The Return of the Creature from the Breakout Coin Lagoon

Among the scammier propositions to have popped within the online-gambling world, in this writer’s not-so-esteemed opinion, comes the story of a questionable digital offering that in recent weeks seems to have reappeared from the dead.  Amid all the other news-oriented hubbub issued by poker’s flotsam and jetsam during the WSOP’s annual seven-week news cycle one can finds all sorts of interesting press releases and marketing pushes, orchestrated by people trying to tag along the WSOP’s coattails.  Among them, the “investment opportunity” called Breakout Gaming, or Breakout Coin, which launched in 2014, appeared dead and dismantled in 2015, and now, out of nowhere has seemingly returned.

breakout-gaming-logoIf you missed the original Breakout Gaming and Breakout Coin, don’t fret.  Back in September of 2014, the marketing opportunity made ts public debut, though whatever it was wasn’t quite sure.  Breakout Gaming was conceived, supposedly, as a new real-stakes, interactive gaming platform, but one which featured its own virtual currency — that’s the Breakout Coin stuff — which on had to invest in in order to play on the site.

Oh, and what a site that was going to be, according to all those initial promises.  Here’s just a portion of the planned goodies:

An in-house, web based, exchange seamlessly converts Bitcoin (BTC) to Breakout Coin (BRO) with a cold storage solution to protect the currency, avoiding the opportunity for hackers to enter the servers. Breakout Gaming’s site will feature 88 different casino games including the popular Texas Hold ‘Em, Open Face Chinese Poker, in addition to a custom built Fantasy Sports betting platform.

Add to that a promised feature which was something like daily fantasy sports, except betting on the day-to-day performance of other virtual currencies, such as Bitcoin, Litecoin, Dogecoin and others. The catch: None of this stuff was actually live or available.  All that was offered was the chance to invest in portion of the company, which was built on air.  That was despite the presence of an abnormal number of old-school poker players behind the offering, in an uncertin capacity.  (More on that in a bit.)  Virtual currency enthusiast Bryan Micon laughingly discovered that Breakout Coin’s social-media presence was an utter fake: out of nearly 12,000 supposed Twitter followers, only abut 72 of them were real.  The rest of it: all fakes, seemingly purchased from a Twitter account farm in the Philippines.

The whole business concept was a clusterfuck, too.  The casino and poker games as proposed were illegal in the US, and the online-currency exchange stuff was so esoteric as to be meaningless.  There was simply no need to build an entire new virtual currency around games which — in those jurisdictions where they were legal – they could be played with dollars or euros or BTC or any of several far more liquid currencies, real or virtual.

There was simply no need to invest in this thing, whatever it was.  Nonetheless, people did.  And sure enough, after a few months, the whole thing disappeared, an unknown number of perfectly exchangeable Bitcoins disappearing down the Breakout developers’ investment channel.

And now, all of a sudden, it’s back.  But with an entirely new coat of paint.  A recent press release promoting Breakout Coin omits all mention of the once-planned Breakout Gaming platform.  Gone are the 88 casino games, the online poker the virtual-currency betting exchange, all of it.  Even BreakoutGaming.com, the original online home, now resolves to something called BreakoutEnterprise.com.  And if you visit there, you can find out that Breakout Coin is still there, still envisioned as an online-gaming currency, but now utterly devoid of any site where such coins are supposed to be used.

It’s a new coat of paint, all right, but … there’s no house under there.  It’s just the paint.  And having once taken in a good pile of Bitcoins, the group is out for more.  Here’s the latest press release, aimed for the gullible:

The World’s First ‘Multicurrency’ Gaming Token Breakout Coin Begins Its Second Crowdfunding Round on Bittrex After Raising 851 BTC
Breakout Coin BRK BRX SIS

Breakout Coin, an unprecedented new gaming ‘multicurrency’, finished its successful 851 BTC crowdsale on July 7. Enthusiasts worldwide can now trade BRK on the reputable cryptocurrency exchange Bittrex. Breakout Coin will now launch their second crowdfund campaign for Breakout Stake (BRX) on the same exchange at 5:00 pm PDT, today Sunday July 10.

Los Angeles, CA, July 10, 2016 (Newswire.com) – Breakout Coin, a new unprecedented ‘multicurrency’ gaming token begins its second crowdfund today on July 10 at 5:00 pm. The crowdfund will be hosted by the reputable cryptocurrency exchange Bittrex with 6.6M Breakout Stake (BRX) being available at a price of 1,500/BTC. An early buyer incentive bonus of 10% will last for the first 3 hours of the crowdfund sale. The crowdfund will end at 8:00 pm PDT on Sunday, July 24, 2016. Any unsold BRX will be provably destroyed by Bittrex prior to BRX being added to their exchange for trading shortly after the end of the sale.

Breakout Coin ended its first public crowdsale on July 7, collecting a total of 851 BTC which equals approximately $560,000. A total of 4,357,800 BRK were distributed, with a further 2,269,694 burned and permanently removed from the market. With the crowdsale complete, Breakout Coin (BRK) is now trading on Bittrex, one of the largest and most reputable cryptocurrency exchanges in the world.

Randy Kim, co-founder of Breakout, stated, “We are very pleased with the results of this sale, and with the support that we received from both the cryptocurrency and gaming communities.”

The Breakout Coin and Breakout Stake are part of the Breakout Chain blockchain for gaming, created by a diverse team consisting of gaming and cryptocurrency experts, including lead developer James Stroud, PhD., a co-founder of CryptoCertify, the first cryptocurrency auditing and certification company; Paul Kim, with 25 years of experience in IT, computer science, and gaming; Randy Kim, a professional poker player with 20 years’ experience in Los Angeles casino management, and Gian Perroni, an iGaming executive with more than 18 years of online gaming experience.

Breakout Stake (BRX) is one of three cryptocurrencies that can be used in the Breakout Chain. The others are Breakout Coin (BRK) now trading on Bittrex, and miners who are responsible for the processing of BRK transactions also earn another type of token called SisterCoin (SIS).

Randy Kim, a known pro to veterans of the poker world, shows up as the founder of the whole operation, and all those recognizable old-school poker pros are still around as well.  The BreakoutEnterprise.com “Brand Ambassadors” page still shows the same folks as being involved, not that any of them seem to have been doing any active promoting of the thing since 2014.  The list of those folks includes: Johnny Chan, Todd Brunson, Ted Forrest, David Benyamine, Layne Flack, Jeffrey Lisandro, Huckleberry Seed, Toto Leonidas, Vladimir Shchemelev and Jennifer Harman.  That group includes a lot of poker history and tourney hardware, but not an ounce of explanation as to why this Breakout thing is a legit opportunity, then or now.

And, under the covers, it seems like not much has changed.  The @BreakoutCoin account on Twitter remains active, and though it doesn’t have 19,000 followers — and hasn’t been actively re-audited since late 2014 — what is there doesn’t appear any more legit. Via TwitterAudit:

ScreenHunter_18 Jul. 23 08.33

Well, let’s see what happens with this crowdfunding opportunity.  My guess: Same thing as the last one: Bitcoins go in, nothing comes out.

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