Exclusive: Mike Tyson suckered into endorsing branded Bitcoin ATMs in potential scam

Exclusive: Mike Tyson suckered into endorsing branded Bitcoin ATMs in potential scam

Former heavyweight world boxing title holder Mike Tyson may be biting off more than a rival’s ear in August with news over the weekend that he is apparently getting into the Bitcoin ATM ring. But an investigation by SiliconANGLE has revealed that Tyson may have been scammed.

“Mike Tyson Bitcoin ATM” is said to offer a revolution in offering cash to Bitcoin services in 20 seconds, which is 10 seconds faster that Iron Mike’s quickest knockout in a professional bout, which clocked in at 30 seconds.

Confirmation that Tyson was involved in the offering came by Tyson’s Twitter account, with the retired fighter claiming the service will “change the way we get change.”

If it looks like a scam …

Precious little is known about the service other than what we’ve written above, and various Bitcoin forums are full of speculation as to whether this is a legitimate business enterprise or not. While Tyson is reported to actually be a smart operator by some, he certainly doesn’t always present himself that way in public.

The biggest lead comes via the registration of the domain name miketysonbitcoin.com, which is registered to one Peter Klamka.

A search finds that Klamka is the Chief Executive Officer of Bitcoin Brands, Inc., which offers a site called Bitcoin for Miles (a site to buy airline frequent flyer miles) and something called the “Bitcoin Vending Network,” which makes a mish-mash of claims, talking about offering ATM services on one hand, then vending machines (not sure if these are meant to be different) on the other.

The other service the company alleges to provide is BitMD, claimed to provide Bitcoin payment services to the medical marijuana industry.

Doesn’t sound too bad in theory, and if it was providing those services it would be, but there’s only one serious problem: We can’t find any solid evidence, outside of the company’s own press releases, that they are.

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There are a number of press releases pertaining to alleged establishments of Bitcoin ATMs and Bitcoin payment services, and a few sites that simply repeat the claims in the press releases, but there appears to be no legitimate press; that is say a local news report on an ATM opening complete with pictures of people, which you’d expect with a Bitcoin ATM opening, or a promo piece about the medical marijuana seller now taking Bitcoins; they’re either extraordinarily bad at on-the-ground local PR or the press releases are pure fantasy.

But it gets worse: Bitcoin Brands is listed as an Over-The-Counter (OTC) stock, so if it actually was providing these services you’d expect that to reflect in its share price and market cap.

Their current share price is $0.0001 per share with a market cap of $6,780. That’s not millions, that’s six thousand, seven hundred and eighty dollars.

So, a company worth $6,870 has done a legitimate deal with Mike Tyson to provide Mike Tyson Bitcoin ATM’s?

Excuse the language, but bullshit it has.

The best guess here is that Mike Tyson has been suckered into a deal by a fast talker who has promised him millions if he gets involved and lends his name to the enterprise, despite the company behind the enterprise having a market cap that is probably about half the value of one bottle of the champagne Tyson prefers to drink.

The other alternative theory is that Tyson himself has invested money into the service and Klamka is a business partner. But if that’s the case, it throws Tyson’s business judgement into serious doubt as any basic due diligence via a simple Google search would have found that not everything is as it seems when it comes to Bitcoin Brands and its alleged provision of various services.

If we find out more, we’ll update the post.

Image via MikeTysonBitcoin.com
Duncan Riley

Duncan Riley

Duncan Riley is a senior writer at SiliconANGLE covering Startups, Bitcoin, and the Internet of Things.

Duncan is a co-founder of VC funded media company B5Media and founder of news site The Inquisitr, and was a senior writer at TechCrunch in its earlier days.

Tips? Press releases? Intersting startup? email: duncan@nichenet.com.au or contact Duncan on Twitter @duncanriley
Duncan Riley

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1 Comment

  1. This should be marked editorial.Reference

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