This Wiki has been written with the main purpose of exposing in a rational and irrefutable manner all of the lies and deception that HashFast used in order to sell overpriced products from August to December 2013.
HashFast Historical Summary
If we had to write a little summary, it would read something like the following. Differently from the rest of the wiki, this page was written with the purpose of being an easily readable way to give an honest opinion about this scam. If you would rather have facts, references and weighted words, please visit the List of Lies, the Timeline and the People's biographies. Moreover, if you know of any misinterpretation present in this wiki, please let us know and we will be happy to correct it. The same goes if you want to write pieces of it; just contact us, our whois is public.
Batch 1 Preorders
HashFast started taking preorders for Bitcoin mining hardware in August 2013. With their claims of having raised VC investments (as the SEC filling for HashFast LLC later confirmed) and to have partnered with a proven ASIC design firm (Uniquify), they had substantial basis to also claim and market an October 2013 delivery timeframe.
HashFast later (but before the end of the sales) sweetened the deal for it's first batch customers by including a Miner Protection Plan ("We want our customers to succeed", was it's slogan) and by publishing a joined statement with Uniquify where they claimed to have completed the tapeout process at the fab. In a previous joint statement Uniquify confirmed that they expected to have the chips ready in October.
An Irresistible Deal
Given the trustworthy ASIC design partner, the tapeout process already concluded at the fab, the promise of not spending customers' Bitcoins but to rather hold them in case they needed to issue refunds, the VC investments in the company, the details of the Miner Protection Plan, the promise of starting to ship the 20th of October and the positive joint statements with the ASIC designer, many customers felt in HashFast's trap during the very last days of sales of the first batch, that in fact, after all of those reassurances, concluded quickly.
HashFast also helped their sales using forum accounts, such as "IceBreaker", "gateway" or "Cyperdoc" the last of which, being the 4th most active member of the Bitcointalk Forum, had a good reputation to spend vouching for HashFast (see the "HashFast Endorsement" thread).
HashFast also created a specific account for communicating with the Bitcointalk community, "HashFast_CL", where "CL" stands for Community Liaison. This Community Liaison, using it's anonymity at it's advantage, treated their customers as fools, gave unrequested legal advice, and more generally, has qualified himself as one of the biggest trolls that the Bitcointalk community ever saw.
Following Batches and Delays
Everything was reported to be proceeding smoothly, on track for the promised October shipping, until the the 17th of October (as per order confirmations, the first products were supposed to be shipping 3 days after that). HashFast used this period of non bad news to sell the following batches of preorders, while batch 1 customers were blatantly lied to about the progress of their batch.
It is, in fact, beyond any possible logical explanation that for such a time sensitive product and for a company that prides itself of being so "open and honest" about their progress, any communications of any delay is delayed until 3 days before the promised shipping date.
If it wasn't enough, what really puts HashFast beyond every possible level of good faith, is the reason and the timing of the delay.
The Supposedly Legitimate Reasons of the First Delay
As we said, Amy Woodward announced a delay of a critical component 3 days before the promised shipping date. It took a whole week of legitimate explanations requests from angry customers to have more informations about what this component was, and about why it was delayed.
The component claimed to be delayed is the substrate of the chip. To put it cheap, every chip has to be placed in a substrate, that is subseguently soldered to the board. In the case of the Golden Nonce ASIC this substrate houses 4 chips.
If what HashFast claims were to correspond to reality, every other component but the substrate was ready to ship. The PCB was ready, the raw chip wafers were in hand, the software was tested, the mass assembly line was waiting. As far as we know, none of those actually were at the time.
- The first raw wafers were received the 12 of November (as published on the company blog). You obviously need a raw wafer in order to have problems with the substrates, since that it's a linear process. We specify first wafers since that usually a little portion of the wafers comes out of the fab a few weeks before the rest of the batch, so that you can test it and be ready when the full batch arrives. This also explains Edward holding the wafer in an office, rather than in a manufacturing line.
- What was defined as the first PCB was manufactured the 8th of December. While HashFast claimed to have it ready before, and proposed to provide pictures of it, they later retracted saying that the pictures were covered by a non better specified NDA.
So, the story repeats itself: you are almost ready to ship, but 3 days before that you realise that your substrate isn't working. Yet, you don't have a single PCB for testing purposes, you don't have wafers in hand. But you were ready to ship as you promised, and if your customers to which you purposely lied to in order to sell your product are losing their investment as days goes by, it's not really your fault. It's substrates fault. It was only an honest and legitimate delay.
Further Delays and Communications Shutdown
At this point the majority of the customers were still beliving in HashFast's words and were expecting a modest delay, with shipping to begin in November. The Miner Protection Plan would have accounted for the delay, and the resulting losses would then have been minimal.
However, as some customers were starting to try to point out, this wasn't going to be the case; every evidence (or lack thereof) was pointing towards the worst: the first miners would have been shipped just before the end of the December contractual deadline, and the MPP was a bad marketing joke, given the lack of a shipping timeframe.
At this point the plot thickens. As can be seen in the Timeline, every official forum account soon stops any activity. An intermediary is hired to act as a proxy answering customers' questions on the forum, and the HashFast_CL account is now used to update the community. The company wants to stop any kind of communication with their customers, probably knowing that they need to lie by proxy in order not to be held directly responsible for it.
« In the meanwhile, the price of Bitcoin was rising, and HashFast promised full Bitcoin refunds if they were to miss their December deadline. »