The Next Big Thing is the Next Big Bitcoin Scam, Avoid NextBank | dinbits


I must admit, this is convincing. It really is. It sounds so good, but not exactly too good. It looks really good, it appears to be really good, and it caters to what so many of us want so badly without hassle.

BitCo bitcoin bank accounts. 

No, not the Chase account you open last month. That's not what I am talking about, what I am referring to is a financial business account for a bitcoin based business or trading practice. There are only a few large banks that will even think about working with these types of accounts and a few smaller banks that are specialized. In some countries there are none or it's illegal for banks to even work with these companies or digital currency at all.

The additional requirement, in many countries, to obtain and maintain licensing, registration, and compliance protocols make this task even more difficult. We recently posted an article on the problem this is causing in the United States and just last month Australia's largest banks shut down accounts of more than 17 bitcoin based companies, forcing some to leave the country and leaving others unemployed.

Wonder Boy to the Rescue!

Enter Mr. Dim Voloshinsky. He, PR extraordinaire Simon Peltin, and enough staff to support a global presence in 7 countries spanning across 50 languages and offering just about every financial service ever created in the history of mankind, plan to just go ahead and knock this issue out in a couple months. 

This press release came out a few days ago and has slowly propagated itself through out the internet including here on dinbits.com. It states some very interesting things that seem believable, although a little on the "too good to be true" side.

NextBank’s mission is to provide advanced banking services for Bitcoin and cryptocurrency users worldwide. NextBank will offer international Debit Cards, accounts denominated in both fiat such as USD and various cryptocurrencies, SWIFT transfers, an escrow service, currency exchange, and much more.

If we take a look at the financial institutions website, we see that they were not kidding either, they offer everything. To name a few:

Supporting 135+ currencies, cryptocurrencies, and precious metals
Secure, but not redundant. 3-Factor Authentication. 100% online.
The fastest intra-bank and SWIFT transfers. Less then 90 minutes
Supporting freelancers, investors, e-commerce, self employment, and brokers, MSB & FX
P2P, C2B, B2B, B2C
Expedited Transfer
Best currency exchange rates
Escrow Services
International debit cards

The site isn't perfect, but at least it has a logo, a blog, contact information, and the press release had all of the above as well as a contact number and email for Simon Peltin.

The website site may be real, but this bank is not.

A Closer Look  

I really wanted to believe this and dug through the website, looked up a few things, and nothing was apparent at first leading me to think "perhaps this organization is going to make an actual attempt at this". 

However, the shares offered [100 per share] equate to 25 million USD. That's it. Yet they are going to do all of the above and do it in 7 countries. Those are listed as the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Spain, China, Malaysia, and Russia

How are they going to manage this with 25 million when 100's of banks failed last year traditionally with about that same amount of funding. The average bank requires between 10 and 30 million to even open the door, and the way this offering has been presented would be more like that of a credit union, but they are not offering anything of the sort. 

Let's take a look at what you get if you invest in some of these share, and although not a smoking gun, it certainly is suspicious. You get ... nothing. Ding ding ding ding ding.... no jackpot here.

There are no ROI forecasts either. No market studies, no product outlines, and really not much of anything. They say your account will be open and you'll get support, but I noticed they said nothing about the ability to withdraw any funds. Perhaps that is really a sick joke of some sort because this is apparently a one-way only transaction. 

I took a look at the "shareholder portal" (they plan to let you see the money you are never going to get back) which seemed to make it all look even more authentic, but since I didn't have a registration number, I couldn't login. That's when it hit me, somewhere I had seen a company registration number. 

The Illusion Runs Deep 

The Vanuatu corporate registration number is at the very bottom of the page on the main website. Which is odd. Who does that? Why do that? It's just like those half-ass companies that put BBB on their websites. 

We checked it out, and sure enough. It really is a company in Vanuatu. 

To solidify this as an actual possibility goes further in that the website extension is .vu, which is only available to Vanuatu entities and Vanuatu is home to over 60 banks contributing the second largest part of its economy next to tourism.

Website, contact information, registration papers, the press release, and a few other items pretty much summed it all up. This is legitimate. 

Or is it?

I couldn't get passed the missing information. For everything that is present, there's about 5 things that are not present. 

Let's Play Peel The Onion!


Layer #1, The 25 million 

The first thing noticed of course was the 25 million. The amount is just too small to pull off what they want to do. However, that was not enough since they might have had stages planned. Poor explanation and shady investment marketing, but not a smoking gun.

Layer #2 - The Countries  

In quarter two of 2016 they plan to open globally in these listed 7 Countries: United Kingdom, France, Germany, Spain, China, Malaysia, and Russia.

So they are next door to Australia and New Zealand, and no support there, but they are going to support Russia and China? 

The problem is that Digital currencies are not allowed in Chinese banks and they are completely illegal in Russia.

Two of the largest countries on earth have laid down these laws, yet these guys have worked through this issue and they will be just fine to operate? They must have spent years on this, or the more likely scenario, absolutely no time at all because this isn't happening. 

Layer #3 - No Compliance

There is not a single word of compliance. To pull something like this off you would need an army of compliance staff. They do not even mention it and anyone in the banking world knows that this is as important as the funding itself.

Layer #4 - The Languages

They are going to support 50 languages. They tout on their website how they are just (going to be) a phone call away as well. Some entire governments can't even support 50 languages. This is possible, but not probable on the proposed shoe-string budget being promoted and a budget that most startup banks can barely manage supporting more than one or two.

Layer #5 - Twitter

The NextBank twitter account has 46,000 followers, compared to Facebook's version of it's presence that has 1,000 (and I bet this will mysteriously be thousands soon too). The problem is that this time last month, they didn't have any. They didn't have any a couple weeks ago either, they just magically appeared in what was an obvious paid boost. 

Layer #6 - The Website Itself 

The "shareholder portal" has a striking similarity to another website that we will discuss in a minute, but the press center is more laughable. It's a Wordpress free template. The "Clean White Wordpress Theme" by Mazznoer. This dude http://mazznoer.web.id/, although that is not really any evidence, but the content is. 

Layer #6.1 - Lack Thereof 1 (Languages)

They claim to support 50 languages, but there are only 5 supported for the press release. If this is not a scam, then it is certainly very poor marketing. You shouldn't make your vast language offering a selling point and then not support it when marketing your "50 language support"  offering as a selling point.

Layer #6.2 - Domain Age 

The domain age always is a kicker. This one is no different. Wouldn't you know it, the website was just registered on October 20th.

Courtesy domain-records-lookup.com

Layer #6.3 - Lack Thereof 2 (Security)

They brag about their amazing Three Factor Authentication (3Auth), yet when you visit the investment portal, which would obviously contain sensitive information, it's 0Auth. Ok maybe it's 1Auth since it has a user/pass combo, but I suspect it's really 0Auth and doesn't even work.

Layer #7 - The Founder 

Lucky number 7 is the one and only. The owner/founder himself.

It's certainly not unheard of for someone to be hard to locate, but the founding member, or members, of a banking institution would likely have a long history and years of experience in the industry. So it's almost impossible that they be all that difficult to find. 

We couldn't find a trace of Mr. Dim Voloshinsky and for good reason. He doesn't exist.

Mr. Dim Voloshinsky is actually Dmitrijs Volosinskis, a 24 year old from London with absolutely no experience in banking and very little experience in digital currency. In fact we weren't able to find that Volosinskis has experience in much of anything.

He started a company called Thinkcomfy ltd in 2009, where he was a Director (at age 18 mind you). It has since been dissolved leaving not a trace of actually having done anything at all and the address is a home in London.

ItraGlobal ltd (not the IT firm, another vapor firm) was his next gig and is still in existence but also has no evidence of actually doing anything. He is also listed as a director of a company called Satoshi Partners ltd and has been for the last 2 months (at the time of this writing), quite possibly the origin of NextBank.

He is not without another (different) website as well, this one http://www.bitcoin123.com, which we found very interesting. Setting aside the fact that it doesn't work (we tried to buy some bitcoin here), take a look at the sign-in screen. Then go back and look at the "shareholder portal" on the NextBank website. You'll see the similarity and what the aforementioned item at the beginning of layer #6 was all about.

The Ugly Verdict

Given all of the above, and as much as I personally wanted this to be true, it's not. This is a scam!

In addition to the above evidence, Simon the PR guy doesn't exist either, and the CEO (who we did find, and likely unaware of the appointment) who was reported as the former head of Vanuatu Private Bank, certainly sounds impressive ... until you realize that this bank does not exist either.

Even if this guy was for real and sincerely wanted to open this bank, it would not work the way that he has presented it and in some of the countries he wants to open up in it's not even possible at all. 

This was a better presentation than most scams, it had some very convincing things in place and it struck a nerve being something many in the industry would like to see. This idea could certainly be done, but not by a someone with no experience in doing anything like this, not for 25 million, and at the moment, certainly not in Russia or China.

Unfortunately this is a scam. Even if it wasn't, it would be a piss-poor investment since it fails before it begins and will never exist. It is, however, a good way to make your money not exist.

Avoid NextBank.

Besides, would you really want to trust your money to a chap named Dim anyway?








Story by dinbits
Published at 10:09 PST on 10/26/2015 














Post a Comment

  1. Our response to the information published at dinbits can be found here: https://goo.gl/K44rMr

    ReplyDelete
  2. Our response to the information published at dinbits.com is as follows:

    Layer #1, The 25 million:
    10 mil. US dollars are enough to get an International Bank License in
    Vanuatu and launch what we are going to launch. We are going to sell only 100,000 shares for $100 each, then launch the bank in Vanuatu (it is only necessary to have $500,000 in cash in the bank to obtain a banking license in Vanuatu).

    Layer #2 - The Countries:
    Our website states that "Representation offices will be launched in 7 countries". We are not going to launch banks and obtain banking license
    in all countries. A representation office does not require a local banking license. We are also not going to provide the same banking services that
    locally licensed banks can provide. You will find that many banks have Representation offices worldwide. This doesn't require huge investments. A representation office can be 2 people in a small office who are responsible for the identification of customers - nothing else, no local marketing and no local business.

    The bank is not only going to offer Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency solutions. You can have a look on the website and see that our solutions will be for much more then only Cryptocurrency traders.

    Layer #3 - No Compliance:
    This is completely incorrect. We have people with 5, 8 and 12 years? experience in banking compliance. We are in touch with the Vanuatu authorities and fully comply with global standards for AML and KYC. Also, our website says: "You will need a Passport, Proof of Address and will need to have a Live Interview". Do you need much more to open bank account with most offshore and even local banks? No.

    Layer #4 - The Languages:
    Our website and online banking will be translated and supported in 50 languages. The main languages are English and French (the 2 official languages in Vanuatu).

    Layer #5 - Twitter:
    We have paid several social marketing companies and PR agencies. One of them is responsible for Twitter and Facebook. We have just launched and it is unclear for me why we have so many Twitter followers. I hope they are real followers and not just a "boost" just to show us the "great results" of their job.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi, would just like to distance this business from our own conference, content and community brand Next Bank, established in 2011 and running under the URL nextbank.org - we might start a bank one day but would do it VERY differently from the above descriptions - thanks for the notes! See you in Hong Kong in Jan 2016 for FintechFinals.com.

    Regards,
    Rob Findlay,
    Next Bank
    rob@nextbank.org

    ReplyDelete

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