Bitcoin exchange igot, registered in Australia, has ceased to any communication with customers who are unable to withdraw their funds from the company. An investigation by Silicon Angle suggests the company is a scam, with a base in Bangalore, India.

Since 19 August, igot’s Twitter and Facebook accounts are silent. However, the customers of the company are not silent: they flooded Reddit with lots of posts denouncing the Australian exchange as a scam and complaining they cannot withdraw their money. First such posts appeared already in January: but, according to Reddit threads, at that time people could get their money back if they really insisted, writing again and again, harassing the team of the company and threatening them with negative reviews. As late as on 30 July Rick Day, founder of igot, gave an interview to Coindesk refuting scam allegations against the company but complaining about DDoS attacks.

According to the company site, igot was founded in Australia in 2013 and has four regional offices, in India, Slovenia (Europe), Hong Kong and Singapore. It is available in 40 different countries, offering to sell/buy bitcoin as well as remittances, futures trading and merchant services. However, a research conducted by the news site Silicon Angle suggests that the company never really provided any services besides bitcoin purchase or sale and its Singapore, Hong Kong and European offices are non-existent. The foundation date is probably also false: it was registered only in June 2014. The founder of the company, Rick Day, has no traces in Internet or social media outside igot, meaning that the name might have been assumed. Of seven people whose photographs at the site illustrate igot’s team, four were impossible to identify and three seem not to be part of igot in real life.

Silicon Angle believes igot can be given “baby Mt Gox status”, with around $1 m lost by igot’s customers. Some Redditors, preferring to give the operators of igot the benefit of the doubt, stated that their intentions might have been good but they did not manage to build a solid platform:

“It all starts when some money goes missing, maybe because the exchange got hacked, maybe because it is operating at a loss: whatever the reason, next step is the exchange operator tries to save his business' ass by dipping into the users' funds. At the beginning he justifies himself saying he's just borrowing money, it's just a temporary measure. He thinks he can still recover the losses by just delaying some few big withdrawals until he has made some more money out of the exchange fees. We all know how this ends: users flee in droves and the late bunch in the stampede for the exit door get fleeced.”
Alexey Tereshchenko