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Author Topic: 1GH/s, 20w, $500 — Butterflylabs, is it a scam?  (Read 116511 times)
sadpandatech
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November 11, 2011, 11:09:53 PM
 #381

Cool butterflylabs.com (the domain) used to be a butterfly gardening forum. http://wayback.archive.org/web/*/http://butterflylabs.com/*

  Hi, welcome to 6 posts ago;  https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=48863.msg615300#msg615300

  Edit; hehe

If you're not excited by the idea of being an early adopter 'now', then you should come back in three or four years and either tell us "Told you it'd never work!" or join what should, by then, be a much more stable and easier-to-use system. - GA
It is being worked on by smart people. -DamienBlack
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November 11, 2011, 11:12:52 PM
 #382

Interesting how some pictures keep appearing and disappearing - looks like they are updating the site right now on the fly, no test environment.

Mining Rig Extraordinaire - the Trenton BPX6806 18-slot PCIe backplane [PICS] Dead project is dead, all hail the coming of the mighty ASIC!
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November 11, 2011, 11:18:03 PM
 #383

Cool butterflylabs.com (the domain) used to be a butterfly gardening forum. http://wayback.archive.org/web/*/http://butterflylabs.com/*

EDIT: Oops, didn't see this had already been posted.

EDIT2: Wanted to mention you can create a WY corporation online for a few hundred bucks. http://www.google.com/search?q=wyoming%20corporation%20online

They also had lots of claims of scam even back when they did gardening.

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November 11, 2011, 11:22:03 PM
 #384

They also had lots of claims of scam even back when they did gardening.

Yeah those pictures were clearly of plastic flowers!

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November 11, 2011, 11:49:00 PM
 #385

From butterfly gardening to FPGA-acceleration of cryptographic hash functions.
I wonder what's next on their "to scam" list.
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November 12, 2011, 12:04:49 AM
 #386

All I can say is that if this is real, I would be sweating bullets if I was running a 36GH/s GPU farm right now. It'll change the game pretty quick.

Yep. Or maybe not. There are people that dont pay for electricity, or have extremely low rates;  For them, this isnt much of an improvement. Cost per hash is somewhat comparable to a GPU setup, but its a riskier investment. You can sell GPU's if bitcoin implodes, but its gonna be a lot tougher selling these boxes. So Im not sure how much of a difference it will really make. I think the free and nearly free electricity guys are as much a threat to one's 36GH/s farm as this product. A while ago some Canadian posted who has electricity from hydroelectric. I dont recall the exact rates but it was low enough it might have been nothing and make wonder why one wouldnt rent a studio there and fill it with mining equipment.

Quote
I think any of us could pull off something of similar quality and magnitude if we hadn't any scruples about it.

I disagree. I know I couldnt. Not without hiring a photographer (really, it looks easy when you see the result, but just try to make a picture like that that I would confuse with a professional one), an engineer to make credible PCBs design, a company to make those PCBs,  rent the equipment you see in those photoshoots, hire a website designer, rent the office space, outsource the production of those (clearly custom) alu boxes, probably hire a consultant to proof read everything on that site and make sure its all plausable. Thats a pretty penny for a scam. impossible? No. Implausible? I think so. Hence my bet Smiley



sadpandatech
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November 12, 2011, 12:29:57 AM
 #387

Cool butterflylabs.com (the domain) used to be a butterfly gardening forum. http://wayback.archive.org/web/*/http://butterflylabs.com/*

EDIT: Oops, didn't see this had already been posted.

EDIT2: Wanted to mention you can create a WY corporation online for a few hundred bucks. http://www.google.com/search?q=wyoming%20corporation%20online

  It is pretty standard price to file for Inc.  Depending on the state it runs from $90-$200 and the companies that do it for you charge very little. It's really kinda pointless to use a third party as you can technically register your company in any state you want as long as you have an 'agent' to list with an address there in the state of file. And, the gov don't check the addresses, so you can technically just fuggin make one up. The catch would be if they did need to send you something that required a response, you obviously would not get it. ;p

  TL;DR   The presence of a 'legal' entity as far as registration of a company is concerned has absolutly zero bearring on actual legitimacy... Just the same, there are many circumstances that having a registered entity provides zero benefits in favor of a potential client or customer. Quite the opposite really, as corps are viewed as 'persons' and afforded all the same legal protections as an individual.   There is more to it, but this is a TL;DR. ;p

  I've much experience in the field of corp, inc, ltd, partnership, sole prop, llc formation and the filings associated therein.

They also had lots of claims of scam even back when they did gardening.

  Who is, "They"?  What information is there to lead one to believe that BFL has any attachment what so ever to BF Gardening, other than buying the domain name from them or through another company?

If you're not excited by the idea of being an early adopter 'now', then you should come back in three or four years and either tell us "Told you it'd never work!" or join what should, by then, be a much more stable and easier-to-use system. - GA
It is being worked on by smart people. -DamienBlack
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November 12, 2011, 01:17:28 AM
 #388

All I can say is that if this is real, I would be sweating bullets if I was running a 36GH/s GPU farm right now. It'll change the game pretty quick.

Yep. Or maybe not. There are people that dont pay for electricity, or have extremely low rates;  For them, this isnt much of an improvement. Cost per hash is somewhat comparable to a GPU setup, but its a riskier investment. You can sell GPU's if bitcoin implodes, but its gonna be a lot tougher selling these boxes. So Im not sure how much of a difference it will really make. I think the free and nearly free electricity guys are as much a threat to one's 36GH/s farm as this product. A while ago some Canadian posted who has electricity from hydroelectric. I dont recall the exact rates but it was low enough it might have been nothing and make wonder why one wouldnt rent a studio there and fill it with mining equipment.

Everyone pays for electricity in some form or another. Solar panels cost money and have a limited lifespan, any lease with electrical utilities included will be quickly corrected after the first contract period of getting burned.

It says the firmware is upgradeable, so it could probably be applied to other cryptographic applications with a bit of tweaking. That's what it sounds like they are doing from the website ("Release schedule:  We’re currently working on final MCU firmware and software device drivers.  It is our expectation this will complete within a two week time frame.  Note:  Members of our packet verification product program will receive a different firmware package and your deliveries will be staged based on final firmware for your application."


Quote
Quote
I think any of us could pull off something of similar quality and magnitude if we hadn't any scruples about it.

I disagree. I know I couldnt. Not without hiring a photographer (really, it looks easy when you see the result, but just try to make a picture like that that I would confuse with a professional one), an engineer to make credible PCBs design, a company to make those PCBs,  rent the equipment you see in those photoshoots, hire a website designer, rent the office space, outsource the production of those (clearly custom) alu boxes, probably hire a consultant to proof read everything on that site and make sure its all plausable. Thats a pretty penny for a scam. impossible? No. Implausible? I think so. Hence my bet Smiley




You are thinking to small. I could do everything you listed above for under $2000. Again, I am merely playing devil's advocate, my favorite spot on the field.

Dual zoning; you can live in your office, negating that expense. It is obvious from the pictures that it is zoned commercial/residential.

Those aluminum boxes could be fabricated by just about any machine shop that handles aluminum. I have had aluminum equipment hundreds of times the size of these custom built and powdercoated (or anodized depending on the application) for less than they charge for a single unit. Obviously, you can't compare apples to oranges and I was building lighting racks with built-in heatsinks, but materials are always the lion's share of expenses in metal fabrication. I could find a metal shop on Monday that would crank those out -finished- for under ten bucks a pop.

The PCBs are a non-issue, as has been addressed numerous times in the thread. Even the design could be poached from any of the numerous open-source FPGA projects without too much trouble. Three months is plenty of time to learn the software enough to tweak the designs.

Proofreading for plausibility....they screwed the pooch on that one; everyone on here was shouting 'bullshit!' the instant they saw the numbers.

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November 12, 2011, 01:32:51 AM
 #389

Yep. Or maybe not. There are people that dont pay for electricity, or have extremely low rates;  For them, this isnt much of an improvement. Cost per hash is somewhat comparable to a GPU setup, but its a riskier investment. You can sell GPU's if bitcoin implodes, but its gonna be a lot tougher selling these boxes. So Im not sure how much of a difference it will really make. I think the free and nearly free electricity guys are as much a threat to one's 36GH/s farm as this product. A while ago some Canadian posted who has electricity from hydroelectric. I dont recall the exact rates but it was low enough it might have been nothing and make wonder why one wouldnt rent a studio there and fill it with mining equipment.

The guy in Canada has $0.06 electricity.  Even for him electrical costs are large portion of overall cost.

Say a GPU rig is good for 3 years (pretend depreciation to $0 after 36 months) and costs roughly $1000 for 1 GH and gets 2MH/W.  That's 13,140 kWh in year years.  Total production cost over 3 years is $1788 (assuming no cooling or rise in electrical cost).

One of these (so far imaginary) boards is $500 for 1 GH and uses $31 in electricity over 3 years.  Lets also pretend it depreciates to 0 in 3 years (unlikely).  Total production costs over 3 years $531.  

Simply put if this board at the specs & prices listed is valid then GPU mining is dead within a year.  FPGA Arrays will be able to drive costs and thus price down to almost nothing.

At current difficulty for example the cost of production (including amortized hardware) @ $0.10 per kWh is only $0.60 per BTC.  $3.00 BTC represents an annual ROI of 75%.  Obviously unsustainable.   The market will find equilibrium and that will make GPU mining simply unprofitable for anyone without free electricity just like CPU mining is now.  Even free hardware wouldn't be enough as value of bitcoins will be below electrical costs (like CPU now).

With more realistic FPGA that trend is inevitable given the 80% reduction in electrical costs however it will take much longer.  These (likely fake) cards would accelerate that timetable.
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November 12, 2011, 02:18:46 AM
 #390

I know I am a bit late to get into this but I would like to add that this seems like a very elaborate hoax to me. The registered adresss on the business registration that someone provided can not really be found by google street view. It is a different address in a different city than kansas city. I would think the photoshopped product photos and lack of publicly displayed address would be more than enough proof to people.

Anything that is too good to be true usually is.

That being said if this is legit I may buy a few boards myself but will be waiting for confirmation from several trusted users in this forum. My guess is they already have over 100 pre-orders and have already made their 50k... A couple more weeks (which BFL has asked for at least twice now) and all traces of this scam will be gone.

Please be careful people
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November 12, 2011, 02:28:56 AM
 #391

Also if you think about it; If you are going to scam a community of technically capable people for as much money how are you going to go about it?

You are going to make your scam as legitimate and believable as you can. Scams are 100% profit so the more you can convince victims the more money you will make and at $500/board with comparable FPGAs you will find a lot of buyers.

Beware people until we have 100% confirmation. I am by no means an idiot but I have fallen victim to a scam or two in the past. This whole thing reeks way too much to be true. If I am wrong I will eat my dirty socks lol.
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November 12, 2011, 02:34:30 AM
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Also if you think about it; If you are going to scam a community of technically capable people for as much money how are you going to go about it?

You are going to make your scam as legitimate and believable as you can. Scams are 100% profit so the more you can convince victims the more money you will make and at $500/board with comparable FPGAs you will find a lot of buyers.

Beware people until we have 100% confirmation. I am by no means an idiot but I have fallen victim to a scam or two in the past. This whole thing reeks way too much to be true. If I am wrong I will eat my dirty socks lol.

The last mining chip scam was significantly less sophisticated and still obviously bilked quite a few people. YMMV.

One of these (so far imaginary) boards is $500 for 1 GH and uses $31 in electricity over 3 years.  Lets also pretend it depreciates to 0 in 3 years (unlikely).  Total production costs over 3 years $531. 

I'd take a non-trivial bet that if this is real it's some SASIC (hardcopy FPGA) process and not a FPGA (the numbers just don't make sense for any of the FPGAs currently available).   If so, under the suggested assumption that bitcoin blows up, depreciation to zero is a completely reasonable assumption.
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November 12, 2011, 02:43:38 AM
 #393

I'd take a non-trivial bet that if this is real it's some SASIC (hardcopy FPGA) process and not a FPGA (the numbers just don't make sense for any of the FPGAs currently available).   If so, under the suggested assumption that bitcoin blows up, depreciation to zero is a completely reasonable assumption.

However that just doesn't jive with the price point.  You can get a structured ASICS like Altera Hardcopy for $250.  I don't care what volume you have.  Now if it was $1K a pop maybe.

As far as depreciation to 0 I was just pointing out that w/ virtually no electrical/ongoing cost any FPGA miner is unlikely to depreciate to 0 in 3 years or less.  So that price was reflecting a high conservative cost.  Likely FPGA will be able to continue to mine for far longer than 3 years (albeit it at continually declining annual revenue).
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November 12, 2011, 02:51:11 AM
 #394

Ok folks here is the link provided to their so called registration in an earlier post:

https://wyobiz.wy.gov/Business/FilingDetails.aspx?FilingNum=2011-000606261

Please note the registered address and mailing address is 5830 E 2nd St Casper, WY 82609 USA

Google street view this address and realize that google cannot find it directly but gives an adress at 4800... I tried going either way but could not find the place.

Also this is a different address than the kansas city one which is highly suspicious to me. All of this and the photoshopped photos are all the proof I need to know this is an elaborate scam. At $1000 price point not many people will have much interest but at $500 you will get a lot more people interested and therefore more buyers (victims).

As I mentioned I have been a victim to a few very elaborate scams in the past and I look with an increased scrutiny at anything that sounds too good to be true. That being said everything about this seems like a scam. Even if they get 200 orders thats 100k which is significantly more than many people make in a year and makes it more than worthwhile.

If anyone would like to donate to me for pointing out how obvious of a scam this is and finding yet another hole in their story you can send donations to [Removed to prove I dont care about money - but if you really want to send me something you can PM and ask for my wallet lol] (I do not think I will receive any but who knows someone might be grateful they didnt just lose $500).

Edit:

Also notice it is registered to Nancy Hernandez. Hey BFL is your name Nancy Hernandez by chance?

Edit 2:

Address is Executive Suites of Casper --> Checking business listings now
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November 12, 2011, 03:02:38 AM
 #395

BF Labs, WY does not appear to be the same company as the one in Missouri. BF is for butter fat.

There is also a BF Labs in CA that does computer service and repair.

I am not sure -- but company names are not always checked across state lines at the time of incorporation, especially so with small business.
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November 12, 2011, 03:04:39 AM
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Ok folks here is the link provided to their so called registration in an earlier post:

https://wyobiz.wy.gov/Business/FilingDetails.aspx?FilingNum=2011-000606261

Please note the registered address and mailing address is 5830 E 2nd St Casper, WY 82609 USA

Google street view this address and realize that google cannot find it directly but gives an adress at 4800... I tried going either way but could not find the place.

Also this is a different address than the kansas city one which is highly suspicious to me. All of this and the photoshopped photos are all the proof I need to know this is an elaborate scam. At $1000 price point not many people will have much interest but at $500 you will get a lot more people interested and therefore more buyers (victims).

As I mentioned I have been a victim to a few very elaborate scams in the past and I look with an increased scrutiny at anything that sounds too good to be true. That being said everything about this seems like a scam. Even if they get 200 orders thats 100k which is significantly more than many people make in a year and makes it more than worthwhile.

If anyone would like to donate to me for pointing out how obvious of a scam this is and finding yet another hole in their story you can send donations to 1LYme1ZD82VuvwGj4Zi7scrjRBuQnciyKK (I do not think I will receive any but who knows someone might be grateful they didnt just lose $500).

Edit:

Also notice it is registered to Nancy Hernandez. Hey BFL is your name Nancy Hernandez by chance?

Edit 2:

Address is Executive Suites of Casper --> Checking business listings now

   Welcome to last week, month, year.  That is a company that holds itself as 'registered agent' for companies that they register. Meaning, any company that this place registers will say 'nancy hernandez' and that same address... In itself, it is meningless where their company is registered or not at.

If you're not excited by the idea of being an early adopter 'now', then you should come back in three or four years and either tell us "Told you it'd never work!" or join what should, by then, be a much more stable and easier-to-use system. - GA
It is being worked on by smart people. -DamienBlack
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November 12, 2011, 03:12:17 AM
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Ok folks here is the link provided to their so called registration in an earlier post:

https://wyobiz.wy.gov/Business/FilingDetails.aspx?FilingNum=2011-000606261

Please note the registered address and mailing address is 5830 E 2nd St Casper, WY 82609 USA

Google street view this address and realize that google cannot find it directly but gives an adress at 4800... I tried going either way but could not find the place.

Also this is a different address than the kansas city one which is highly suspicious to me. All of this and the photoshopped photos are all the proof I need to know this is an elaborate scam. At $1000 price point not many people will have much interest but at $500 you will get a lot more people interested and therefore more buyers (victims).

As I mentioned I have been a victim to a few very elaborate scams in the past and I look with an increased scrutiny at anything that sounds too good to be true. That being said everything about this seems like a scam. Even if they get 200 orders thats 100k which is significantly more than many people make in a year and makes it more than worthwhile.

If anyone would like to donate to me for pointing out how obvious of a scam this is and finding yet another hole in their story you can send donations to 1LYme1ZD82VuvwGj4Zi7scrjRBuQnciyKK (I do not think I will receive any but who knows someone might be grateful they didnt just lose $500).

Edit:

Also notice it is registered to Nancy Hernandez. Hey BFL is your name Nancy Hernandez by chance?

Edit 2:

Address is Executive Suites of Casper --> Checking business listings now

   Welcome to last week, month, year.  That is a company that holds itself as 'registered agent' for companies that they register. Meaning, any company that this place registers will say 'nancy hernandez' and that same address... In itself, it is meningless where their company is registered or not at.

I understand the services these type of business provide and I have emailed an adminstrator with this company requesting information if BF Labs Inc. is registered there and if it is also Butterfly Labs inc. I have alerted them to the possiblity that this may be a scam and will update this thread when I hear a reply.

If this is indeed another company then I am wasting your time and this company is clearly not registered which only further proves this is a scam. Scammers are very good at convincing their target audience that they are legitimate and if possible I would like to prove this either way.
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November 12, 2011, 03:15:38 AM
 #398

If you understand how a registration agent works you will understand they won't tell you anything about any company they represent.  Ever.
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November 12, 2011, 03:23:34 AM
 #399

If you understand how a registration agent works you will understand they won't tell you anything about any company they represent.  Ever.

They might not but you never know. Some people do have a conscience and since I mentioned possible scam and asked very professionally and politely you never know. This is also registered as their mailing address according to their business registration.

If they do not provide any further details it only goes to further prove this is a scam.

Some people who fall victims to a scam want to believe it so bad that they will ignore some very valid scrutiny (photoshoped photos, KC loft address, etc). I have done this sort of thing in the past only to be burned. Hopefully finding one more hole in their scam will be enough for someone to back off and say to themselves that its not worth losing $500 to find out.
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November 12, 2011, 03:28:21 AM
 #400

Got a reply and its pretty definitive:

"No, they are not

Chad Sorensen

Sent from my iPhone"

I think this proves it folks. Its a scam as I and others have been saying.

As per my previous post instead of betting on this, if you would like to send a donation as a thank you for getting to the bottom of this my wallet address is [Removed because sadpandatech thinks I am only after the money - which I don't care about]

DO NOT SEND THEM ANYMORE MONEY!

IF YOU SENT THEM MONEY TRY AND GET IT BACK ASAP

Sorry folks, if its too good to be true it probably is.
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