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This Is Cantor Fitzgerald's 2nd Foray Into Crypto, The First Did Not End Well

Investment firm Cantor Fitzgerald announced a bitcoin futures program set to launch in 2018. The news puts Cantor Fitzgerald on the long list of traditional money forces putting a bet on bitcoin. But this isn’t their first foray into cryptocurrencies. Back in 2015, one of its (now former) highest ranking executives became involved in a high-profile cryptocurrency powered project and ended up in court because of it.

GAW Miners was once one of the largest figures in the bitcoin mining space. However, by late 2015, it became clear that things weren’t right with GAW or its founder Joshua Homero Garza.

GAW Miners stood for “Genius’ At Work” was named after Garza’s previous venture, a broadband internet company that has also found itself in legal trouble. With that company, customers found themselves unable to contact any kind of tech support before the local government eventually took it over. Not being able to get in contact with Garza is something GAW Miners investors would become very accustomed to.

Initially, Joshua and GAW sold mining equipment. In 2014, bitcoin mining equipment was very difficult to obtain. GAW was slow to get some hardware out, but that wasn’t unusual. Competitor Butterfly Labs was also notorious for shipping equipment late at that time. Eventually, GAW Miners felt it was easier to transition to “Cloud Mining” and began taking investments for that.

Cloud mining is still thrown around as a viable alternative to home mining today. The truth is that it isn’t a good way to mine bitcoin now and that was true in 2015 as well.

Companies claim to mine cryptocurrencies for their clients. In theory, Clients pay for the privilege and the companies deal with the utility costs and technical upkeep. In reality, no one knows what is going on inside these “cloud mining” companies. Clients are really paying a large upfront fee to receive small amounts of bitcoin over the length o...

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