According to increasingly large numbers of reports, Group Bitcoin is yet another Bitcoin cloudmining scam that has been recently unveiled. As more and more ponzie and pyramid schemes are toppled, we can only hope that Bitcoin users are getting more wise.
Kossigan Kpedenou stated that he had opened an account on August 1st with Group Bitcoin. On their website, Group Bitcoin states that they will send monthly payouts, but Kossigan reports that he has yet to receive any payments from the company. He tried contacting the company through email and telephone calls, but received no response. An investigation uncovered that Group Bitcoin is using a mail forwarding service with "London Presence" and the address displayed on their website's contact form is the "London Presence" company's address. Although "London Presence" requires photo ID when setting up an account with them, this could easily be spoofed.
Group Bitcoin - Oh No!
Kossigan's friend also allegedly paid for services with Group Bitcoin, but he sent his payment late, and he never received services or his money back. When Group Bitcoin wrote back, they allegedly stated that there were delays with BitPay. Group Bitcoin was unavailable for comment.
Group Bitcoin is a registered company under the name GB World LTD. Below is a screenshot of the company's government registration record for their company number. The company was registered on December 30th of 2013.
Ironically, Group Bitcoin has created an article on avoiding scams. If you try calling Group Bitcoin, as their article suggests, no one will answer. Their article also suggests meeting in person before doing business with a company, but with their mailing address being a forwarding address, no one can be sure where to meet them without being able to contact their company. Their live chat is always offline, email contact never receives a reply, and they don't answer their phones. On the flip side, their company is a registered business, and members have not discussed the company in any way on BitcoinTalk.org.
According to CloudMiningReviews, reviewing members were originally calling Group Bitcoin a "professional company," but on July 2nd, 2014, reviews started to get a bit disconcerting. Norm Fasey reports that the lack of communication at the time was due to "teething problems" on their website and that he was later able to receive communication from Group Bitcoin. In August, the communication from Group Bitcoin seems to have declined further with several members remarking that they haven't received any contact or that communication has been slow. Every review discussing payments states that they have yet to receive a payment from Group Bitcoin.
Group Bitcoin scores 4/5 stars in every category, including cost, reliability, and support, on CloudMiningReviews due to the original five-star positive reviews. That's quite misleading given the way that the company is currently run.
Do you have an account with Group Bitcoin? If so, what has been your experience? Did they ever pay you? How have you handled the situation? Leave a comment below and remember to stay safe.
Author's Update #1: Group Bitcoin has read this article and sent the reply email below. I've asked for Group Bitcoin to provide a message signed with their payout Bitcoin address and that information will provided here if they send it.
We get quite a few marketing emails from your site and other similar Bitcoin news sites about advertising they're ignored as was this one, so sorry for the late reply.
I've just seen the story. The customer you're talking about has 2GH/s we're looking into what happened but he hasn't contacted us which might have been a good idea.
We've been accused by lots of people since we started in 2013 but we're still not a scam and we never will be. We have a few hundred happy customers email replies have been slow recently due to other commitments.
The only reason someone wouldn't have been paid out is if they've not sent us their wallet or it hasn't been added to the system yet.
Author's Update #2: Group Bitcoin stated that they are paying people from two Bitcoin addresses, but when asked to provide a signed message from that address, they were unable to do so. The Bitcoin addresses they claim to be paying people from are 1N6qY6mtZwuQDRutXaowLeQ9uicdcqFn7g and 1Bre5eVN47KVwmGaVdDuxD4DgvhdsRAd9.
Author's Update #3: Instead of providing a signed message from the address, Group Bitcoin sent a transaction with a public message. They created a transaction from 1N6qY6mtZwuQDRutXaowLeQ9uicdcqFn7g with a public note. The note is the text that I asked them to sign as a message, so I can confirm that they do own this address. (Tx: b1029892ee3f31c3565c5ec9c90c18dd35335aaf9d0aba6c0dd97aebc8eb46f5) The only issue is that the large payout sections pay to that address instead of paying from it. The 1Bre5eVN47KVwmGaVdDuxD4DgvhdsRAd9 address pays the same 0.0002 BTC back to the first address in transaction fa2ce41d6c08cce38bd9c2a201afa1706e2fce0e9056b83926b6addc1b7c9005. This suggests that both addresses are owned by Group Bitcoin.
Disclaimer: I'm not affiliated with Group Bitcoin in any way.