Last month a press release from Wellington-based Bitharp announced it had introduced two high performance crypto-currency mining rigs — but there appears to be no such company.
The Bitharp website www.bitharp.com gives the company name as Bitharp Group Limited and its address as 190 Richmond St, Petone, Wellington 5012.
However, there is no company of that name listed on the New Zealand Business Register. And, according to Google Maps, no 190 Richmond St in Petone; the street’s numbers only go up to 150.
The press release announcing Bitharp’s crypto-miners included a phone number for ‘Alexa Zimine’ as well as an email address. The phone number was unavailable when we tried to call, and no reply was received from the email address after a week.
The Bitharp website lists as a New Zealand phone number 04 889 3268, which Skype says is invalid, and a Canadian address and phone number: 430 Hazeldean Road, Ottawa, Ontario K2L 1T9 and +1 (786) 625-3224.
Skype says the number cannot be called. Google shows the address as being the premises of Spectrum Kitchen and Bath Design.
Bitharp’s press release claimed spectacular performance for its new crypto miners, Lyre Miner and Harp Miner. Lyre Miner is offered for sale on its website for $5000 and Harp Miner for $25,000.
CWNZ was prompted to look into the company after receiving emails from two members of New Zealand’s crypto community. One claimed: “There are many references to this company as a scam on the web.”
Another said he was concerned Bitharp could damage the image of crypto in New Zealand: “The crypto space is cleaning up its act but there are some serious opportunists out there and new vulnerable enthusiasts. That is always going to be a recipe for some bad stuff to happen.”