A deal to create an official Mike Tyson-branded bitcoin ATM in Las Vegas has been dismissed as a scam due to its connection to two mysterious companies.
This weekend, the ex-heavyweight champion of the world tweeted to his 4.8 million followers that the ATM would be “Changing the way we get change”. With a launch date of 30th August, the machine promised to offer cash-to-bitcoin services in under 20 seconds, 10 seconds faster than Iron Mike’s knockout record.
Coming soon… http://t.co/Blf592VtUW… Changing the way we get change.
— Mike Tyson (@MikeTyson) July 25, 2015
While some hailed the news as good PR for bitcoin, questions about the legitimacy of the project soon surfaced following a closer look at the site’s domain owner, Peter Klamka and the project’s partner, Bitcoin Direct LLC.
SiliconANGLE reporter Duncan Riley noted the patchy history of Klamka’s firm Bitcoin Brands Inc, an over-the-counter (OTC) stock with a market cap of just $6,780 and no visible product offerings. For Riley, this suggested the ATM had the potential to be a scam at Tyson’s expense.
Unlike stocks which appear on NASDAQ or the NYSE, OTC stocks – which involve small companies – are unlisted, which can make it difficult to find details.
The partner company listed on the Tyson ATM homepage, Bitcoin Direct LLC, turns up an equally empty online trail. What is known about the company, which bills itself as a “bitcoin transaction solutions provider” in its press materials, is that it owns two General Bytes ATMs in the Vegas area, Tyson’s home, one in a mixed martial arts centre and another in a cigar shop.
However, no evidence of its other ATMs can be found, nor does the company have any kind of online homepage for its services.
Its origins are also something of a mystery. According to Nevada records, Bitcoin Direct filed only four months ago, in April 2015. No executives are listed, however the company has links to a beef supplier, Conexus Cattle Corp, who bought a controlling stake in May.
CoinDesk has contacted Bitcoin Direct LLC for comment.