List of Lies

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This is a non exhaustive list of lies from HashFast.

October Shipping

Shipment Begin October 20-30

HashFast has claimed since the beginning an initial shipping date timeframe ranging from the 20th to the 30th of October, 2013. This was the case on the forums[1][2], in person, on the product description of their online shop[3], and in every other know circumstance.

As Simon Barber acknowledge on a HashFast marketing video [4], time is everything for Bitcoin mining [5]. While early batch 1 customers were promised such a shipping timeframe, the wording on the online shop was later changed to "anticipated" shipping date and a shipping deadline for refunds of 31 of December was added to the Terms of Sale.

Still On Track

HashFast kept reporting to be on schedule to ship by the end of October [6][7][8][9][10][11][12] until the 17th of October, 2013, when Amy Woodward announced a 1 week delay [13].

Nothing was said about such delay expect that it was caused by a critical component. It took almost a week to have more details about this component, when HashFast announced a "few weeks" delay due to a substrate problem [14].

Mid November Shipping

HashFast first claimed that the delay was to be fixed in a few weeks, and that they expected to ship in middle November. This wasn't the case. A possible reasoning behind this could be found in the "Chip Substrates" section. However, it's during this timeframe that HashFast decided to go silent, ignore customer compliments, etc.

PCB Design

PCB designs for this generation of ASIC are known in the industry as the most challenging part of bringing a Bitcoin miner to market. However, the know timeline behind HashFast's PCB is incredible. While competitors like KNC and CoinTerra spent weeks debugging board prototypes before the arrival of the real chips, this appears not to be the case with HashFast, and is possibly the reason why it took them 2 months to go from the wafers to the first working miners.

  • Pictures of the PCB prototypes were first promised at the beginning of October [15], and later denied because of a NDA. The terms of such a NDA were never disclosed and claimed to be covered by another NDA.
  • The first picture we have of a PCB is a black plastic, 3d printed prototype, claimed to be a "high precision PCB", and not a high precision 3d printed piece of plastic [16].
  • Around 50 days after the promised shipping date, HashFast released a picture of the First [17] HashFast PCB, implying not to have had any other prototypes available for testing previously.

Chip Substrates

Edward receiving the wafers November 12, 2013, 20 days after the promised shipping date.
See Also: Eduardo Decastro - Reception of the Wafers on November 12, 2013

The delay that Amy Woodward announced just moments after his colleagues were claiming that everything was on schedule is, at it's bests, impossible. HashFast claimed that everything was on schedule, but for the chip substrates, that were delayed for a non better specified reason [18].

Basically, a substrate is the base were the chips manufactured by TSMC were to be placed, to be consequently mounted on the PCB. Let's define it as the connection layer between chips and PCB.

  • TSMC itself produces substrates. From what we understood, HashFast was relying on an external contractor that failed at producing suitable substrates. Why HashFast decided to relay on this external contractor knowing that it would have been prone to failure instead of going with what the world leading TSMC had to offer is beyond our understanding. Especially given the time sensitive nature of this product.
  • HashFast claimed on their blog (see side picture) that they received the wafers the 12 of November. The CEO is holding the raw wafers in was is presumedly their office, and the wafer they are holding are probably the early production ones (a little number of wafers comes out of the fab before the mass production). If they received the raw wafers the 12 of November, how they have possibly claimed to have everything on schedule to ship before between the 20 and 30 of October? If they received the wafers the 12 of November, how could they have know that their substrates weren't working properly before that date?
  • As with many others of the Lies, no proof of any kind to back HashFast's claims were provided.

BTC Refunds

See Also: Simon Barber - Promised Full BTC Refunds - and - John Skrodenis - Promised Full BTC Refunds

As per Terms of Sale, HashFast promised full Bitcoin refund of the same amount in four different occasions [19][20], during and after their batch 1 sales. Many customers reported to have bought from HashFast for this very reason.

However, on or about on November 25, 2013, HashFast changed the online Terms of Sale to state that refunds would only have been of the USD value given by the exchange rate at the time of the purchase. While this change doesn't affect batch 1 customers, it was the first occasion where HashFast contradicted itself about this important topic, despite endless discussions on the thread that at least the HashFast, HashFast_CL, Simon Barber, John Skrodenis and Amy Woodward forum accounts were following.

The BTC refund should have been only the third (and last) option that was promised to protect their customers, given that the hardware shipped within the promised shipping date would have earned roughly the same amount of Bitcoin payed.

We Are Shipping

Amy Woodward shipping a total of two units while claiming to have "Shipped the first Baby Jets and Sierras today" [21]

After several failed shipping promises [22][23] other than the ones explained above, HashFast claimed to have started shipping on their Twitter account [24] and website [25] the very last day allowed from the Terms of Sale to deliver (31 of December, 2013). Such a claim refers to a total of two units, a Sierra and a Baby Jet, shipped respectively to a mining company that bought before the retail sales [26] and to a developer [27] that will write a driver for the board free of charge. None of retail batch 1 customers received anything.

About two hours after those claims, instead, batch 1 customers received an email from HashFast. Such an email quotes:

We have not yet started bulk production due to continued debugging efforts on the latest PCB revision. [...] However, issues have not been adequately resolved, and therefore we are unable to ship the remaining outstanding orders by December 31st.

Apart from what just explained, the email includes a link to a document where customers are asked to give up most of the rights guaranteed by the Terms of Sale in exchange for a USD refund of the USD value equivalent to the exchange rate at the time of the purchase. Such request conflicts with every previous claim that BTC refunds would have issued of the same BTC amount [28] [29].

Around the 13th of January, this very mining company reported [30] to have received another 4 Sierra units. While the first Sierra received was performing anomaly [31], those last units have been reported to work perfectly and proved that "HashFast has the tech ready to go" [32].

HashFast has been reported to have started shipping in volumes starting from the 21th of January.

During this 3 months delay the Bitcoin network difficulty increased around 8 times from 268M to 2193M, reducing the value of those units by the same ratio. A single unit paid 50 BTC in August and shipped before the end of the January is estimated to mine around 5 BTC during it's lifetime.

References

  1. HashFast - "We will be shipping in October"
  2. Simon Barber - "Shipments begin: October 20th"
  3. HashFast website screenshoot clearly states an October shipping date
  4. HashFast marketing video on YouTube
  5. In Bitcoin mining, time is everything
  6. Edward Decastro - "We wont [ship in December]. And we'll protect our customer's against hashrate increases."
  7. John Skrodenis - "Yes. We are exactly on track."
  8. John Skrodenis - "Yes - mock tapeout went very well, and yes we are on schedule."
  9. Edward Decastro - "Correct. [about October shipping]"
  10. Amy Woodward - "Everything at the foundry is on schedule"
  11. HashFast_CL - "Chips are still on schedule. No delays so far. Very close now!"
  12. HashFast_CL - "We plan to receive the chips during the week of October 20th. Exact date depends on variable physical processes at TSMC."
  13. Amy Woodward - "It looks like we're probably going to slip, by about a week"
  14. HashFast - Updated Shipping News
  15. Amy Woodward - "[...] I'll request pix. "
  16. HashFast - "These are the high precision PCBs"
  17. "The first HashFast board! http://ow.ly/i/3Xrbt"
  18. Amy Woodward States that everything at the foundry is on schedule
  19. Simon Barber - Promised Full BTC Refunds
  20. John Skrodenis - Promised Full BTC Refunds
  21. Amy Woodward - "Shipped the first Baby Jets and Sierras today"
  22. "Baby Jets should start shipping out on Saturday!"
  23. Interview with John Skrodenis on YouTube
  24. HashFast - "Shipped the first Baby Jets and Sierras today"
  25. HashFast claims to be shipping on its website
  26. IceDrill Will - "I can confirm that this exact unit is en-route"
  27. Luke-Jr - "the unit I received is apparently an engineering sample"
  28. John Skrodenis promising full BTC refunds
  29. Simon Barber promising full BTC refunds
  30. "So we know that HF has the tech ready to go"
  31. ckolivas describing the problems of the first Sierra
  32. Picture of 4 Sierras received by IceDrill