Update October 19
I, unbelievably, have received my tokens from Bidao.
I’ll write up a conclusion summary of everything as their practices still cause me concern.
Update October 13
Bidaochain.com Cloudflare issues are resolved. Make sure to update your ETH address for receiving your tokens.
Update October 11
I spoke with a rep in their Telegram group. Apparently the token sale is over (previously Nov 2020 end) and BID has been moved. I submitted what was requested and now I wait. They’ve also changed their main site to https://bidaochain.org/ from http://bidaochain.com/ – Will update accordingly.
Reminder; Please reach out to people marked as Admins in Telegram groups, as a lot of scam/fraud happens from unsolicited messages.
Update October 10
Item 1: On September 15, Bidao announced that the BID tokens are officially assigned and transferrable to an ETH address, however, that still isn’t the option in your BidaoChain.com wallet (see image), until after the token sale (Page 9, Section 5 of agreement). This is also reiterrated on page 5.
If they executed token assignment this early, then it contradicts what is stated in their token agreement.
Update October 7
Conclusion Summary; While this report started off as exploratory, I’ve concluded that it’s a legit project, but with scam elements regarding their token sale agreement for / marketing to U.S. investors. I won’t be investing any more money into them.
As a reminder, despite the price increase from exchanges, the official tokens are not assigned out to investors until weeks after the token sale ends in November. My concern about the scam is their efforts to get U.S. based investors without KYC, during the token sale time and then not assign the tokens purchased to those U.S. investors, based on BaFin’s restrictions in section Bad / Item 5, listed below.
Reference 1: Anyone can create a token and put it on exchanges. While legit on Uniswap, it’s still just price speculation.
Reference 2: The true “value” is still 1 cent per BID.
Reference 3: Speculation until the tokens are officially assigned in December, after the token sale ends and KYC begins.
– Original Report –
On March 29th I bought the minimum ($150 USD) into their Initial Token Offering sale to further research before staking more in their DeFi project. With such a low amount, the driving force behind this report isn’t financial- it’s to spread awareness and provide a fair collection of data about Bidao in a centrally located source. So over the following weeks, this is what I found, as I did my own research. I encourage you to comment, whether agree or disagree, in hopes of collectively determining if the Bidao is a scam or just the typical high risk crypo project with amazing upside.
|Verdict||Topic Questions||Answer Summaries|
|✅||Partnerships and collaborations?||Confirmed partnerships/collaborations with Binance, Chainlink, Tron, Ontology, QTUM, and possibly still with Tellor.|
|❌||Social media / customer support presence?||Confirmed cases of Bidao blocking users for asking questions, lack of email responses, and bots to inflate follower numbers.|
|❌||Legal for United States residents?||While a legit company in Germany, Bidao is not collecting KYC info, but will be required to at the end of their token sale by Germany’s BaFin. Token agreement clearly states that it’s not open to U.S. residents.|
|✅||Open source?||Confirmed that the non-propitiatory code is on GitHub with eyes on June 18, when their prototype will be released.|
|❓||Credible?||Between the fake followers, lack of transparency, social media/support interactions, inability to stick to staking schedule, and lack of dev quality with tech demonstrated thus far, this remains to be seen.|
Update: 4/29: QTUM Announces Strategic Partnership
QTUM becomes another collateral option in the Bidaochain development.
Update: 4/26: Ontology Announces Bidao Partnership
Ontology confirmed a Bidao partnership today. I’ve included Bidao’s screenshot of the Tweet here, for those who are blocked and can’t see theirs. Also, this is their link to the announcement on Bidao’s website for further details; https://bidaochain.com/info/bidao-implementing-ontology-ont-collateral-asset/
Update: 4/19 Tron announces collaboration.
This update happened just hours before I posted the report. This, obviously, would have factored more favorably in my conclusion.
There were no concerns with what I’ve seen shared between ChainLink’s official announcements regarding the Bidao collaboration, unlike what I later found regarding Tellor. When verified projects confirm a working relationship with a start-up, it lends some of their validation their project too.
2. Ivan on Tech
Ivan on Tech has 221k+ YouTube subscribers, 47k+ on Twitter, and his own crypto academy. If you watch any of his daily morning broadcasts you’ll quickly see he’s passionate about doing right by the people and highly educated in both tech & finance. The video below is hosted on Bidaochain’s YouTube channel, but I only did that since you’d have to skip to it in Ivan’s daily broadcast version. Ivan’s review was a Top 5 Altcoins of 2020 video and wasn’t sponsored.
3. Legit LLC in Germany
While it is a small detail, I did confirm that they are a limited liability company as claimed.
*Note; The UG is the legal form for founders who wish to establish a limited liability company but only have limited resources. Forming this type of entrepreneurial company requires just one euro of share capital (Stammkapital).
4. TedX Talk
Bidao’s CTO, Brian Condenanza gave a speech and seemed to speak sincerely about the future of blockchain. He’s obviously educated in the space, so I focused more on other details of the talk. One small detail, that stood out in his favor, was his inclusion of speaking about bringing more women into the blockchain/STEM space. This inclusion, while not relevant to the Bidao project, was out of the blue and spoke well of his character to me.
5. Code on GitHub
Bidao has 74 commits with 140,000+ lines of code (as of March 4th, 2020). While the number of lines isn’t a barometer of good or bad code, it is open for review at Github, which is always positive. I have a programming background, but not in the blockchain space. Any developer feedback on this area would be appreciated.
6. Proven Talent (but brief)
While I couldn’t (officially) confirm Bastian’s claim to winning 3 Apple WWDC scholarships (2013, 2014, 2015) on their official scholars website, there’s no reason to doubt it. Per Apple’s own documentation, they reward up to 350 out of 5,000 (top 7% or less) developers a year and there are no where near 350 profiles per year on their official site. My guess is that they just haven’t been able to add all the winner’s profiles yet.
Brian’s accomplishment with his TedX Talk, coupled with verifiable success (96k InstaGram, 99k Twitter) founding Fluo Shoes (https://fluoshoes.com/) is a testament to his entrepreneurship at an early age.
7. Binance Involvement & Tech Plan
Bidao has a solid business/technical plan for the DeFi space, in a model already proven successful by the collective; $ETH, $MakerDAO, and $DAI’s collaboration. While utilizing Binance-chain and $BNB to start as the collateral token in their 3 token ecosystem, they hope to not be tied to just one collateral coin in the future.
4/19 Update: Tron announced $TRX will be used as collateral, the second token now on the project.
You can read more in their whitepaper; https://www.bidaochain.com/static/docs/whitepaperBidao.pdf and Coinbureau.com has a more in-depth technical, non-bias, review; https://www.coinbureau.com/review/bidao-bid/
8. No Referral Bonuses
Another small detail, but worth mentioning, there is no type of referral bonus of $BID tokens for getting others to buy-in to their ICO. It’s a Proof of Stake setup, so funds have to back the coins. I feel safer that the Bidao team didn’t try to incentivize with free tokens or try to setup a structure that is geared more toward virality. To me, that would have cheapened the project and caused me to be a little more hesitant.
1. Twitter Sell-Offs
I’ve seen quite a few crypto Tweets of users trying to sell their $BID, for 50% off, what they bought it for during the token sale ($.01/$BID with $150USD minimum = 15,000 $BID). Upon registration to buy tokens, they only require an email, username, password, and form of payment. People are selling at a discount for their own reasons, I’ve linked to one example below. If you’d like to have yours added to this page, please message me so I can add it.
Devil’s Advocate: There’s all kinds of half-context information being shared and people react at different extremes than others. They’ve reached their personal breaking points, but until Bidao is officially exposed as a scam, they could be wrong to trust their conclusions and sell.
2. Combat Nerd
The timing of this stands out as very odd to me, as stated in my Tweet above. Combat Nerd opens up during the same time Bidao kicks off their token sale and it ends up having only one “staff member” written review of any ICO, and it happens to be for Bidao, giving them a 4.9/5 rating?
Click here for the Google cached version since http://www.combatnerd.com was shut down.
To me, this just adds to the suspicion raised when someone posted this video about website similarities between Bidaochain/CombatNerd/LibertOS, that I had originally brushed off. The fact that the domain has been shut down after the rising #Bidao tagged Twitter tension. furthers my suspicion. I, personally feel, that the “staff member review” was bias and may have been written to enhance SEO readability/exposure to generate more support for the Bidao project.
Devil’s Advocate: It could just be a coincidence.
3. Tellor Relationship?
On February 13th 2020, the official Tellor Twitter account posted that they were excited to work with Bidao, since then, Bidao deleted their own Tweet (Google cache link) about the collaboration, without an explanation. If you’re actively working with another known player in the crypo space, why would you remove something confirming it? Tellor is also not listed on the group of “Services they Use” like ChainLink and others are.
Update 4/21: Since I’ve been blocked from @Bidaochain’s Twitter, a user was kind enough to share this update after my report went live. Since Tellor never stated the relationship was off, hopefully this originally bad/concerning item can be confidently moved to the positive column.
Devil’s Advocate: They could have found that the partnership wasn’t a right fit for them and they’re working with another, unannounced, service.
4. Bidao Wallet
This is something I personally found and notified the company about, over two weeks ago. I never received a response.
The wallet is clearly not actively online, despite it saying so. In testing, I left the wallet and my account on the website up over the course of days, the wallet never updated until you close and reopen. The wallet seems to just grab your account’s static data on initial load, with a meaningless animated “node online” gif added, and that’s it. For a company handling a project like Bidao, the wallet (overall, not just this bug) is a poor representation of what they need to be capable of.
Devil’s Advocate: It’s a bug and nothing more. They’re limited on time and resources and just wanted to get any form of a wallet up.
5. Illegal Countries & KYC
According to the Token Offer Agreement, the following countries can not participate;
• People’s Republic of China
• United States of America
• Hong Kong
• South Korea
• Crimea Peninsula
• Gaza Strip
• South Sudan
• North Korea
Residents and other persons and/or entities subject to the jurisdictions of such countries, therefore, may not participate in this Initial Token Offering and the Operator will decline any offer to acquire BID Tokens in the course of the Initial Token Offering and will actively prevent the participation of such residents and other persons and/or entities in the Initial Token Offering to the extent possible.”
Since their sign-up form doesn’t have any KYC (Know Your Customer) requirements, they are allowing investors from these countries in. My concern is, since KYC isn’t implemented now as money is flowing in, what happens when it’s implemented? Those regulations, in Germany, are coming. When? Ironically, in November 2020 the same time Bidao’s token sale ends.
Once Bidao runs the course of their token sale, they’ll be required to enforce KYC laws by BaFin.
Crowdfund Insider: Feb 2020 Report about BaFin and the coming KYC laws for German crypto companies.
Devil’s Advocate: It’s the risk you take in the crypto space. Dealing with these sort of regulations hasn’t been the first time investors had to face them, won’t be the last and aren’t specific to Bidao.
6. Power Staking Schedule
On April 16, Bidao posted the following. It was a generic and brief video, without any updates regarding the Bidao project.
I posted a comment within the first 10 minutes of it being up, with no response from the Bidao team. Until this is clarified for me, it is still a concern.
The cynic in me feels it’s being left at the 30% mark for two reasons; 1. It’s a legit project, but they aren’t hitting their token sale goals, so they’re keeping Power Staking rewards at the token sale amount levels actually sold, instead of the token sale time schedule. Or 2. If it’s not legit, maybe they are keeping Power Staking at 30% to play with investor psychology. Ie; “I missed out on the 50%, but can still get in at the 30%!?” FOMO induced mentality.
UPDATE 4/19: A Twitter follower shared the following info regarding their Power Staking schedule delay.
Devil’s Advocate: Power Staking levels during an ICO is somewhat new and predicting a schedule can be more difficult than can be expected.
7. Media Claims & Involvement
On http://www.Bidaochain.com they claim to have been featured in the following media outlets. My research could not confirm these claims.
0 results for Bidao
0 results for Bastian Aigner
3 paid for ads by YEC (Brian Condenanza, YEC member)
0 results for Xiaolong Zhang
0 results for Caroline Kurpiers
To save room, I won’t post the other 0 result links, but I did the same for the other media outlets as well.
*Note 4/21: Huffingtonpost is not marked Red (X) in the screenshot I made, but they did not appear on their website either.
Bidao’s lack of doing this is concerning, because if you are a start-up, raising capital, and have been featured and written about, then you should link to those sources to validate your claims to give your project more support.
Devil’s Advocate: “A website’s search engine doesn’t always index everything . They could have been featured in other components of those media outlets.“
The lack of social media involvement, despite having a CMO, is baffling. When the Bidao team does respond to YouTube/Twitter comments, it’s only when it involves their t-shirt/hoodie giveaways and payment problems with people buying tokens. There are questions out there, which is what inspired me to start this.
Devil’s Advocate: They could have been advised by their lawyers to not discuss any token sale / Bidao progress / relationship type questions during the offering period.
4/22: After a follower brought up fake and/or paid Twitter followers to increase hype, here is what I found. While the @Bidaochain account is higher than most, it’s about on par with the others in their similar space; Tron (32.7%), Kava (24.6%), Synthetix (31.6%), etc… So why list this as a concerning thing? Brian’s Twitter account is estimated at double these fake account amounts at 65.6%. The quiet, less active Bastia has a modestly high 25.5% fake followers.
Devil’s Advocate: Brian could have built up (paid for) his numbers for past consulting projects to help his short years in the industry. It may not be an indicator of false hype for Bidao, since the official Bidaochain account is about the same as other tokens in its space.
(The Inconclusive or Still Developing)
Update: 4/25: Class Action Lawsuit?
With this investor claiming his group possessed 1.8 billion BID, more than likely makes this claim inaccurate, as the total BID up for sell during the token offer is 1.95 billion total.
*Note 4/28: The original poster responded publicly, waiting for more detail to be provided.
Four months ago, in an interview with Mr Kristof, Brian told us to ask questions. We are, but there has been a lack of answers being provided and actions unexplained. Even more concerning (personally) is that during the process of writing this, Bidaochain blocked me from their Twitter account for asking such questions and it wasn’t the first time they’ve done this to investors.
Am I selling my $BID? No.
Will I be buying more? Not now.
I feel the best thing to do is wait for the June 18th deadline when they’ll be releasing their prototype. Re-evaluate then and take the risk of them actually lowering the Power Staking incentive from 30%. It’s the only way I currently see to balance out the risk/reward ratio.
(Please bookmark and/or share this page, if you found it useful, as I’ll be adding to and updating as the Bidao project progresses.)
4/22 Update: They haven’t unblocked me, so I’m following them from “silent Twitter” account, this way I can keep updating this report. mwn360 is my main account, if you wish to follow me on Twitter.