The London Bitcoin Forum, that had all chances to become one of the biggest events for all Bitcoin and Blockchain experts and fans, turned out to be a complete scam! The news astonishes. It hasn’t been long since we got the first information about the Forum that was to gather together 900 attendees, more than 60 expert speakers and 20+ media partners.
Lucky participators were promised to take part in the talks concerning Public vs Private Blockchains, Financial Smart Contracts, Distributed Ledger Technology. The fact that the announcement was published only one month before the event itself must have struck a warning note. However, it didn’t.
Perhaps not having looked deeply into the event, many news portals published a press release. The London Bitcoin Forum seemed to prepare nice offers both for bitcoin startups and sponsors. The companies could present their Bitcoin related job offers, internships and career opportunities. In their turn sponsors got an opportunity to study startups, product innovations or services to choose the best investment objective. Moreover, the list of sponsors seemed to be a mix of heavy hitters and bitcoin gambling website links. Everything sounded rather promising and everyone believed. So who is to be blamed?
When looking closer, several inconsistencies become obvious. The list of speakers was rather extensive, however many “participators” have indicated they are not affiliated with the event and will not be appearing there.
The London Bitcoin Forum was planned to take place at the QEII Centre on March 23-24, 2016. Nevertheless, the Center itself has confirmed via email that no event is scheduled there for these dates. Anna Minova, Sales & Revenue Management Executive for the QEII Centre, states: “We are not holding that event in the centre. We’ve already contacted the organisers and they should remove our venue details from their website.”
What is the most unpleasant about this situation is definitely people who lost their money due to the desire to attend what was going to become a stunning bitcoin and blockchain event. The tickets were sold for £75 for students, £115 early bird and £160 late bird. Bitcoin platform Coinkite processes all bitcoin payments for the tickets. Of course, now the best measure would be to stop all payment processing on behalf of the “event organization”. It would help to avoid more people getting involved in the fraud while those, who have already suffered, would search for ways to get a refund. As for now the exact number of people who have bought tickets remains unknown.