Segwit2x a Scam? Community Members Cry Foul
Over the past week or so, CCN has dedicated a number of articles to the alleged revival of Segwit2x. The proposed fork is slated for block 501451, approximately December 28th. Inspired by the aborted November Segwit2x fork, this revamped version is the product of an entirely new team.
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And crypto community members are not convinced. Many have either asked the question “Is this B2x a scam?” or have come to the conclusion that it is.
Some of our own readers even raised concerns in a few of our articles’ comment sections. Well we want to make sure that we’re presenting all the facts we can, so we’ve done some digging to address these concerns. Here’s what we found.
Questions Surround Segwit2x’s Team
Until today, the revival fork’s website only listed three team members: Jaap Terlouw, Donna Khyuz, and Robert Szabo.
On his LinkedIn, Jaap Terlouw labels himself as the “Main developer and advisor at segwit2x,” but his work bio includes no prior experience in blockchain development or relevant coding experience. His current position lists him as CEO of an unidentified company, and his only other past job title is “Mayor SLM new build”–if you’re unsure about what this means, you’re not alone.
Let’s move on to Donna Khyuz, whose LinkedIn profile is currently inactive. According to a Medium post authored by Dr-Hack, she sports an updated Instagram profile as a self-proclaimed “Crypto Developer, ICO & Blockchain expert.” I’m calling this profile updated because, according to an archived Instagram profile from December 19th, Khyuz’s advertised herself as a “Model, Dancer, Actress, Business Woman.” That’s quite a career change to make in a little over a week, and it’s given root to community skepticism.
Robert Szabo has the most detailed LinkedIn, but there’s still little to show for a background in coding or blockchain development. His past employment largely consists of jobs at T-Mobile, and his professional training is in automation engineering.
Two new team members (Artur Bujnicki and Bartosz Kozlowski) were added in the last 24 hours. Perhaps in an attempt to build credibility, Bujnicki’s LinkedIn lists prior software development experience, while Kozlowski’s own contains extensive experience in account management.
Perhaps one of the bigger red flags for B2x’ credibility was the inclusion of Sairam Jetty on the official team without his knowledge. As Dr-Hack pointed out, the B2x team listed Jetty as a contributor sans his permission, and he was only recently delisted from the website. When asked in a Facebook message if the revived fork is a scam, Jetty shared his belief that “it is.”
Reddit Raises the Alarm
Numerous posts have surfaced on Reddit in recent days diagnosing the alleged fork, picking around the web for inconsistencies and suspicious information.
In one such post, original poster u/draget notes that the project’s Github is relatively inactive. More over, the page has only been live for 8 days. The team also has an extremely young presence on Bitcoin Talk forum, with the sole Segwit2x representative appearing just 12 days ago.
In the comments for separate post, u/Breakpoint claims that the project representative on Bitcoin Talk solicited community members for their private keys. Within the same comment section, u/RzeroD provides a link that indicates there will be a 2,000,000 coin pre-mine, a fact that the B2x team does not reveal on its website.
Out of the Reddit posts we examined, a few users, including original posters u/Sonicthoughts and u/increaseblocks accuse the B2x’s orchestrators of falsifying developer identities and creating fake LinkedIn accounts.
A Fork in the Wrong Direction?
Community concerns don’t stop there. In response to the team’s promise that Bitcoin holders will receive “a proportional number of Satoshi Nakamoto`s Bitcoins as a reward for their commitment to progress,” Dr-Hack reasonably charges: “I have no idea how they will get hold of BTC held by Satoshi Nakamoto ,[sic] the claims are weird and interesting at the same time.” He also rightly indicates that the project’s “official Instagram, Twitter, second Telegram channel and Reddit are almost empty.”