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Author Topic: 1GH/s, 20w, $500 — Butterflylabs, is it a scam?  (Read 116475 times)
sadpandatech
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October 21, 2011, 01:32:38 AM
 #81

Well. *embarrased face?* Certainly not the response I was expecting. Legit or not very professional of you to come to us so humbly after all the doubt. I am sure, being familiar with the sha256 functions you can see where some of the more technical concerns are of such a claim..

  I do have a few questions;

  1. Where can we read more on your company outside of the website? I.e Articles of Incorporation, patents, etc etc?

  2. Does your company presently or has your company previously filled DoD/Nist or other governement agency contracts, either directly or indirectly by supplying in whole or in part any components?

  3. Where did your engineers graduate from? Without giving us maps to your homes, it would be nice to know a bit more about the personal side of the minds that make up such a team.

  4. Where do you chip fab at? As your website address is to some apartment(quoting) complex?

  5. I am still unclear on your choice of enclosure. I can understand some company excitement and wanting to show something, but the end dimensions of said boards would be what, LxH? and I assume depth to be determined later after cooling requirements are better calculated? Just seems the raid enclosure would be odd. *shrug* Though a similar one, without the ends on the inside racks would be nice for airflow in a vertical posistion.

  6. Why Bitcoin?

  7.  Why now?

  8. How long has your company been following the project?

  9  And, last but not least; Is this purely a business venture where you are certain to be profitable or is there some deeper sentiment towards Bitcoin?

  10. Sorry, one last one;  Are you or any of your employees, associates, etc The Satoshi Nakamoto?

 

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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October 21, 2011, 02:24:19 AM
 #82

It's a scam. Of course the scammer is going to try to convince you wait a little longer because it's "not finished yet". If sentiment turns against them they face a slew of chargebacks and the risk of investigation. This product will be "coming soon" and "undergoing final optimization" until the day they disappear with your money.

If this product is real we'll find out in a couple of months. Sending them money now is just plain foolish.

 
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October 21, 2011, 02:27:05 AM
 #83

Well. *embarrased face?* Certainly not the response I was expecting. Legit or not very professional of you to come to us so humbly after all the doubt. I am sure, being familiar with the sha256 functions you can see where some of the more technical concerns are of such a claim..

  I do have a few questions;

  1. Where can we read more on your company outside of the website? I.e Articles of Incorporation, patents, etc etc?

  2. Does your company presently or has your company previously filled DoD/Nist or other governement agency contracts, either directly or indirectly by supplying in whole or in part any components?

  3. Where did your engineers graduate from? Without giving us maps to your homes, it would be nice to know a bit more about the personal side of the minds that make up such a team.

  4. Where do you chip fab at? As your website address is to some apartment(quoting) complex?

  5. I am still unclear on your choice of enclosure. I can understand some company excitement and wanting to show something, but the end dimensions of said boards would be what, LxH? and I assume depth to be determined later after cooling requirements are better calculated? Just seems the raid enclosure would be odd. *shrug* Though a similar one, without the ends on the inside racks would be nice for airflow in a vertical posistion.

  6. Why Bitcoin?

  7.  Why now?

  8. How long has your company been following the project?

  9  And, last but not least; Is this purely a business venture where you are certain to be profitable or is there some deeper sentiment towards Bitcoin?

  10. Sorry, one last one;  Are you or any of your employees, associates, etc The Satoshi Nakamoto?

 

Why? Their post does not provide us any info regarding the doubts being posted here. Come on man....

Tips gladly accepted: 1LPaxHPvpzN3FbaGBaZShov3EFafxJDG42
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October 21, 2011, 02:34:09 AM
 #84

Well. *embarrased face?*  
Why? Their post does not provide us any info regarding the doubts being posted here. Come on man....

  Why, because that could potentially be another, honest, hopefully Republican,(kidding, I love all people equally except those damn robot nazi cyborg hooker alien abductees) human being on the other end.... My embarrasment is more so just for the degredation in my posting, pointing more and more to scam, adding to the crowd voice. Something I generally try to stear away from, unless I just strongly feel the same way.

  I am certainly not ready to call it 'legit' by any stretch though, and as was obviously pointed out by wormbug; Buying a product that does not even exist yet is just foolish.



  All that aside, that friggin board they posted looked pretty damn real to me...  Granted it could just be another version by another entity that is very similar to other dual chip FPGA that have been created by users here.  I am, at the least, curious to see what more they have to say. And am certainly interested in atleast keeping an open mind if they answer my questions and then move on to more technical ones from there about their chip design, etc...

Edited; to fix my usual shit typing...

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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October 21, 2011, 02:35:33 AM
 #85

I too would like to see some accountability concerning Butterfly Labs. I would like the names of the people behind it and official online documentation concerning the company.

There is no reason not to provide such information, and until said verifiable information is provided, I would not recommend anyone to pre-order any units.
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October 21, 2011, 02:42:47 AM
 #86

Hmmmm... How about them apples?

That is all it takes to convince you?  A post which explained nothing and a photo of a PCB with all the components including the "magic uber ASICS" missing?  I mean it is not impossible possible but Occam's Razor?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Occam's_razor

I hope you don't get burned.  
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October 21, 2011, 04:52:54 AM
 #87

Agreed. Scam unless/until multiple reputable developers confirm it.

There's only 1 trace coming out of the mini-USB connector.
How does that work exactly? Magnetic field cross-transductance?

Why would you price this so aggressively against existing FPGA and GPU miners
when you could just sell it for, say, 20% less?

etc.

-rph

Ultra-Low-Cost DIY FPGA Miner: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=44891
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October 21, 2011, 10:53:36 AM
 #88

There's only 1 trace coming out of the mini-USB connector.
How does that work exactly? Magnetic field cross-transductance?
I can see two clearly. And another two, though not so visible, apparently go to the vias above (or below?)


Butterflylabs, can you tell us more about the chips. What architecture are they? Your own design?
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October 21, 2011, 12:48:12 PM
 #89

There's only 1 trace coming out of the mini-USB connector.
How does that work exactly? Magnetic field cross-transductance?
I can see two clearly. And another two, though not so visible, apparently go to the vias above (or below?)
Yea, same can see IO7 and ground very cleary, +5v appears to be connecting directly below and I cannot make out where tx and rx are coming from exactly.. >.<
  But thats the least of my concerns. The PCB that is. As obviously we have more than enough knowledgeable people like RPH who would notice something amiss with PCB immediately. But, unlike existing FPGA designs this one will have some custom chips that may prove difficult to verify without them being willing to release the actual schematics of such to the engineers among us.

  I can definitely agree with RPH's question on cost. "Why so cheap?"  I mean, if they fabbed a chip from scrath!? holy moly costs......

Butterflylabs, can you tell us more about the chips. What architecture are they? Your own design?

  Most definetly am so anxious to hear more about those.

  I do trust however due to the hard to verify nature of such things they will humbly answer such questions of the personal nature first? imho..

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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October 21, 2011, 01:44:38 PM
 #90

I think people misunderstood my reference to the PCB.

There are PCB prototype shops in the US.  You submit a design (doesn't matter if it works on not) and they will get you a 4 layer prototype board for $70.  Usually these are ugly puke yellow color because they are only intended for research and testing.  Still it wouldn't be hard to have a prototype company provide you a one off production board completely with "cool" blue color and silk screening for <$200.

So a non-functional board without any components that has some traces and the company's name on it really means very little.
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October 21, 2011, 02:20:30 PM
 #91

Fascinating thread Smiley

I just noticed this:

Product includes: Fully assembled unit with Enclosure, PCB, USB Cable, PSU & driver software (including Bitcoin block mining application).

It doesnt mention the FPGA('s) or other ASICs.  One would think "fully assembled" means just that, but then why mention PCB seperately?
If this is only the bare board and PSU, that would go a long way explaining the price.

sadpandatech
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October 21, 2011, 02:51:20 PM
 #92

I think people misunderstood my reference to the PCB.

There are PCB prototype shops in the US.  You submit a design (doesn't matter if it works on not) and they will get you a 4 layer prototype board for $70.  Usually these are ugly puke yellow color because they are only intended for research and testing.  Still it wouldn't be hard to have a prototype company provide you a one off production board completely with "cool" blue color and silk screening for <$200.

So a non-functional board without any components that has some traces and the company's name on it really means very little.

   I can't disagree with that at all. But, the board itself looks very real to me. It means nothing in and of itself, and I would trust you and I are not the only ones here intelligent enough to not 'buy-in' just from a posting of a PCB board.....

   Cheers

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
sadpandatech
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October 21, 2011, 02:59:07 PM
 #93

Fascinating thread Smiley

I just noticed this:

Product includes: Fully assembled unit with Enclosure, PCB, USB Cable, PSU & driver software (including Bitcoin block mining application).

It doesnt mention the FPGA('s) or other ASICs.  One would think "fully assembled" means just that, but then why mention PCB seperately?
If this is only the bare board and PSU, that would go a long way explaining the price.

  That would certainly be more in-line with the price point.  

  It would be a huge bummer though. I mean, cool someone came up with an enclosure, prefabbed PCB, etc, but without some new cutting edge chip it would be useless to aynone that was not capable of fabbing their own PCB anyway. In which case, just sell us some cheap enclosures and psu for fpga boards, that would be ok. ;p

  Imma keep my fingers crossed that the text you read is just a verbage issue and after verifying their identities we can get on to some juicey asic info....  Cool  It's like waiting for the release of a movie that is described as so fuggin awesome but with which you have not seen any previews to...

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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October 21, 2011, 04:14:26 PM
 #94

Hmmmm... How about them apples?

That is all it takes to convince you?  A post which explained nothing and a photo of a PCB with all the components including the "magic uber ASICS" missing?  I mean it is not impossible possible but Occam's Razor?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Occam's_razor

I hope you don't get burned.  

Not sure how you ascertain burden of proof (presence or lack of it) from "how about them apples"...
if you read through all the posts, you would have seen what the ultimate proof is for BF.

| In Default we Trust | Need gold/silver for btc? | Buy bitcoins |
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October 21, 2011, 05:26:01 PM
 #95

It's a scam. Of course the scammer is going to try to convince you wait a little longer because it's "not finished yet". If sentiment turns against them they face a slew of chargebacks and the risk of investigation. This product will be "coming soon" and "undergoing final optimization" until the day they disappear with your money.

If this product is real we'll find out in a couple of months. Sending them money now is just plain foolish.
If it's a scam, it's a half-competent one unlike last time. This lot have actually got some fairly plausible bare PCB photos. The 1.1V supply is a tad unusual though; most FPGAs seem to want 1.0V or 1.2V... might narrow things down a bit. (Also, the existing FPGA designs are almost certainly sub-optimal; Spartan-6 is actually a fairly bad fit for mining, it just happens to be what can be purchased most cheaply in small quantities.)

Quad XC6SLX150 Board: 860 MHash/s or so.
SIGS ABOUT BUTTERFLY LABS ARE PAID ADS
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October 22, 2011, 12:18:51 PM
 #96

I know a guy in Kansas City who might be willing to meet this guy at his location downtown. He works in the area of this "Lab". I did some checking and this "Lab" is so small it can't be bigger than 2 guys in an office and has no history at all in the area under that name.

Now that I think about it, I bet I could get my guy to video tape the "Lab" and the owner and have him upload it for a bounty.






That would be great, I am really itching to get hold of such a card, unfortunately I can't afford losing $500.   Really hope you get the guy to meet up with BF Labs.
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October 22, 2011, 03:06:23 PM
 #97

Hi Guys, I see there's been lots of questions.

Regarding the USB trace on the BitForce PCB:

The Differential D+ and D- are directed to inner layers by two small Vias placed towards the inner side of the connector. Since they're running at 480MHz, careful floor-planning is essential to maintain signal integrity. The connection that goes to the QFN chip placed near the connector is then routed to the Microcontroller (AVR32). It may not be possible to see the Vias easily, because they are tented. Also note that it's a 6-layer board (would've been more but not much IO is needed, so no more than 6 was really necessary).

Why bitcoin, why now, who have we worked for, are we Satoshi Nakamoto...

Wow. This is getting personal. We're just a few engineers who are pretty good at cryptology and electronics (mainly digital) design. Not necesairily because we're brilliant, but because we've been doing it for quite some time over the course of our individual careers.

I can understand how you're curiosity is piqued and you'd like to know *everything* including the method of our system architecture. However, I think you can appreciate where we might want to keep our company IP proprietary. Furthermore, it appears there are a few potential competitors posting in this thread, so I'll leave it at that.

As to your expectations of a grand lab facility, I'm not sure you would be impressed.  Most of this type of engineering is done on laptops & workstations.  I think any engineers in the crowd will quietly smile in confirmation.  Our actual fabrication facility is quite impressive, but we don't own it...  it's in Taiwan where the current run of processors is underway.

Would one of us be willing to meet a forum member?

Sure, that would be great.  The best choice would be our lead engineer in Paris, France or me.  I'm based out of Kansas City, Missouri.  Either of us would be happy to give you a quick demo when the product is ready for review.

However, I think the real question for everyone is the actual product, so maybe it would be a good idea if you were to pick someone from the Bitcoin community to receive a prototype model.  This person would have to be capable of performing a formal proof of work analysis.  I'm sure there are some excellent candidates out there.

Please reply with your suggestions along with a few words about this person.  Once a list is agreed on, we'll have a survey vote to determine the 'winner'.  Once their review is complete, I trust all the relevant concern will be addressed.

Regards,
BFK

PS.  In the meantime, I would suggest all of you who don't have a pre-existing relationship with the company refrain from making any pre-orders.  We appreciate the interest in our product, but the hostility isn't worth it. Please just wait for off the shelf units to be available.  Thx.

Butterfly Labs  -  www.butterflylabs.com  -  Bitcoin Mining Hardware
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October 22, 2011, 03:45:07 PM
 #98

Hi Guys, I see there's been lots of questions.
Why bitcoin, why now, who have we worked for, are we Satoshi Nakamoto...

Wow. This is getting personal. We're just a few engineers who are pretty good at cryptology and electronics (mainly digital) design. Not necesairily because we're brilliant, but because we've been doing it for quite some time over the course of our individual careers.

Regards,
BFK

 hrm.

 I think I liked BFL's willingness to allow proper DD much better.......

  As a long time Republican I will not do business with anyone providing products or services of a highly technical level unless I can verify their identity. Maybe its an old way of thinking but thats just how it works down here in the south.

  Sincerely,
     Derek


As for a list of who to send a completed PCB and Chip to;

  Artforz
   DeathAndTaxes
   ngzhang

  There are many others, some likely more qualified but these are the ones I can think of that have been active lately, don't have competing projects and have atleast an entry level working knowledge of the boards and chips. And more than enough smarts to be able to get one running with proper drivers and software and make professional documentations of their findings.  Oh, and for whatever reason I personaly trust these choices. ;p

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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October 22, 2011, 03:57:55 PM
 #99

You are still taking this seriously? I don't know what to say...

  Pleas re-read my post and tell me what parts make you take it as such.  Of course if they are willing to send hardware to someone I will certainly entertain a glimpse into something that if it did actually get sent there would be potentially groundbreaking!  That evokes no level of my trust pretense such a point in time......

 But just read it again, home cheese nuggets....

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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October 22, 2011, 04:33:36 PM
 #100

home cheese nuggets....

I now see what I am dealing with. By all means, do carry on!

 Ahh, don't take my lil internet jab personally, m8.  Its just that a couple of engineers working in a garage lab to design a better board and chip is just as plausable as a guy in Thailand being able to pay a third party in KC, MO to go video tape something.. Thats all.

  We certainly need to do DD, but I for one don't have a need to pay for it and am quite capable to do so.  I see no harm in your offering so I did not attack that directly. Instead I chose to jab at you for misconstruing my intentions in my previous post. Obviously childish, but so was your trying to make it seem like you could read my mind and that anything I post that is not a direct bash to Butterfly is somehow, all of a sudden a sign I am 'being convinced'..


   Cheers

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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