work put down to make them look and seem normal, is lost.  David, Martina and Jenn all tweeted in a way that confirmed my suspicion that English is not at all their native language.

Try the links yourself:
https://www.linkedin.com/in/david-petrachini/
https://www.linkedin.com/in/martina-sarto/
https://www.linkedin.com/in/jenn-bruney/
https://www.linkedin.com/in/jennygoldberg/
https://www.linkedin.com/in/booker-david/


Questions that demand answers:
  • How does the Bytecoin team explain all the sockpuppets present in the BCT ANN thread, many tied even to the OP DStrange? You have never addressed this issue since I mapped all of them.
  • Can Jenny once and for all admit that 'Jenny Goldberg' is a pseudonym, now when we see through the massive maskirovka undertakings taken on Twitter, LinkedIn, meetup.com etc.?
  • Can Jenny elaborate on the Bytecoin meetup in Barcelona and why it seems to have been faked?
  • Can Jenny once and for all come clear with the purpose of AssetRush, why she faked all those team members, and if the Bytecoin team is involved in that as well?

What can you do?
If you sit on relevant information about Bytecoin and AssetRush not brought up in this thread, please post it here. If the information is sensitive due to anonymity preferences, you may contact me at bdratings@protonmail.com and I will respect your wish to privacy.

If you have contacts in relevant media outlets, please forward this information. I am certain the story is good enough to drive traffic.


Endnote
Most of the above claims are laid out in two of my previous articles. For detailed proof with links and other references, go to them.
https://medium.com/@bdratings/bytecoin-puppets-among-us-7381db79c468
https://medium.com/@bdratings/an-update-on-the-bytecoin-farce-3ae34ce45ba8

,or check the very end of this thread: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=740112.msg34853259#msg34853259


I sincerely admire your enthusiasm in getting to the roots of all issues addressed. I do hope more persons become aware of the irregularities and unscrupulousness exhibited by the team. I am humbled by the quality of your research.
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August 07, 2018, 01:42:05 PM
 #15

Wow. Best work I've seen in recent years to expose Bytecoin's continued fraud.
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October 14, 2018, 07:21:22 PM
 #16

Just a couple of updates that have been posted elsewhere and is not represented in this thread:

* The twitter feeds of a couple of Jenny's fake Assetrush colleagues have fallen silent after being exposed.

https://twitter.com/martina_sarto
https://twitter.com/jennbruney

* Jenny's Assetrush CEO David Booker is still active on LinkedIn, even after I called him out on using Russian emoticons on reddit.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/booker-david/detail/recent-activity/
https://www.reddit.com/r/funny/comments/88sjm6/dating_apps_do_work/dwmyxfz/
https://www.reddit.com/r/funny/comments/88soev/very_strict_policy_at_my_local_market/dwmz1lz/
https://www.reddit.com/r/BikiniBottomTwitter/comments/88r9ed/got_him_good/dwmxdmc/

* David "the Italian" Petrachini recently announced an Assetrush partnership with Kraken. The tweet is 'liked' by Jenny. Kraken later denied this completely.

https://twitter.com/DavidPetrachini/status/1034422725035663360
https://twitter.com/krakensupport/status/1050082666941440001

* Jenny, feeling the heat, steps down as Assetrush CCO. The Assetrush - Bytecoin ties are now almost completely swept under the carpet.

https://www.reddit.com/r/BytecoinBCN/comments/9l9yzw/has_jenny_fired/


Will try to keep the thread updated from here on. Bytecoin just got delisted from Binance and OKEx and the community is not happy about it. We might se some attempt from the team to pivot from the negative and announce some new feature or partnership. A change of consensus mechanism to PoS for example...

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October 14, 2018, 08:37:06 PM
 #17

Just a couple of updates that have been posted elsewhere and is not represented in this thread:

* The twitter feeds of a couple of Jenny's fake Assetrush colleagues have fallen silent after being exposed.

https://twitter.com/martina_sarto
https://twitter.com/jennbruney

* Jenny's Assetrush CEO David Booker is still active on LinkedIn, even after I called him out on using Russian emoticons on reddit.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/booker-david/detail/recent-activity/
https://www.reddit.com/r/funny/comments/88sjm6/dating_apps_do_work/dwmyxfz/
https://www.reddit.com/r/funny/comments/88soev/very_strict_policy_at_my_local_market/dwmz1lz/
https://www.reddit.com/r/BikiniBottomTwitter/comments/88r9ed/got_him_good/dwmxdmc/

* David "the Italian" Petrachini recently announced an Assetrush partnership with Kraken. The tweet is 'liked' by Jenny. Kraken later denied this completely.

https://twitter.com/DavidPetrachini/status/1034422725035663360
https://twitter.com/krakensupport/status/1050082666941440001

* Jenny, feeling the heat, steps down as Assetrush CCO. The Assetrush - Bytecoin ties are now almost completely swept under the carpet.

https://www.reddit.com/r/BytecoinBCN/comments/9l9yzw/has_jenny_fired/


Will try to keep the thread updated from here on. Bytecoin just got delisted from Binance and OKEx and the community is not happy about it. We might se some attempt from the team to pivot from the negative and announce some new feature or partnership. A change of consensus mechanism to PoS for example...



Great work as usual.

“Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing.”
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November 07, 2018, 10:23:42 PM
 #18

May I present 'Anastasia Friedman', former employee at AssetRush. She was recently removed from the assetrush.com team-page.
https://imgur.com/MWaYOWs

Notice the exact same photo style for the remaining team:
https://assetrush.com/about

Anastasia is still listed under AssetRush on LinkedIn:
https://www.linkedin.com/search/results/people/?facetCurrentCompany=%5B%2218480880%22%5D

And now for the fun part - here is Małgosia Bela, Polish fashion model:
https://www.styledumonde.com/2017/11/paris-ss-2018-street-style-malgosia-bela/
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November 07, 2018, 10:31:10 PM
 #19

May I present 'Anastasia Friedman', former employee at AssetRush. She was recently removed from the assetrush.com team-page.
https://imgur.com/MWaYOWs

Notice the exact same photo style for the remaining team:
https://assetrush.com/about

Anastasia is still listed under AssetRush on LinkedIn:
https://www.linkedin.com/search/results/people/?facetCurrentCompany=%5B%2218480880%22%5D

And now for the fun part - here is Małgosia Bela, Polish fashion model:
https://www.styledumonde.com/2017/11/paris-ss-2018-street-style-malgosia-bela/

Holy shit, how long did it take to find that image? That's definitely her..... or... not her I should say! Tongue

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BDRatings
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November 07, 2018, 10:35:21 PM
 #20

Actually not that long once I started trying reverse image search on Yandex, the Russian search engine. Got annoyed at these scammers today when they posted a piece on how to detect liars and imitators: https://twitter.com/assetrush_tweet/status/1059862012816175104
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