BEWARE: Illegitimate ‘Bitcoin Foundation’ asking for money

It appears the BCH crowd have skipped the middle man of duping unsuspecting buyers into thinking they are Bitcoin and are now asking for money directly—this time under the guise of a website: bitcoin.foundation

The website can be dismissed as a scam at a glance. Headed “Bitcoin Foundation: a purely peer-to-peer foundation,” it gives absolutely no information about itself other than to say that “The Bitcoin Foundation Promotes Bitcoin, Bitcoin related peer-to-peer technologies, and human rights.”

It then succinctly asks for donations. I say succinctly because after the above quote, there is merely a header ‘Donate Bitcoin’ followed by a line saying that “after donation you are required to provide us proof by signing a message with the Bitcoin address you donated from. Please send an email to membership@bitcoin.foundation with your signed message.”

Exactly what this proof is for is unclear, because the website offers no information as to what a donation to the ‘Bitcoin Foundation’ actually does. Does it give you membership to the foundation? Is it to support the promotion of “Bitcoin related peer-to-peer technologies and human rights”? Or does it directly line the pockets of whoever is running this site? We can be ambivalent about option A, can obviously say it isn’t option B, and can feel confident assuming that option C is correct.

So, who is behind this? The e-mail account listed on the page can be traced to a now-deleted Reddit thread from two months ago. The post, originally made to the BCH subreddit and which can still be viewed on Reddit archive services, is titled “I offering my full support for Bitcoin Cash” and was made by someone with the username ‘satoshinnakamoto’:

Reddit screenshot

The user appears to be soliciting suggestions on the best use of his bitcoin.foundation website. Further in the thread, the user says he wants the entirety of bitcoin.foundation to “be about Bitcoin Cash” and that “Bitcoin Cash actually in my opinion can and will lift out people of extreme poverty! This is why I must promote it on bitcoin.foundation!” In light of the fact that the site now exists solely to receive money under the guise of donations and a non-existent foundation membership, it seems unlikely that the poor saw any benefit from this venture.

The account is responsible for other comments, the substance of which oscillate between begging Roger Ver for investment to praising BCH as the only true Bitcoin to complaining that Ver only invests in scams. Indeed, this scam is reminiscent of other BCH-affiliated dupes, particularly the Bitcoin.com and Bitcoin.org practice of advertising themselves as ‘Bitcoin’ while actually offering its lesser imitators, such as BCH, and relying on naïve investors to not know the difference.

Bitcoin Association remains the only industry organization which represents the true Bitcoin community. Any websites pretending to do the same—particularly if they are selling you Bitcoin or otherwise soliciting your money—should be treated with great suspicion.

Follow CoinGeek’s Crypto Crime Cartel series, which delves into the stream of groups—from BitMEX to BinanceBitcoin.comBlockstreamShapeShift and Ethereum—who have co-opted the digital asset revolution and turned the industry into a minefield for naïve (and even experienced) players in the market.

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