Thursday, 30 August 2018

OneCoin follow-up

OneCoin 2015 – 2018.


Crumbling remains of the pyramid


A successful scam usually has cult like members who continue believing in the scam even at the point when the whole pyramid is collapsing around them. This is also where we are at with OneCoin.

There are still members who are clinging to the hope of OneCoin going public and thus the imaginary value of the coin would magically turn into reality. One fact that they comfortable seem to forget is that it isn't relevant whether there are hundreds of thousands or 3,5 million members believing in the lie. There isn't going to be masses of even more gullible people to bail them out from their misery.

The members of OneCoin are supposedly holding about 60 billion onecoins, most of them very eager to sell all of their possessions as soon as possible. According to the dictated value of the coin, which is a bit above 20 euros at the moment, that's about 1200 billion euros. You have to be absolutely delusional to imagine people outside the cult buying these coins. And you only have to know the basics of economics to understand what would happen if the coin ever was successfully launched to open market.

Furthermore the latest news about OneCoin once again delaying the big day of going public seem to have agitated also some of the hardest believers to ask questions and demand answers.



Google Trends


In September 2016 OneCoin's popularity on Google was peaking and the company proudly claimed to have reached 2.5 million members. Currently the counter of the website claims that OneCoin has almost 3.5 million members. However this increase of 1 million members doesn't reflect at all on Google Trends. Search term "onecoin" has the popularity of about 20 % compared to the highest mark in September 2016.


Between those red vertical lines there has been an increase of 1 million members. Yet OneCoin's popularity on Google has gone down remarkably from the peak in September 2016. 

Google Trends can be a great tool for comparing popularities of different search terms. For instance OneCoin has been marketed as the biggest cryptocurrency in the world, also as "the Bitcoin killer" in addition to other nonsensical claims. On Google Trends we see a totally different story. Compared to other known cryptocurrencies OneCoin seems to be practically unknown to the general public. Adding Bitcoin to the comparison shows OneCoin's popularity as a flat line.


Comparing search term "onecoin" to "bitcoin" on Google Trends.

The stats shown by Google Trend are no surprise to me. Usually when OneCoin comes up in a conversation I have to explain what it is. Recently I talked to a fried who lives in an area that is most likely the worst OneCoin infected area in Finland. He had never heard about OneCoin.



Alexa.com


OneCoin's DealShaker platform presents a counter that has had linear growth of merchants and logged-in-members throughout the existence of the site. Alexa.com shows a rather drastic decline in popularity of the site which indicates that the figures given by OneCoin aren't trustworthy.




Over 70.000 merchants but only about 15.000 shitty deals available. Total amount of users logged in is very far from the alleged 3.5 million members of OneCoin. Seems that vast majority of them aren't interested about DealShaker.



Alleged 3.5 million members but not much interest towards DealShitter.


The popularity of the site has been declining despite the continuously growing number of members.



The BMW auction


In June there was a big marketing event of DealShaker and the climax was an auction of a BMW car that was going to be hammered for 100 % onecoins.

A video clip of the auction shows GLG (Global Leader Group) members of OneCoin running the auction. GLG is supposed to be a group of OneCoin leaders that are the highest in the hierarchy what comes to the IMAs (Independent Marketing Associates) of OneCoin/OneLife. They are the ones that members can rely on as a source of real disinformation.





Immediately after the auction was over it was praised as a great success and as a proof that you can buy even a BMW sports car with onecoins. The auction starts with a modest bid of 1.000 onecoins, next bid was 2.000 onecoins and the third one 2.300 onecoins. According to the dictated value of onecoin the third bid was close to the actual retail price of the car, which is probably something between 40k-50k euros. However, the auction didn't stop there. The final bid for the car was staggering 3.6 million onecoins. According to the imaginary value of the coin that would be well above 70 million euros for a BMW worth about 40k euros. Or to be more precise the value of onecoin in this transaction would be about 0.011 euro.

It's funny how the GLG members got more and more excited as the imaginary value of the coin was bombarded down by every bid, starting from the very beginning of the auction.


GLG member Mihail Petrovic thinks that the auction was fantastic.

Of course the auction got ridiculed online because it truly showed that not even the top leaders of OneCoin valued the coin even close to the imaginary value of the coin. However, the company was swift to interfere and as a result the auction was voided. Apparently OneCoin's members can't even use their coins as they will. Everything is controlled by the scampany.






Top leaders  and management abandoned the ship


The whole leadership of the company is gone and the majority of the top earners of the scam have moved on, many of them to other scams. Many of the loudest supporters and believers of OneCoin have gone quiet. Konstantin Ignatov stepped in to replace his sister who fled from the EU region and was never to be heard again.


Sebastian Greenwood, Global Master Distributor




Sebastian Greenwood left OneCoin in December 2017 after being in OneCoin since the beginning. His name popped up in China in May 2018 after Chinese authorities investigating OneCoin scam had frozen a bank account of Greenwood's holding 7.1 million dollars.


Bangkok 2016, Sebastian Greenwood lying about the birthday cake of OneCoin:
"The biggest cake ever" ... "And this cake is two meters by two meters in diameter."


Frank Ricketts


Frank Ricketts, the captain of the shipwreck.

Frank Ricketts was appointed as the "captain" of the ship(-wreck) as Greenwood was making his way to exit. Awkwardly this fresh captain left without telling about it to his drowning passengers. The company itself didn't inform about the departure of Ricketts. Instead the news were milked from a member of the Global Leaders Group (GLG).


Pablo Munoz, CEO of OneLife




We still don't know why Pablo Munoz disappeared from the position of OneLife CEO. The company was loud to introduce him but buried him very quietly. – Oh, they didn't bury him literally. As far as I know Munoz is still alive. I don't think he misses his short reign though.

The LinkedIn profile of Munoz doesn't mention a thing about his position in OneLife.


Pierre "Pitt" Arens, CEO of OneCoin


Pierre Arens was introduced as the new CEO of OneCoin in May 2017.

Pierre "Pitt" Arens quitted as the CEO of OneCoin holding the position only about 5 months. His LinkedIn profile still doesn't mention a thing about being the CEO of "the biggest cryptocurrency of the world". According to Arens the reason for his departure was: "a lack of leeway as a leader". – Oh, i guess it had nothing to do with the company being a scam then.


Ruja Ignatova, the visionary, the founder, the queen of the crypt




The beloved leader of the ponzi disappeared in October 2017 and was never heard again. When OneCoin's offices were raided in January 2018 it became obvious that she had fled the EU region.

After Ruja Ignatova left the scam her brother Konstantin Ignatov took over as the head of the ponzi. It remains to be seen how long that lasts.



Konstantin plays the role of the head of the company but behind the curtains the real manager of One Network Services is certain Christian Manolov. However Manolov is apparently just a puppet put in charge of a strange circle of companies owning each other. Read this article by Bulgarian Capital to know more about the companies behind OneCoin.


Edward Ludbrook

I think there's one man behind OneCoin who has not given the praise that he deserves. I mean, he is after all the man who by his own words was behind the idea of creating the new blockchain for OneCoin in October 2016.

Edward Ludbrook was once "The Chief Leadership Officer" and "the Asian Ambassador" of the scam. To bring credibility to OneCoin and to himself Ludbrook was also keen on boasting how he had advised the British government on the pyramid law legislation in the 90's. I don't know if that's true, but while he was a loyal lackey of OneCoin this expert of pyramid legislation was in fact urging people to disregard any warnings about OneCoin.

After leaving the company Lubrook has tried to distance himself from the scam. He has removed all posts from his Facebook page regarding OneCoin. The only one I managed to find was this:


– Well he obviously has also focused on deleting material that connects him to OneCoin/OneLife.

His LinkedIn profile page is nowadays missing the 11 months he spent consulting a ponzi-pyramid scam. Luckily someone took a screencap before the reference was removed. According to Ludbrook he was "misled by the CEO of OneLife" (Ruja Ignatova) and he also addresses "deep concerns over the company." – I guess those concerns were not deep enough to give a shit about the victims of the ponzi.


Ludbrook: "I was misled by the CEO and have deep concerns over the company."

Although he was not the Consultant of OneLife after September 2016 he did continue as Asian Ambassador of OneLife for an unknown period.


Ludbrook as "Asian Ambassador" of OneLife in October 2016.


After getting out of the relationship with OneCoin Ludbrook has written a piece on Medium platform titled "How to spot a crypto-scam?" He writes:
"90% of true scams are easy to spot. And frankly most people join these knowing that they look weak and they just hope they can make a quick profit.
Its the 10% that are hard to spot. I was recruited into a crypto-business that had everything right except…. So anyone can be caught. It happens to the best of us."

– It happens to the best of us? – No, it doesn't happen to the best of us. The true nature of OneCoin was easy to spot since the day one. That's why there were so many people warning about the scam from the early on. There has also been numerous warnings from banks, governments and police.

By the way, an earlier edition of the article by Ludbrook was a bit more revealing:


Now who might this "con-woman" be?



Ed Ludbrook: 
"I don't think stupid people should be allowed to be in OneCoin."




Here's Ed Ludbrook discouraging people from searching information about OneCoin and urging to disregard any warnings:



So Mr Ludbrook, you claim you were somehow misled by Ruja Ignatova. How many people did you mislead?

Thursday, 23 August 2018

OneCoin – The Big Reveal

Lately there has been a lot of buzz among OneCoin members about "the Big Reveal" that was coming. A counter had emerged on a OneCoin related website, onecoinico.io, and the due date was yesterday. However the counter was set up to go along whatever time zone and time was set to a clock of a pc so the counter was showing different figures depending on one's time zone.




This screenshot was taken shortly after 12:00 pm (+2 GMT). The counter stalled to 1 second for a quite some time...
... Later the counter disappeared but nothing happened for hours. Well, at least the counter wasn't replaced by another counter like during the earlier ICO failure.


Funny enough, there seems to be trust issues among the members about the website. Some of them are even suspecting that it's just a plan of "haters" to distract and maybe mislead the members. As a reminder the website has been officially connected to the mother scam before. OneCoin was promoting its first ICO charade in 2017 and was urging members to participate it. The ICO was soon to be buried before getting anything started.


Onecoinico.io and the roadmap


Well, finally the website was published today. It seems to mimic all other ICO scams out there. However, OneCoin's ICO site differs somewhat. The website doesn't introduce any team or people behind the project, not even details of a company can be found. Most of the content is just familiar marketing mumbo jumbo that we have seen before. There's even a Telegram channel, but it's not open for discussion – not that I'm surprised.

The company has been claiming for years that there already is a cryptocurrency named OneCoin and a running blockchain so running an ICO doesn't make any sense – that is if we were not talking about a scam. Nevertheless it's rather strange to run an ICO to raise funds for a company that has been boasting that it doesn't need any more money.

The actual reason for this ICO is probably just to reboot the scam, to give it some new boost and lengthen its lifespan by exploiting the remains of the pyramid and possible new recruits that are gullible enough to believe in this despite all the red flags and warnings.


The Roadmap of OneCoin ICO. (click to enlarge)

Too bad for the scammers that many of the members are getting fed up with all the delays that OneCoin has had. Initially OneCoin was going to be public in 2016. Later the going-public-date was set to October 2018, the date that was eagerly anticipated by the members. Now it's postponed to the unknown future due a strange ICO phase.

In fact the ICO website doesn't mention anything about the coin going public. During the ICO there are coins gradually "released" to the people obtaining "OFCs". – Not a thing about going public or setting up a cryptocurrency wallet. Nothing about the onecoins that the members already possess.

The roadmap states that "All coins acquired by participants will be available to them lately, on October 8, 2019, at the output of the project at full capacity." – Since the roadmap is referring to the "project" I believe it's all about converting OFCs into onecoins, not about going public. Going public doesn't even matter to the company because it would only show the real market value of the worthless coin in an instance.


The Big Reveal: OneCoin is going to use Ethereum blockchain to create 120 billion OneCoins?


Someone spotted that the Smart Contract viewable on onecoinico.io held some very delicate information. According to the Smart Contract it seemed that the company was going to use Ethereum blockchain to create 120 billion OneCoins. Yes, all those 120 billion coins that OneCoin has claimed to have its own blockchain for.



Click to englarge.

After this accidental information spill was posted on a OneCoin related forum the Smart Contract was quickly removed from the ICO website. – Nothing fishy here! LOL!

Yeah, it might be a bitch to get a scam coin without a blockchain converted to a legit cryptocurrency. Meanwhile the members of OneCoin have yet another year to wait for further delays.

Here's a link to the copied version of the Smart Contract.


Update 24 August


Apparently OneCoin has already been turned down by six of the 12 exchanges that the company was contacting. 

This screen shot is from the ICO site from yesterday:



This screen shot was taken just a while ago:


Update 28 August: All the exchanges were removed yesterday and today the entire site was IP-blocked for traffic coming from EU countries.

Here's an archived version of the ICO website.

Tuesday, 3 July 2018

War Field – Shipping containers and lies #MinerOne

It seems to be a year of scam-ICOs. The word ICO (Initial Coin Offering) has been so sexy among scammers that it's hard to avoid bumping into a scam using it. And you really don't have to dig your hands deep into the murky side of the internet to find them. Some of these scams have gone as far as boldly advertising themselves online.


War Field – Miner One's sideshow project






I had subscribed to Miner One's newsletter to find out latest happenings in the scheme. The newsletter released on June 28 was headlined: "What Is WAR FIELD? A VIP Offer for the Miner One Community". 

The newsletter continues:  
"Miner One is pleased to announce that co-founder Andrius Mironovskis is leading a new project called WAR FIELD. 
WAR FIELD is an ICO and a "first-person shooter" video game that offers an ERC20 token called GOLDER. Players can stake GOLDER on their gameplay, win GOLDER from their opponents, withdraw them and trade them freely on cryptocurrency exchanges (once the ICO ends).  
"WAR FIELD is an exciting new project that will offer the video gaming community something they've never had before: the possibility of winning real, tradeable, and valuable cryptocurrency for skilful video gameplay," notes Miner One CEO Pranas Slusnys."

Okay, so it's going to be a new cryptocurrency that has no usage outside the gameworld of War Field. In-game currency isn't exactly a new invention and this fact is also acknowledged by War Field in its white paper. 

But what is this GOLDER coin for then? The white paper introduces a problem and a solution that GOLDER is supposed to provide:

"In-game currencies in the form of coins, credits, virtual notes, and tokens are nothing new. But usually they only work one way: a player uses real money to buy ingame tokens and spends them in the game on digital items such as power-ups, additional lives, equipment or enhancements, to shorten wait times etc." 
"By leveraging revolutionary blockchain technology, we will offer the possibility of withdrawing earned or saved GOLDER and selling them on exchanges or directly using the Ethereum network."

Well, you can call me sceptic but I really don't see how that's going to work out. I'm not saying that an in-game currency couldn't evolve into a currency that has actual value for some. However, I think there's actually a reason why for example many modern mobile games use in-game currencies that can't be reversed into fiat currency. – That's because it's in-game currency! You are supposed to lose your money in an instance when you exchange your fiat money for in-game money or purchase products made out of pixels; a new armour, a better gun and a new haircut for your game character.

However, generally speaking all in-game items and even in-game currencies are practically worthless. You can have a level 91 Elf with a Mighty Sword of Dragon Dung worth thousands of elf-credits, but the general public couldn't care less about your worthless gear and the amount of time you have invested in your game character. Game developers earn money from in-game purchases so it's not exactly in their interest to start running a convertible currency to go along with the gameworld.



The Team


The team and advisors behind War Field ICO and the game is partly the same that is behind the ICO of Miner One. 


Andrius Mironovskis, Rimas Puriuskis, Darius Udrys and Jonas Udris appear also in the team of Miner One. Click to enlarge.


The game


Well, let's see what's this War Field about. As the website of the game describes it: 
"WAR FIELD is the online multiplayer first-person shooter game that lets you win cryptocurrency from your opponents."

There's also an alpha version online to test the game free of charge so I took a test drive to see the actual game. I don't think there's much to say about. It's a crappy first-person shooter happening on a cargo ship. The game area is rather small and there isn't much else to see but shipping containers.

A screenshot from War Field. There was only one opponent but a lot of shipping containers. Too bad none of them seemed to have Miner One's Antminers installed.

A short video clip of the game:





The website and the lies





Interestingly the website of War Field is promising that the game is going to be released soon on Xbox and PlayStation in addition to "AppStore" and "Play Store". 

Well, I believe Microsoft and Sony would be the first to know if such game would be released on their platforms. I mean this will certainly be groundbreaking for them if they actually were going to integrate this cryptocurrency GOLDER into their services. I'm surprised that this hasn't been on news already.

The road map of War Field goes as far as even setting a date for the release of Xbox and PlayStation versions of the game. It's going be available on May 15 2019. I had serious doubts whether this information was accurate and if the company behind the game, The Blockchain International FZE, has even permission to use the brands of Xbox and PlayStation for marketing this investment opportunity. So I decided to contact Microsoft and Sony about the issue. The conversation I had with a representative of Microsoft only strengthened my suspicions. I haven't received any response from Sony yet.   

Release on Xbox and PlayStation on May 15 2019. I wonder if Microsoft and Sony know about this deal yet?

I contacted also the team behind War Field ICO via Telegram and asked about the issue. I was actually surprised to get answers to my questions because I had previously been kicked out from Miner One's Telegram group for asking questions. I was even more astonished how the team member of War Field blurted out that the release date on the Road Map was just something they had made up, and thus a lie. You can read the whole conversation below:


Click to enlarge.

Here's a link to an archived version of warfield.com just in case.



The Conclusion


Based on the fact that the team is blatantly lying to promote this ICO I consider it as a scam and not to be trusted. Lying about the game being released soon on Xbox and PlayStation and going as far as giving an exact date of this bullshit is really just more than enough to anyone even with half a brain to draw the right conclusion, not to even mention that Microsoft and Sony would have to integrate this scammy cryptocurrency to their platforms. 

Thursday, 31 May 2018

Miner One – moving to shipping containers



The token sales of Miner One ended in May and now, as stated in the roadmap of the scheme, it's time for the first equipment order. The CEO of Miner One, Pranas Slusnys, lets us know that they succeeded to gather 8213 ETH with the crowdsale. That's about 4 million euros according to the current rate of Ether. Now it's going to be quite a rush because Miner One has promised to make its first payouts in August. It really doesn't help that they don't even seem to have facilities yet to build up a mining farm.

According to the white paper of Miner One and all the marketing and advertising they have done, they were going to start a mining farm in Luleå Sweden and have it running in July. However, during a Facebook livestream on May 16, Pranas Slusnys was already suggesting that the mining farm might be built in another location. It seems more and more likely that there won't be any mining farm in Luleå. I personally doubt if there ever is going to be a mining farm at all.


Moving to a shipping container?


A livestream yesterday had Slusnys talking about a new idea of having their mining equipment in shipping containers. "Our main idea, erm, from the start it was to choose one place, and put all mining equipment in that one place, in, in, erm, Luleå" ... "Erm, eeh, erm, but we want to be more independent. We wan't to be not locked in one location." 

Slusnys: "Erm, eerm, eeeh, erm, erm, erm, eeh." – Yeah, he really talks like that.


Now here comes the most funniest part of the explanation of Slusnys about this idea that he refers to be a great one. According to him they can easily move their shipping containers in a week or two in case they need to move the mining equipment whenever "price of energy will be problematic". – What is this? I thought Luleå was like a paradise for a mining farm.

Apparently shutting down the mining farm for a week or two won't be a problem for Miner One while moving their containers. It isn't like the price of electricity fluctuates in Sweden to the extend that this kind of movable mining farm would be reasonable. On the contrary, I think shutting down such mining farm even for a week costs much more due the period of shutdown than any possible savings in electricity could be. 

Screenshot of the livestream showing Miner One's plans about their movable mining farm in shipping containers.

Shipping containers aren't exactly the greatest place to keep things cool. In addition July and August are usually the warmest months in Scandinavia, so having a mining farm in a shipping container could cause sauna-like conditions. Not to even mention that I really don't think that you can go somewhere and just find a place to plug in to a power socket a shipping container with a mining farm.


What about renewable energy?


After Slusnys presented the idea of having their mining farm in shipping containers someone asks in the comments section of the broadcast about Miner One's plan to use renewable energy. The answer Slusnys gives to this question is just astonishingly and awkwardly stupid. 

Slusnys seems to think that you can practically park a container near a solar panel field and plug it in to get green energy. However, he apparently considers only hydro energy as a viable source of green energy: "We need to keep in mind, except hydro the other energy sources, they are not available for 24 hours." – Meaning that sun doesn't always shine, sometimes it's cloudy, and also the wind power can fluctuate.

In fact, although you can select a "green option" while making a contract with a power company in Scandinavia, the company can't exclude electricity coming from nuclear power plants to ones power socket. There's even a contract promising 100 % energy produced by hydropower for example by Vattenfall, but not even that is nuclear power free. The electricity that comes out of the power sockets is always a combination of electricity produced by all the power sources of the power company. So 100 % hydropower is basically just a marketing pitch.

I don't know why they keep this scheme still dragging on after the crowdsale ended. Maybe there's still going to be a way to milk cryptocurrency from gullible people? Anyway, on Miner One's website they have downgraded their slogan already a bit. Instead of "the world's biggest crowdfunded crypto mining operation" it's now "the world’s most profitable mining operation". – Well, this might very well be very profitable mining operation for some, but what comes to actual mining, it might be a minor one.



Thursday, 17 May 2018

Bunny Token – Maslov and Kazarin

Bunny Token has published two new videos this month with the CEO Aleksander Maslov and the CTO Andrei Kazarin making their appearances. Awkwardly the videos published on the Facebook page of Bunny Token lack subtitles and the speeches are in Russian(?). However, they did publish the videos also on YouTube and there subtitles are visible.

I guess the main purpose of these two-minute videos is just to show that Maslov and Kazarin really exist. However, considering that there isn't any evidence supporting that they use their real names, and Bunny Token had a team of 18 people removed from its website after I presented evidence revealing them as fake persons, I don't think Bunny Token has any credibility left even if Maslov and Kazarin was their real names. In addition also the Facebook pages of Maslov and Kazarin were showing similar made-up content as the members of the deleted team had on Facebook.


Maslov making an appearance





There isn't much to be said about the content of the video. It's only two minutes. However, here are some of the key points:

With "the Bunnies" he's referring to the cartoon characters that is used to market Bunny Token. According to Maslov: "The stickers are popular even outside the crypto community".

Funny that you say so, because I'm sure the team was just a dream.

Andrei Kazarin



The robotlike Kazarin seems to read a pre-written speech throughout the video. According to Kazarin Bunny has "a highly professional team made up of 6 developers". – Yeah, I'm sure the team was made up.


Marketing budget of Bunny depleted?


I haven't seen Bunny Token ads for weeks. It could be because there isn't gullible people investing enough to keep Bunny rolling.

According to Google Trends the popularity of search term "bunny token" has gone remarkably down recently. This makes sense, because a scam that depends heavily on advertising is likely to go down due the lack of advertising:
The popularity of search term "bunny token" on Google Trends. Click to enlarge.

As a comparison to give some perspective, here's "bunny token" (blue) compared to the popularity of "onecoin" (red) on Google Trends during the last 90 days.

Wednesday, 9 May 2018

Miner One in D minor




First of all, Miner One might not be anything illegal. It might be a perfectly legitimate way of collecting funds from gullible investors. That been said I personally see it as a very stupid investment and I also suspect that it's a ponzi scam.

Miner One touts itself as "The World's Biggest Crowdfunded Crypto Mining Operation". There's a huge slogan on the website claiming it to be the best Bitcoin investment. Below the slogan there's additional marketing pitches "Cutting-Edge Miners" and "World-Class Team". However, while writing this, there supposedly isn't any mining farm yet. Whether the team classifies as a world-class team is beyond me.

Like Ice Rock Mining also Miner One has an ICO attached to its project. So there's a coin to be launched but it has no other purpose but to be attached to the dividends of the future mining farm. Once again offering hefty profits from mining Bitcoin via mining farm doesn't payout Bitcoins. This would of course be very useful if there wasn't any actual mining happening, or if the mining wasn't significant in scale to provide enough profit to the dividends distribution.



The CEO and the co-founders


Pranas Slušnys




The CEO and a co-founder of this project is someone named Pranas Slušnys. Slušnys has appeared also in several videos by Miner One. Other co-founders of the project are Jonas Udris and Andrius Mironovskis.

Pranas Slušnys has a LindedIn profile page which presents a history of mostly CEO positions. Strangely there isn't a word about his education. He doesn't seem to have any cryptocurrency related history. 

What comes to his former businesses there seems to be at least one shady one. A company of Slušnys was providing website domains and payment portals to a travel agency Skrydžiai LT that has outraged its Lithuanian customers. According to a Lithuanian news source December 19 2016: "the company never states the final flight price, misleads the consumers by mimicking the official pages of Ryanair, Wizzair, airBaltic."
According to the article customers of Skrydžiai LT were charged much more than advertised, sometimes with over double rates.

When approached by Lithuanian journalist about the website misleading consumers, Slušnys responded:
"Sirio HRO and Business Consultancy FZE respects LR and EU law, cares about its customers and operates without violating Ras Al Khaimah (UAE) and United Arab Emirates laws."
– Well, I think not violating the laws of Ras Al Khaimah (UAE) wasn't much condolence to the mislead Lithuanian customers.

The article mentions:
"On the Internet, there are a lot of websites that resemble the official pages of Wizzair, airBaltic, Ryanair, but not authorized representatives of the company (wizzair-skrydis.lt, ryanair-skrydis.lt, airbaltic-skrydis.lt). They send newsletters with attractive offers to people's mailboxes."
– Yes, Slušnys or his company is the registrar of all of those domains. The domain of airbaltic-skrydis.lt was currently free, so apparently it had already expired or there was a typo in the article.  

In addition I found that Slušnys had registered also the following rather confusing domains:
ryanair-poleti.com
ryanbiletes.lv
wizzair-aviobiletes.lv

Well, what does this travel agency case has to do with Miner One besides having the name of Slušnys attached to it? The same company that was behind Skrydžiai LT's web domains, Sirio H.R.O and Business Consultancy, is also the company that is running Miner One.


Jonas Udris




Jonas Udris can be found on LinkedIn and he according to his profile page he has an education in law, which does match his position in Miner One as the legal counsel. He hasn't got much blockchain related history except a project called carVertical.

Apparently there was a ICO launched in December 2017. The ICO ended on 15th January 2018. CarVertical was presented as the "World’s First Global & Decentralized Car History Registry Built on Blockchain". It is supposed to bring solutions for all kinds of problems regarding getting information about used cars and their history. I think carVertical really just raises a lot of questions to which it has no answers to.


Andrius Mironovskis




Andrius Mironovskis can be found on LinkedIn. He doesn't have any information about his education visible. Besides being a co-founder of Miner One he's also in charge of product development – whatever that means regarding this... erm, product?



Miner One – in D minor





Screencapture from the website.


Miner One draws a picture of a Swedish based company by presenting snowy pictures of Sweden on its website and with a map of Sweden pointing at location of Luleå where the mining is supposed to happen. However, the company behind Miner One is Sirio H.R.O and Business Consultancy who is registered in Ras al Khaimah in the United Arab Emirates. I couldn't find any public registry to check out the existence of the company. Whether it exists or not, it's an offshore company that most likely has all its detailed information hidden.

To be fair, there is also a Swedish company involved, Greenbit Data Center AB, freshly incorporated in the early 2018. The purpose of this company is apparently to rent a facility for Miner One and handle other costs of the operation in Sweden. I guess it also brings more credibility to have a local company that can be referred to.

Miner One claims to have ultra-low mining costs due the northern climate that keeps their equipment cool. Well, I have lived about 20 years in a Finnish town about 200 kilometers to southeast from Luleå and I can say that it's not a winter all year around. I admit, it can be cold during winter but summer can be warm from June to August. Here you can check the weather history for Luleå. I personally think former Soviet bunkers in Kazakhstan would be much more believable environment for a fantasy of a low-cost mining farm.



False marketing


During recent months there has been a quite substantial advertising campaign in the internet by Miner One. I have bumped into YouTube ads on several occasions as well as ad banners online. Despite investing heavily on its marketing Minor One doesn't seem to have made it into news and there isn't much objective sources of information to be found. 


Miner One ad on Google.

There isn't anything wrong or illegal with a company or a project advertising itself. But there's a fundamental difference between legitimate businesses and scams what comes to marketing and criticism. Legitimate businesses don't have to lie and they accept criticism whereas scams can lie shamelessly and try to censor any criticism or belittle it.  

I had subscribed to the newsletter of Miner One to get the latest news of this project. On April 27th I received a newsletter titled: 
"Entrepreneur names Miner One one of "Top 10 ICOs You Must Invest In""
– That's just a blatant lie. Miner One had paid a third party Stankevicius MGM to release an article on Spotlight, which is a a platform  provided by Entrepreneur to its partners. There's a rather hard to spot disclaimer on Spotlight saying "Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur Spotlight partners are their own". Entrepreneur has nothing do to with the article.


A newsletter by Miner One lying that Entrepreneur names it as one of the top ICO to invest.


To test how Miner One handles criticism I posted the comment below on Miner One's Facebook page. I was not surprised to find out that the comment was not published. Neither did Miner One ever give an asnwer to my question.


A question never published or answered to.



Stankevicius MGM – Pay us money, we release your bullshit on Entrepreneur.



What about the mining farm?


According to the roadmap of Miner One, they should have already executed the first equipment order in April. The delivery of the equipment is mid June – according to the roadmap. The mining is supposed to start in July. However, during a live broadcast on Facebook on 12 April it turned out that there was no mining hardware ordered yet due "the unexpected and dramatic drop in Ether (value)". The team was planning to wait some more weeks before proceeding with purchasing hardware. I guess the roadmap isn't that accurate then and the schedule is pretty much pointless.


The roadmap of Miner One. The roadmap is promising first payouts already in August 2018, after only one month of mining.


The white paper of Miner One also mentions Miner One's “Cushion Effect”. That means that even if the value of BTC drops, investment in Miner One can still generate returns.
– It's like there's absolutely no way that Miner One could not profitable. I'm surprised they need crowdfunding for all this. How come their mining hardware distributor doesn't just provide all the equipment in exchange for a small percentage from the profits?

During the live broadcast of 12th April the CEO of Miner One, Pranas Slušnys, makes an interesting statement:
"Maybe we'll make a decision, and few weeks to change from Bitcoin to Ether (mining)."
– Considering that mining hardware that mines Bitcoins can't be used to mine Ether, this is a very strange statement from the CEO of this project that concentrates solely on Bitcoin mining in its marketing pitches. Maybe they should have prewritten everything Slušnys was supposed to say. 

Instead of making any announcements about hardware purchases, during the last weeks Miner One has been busy concentrating on sideshow nonsense and setting up a high-altitude hydrogen balloon to release it with a payload of Bitcoin miner. I guess that's the mining farm then?



Payout Calculator


Similar to Ice Rock Mining also Miner One has a ROI calculator on its website, which promises suspiciously high profits. The calculator by Miner One isn't as outrageous as the one of Ice Rock, but coincidentally they both use BTC value of 14K USD as the base of their calculations.


Invest 25.000 $ and get a hefty ROI of 157.000 $ in three years?


Conclusion


In my opinion Miner One is a ponzi scam. It seems to have attracted a lot of traffic to its website due the substantial advertising campaign still going on. As payments are made via cryptocurrency and the company running the show is based in the United Arab Emirates, there's is practically no risk to the gang running the show. This is a project that is safe to fail.



Miner One's advertising campaign has been attracting a lot of traffic.