We ran across HashHourly.com and at first glance, this website looks legitimate. It is very nicely done and says all of the right things. It's almost believable.
The Initial False Positives
Per normal there's the incredible claim, chat box of wonder (which didn't work), the bitcoin wallet address to send your coin off to outer space, and of course the FAQs.
That's the 1st clue. The frequently asked questions. Which is amazing actually, given that they have only been operating for 20 days according to their website.
Anytime a company solicits the fact that they are "real" in an attempt to [prove] legitimacy is generally a bad sign. Do you know what the initial start-up costs of registering a company in the UK are? It costs all of £15 (roughly $22 at press time) to have your company registered in 24 hours.
Here's one even better, they accept PayPal. So not only can they register a company for next to nothing, they don't even have to pay for it. A slick enough scammer will have a fraudulent PayPal account ready to go for this payment. When it gets charged back, the company is long gone having exhausted its life cycle.
The second question. "Do you provide any proof...". Here's where they have to explain why they don't because they can't.
The next few FAQ's of notable laughter are these three:
We'll get to the first one in a minute, but the second one in regards to the safety of the funds put in their trust lists this response:
It is absolutely safe because all our traders are very experienced; our trade is accurate and devoid of risk.
Well why didn't you just say so!? Where do I sign up??
The last question is more revealing in itself than the actual response in that it asks "How long will your project work?". Seriously? The response to that one is:
The company is recently registered, so we plan to make a stable and profitable cooperation with clients for the next few years. If we decide to close our project we will announce this before and return all deposits to investors.
It's the "so we plan to make a stable and profitable cooperation with clients" part of this statement that is of great concern. The "plan" to make a stable company? Plan? Yeah this is shaping up to be the rock solid investment of all rock solid investments. At least for those who gain by actually losing, because the most likely scenario with Hourly Hash is that you are going to lose money.
In addition to inexperience, if they paid anyone for marketing content, they should be fired. None of the above or anything on the website's FAQs do this group any favors. However, none of that makes this a scam or an investment to completely disregard.
The Investment Pitch
So lets take a look at what they have to offer. It's promising, not too far fetched, and boasts 5% daily with a 5 bitcoin investment.
Unlike most of these types of schemes offering instant riches, this website is conservative stating profits between 3.6% and 4.8% daily.
This is actually not out of the realm of possibility. This throws a hint of authenticity into its mix because a perfectly run operation, with experience traders, and across multiple commodities could actually manage to pull this kind of return off and still go home with a few bucks in their pockets.
This pitch is plausible. It can be done. Not by these folks, but it's doable.
To top all of this off, you can actually create an account, calculate potential earnings from the dashboard, do withdraws and deposits, view transactions, and watch things in action.
There's even a real address, phone number, email, and support posting form. Furthermore this information matches the information of the registration.
Here's what their registration states:
Company Name: Hourly Hash Investments Limited
Name Variation: Hourly Hash Investments Ltd
Category: Private Limited Company with Share Capital
Company Number: 09837619
Incorporation Date: 22 October 2015
40 BASINGHALL STREET
NEWINC CERTIFICATE OF INCORPORATION
GENERAL COMPANY DETAILS & STATEMENTS OF;
OFFICERS, CAPITAL & SHAREHOLDINGS, GUARANTEE, COMPLIANCE
MEMORANDUM OF ASSOCIATION
The websites registration is about the same as far as timing, about a month prior:
Domain Name: HOURLYHASH.COM
Registry Domain ID: 1964628359_DOMAIN_COM-VRSN
Registrar WHOIS Server: whois.enom.com
Registrar URL: www.enom.com
Updated Date: 2015-09-29T07:50:32.00Z
Creation Date: 2015-09-29T14:50:00.00Z
Registrar Registration Expiration Date: 2016-09-29T14:50:00.00Z
Registrar: ENOM, INC.
Registrar IANA ID: 48
Domain Status: ok
Given the facts of account creation capabilities, actual company registration, website quality, functional dashboard, staff members (they even have a Jessica Alba), and realistic returns, this certainly looks legit.
Can it be the real deal? Sure, it can be, but its not.
Lets Play Peel The Onion!
It basically starts falling apart in the same manner the entire operation will eventually fall apart. This comes so close to being believable because its flawless on the surface. It's almost perfect.
That is the biggest tell of all, and exactly the reason it's not. Let's review the layers of this soon to be disaster.
Layer 1: The FAQs
As listed above. The company points out its legitimacy as a real company in an attempt to gain authenticity and credibility. The latter has to be earned, or bought, and it costs allot more than $22.66. Of course, they then go on to state they can't prove anything in the way of withdraws, but that potential investors should not to worry... they have experience!
They also have a difference of opinion in what it is they do. One page says they are miner technologists here to revolutionize the world. The next states they trade bitcoins.
Layer 2: The Experience, or Lack Thereof
They state that "all our traders are very experienced" and later that:
Due to the high degree of specificity of Hourly Hash Investments Limited’s operations, it incorporates effective and standardized algorithms to help it obtain its financial goals, including the widely recognized SHA-256 and Scrypt
Yeah, that sounds impressive. It also sounds like a politician. They just stated absolutely nothing by saying a bunch of cool intelligent sounding stuff but what it actually does is expose them as a bunch of idiots. This is in response to the self-inquired "Stability and Safety".
The "algorithms" mentioned are actually secure hash algorithms that make up a set of cryptographic hash functions. They have nothing to do with financial anything. financial algorithms would be genetics such as EMA or MACD.
Furthermore, they state that they are comprised of:
...industry professionals in engineering, advanced computational technology, and cryptocurrency mining techniques.
Which is fine and dandy, but what the hell does that have to do with professional commodities trading? Not a peep offered on that one.
They go on to further say:
Since its inception, Hourly Hash Investments Limited has focused on building an extensive infrastructure that combines classic and modern approaches to Bitcoin mining, giving our investors a competitive edge in the marketplace. Incorporating a blend of advanced computer equipment and a centrally located data center, Hourly Hash Investments Limited is capable of engaging in effective strategic Bitcoin mining, at a fraction of a conventional price.
Again, yippee! Where is the financial experience? Where is the trading experience? Let us not forget what they TELL YOU that they are going to DO with your money:
We use invested funds for trading operations and private exchange.
I am not taking that out of context, it is in their own FAQ section under the question "What do you do with investor money?"
Layer 3: Company Age
According to their website, they've been alive for 20 days. They've been a company for a month. Which makes this statement even more hilarious:
Since its inception, Hourly Hash Investments Limited has focused on building an extensive infrastructure
Ummm ... one entire month? If you were born last month you would still be 0, and this extensive infrastructure doesn't work at all. I tried it, it couldn't even keep track of 30 cents.
We sent 0.001 (the minimum) into a generated wallet address. It showed our balance, estimated earnings, and noted the deposit. Until we left, then is vanished. Upon logging back into the website, we find nothing in the wallet. Yet according to the Blockchain it's still sitting there: HourlyHash Transaction
Layer 4: No Compliance
All you need in an anonymous email to open an account, there is no verification, no identification, and no contacts requirements not even a phone number. They've not only completely ignored any hint of compliant operations but they've made it conveniently possible to disable themselves from being able to contact you.
Layer 5: Its Too Perfect
Even the best commodities trader on this planet cannot guarantee you a 5% daily return on your investment, every day, for the entire duration the principal amount is invested. That's exactly why they don't do it.
There is always risk.
These guys seem to think there isn't, in fact they state to the contrary. They're trades are "devoid of risk", again I am not making this stuff up, these are their words.
Even the most conservative of portfolio's face a certain level of risk. They can estimate long term and short term gains, but a guarantee of 5% daily and that you can withdraw whenever you want? Nope.
They simply cannot guarantee a 5% return daily, every day, for as long as an investment is left in their control. It's not possible. This alone makes this a poor investment if not an all out scam.
Layer 6: Spamming
The method of preferred marketing appears to be spam. While sometimes faintly effective it is certainly not becoming of the behavior of a stable and reputable financial services company. Remember that they want to hold your hard earned coin and play with it, yet they can't afford any actual marketing so they are spamming forums.
Localbitcoins.com, a peer-to-peer digital currency trading platform, had to removed this spam (below) the organization plastered on their forum.
The short link of course leading to the HourlyHash website.
Layer 6: The Scam Has Begun
Just in case all of the above isn't enough to steer you clear of this money trap. Just take a look at the pile of problems they've already had in their short 20 day history. This forum shows the inevitable blunders of the seemingly operational infant company as they begin to fall apart.
All of this points to an obvious Ponzi scheme. Perhaps not exactly intentional, but a Ponzi nonetheless in that it won't be able to support it's promise and will have to pay older investors with new investment money instead of the earnings since the earning are not possible consistently. This is likely what they are already seeing on these delayed withdraws.
That's the problem with this business model and why it always ends badly. It's principal issue is most simply put in two words. Shit happens.
Things beyond anyone's control effect the ability to consistently support the claims made by Hourly Hash. To avoid failure (and/or arrest), even if unintentional, new investment money will be used to pay older account returns and that is always inevitable with this model. Had they actually used some standardized algorithms, they made have been informed of this and just quit while they were ahead, which was the point before they began.
Although Hourly Hash Investments Limited is an actual company and possibly even one that began with good intentions. They are either in way over their heads or the more likely scenario of running a Ponzi or MLM scheme.
This is a SCAM.
I would like to think the founder (Ralph Rogers according to filings) of this company may have set out with good intentions and they just don't know what the hell they are doing.
I'd like to think that, but the facts and behavior of the company pretty much sums it up. If you invest in Hourly Hash, you'll end up with an hourly kick in the ass. That being the self-inflicted result of becoming a perfect example of how not to invest your money.
Avoid Hourly Hash.