BetCoin.tm’s Allegedly Fraudulent, Unethical and Illegal Activity
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On the whole, the global Bitcoin space is a self-policing community that uproots and exposes scams and unethical Bitcoin service operators with ruthless efficiency. Unfortunately, there is a growing body of objective evidence that Bitcoin gaming network BetCoin.tm is one such unethical operator in the Bitcoin ecosystem. According to a number of sources, the relatively new Bitcoin gaming platform BetCoin.tm has allegedly been involved in a range of ongoing fraudulent, unethical and illegal activities in an attempt to carve out market share and bring down the websites of their competitors. This includes copyright infringement in relation to the BetCoin Trademark, increasing evidence for BetCoin DDoSing the websites of their competitors, copying the SatoshiDice website UI and terms and conditions word-for-word, using automated scripts to artificially inflate the volume of bets on the Bitcoin dice site BetCoinDice.tm, and falsely representing the private keys used on their dice gaming site.
BetCoin.tm’s numerous press releases and their official website states repeatedly that they own the copyright and trademark for BetCoin ™ ; when in fact that trademark is already held by a registered company in the UK. The original company which owns the trademark is Betcoin Limited which is incorporated in the UK, owning Betcoin.com and over 50 Betcoin related domain names. Betcoin has been filed as a trademark by Betcoin Limited in both the EU and the USA. Betcoin Limited has tried to contact BetCoin.tm to try to resolve the situation in a peaceful manner without any luck yet.
Betcoin.tm’s gaming software is provided by the casino software company SoftSwiss, and its Chief Executive officer Ivan Montik. However, most game graphics and sound effects are cloned copies of the successful in the real money online gambling industry company VIADEN Gaming, licensed and operating out of the very respected gambling jurisdiction Isle of Man.
Another fact worth mentioning is that one of the most respected members of our community, TradeFortress, exposed how BetCoin.tm has been using automated scripts to make it appear that BetCoin.tm has been processing far more bets than actual real players are making. This artificial inflation of the bet volume on the Bitcoin blockchain has the effect of making BetCoin Dice seem much more popular than it really is; especially as on blockchain.info all these automated transactions show that they have originated from BetCoinDice.tm. They use this technique as a way to advertise for free on one of the largest bitcoin online wallets. BetCoin.tm has also been stating these much inflated bet statistics in their recent Press Releases, one of which was comparing them to the industry titan Satoshi Dice in terms of bet volume. In an email response BetCoin.tm explained that “Some people choose automated bots to play both our Dice and Circle games, and we don’t see a reason to prevent them from doing so.” However, the addresses in question were directly linked to the wallets of BetCoin.
Disturbingly, there is also a problem with the secret keys on BetCoinDice.tm – these secret hashes being integral to the provably fair nature of the platform. Upon investigating the secret keys displayed on the BetCoinDice page it was discovered that the secret keys are displayed in exactly the same manner as on SatoshiDice. However, when the secret keys for the previous days were clicked on nothing was revealed. They were empty. This is disturbing as it appears that BetCoinDice’s secret keys information has been lifted directly from the SatoshiDice website – and that the transparency and actual use of these secret hashes which should make the platform provably fair is non-existent.
Apart from copying the private hash information from SatoshiDice, but not actually using the private keys in an effective manner, BetCoin.tm has also copied the SatoshiDice terms and conditions verbatim, and a large portion of the SatoshiDice website texts and graphics.
Beyond the proven content copyright, trademark, software cloning and other unethical behavior associated with BetCoin.™, there is also a growing body of evidence pointing to their engaging in distributed-denial-of-service attacks in an attempt to bring down the websites of their competition. Since BetCoin.tm became operational the entire bitcoin gambling sector has been experiencing DDoS attacks – except BetCoin.tm itself – and some diligent members of the community matched the DDoS attack signatures from PrimeDice, Bit777, SatoshiDice, SatoshiCircle, Just-Dice to be coming from the same source. Minutes after long term hero and donator member TradeFortress spoke out on the Bitcointalk forums about BetCoin.tm’s unethical bet inflation, his non-gaming business Inputs.io came under DDoS attack, and not surprisingly the source was again the same. In an email response BetCoin.tm indicated that “we have absolutely nothing to do with any DDoS attacks, and we actually offered to both SatoshiDICE and Bit777 help in introducing the top-level experts who are in charge of protecting our IT infrastructure – Computer Sciences Corporation.” SatoshiDice and Bit777 both maintain that no help regarding the DDoS attacks from BetCoin.tm, has been or ever was forthcoming. As we all know, DDoS attacks are almost impossible to be linked to the person who is actually behind them, and this is merely a speculation, but sometimes there are just way too many coincidences as in this case.
Another Bitcoin casino scam worth mentioning is the one of CasinoBit.Net; which has stolen 386 BTC ($75,000 at time of writing) from both investors and players. The CasinoBit.Net gambling/investment thread on the Bitcointalk forums promised an easy way for investors to triple their Bitcoin. The “investment” scam was exposed as a Ponzi scheme by one of its early investors, but not until after the operator, Max Tsarenko, had made off with the investors’ bitcoins.
As a conclusion, it is important to say that the majority of the bitcoin gambling operators believe in honesty and integrity, however there are a few bad crops in every community and players should be careful with which companies they put their trust and bitcoins in.