ICOs are mostly having tough times primarily because of the crypto bear market. When you factor in that scammers have largely made many investors averse to the industry you’d appreciate the dangers of having a scam exchange such as BiteBTC in operation.
Scammers have since time immemorial used all sorts of strategies to deceive and steal from people. Perhaps the most malicious among them are those with the financial clout and capacity to set up seemingly legitimate businesses that may mislead even the circumspect.
Most times, it is challenging to classify a business such as an exchange a scam due to the effect that could have on customers who were not affected by the harmful practices of the exchange. Nevertheless, it is important that we run honest reviews that help people avoid services they may regret in future.
Under the Radar for Dubious Activities
BitBTC has been under the radar of scam investigators like Cryptoinfowatch due to several reports that the exchange cheats ICO teams that list tokens on it.
These stated that the operators of the exchange charge projects to have their tokens listed and then tries to upsell them some marketing services such as airdrops without fulfilling their part of the bargain.
Fraudulent Token Listing
Although there is absolutely nothing wrong with an exchange pushing its other services, BiteBTC by omission or commission ensures that holders of newly listed tokens do not pass their KYC, effectively making sure it frustrates quest to trade the new token.
As at the time of filing this report, BiteBTC has collected listing fee from four ICO teams but none of them have passed the exchange’s verification process, neither has any been refunded their listing fee.
Here is an email from BiteBTC to Globycoin:
“Dear Globycoin Team,
Thank you for your response!
We’ve received your payment and forwarded your request to our developers.
Your coin will be listed within 5 business days because of a queue.
I will inform you in 24 hours about your listing.
Additionally, we can list your coin within 24 hours for additional 0.1 btc Premium Listing fee or within 48 hours for additional 0.05 btc Express Listing fee.
Additionally, I would like to offer you to run Airdrop to attract more traders to your coin.
Please check some of our previous campaigns:
https://twitter.com/bitebtccom/status/983671610594025473 – 1K participants in less than 2 days;
https://twitter.com/bitebtccom/status/994578155926106112 – 400 participants in less than 12 hours.
I’ll be glad to offer you special conditions and run your airdrop within 1 week.
Thank you for being a part of BiteBTC community!”
Unethical and Fraudulent Exchange
Now a close look at the email shows that BiteBTC is focused on generating as much funds as possible from token listing even though they are not keen at having the tokens traded.
This is not surprising since these are new coins that are yet to gain volume which the exchange would rather not list. Their only interest is the listing fee they collect from these project owners.
This is unethical and fraudulent behavior. All the teams denied access to trading their own coins on the exchange received the same copy and paste emails from BiteBTC, an indication that it is a well-orchestrated ploy by BiteBTC to get paid for services they had no intention of rendering.
Passing KYC has never been rocket science and it is plain suspicious to claim that no holder of a listed coin passed an exchange’s KYC because of a strict process. This is the ruse BiteBTC uses to deprive ICO teams the opportunity of trading their ‘listed’ coins.
EGEM Team Had Similar Experience
According to the EGEM team’s submission on BitcoinTalk:
“This exchange is a SCAM – they will take your listing fee and then will not approve a single user to trade on your coin. They claim they have very strict KYC requirements but not one of our users could ever get approved.”
It submitted that the exchange is harvesting IDs in guise of KYC and wants it flagged as scam. The team representative said they raised the issue on the official BiteBTC Twitter page but was blocked for it.
“We Team EGEM paid the listing fee and got “listed” but none of our coin holders could trade. When I asked Steven (the sales rep) about this he offered to sell me “Market Making services” – how is that for a scam.
We complained on their twitter and alerted the other coins that were paying the listing fees and got blocked”
Isn’t it curious that the exchange would suggest airdrop services to these ICO teams using veiled threat of de-listing for inactivity?
Encourages False Buzz for Tokens
EGEM developer charged with the token listing stated:
“The listing agent said that he can’t get that process to move forward and instead of “de-listing us for inactivity” he could sell us a package for “market making services.”
Shill bumping activities for token is an unethical behavior. That BiteBTC encourages this shows that the exchange has dubious operational policies despite its claims that it complies with the Singaporean KYC standards.
In reality, it is just scamming ICO teams by taking their money and hiding behind failed KYC. The exchange’s operation points to the suspicion that those behind it are scammers, otherwise they should have refunded listing fees for tokens not traded instead of asking the teams to pay for airdrops for tokens no one could trade on the exchange.
Ready to List A Non-Existent Coin
Other ICO teams denied KYC in like manner that have reported are Peonycoin and PRIV.
The lack of depth seen in this exchange can best be understood by its willingness to list a non-existent fake coin Merkiitcoin. The BiteBTC team responded to the request to list the imaginary token with their usual:
Thank you for your request and for choosing BiteBTC to list your cryptocurrency!
We have reviewed your application and are happy to inform you that we can list your coin on our exchange in the following pairs:
/USD (for 1 btc fee);
/BTC (for 0.1 btc fee);
/ETH (for 0.1 btc fee);
/LTC, /BCH, /DASH, /DOGE (for 0.05 btc each).
You can select one or more pairs for your listing.
Please note that listing in minor pairs (/LTC, /BCH, /DASH, /DOGE etc) is possible only if listed in at least one major pair (/USD, /BTC or /ETH).
Minimum order is 0.2 btc.
We recommend to get listed in the following major pairs: /USD, /BTC and /ETH for 1.2 btc.
These pairs will attract as much traders as possible to your coin.
Listing of your coin will take up to 5 working days and will be announced on our website, as well as in our official Twitter account.
Listing fee is refundable if we’re unable to compile and/or list your coin.
We look forward to receive your response soon.
BiteBTC Listing Department”
How about that for an exchange?
They couldn’t even verify the coin exists before approving its listing. BiteBTC is a sure charade meant to scam as many people as possible.
An Inferno or Another Lie
As if on cue, the BitBTC team recently announced that a fire incident on their data center. If you’re conversant with the industry, you’d agree with me that when an exchange comes up with unverifiable claims, it is an sign that something shady is going on there.
I do not think that BitBTC would become an exit scam soon as many in the industry speculate, but at the rate they are generating bad publicity that possibility exists.
The data center fire claim agitated many of its customers. The exchange claimed destruction of 7 percent of its balance sheet. Things happen and this wouldn’t have been out of ordinary had the exchange not been under radar for fraudulent acts.
Ploy to Avoid Proof of Keys Test
The inferno announcement conveniently coincided with the first proof-of-keys event in which exchanges to prove liquidity. As expected, BitBTC failed the test. This should pass a warning to users that their deposits is not safe with this exchange.
A CCN report on the data center fire stated, “Another question is that of their markets themselves. At time of writing, BTC/USD was trading about $300 higher than elsewhere. This is a tactic used by scam exchanges in the past to encourage users to make deposits.”
The exchange claimed that the fire incident took place two days before the day the management made it public. However, users of the exchange reported that they never experienced issues using the platform until January 3, the proof of keys test day.
BiteBTC commenced operations in January 2018. The exchange ranks number 35 globally by volume even though it was earlier accused of pumping up its books indicating that its volume is smaller than it claims.
This shouldn’t be a surprise. An exchange that encourages coin shill bumping would create false buzz for itself. Users should be careful dealing with this exchange. It has not proven its operators can take care of people’s money.
If you’ve had experience with BiteBTC, please share with us through the comment box below. If you’d like to know my favorite exchange for buying bitcoins, check here.