Harry Denley


Hi. I'm Harry, a web developer.
I take an interest in web development and cryptocurrencies.

Why I think Centra.Tech is questionable - Centra Tech Inquires & Reports and clears things up



Edit: 2017-08-09T23:37:33Z

I’ve changed the title of this article to change it from “scam” to “questionable”. I’ve also removed the “scam” category. Reasoning for that is below.

Centra Tech responds

This is not an exact copy of what they have responded with, nor all of the words I had in my chat with Sam on Slack. We addressed each point I went through originally in my article (below). Here’s the “statement” by Centra Tech.

“Dodgy Advertising”

We have media attention for shows, so far nothing press related. A few TV shows want to do segments on the Centra Card & Wallet app.

I then asked why their only news presence are paid-for articles

We did not broadcast our company for more than 2 weeks Harry. Once we have some time and presence we will have many more articles. Time factor is huge. We built this in silence because it’s not that proprietary. But we have the market dominance now. So i’m sure sooner than later we will be on articles.

We then touched on their Subreddit, and why it was dead when it’s a huge factor to build an audience.

I had no clue subreddit was huge. We went more of the business approach than ICO and dumped a lot of many in advertisements (social media, radio space, billboards, etc). Now that you brought this to my attention, I will go look more into it today.

“The Team”

There were inconsistencies with their team profiles, and some people using other peoples identities.

This was my freelancers mistakes, we were truly more focused on the product at the time and all had our resources focused there. They are responsible and so am I, I took actions this week and terminated any that I felt misled me or our company. New guys [freelancers/hires] coming this friday.

“Your Twitter is botted to create artificial hype”

I was a little confused with this - see my post below in the original segment of this page. Almost every tweet was being retweeted hundreds of times, typical activity I see of botting. It was then brought to my attention that this was caused due to their bounty program - see point 4 in their ‘Terms and Rules’.

We have a bounty program. They are all supposed to follow the programs details for likes and retweets.

They then acknowledged and addressed the report from twitteraudit.com

I totally believe that’s fake i think we have 3-4k followers legit on twitter. We didn’t create our social media though, the freelancers did. We are just cleaning up the mess now.

“Whitepaper inconsistencies”

I then asked why the whitepaper was changed…

We had version numbers posted on each one up until our Final Draft, (TenX had many versions as well if you look through their history) and Add Titanium level card was 6th.

For those monitoring my public donation address and seeing CTR tokens come in, this was a donation sent by Sam in return for assisting him with some other aspects of his promotional video and coming to a responsible agreement of publishing these statements above. Prior to the donation being sent, we set the following terms;

/assets/images/posts/centra-tech/donation_rules.PNG

As a note from myself, I’ve seen the unlisted promotional video Centra Tech did, it looks promising. The video shows a phone application linked to various wallets (using different cryptocurrencies) and purchasing items from stores as well as some ATM usage withdrawing fiat.

Evidence below as to why I think Centra Tech is questionable pt1

Many startups have released ICO (Initial Coin Offerings) onto the Ethereum Blockchain, raising thousands of $ETH (worth millions in fiat). Some are great, with a solid team, and drive to deliver on the project. Unfortunately, this has had a somewhat negative effect and attracted many scammers. People setting up legit-looking products and sites, opening their ICO a couple weeks after registering the domain, raising a lot of money, then disappearing.

I recently came across this new ICO called Centra Tech, who claim to have solved all the problems of spending $ETH in the real world, and have arranged a deal with Visa and Mastercard to give them the ability to deliver on their promises of solving the issue of spending $ETH.

For Centra Tech, I will be covering 4 main points with information backing my concerns;

  • Dodgy advertising
  • The team
  • Fishy Twitter
  • Whitepaper inconsistencies

Dodgy advertising

This is what first raised my suspicions, having a very weird advertising technique by spamming high-holding $ETH addresses via the DISQUS comments on Etherscan (a popular blockchain explorer).

/assets/images/posts/centra-tech/DGNbTlLXsAAiZFw.jpg

Fine, whatever. It just looks unprofessional and desperate.

So I then searched the Internet and see what that has to say about Centra Tech, and a couple of articles come up, hosted by some blockchain oriented news sites - interesting.

So I read some of these articles and they seem convincing, like too convincing, and I notice something. All the articles are paid for. This usually means I write an article, then pay $x for the site to post it, which usually doesn’t involve the publishing site to fact check, but just cash in.

Here’s the articles I read;

PR Newswire

PR Newswire is a site that let’s anybody publish an article (if they have an account) to a platform that hosts many news articles.

Centra Tech published their first and only articles on the platform on Aug 01, 2017, 12:00 ET. See Image

Read the article

news.bitcoin.com

https://news.bitcoin.com is a publishing site that allows and hosts paid press releases.

Centra Tech published their article to this site on July 25, 2017 and has reached almost 10k views. See Image

Read the article

cleveland19.com

This website is a legitimate news organisation, but also allows for 3rd parties to post articles.

Centra Tech published their article to this site via PR Newswire. See Image

Read the article

cointelegraph.com

This website is a legitimate news organisation, promoting news relating to blockchains.

Centra Tech published their article on July 23, 2017. See Image

Read the article

Now, this article is very interesting because of the comments. More spam by this “Sam Sharma” chap. But look at the first couple comments;

/assets/images/posts/centra-tech/cointelegraph-comments-1-2.PNG

1) Sam Sharma comments as to suggest it wasn’t a paid for publishment.

2) Sam Sharma (which is Centra’s CTO & Co-Founder) doesn’t even reply or counter the accusation that it’s a scam.

finance.yahoo.co.uk

This website is a legitimate news organisation, but also allows for 3rd parties to post articles.

Centra Tech published their article to this site via PR Newswire. See Image

Read the article

The Team

I noticed their team has gone under some changes, except now I have some major concerns about their legitimacy.

Using the WaybackMachine, we have the following snapshot from July 29, 2017.

Their wp-content/ is open, but I’ve also downloaded a local copy of all their images from wp-content/ in-case they lock it down.

I will be focusing on the changes mainly;

(On the left will be the current profile, on the right will be the profile from July 26, 2017)

Michael Edwards / CEO & Co-Founder

/assets/images/posts/centra-tech/team-michael.PNG

A different picture, fine people change, perhaps it was an outdated picture.

So I took a look at their 07 content, and this Michael Edwards guy (image on the right) seems to actually be named Andrew.. This got me thinking, are these stock images? Let’s have a look…

According to CHRIM, the old “Michael Edwards” is a Professor in Physiology and Pathophysiology. See Image.

Now this is a pretty prestigious thing, let’s see if it’s on his Linkedin profile. The answer is no - I suspect it being a fake account.

I thought that maybe they were placeholder images, but then why publish articles on cointelegraph (July 23, 2017) and news.bitcoin.com (July 25, 2017) with placeholder images?

Kumar Singh / Blockchain Engineer

This profile caught my eye as he doesn’t have an active link to his Linkedin Profile (it just takes you to Centra Tech homepage).

I reversed image searched his profile from the 07 image directory, and it came up with a guy called Yogesh Saini, an Assistant Professor - experts.lsu.edu profile

The guy who uses this picture (ie: not Kumar Singh), has an active Linkedin Profile, currently stating he’s an assistant professor at Louisiana State University - nothing mentioning blockchains nor any (public) recommendations to any one else on the Centra Tech team or someone working with Blockchains.

Sam Sharma / CTO & Co-Founder

This guy is the most vocal of the team I’ve found. He seems to have the most pictures in the 07/ directory also. See Image

His only real social media is @coinsuccess on Instagram, which has a bunch of “motivational” pictures (Googled luxury images with motivational quotes and links back to his other site).

The site itself is pretty dead; you need to pay $99usd for a web wallet and actual functionality really, plus, there’s literally no support.

I found this interview done by Clif High (it’s pretty long) on Youtube - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gg58ONwfj24. He opens with “We are 100% not a scam” - which, in my experience, is dodgy. I think Clif does a very good job with the Interview, asking brilliant questions and calling Sam out when he dodges questions.

Fishy Twitter

I recently got into contact with them on Twitter, and ever since that has been happening - which is super annoying and fishy. Artificial hype, but looks like it’s a a popular product.

/assets/images/posts/centra-tech/Tweet_P18Jrc3xg3.PNG

I then ran a Twitter audit (performed by twitteraudit.com);

/assets/images/posts/centra-tech/twitteraudit.PNG

After listening to the interview performed by Clif High and listening to the opening by Sam Sharma “We are 100% not a scam” - look how many times they repeat that; https://twitter.com/search?f=tweets&q=scam%20from%3Acentra_card&src=typd

Whitepaper inconsistencies

I grabbed the whitepaper from 07/ and the current live whitepaper and ran a md5sum - you can see the content has changed since the 07/ upload;

/assets/images/posts/centra-tech/whitepaper-timestamp.PNG

# Get the md5sum of the current live pdf
$ md5sum WhitePaper-Live.pdf
5ff77d1a50c03bbe75336a75af0934f0  WhitePaper-Live.pdf

# Compare the files
$ md5sum -c <<<"5ff77d1a50c03bbe75336a75af0934f0 WhitePaper-07.pdf"
WhitePaper-07.pdf: FAILED
md5sum: WARNING: 1 computed checksum did NOT match

# Get the md5sum of each file
$ md5sum WhitePaper-07.pdf WhitePaper-Live.pdf 
50f3b941f1efc0421f8823b7bc3cff6c  WhitePaper-07.pdf
5ff77d1a50c03bbe75336a75af0934f0  WhitePaper-Live.pdf

Also, there’s no technical documentation that describes their infrastructure, how they will “insure all cryptocurrencies”, or which audits their code will go under.

Falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus

With the team profiles being fishy, the interview with Clif High being a little dodgy and he’s not sounding too confident on what he’s talking about, I personally will not be investing.

I don’t think the product will take off due to incompetence, and ETH will slowly be siphoned to the team, the tokens will then become invaluable, and the product will die.

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