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Author Topic: Extolabs - legitimate ASIC maker or scam?  (Read 3950 times)
halcyonflow
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April 25, 2014, 10:05:17 AM
Last edit: April 25, 2014, 02:40:52 PM by halcyonflow
 #1

Hi guys.

Yep, I'm a meganewbie. However, in my ASIC research I recently came across this site: http://www.extolabs.com/

They have an ASIC product claiming 3.6 TH/s for $9499, 1900W max power load. This manufacturer is claiming to have sold 1000 of their EX1 miners already, and are now offering a huge 40% discount on their last batch of 300 (now $5699 according to the site).

I couldn't find anything else on bitcointalk about this seemingly very new maker of ASIC hardware. I know the scam drill: New (fake) ASIC maker pops up, claims wonderful things, takes money in pre-orders, then disappears. Do you reckon this is a legitimate offering?


Here's my take:

- A quick search on WHOIS.net shows the same registrant "Jimm Trekk" as a name listed on the site (doesn't mean much), and physical address in the UK. I'm not 100% sure how to interpret the WHOIS data, but it looks to me like the domain was created in 2010, updated last month (March 2014), and expires Jan 2015. A look on the Wayback Machine doesn't show much either (it shows a different site in 2012 to what is there now, but that's about all).
- A Google maps street view of the physical address doesn't show anything clearly as it's inside an industrial park, and can't be seen from the road. (Plus if it's a new business, the Google shots might be out of date.)
- They have a short video on their site showing their miner apparently in operation. It shows the mining hash rate on a monitor, but I'm supposing this can be faked with a bit of coding talent. You don't get to see anyone's face or similar (though that's fairly typical of this kind of video, I guess).
- The site looks pretty nice, but that only goes so far in terms of evidence. I kind of think their office images, and even their staff images, look a bit like stock photos.
- I sent them an email a couple of days ago asking for just a bit more info on them, and maybe some more photos of their offices to show that is their real office location. Haven't heard anything back.
- If they have been around only a couple months, would they be likely to have sold 1000 miners, especially without any other posts on this forum about them?

So, conclusion: indeterminate. However, not a comprehensive analysis by any means. Any thoughts?

PS I'm in no way affiliated with the company, and I reckon there's just as much chance it could be a scam as legit.
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April 25, 2014, 10:38:21 AM
 #2

- The site looks pretty nice, but that only goes so far in terms of evidence. I kind of think their office images, and even their staff images, look a bit like stock photos.
I'm always hesitant to call 'scam' based on that sort of thing - they could just be using placeholder images.  The thing is, though, that any reputable company would NOT use actual photos as placeholder images; you use one of the ubiquitous 'person' placeholder images instead.

So when you've got the people on the site:
http://www.extolabs.com/our-team

Do some very basic googling (right click image, choose "Search Google for this image..." in Chrome) and get:
"Prof. Dr. Eric Young", who is also broadcast media manager Roland Beutler: http://de.linkedin.com/pub/roland-beutler/33/713/5b9
"Bernhard Schrader", who is also writer Stephen Davis: http://sdavids.com/
"Jerry Cheng", who is also helpdesk and network manager Frank Du: http://cn.linkedin.com/pub/frank-du/5/b5b/b72
"Aaron Antcliff", who is also doctor (the medical kind) Roger Dillier: http://ch.linkedin.com/pub/roger-dillier/71/12a/233
"Jessica Hao", who is also associate director at a consulting firm Fang Fang: http://cn.linkedin.com/pub/fang-fang/13/5a8/a89
"Jimm Trekk", who is also actor Cela Yildiz: http://www.imdb.com/media/rm2820781312/nm2553510

well, then the scent of scam is already about them.

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April 25, 2014, 10:58:37 AM
 #3

- The site looks pretty nice, but that only goes so far in terms of evidence. I kind of think their office images, and even their staff images, look a bit like stock photos.
I'm always hesitant to call 'scam' based on that sort of thing - they could just be using placeholder images.  The thing is, though, that any reputable company would NOT use actual photos as placeholder images; you use one of the ubiquitous 'person' placeholder images instead.

So when you've got the people on the site:
http://www.extolabs.com/our-team

Do some very basic googling (right click image, choose "Search Google for this image..." in Chrome) and get:
"Prof. Dr. Eric Young", who is also broadcast media manager Roland Beutler: http://de.linkedin.com/pub/roland-beutler/33/713/5b9
"Bernhard Schrader", who is also writer Stephen Davis: http://sdavids.com/
"Jerry Cheng", who is also helpdesk and network manager Frank Du: http://cn.linkedin.com/pub/frank-du/5/b5b/b72
"Aaron Antcliff", who is also doctor (the medical kind) Roger Dillier: http://ch.linkedin.com/pub/roger-dillier/71/12a/233
"Jessica Hao", who is also associate director at a consulting firm Fang Fang: http://cn.linkedin.com/pub/fang-fang/13/5a8/a89
"Jimm Trekk", who is also actor Cela Yildiz: http://www.imdb.com/media/rm2820781312/nm2553510

well, then the scent of scam is already about them.

Hahah, hadn't even looked up those photos.

I like the effort they have gone through to actually make something that looks like an asic, and take pictures of it though Smiley

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April 25, 2014, 12:46:17 PM
Last edit: April 25, 2014, 03:11:37 PM by TheRealSteve
 #4

I like the effort they have gone through to actually make something that looks like an asic, and take pictures of it though Smiley
Well, the chip image..
http://www.extolabs.com/images/chip.jpg
..looks rather smudgy, like original markings were clone stamped out.  Unfortunately finding the source for that is a little harder, especially as it's probably a somewhat common package anyway - e.g.
http://i01.i.aliimg.com/img/pb/301/330/387/387330301_685.jpg
Edit: after looking a little closer - definitely clone stamped.. two of the bits of dust/reflection appear together as perfect copies elsewhere on the chip.

The markings on the chips in the tray..
http://www.extolabs.com/images/chips.jpg
..also don't match with that single chip image either.

Like I said.. it smells like a scam, but that's the problem with things like these.. you can't really prove it's a scam, only prove that images are not what they should be, etc.  On the other hand, it would be very easy for them to prove they're not a scam - but they don't try very hard to do so.

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April 25, 2014, 12:51:20 PM
 #5

I like the effort they have gone through to actually make something that looks like an asic, and take pictures of it though Smiley
Well, the chip image..
http://www.extolabs.com/images/chip.jpg
..looks rather smudgy, like original markings were clone stamped out.  Unfortunately finding the source for that is a little harder, especially as it's probably a somewhat common package anyway - e.g.
http://i01.i.aliimg.com/img/pb/301/330/387/387330301_685.jpg

The markings on the chips in the tray..
http://www.extolabs.com/images/chips.jpg
..also don't match with that single chip image either.

Like I said.. it smells like a scam, but that's the problem with things like these.. you can't really prove it's a scam, only prove that images are not what they should be, etc.  On the other hand, it would be very easy for them to prove they're not a scam - but they don't try very hard to do so.

Your are entirely right it looks scammy. I was talking more about the device images, not the chip images: http://www.extolabs.com/images/gallery-img1.jpg

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April 25, 2014, 12:54:11 PM
 #6

yeah, I have no idea what's in there that they slapped stickers onto Smiley  Even the PSU has their name on it, which is odd at best.

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April 25, 2014, 01:00:04 PM
 #7

yeah, I have no idea what's in there that they slapped stickers onto Smiley  Even the PSU has their name on it, which is odd at best.

Me neither. Their fan placement also looks really odd  Huh

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halcyonflow
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April 25, 2014, 02:23:41 PM
 #8

Do some very basic googling (right click image, choose "Search Google for this image..." in Chrome) and get:
"Prof. Dr. Eric Young", who is also broadcast media manager Roland Beutler: http://de.linkedin.com/pub/roland-beutler/33/713/5b9
"Bernhard Schrader", who is also writer Stephen Davis: http://sdavids.com/
"Jerry Cheng", who is also helpdesk and network manager Frank Du: http://cn.linkedin.com/pub/frank-du/5/b5b/b72
"Aaron Antcliff", who is also doctor (the medical kind) Roger Dillier: http://ch.linkedin.com/pub/roger-dillier/71/12a/233
"Jessica Hao", who is also associate director at a consulting firm Fang Fang: http://cn.linkedin.com/pub/fang-fang/13/5a8/a89
"Jimm Trekk", who is also actor Cela Yildiz: http://www.imdb.com/media/rm2820781312/nm2553510

well, then the scent of scam is already about them.

That's awesome, super useful. Thanks TheRealSteve.

Didn't know about reverse image googling. (D'uh.)
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April 25, 2014, 02:37:30 PM
 #9

And it makes no sense that they would drop the price by 40% after 1000 people have ordered and they have no shipped yet, that would do nothing but piss those first 1000 people off that they dropped the price for 4 grand, right after they ordered.

It is definitely a scam.



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April 25, 2014, 04:11:01 PM
 #10

like i've said in many threads....

if you have to make a thread asking this kind of question, then the answer is pretty obvious.

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April 25, 2014, 04:19:59 PM
 #11

If their unknown you have only one way to find it out, test It yourself or find more trusted site. That's how sites gain their trust, someone has to be first to try It.
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April 25, 2014, 04:25:41 PM
 #12

If a customer rep or representation from their company doesn't post, create an ANN thread, or prove to the community that their not a scam operation, I usually write it off right away. 

A year or 2 ago, I could only imagine it was much tougher to debunk who was real and who were the scum of the earth.

Some of the real manufacturers even turned to the dark side!  This business is very liquid and ever changing.
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April 25, 2014, 04:28:41 PM
 #13

Haha, 3 tweets on a month old account, following 4 people, 5,638 followers....

https://twitter.com/Extolabs

You can be 100% sure they are buying followers on twitter to bolster their social presence in a shady way...

The images are great renderings, and according to the labeling these guys are not only making ASICs but fans, power supplies, and PCBs too.

That is one hell of an overnight accomplishment.
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April 25, 2014, 04:40:23 PM
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Wow ya should be cyber detectives.. I enjoyed this thread!  Grin
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April 25, 2014, 05:03:34 PM
Last edit: July 07, 2014, 12:14:30 AM by gallery2000
 #15

don't get fool by extolabs because extolabs stands for extortion labs

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April 26, 2014, 06:52:55 AM
 #16

I will say if you plan to try something like this out without knowing what to expect going in.  It is best to proceed with extreme caution and try not to put yourself into a situation with very is risk.
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April 28, 2014, 10:55:31 AM
 #17

Extolabs is claiming to have started shipping their pre-sold ASICS early, in order to "make up" to their pre-sale clients for offering a discount on remaining units. There is a post on their site from 27 April (yesterday) saying shipping has commenced.

By the way, a quick check on the site http://wck2.companieshouse.gov.uk/ using the Extolabs business registration number 08973540 (found at the bottom of the Extolabs website) shows that the company has only been registered since 02/04/2014! (Clarification: 2nd April 2014 according to UK date notation.) Definitely not reassuring.

Less than a month, and already shipping ASICs?

I guess if they disappear in a couple of weeks, we'll know they're a scam. I don't imagine you can last long after claiming to have shipped orders without really shipping them...
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May 29, 2014, 11:06:59 PM
 #18

Hi,

Thanks for discussing this topic, as it brought it to my attention that my photo has been used without my permission on the Extolabs website above someone else's name.

I have never had any association with Extolabs.  Neither have I had any contact with anyone associated with Extolabs to date, to the best of my knowledge.  Further I do not endorse Extolabs in any way.

In fact, even if the use of my photo is a very unusual kind of mistake on their behalf, I'd suggest that it gives a signal that not all is as it seems with Extolabs.

I will complain to them through the only communications means they offer - their contact form on their website, and if I get an apology from them and they remove my photo, I will let you know.

In the meantime - be cautious about anything Extolabs claims.  Something is not right with them!

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May 29, 2014, 11:16:41 PM
 #19

Newbie here as well... Glad I found this post... Thx everyone who provided input. I decide to reach out to one of these folks... He confirmed he's not associated. I guess this is the negative side of bitcoin mining... Lots of scamming and paying with BTC, you're exposed. Cause it's not like you can call your credit card company and reverse the transaction. Little bit bummed as I was hoping to buy a few cause it seemed like a good deal, but a few things seemed off. Keep on searching I guess.
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August 07, 2014, 07:40:11 PM
 #20

Their website is down now, showing up the default parallel page.
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