Back about 16 days ago, I made a post announcing that I would be demoing and reviewing a set of new mining ASICs designed for SHA256 and Scrypt by an as-yet-unheard-of company called Turing Stations that suddenly popped onto the scene. I was skeptical at the time, as one should be with mining companies, given their rich history as a group of failing to hold up to their promises. Turing Stations did a decent job assuaging my fears–Aaron Maugnusson, the representative I spoke with, gave answers to my questions that I found generally acceptable, and everything about the company seemed to make a decent amount of sense. Their machines promised great performance–but not TOO much past their competitors to be unbelievable. They were priced well, but not TOO well–expensive, but apparently of good quality. They promised shipment times of up to 3 weeks–nothing incredible, but reasonable.
They wanted me, among other sites and reviewers, to demo their products to get their brand and their name out there to consumers, and they were offering up an affiliate program that paid out quite nice dividends. I was skeptical, but I like to give all new players in the Bitcoin space the benefit of the doubt. There are plenty of bad actors, and we need to weed them out, but we also need to encourage new entities and entrepreneurship–until I have good and significant reason to doubt, I’ll remain relatively neutral. I hoped the miners they promised would be shipped out on time and would arrive and operate well, and that I’d be able to endorse their company. That is not the case, unfortunately. My last conversation with Aaron Maugnusson occurred on September 3rd, when Aaron sent me the following:
I am so sorry for the delay, we are working day and night to fulfill all of our orders and requests, the miners will be sent to you on Friday.
Thank you for your patience!
Someone from my team will call you before sending the miners.
Suffice to say, that did not occur.
I waited to publish this article until 6PM my time, that is, EST–exactly midnight for Turing Stations. But I’d expected to be writing an article like this for a day or two. I’m going to go ahead and dump our whole conversation for anyone interested in how he went about the process of stalling me. I’ll put it in spoiler tags, so you’re free to skip it if you’d like.
I hope my initial post about reviewing the miners sounded hesitant but positive, as I attempted to stay far away from strongly endorsing the company, as tempting as it may have been. Not so for many of the other Bitcoin news sites Turing Stations contacted, who all seem to have immediately decided to shill for Turing Stations AS–no doubt thanks in part to their tempting affiliate program offering of up to 10% of the sales price of any referrals they received, or, in simpler terms, between $300 and $600 per machine ordered by customers referred to them.
– BitcoinFeed.ca acts like they’ve tested the machines and know the product specs, actually just taking the manufacturer’s words as gold and trying to sell their products.
– BitcoinNews is also uncritically selling space on their site to Turing Stations.
– CoinFeed claims to have gotten their hands on one of their miners, but provides vague or limited description of the product, and for some unknown reason (*cough* they don’t actually have the product *cough*) they chose not to include pictures of it.
Other links to discussion:
– HashTalk.org has a thread with a guy who (like me) was offered to demo the miners. Users view: 100% scam.
– They have a hilarious testimonials page.
Some other information:
– Turing Stations Twitter account began 3 weeks ago. They have just under 3,000 followers. Yet, somehow, almost none of their tweets get retweeted OR favorited. Fake followers.
– Pretty much zero mention of them anywhere on the web outside of a few articles across random sites–could be attributed to stealth mode, but scam is far more likely.
It’s a little bit early to call them out as a full on scam, but that’s only due to a lack of evidence–yet. I expect we’ll hear stories from their victims over the coming weeks, if they are a scam, and if they’re not, then I’ll have to eat my hat. I don’t own a hat, so I’ll need to buy one first, but I doubt it will be necessary–it’s pretty clear what’s going on here, at least to me. I’m comfortable calling them a scam for now. If they can prove me wrong, more power to them. It’s a little scary to be making this post, but I’d rather be too aggressive calling out scams than be not aggressive enough. I hope my readers understand, and I hope that no one bought miners from them without waiting on proof of legitimacy.
Thanks for reading. Good luck out there in the Wild West.