Update: as a result of this post, the project owners have changed their website's design, project name from Bitcoin White to Bitwhite, updated their promo video, and removed the team section from their site. We still believe the project is an exit scam and will continue to warn people against it until they show any technological advantages that aren't already present in countless other projects.
This fraud is getting a special mention because some BTW supporters contacted us wanting to pay us to promote it on our platform (and we have good reason to believe the contact originated from the team itself, and that the team, in large part, is in Croatia). We studied the project and noticed that it's actually not just another Bitcoin scam-fork, but something else…
A scam fork is a fork of a blockchain with the aim to use the original blockchain's brand name to win over users and potentially cause vulnerabilities like Replay Attacks. For example, the Bitcoin Gold fork is a fork of Bitcoin's blockchain which kept the Bitcoin name to get instant high-value for the tokens and many users on day 1 despite not actually offering any technical innovations or Replay Attack protection, as described in the article linked above. If the authors of this “innovative” blockchain came up with something the Bitcoin developers haven't thought of and really do have something better, it would be in their best interest to start anew with both blockchain blocks and brand and build an honorable name for themselves. Otherwise, they're just printing “free money” in the form of these digital fork dividends.
If Charlie Lee had thought of Litecoin in 2018, you can be sure it would be called “Bitcoin Lite”.
Bitcoin White isn't actually a fork of Bitcoin, it really does start from a null block. In fact, Bitcoin White merely uses the Bitcoin name to pull in users while having nothing to do with Bitcoin at all. But it does have something to do with another project, as we'll see later…
Let's look at the project up close.
The promo video is an obvious template video from a site like Videohive. Such templates allow customers to insert presentation slides in fixed placeholder positions, making the video look custom and unique. In this case, terminology which many associate with blockchain was inserted: byzantine fault tolerance (something every blockchain has), secure sandbox, dapp store, decentralized voting (something which sounds cool but makes no sense in the context), etc.
Many projects use such services because they lack specific knowledge or budgets to pull off truly unique videos, so they settle for putting “technology magic” terms into animations. Thus, on its own, the video isn't an indicator of a scam, but it does lay some good foundations for our case.
Every project's team has to have respectable, reputable team members who have something to lose by being involved with the project. Real team members who care about the technology's success don't need to promote it if they really want to change the world. For example, Cardano's founder is famous for saying that if he ever starts promoting the project, he's been compromised and you should sell all ADA:
If you see me trying to boost the price of Ada, then I've been compromised and sell all your Ada. Cardano will be valuable based upon hard work, real world use and the utility of the platform. I'm not here to make day traders rich. I'm here to change the world
— Charles Hoskinson (@IOHK_Charles) February 1, 2018
Bitcoin White's team is all anonymous “members”, which is equivalent to an owner dressing up as 10 different people and calling the photo session a team.
Taking into consideration the various typos (Goland instead of Golang, architector) and the “qualifications” of these team members, we can easily conclude that it's nothing but a hasty fabrication.
Advantages & Secure
This section of the website is also a sea of typos and broken English. All we can conclude from this is that Bitcoin White plans to use “sidechain architecture” somehow – a technology not even real teams like Bitcoin Core devs or the Ethereum foundation have figured out yet. Other than a healthy dose of buzzwords (technobabble which sounds cool), nothing has been concretely explained and the other slides reveal nothing useful or insightful.
Apparently these were written to appeal to the average, technically illiterate investor.
The WP is the most important part of any project's presentation. It's a document in which the founders explain why, how, and what is being done and how the project is different from the others like it. The BTW whitepaper can be found here or if they've taken it down in the meanwhile, we archived it here.
The WP uses broken English to explain blockchain in general and the possibilities and features this technology offers. But something else seems familiar about this paper…
The WP itself is actually a direct (and rather bad) copy of this one and others like ACC, MOC, ZPC and similar whitepaper clones with the same unattainable ideas. It's obvious that the team “working” on Bitcoin White has no idea what they're talking about and have to resort to cannibalizing other people's work. They even follow the sections and concepts verbatim from the original.
The docs are relatively poor, but also full of broken English and various punctuation mistakes. The whole text is obviously translated with Google Translate from original Chinese on the original page and then copied to Bitcoinwhite.org.
The copy is so obvious they even copied the MarkDown errors so the formatting breaks and shows the raw text instead of rendering properly.
Although by now the scam is rather obvious, let's check the software, too. If we compare the repositories of the projects, the Asch repository is far older and more active than the repo of Bitcoin White, which has only existed for 2 months and is little more than a direct copy with altered file names.
The team claims they have a wallet ready for Windows, Linux, and Android.
Let's test the Linux version.
After downloading the archive on their download page and following instructions, the wallet is initialized by running
node index.js. Sadly, it looks like the team didn't even bother with the most basic of functionality, so running the app results in an error:
Error: ENOENT: no such file or directory, open 'src/logs/debug.log'
Still, I wanted to see what they did accomplish so I fixed this error and tried again, which resulted in the following:
The wallet downloads information from a singular IP:
It appears that this IP address is actually equivalent to http://wallet.bitcoinwhite.org, only when accessed via IP it doesn't serve content through HTTPS (SSL), but through HTTP – the less secure option.
The login interface is almost identical on Asch and BTW:
Real blockchains never download all block data from a single server – that's the very definition of a centralized system. If this process is allowed, though, the app will pull 200 by 200 blocks from the server until it reaches 500k or so.
The same happens when you run the Asch project's wallet. We haven't tested further – the plagiarism is obvious. The interface does have some other features announced, like a BTC/ETH/Dash wallet, but whether or not those will ever be implemented is highly dubious.
Due to an obviously plagiarized WP, stolen software, copied and badly Google Translated website, as well as beating around the bush with buzzwords and terminology meant to confuse readers, a complete lack of a team (anonymous team members are not team members at all) and a near total absence of any kind of technological innovation, in addition to the cheap reuse of the Bitcoin name for an unrelated project and questionable marketing tactics, we're fairly certain that proclaiming Bitcoin White a first degree scam is the right choice.
When asked about the plagiarism in their Telegram group (which has an impressive 23k members), we were promptly banned without any counter-arguments, which further reinforces our impression.
If you find an announcement about this project anywhere else, be sure that it's been paid for and divert their attention to this article before more people lose their money to this fraud.
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