Embattled CEO of GAWminers and PayBase, Josh Garza, has helped launch a new wallet and exchange service while relocating operations to Hong Kong.


Initially taking to Twitter to announce the news of Mineral, Garza followed up with a more in-depth explanation on the Hashtalk forum for PayBase users explaining why the Hong-Kong based exchange is the “evolved” successor to the previous PayBase system.

“Out with Paybase, on to Mineral.

The new Mineral Platform will be the greatest wallet and exchange on the planet!

So it's after careful consideration; we have decided to make the Mineral Exchange and Wallet the evolution to Paybase. As such, we will be discontinuing Paybase paybase in favor of the new Mineral Exchange and Wallet.”

The move is likely to frustrate users still waiting for reimbursement following PayCoin’s failure to maintain the promised US$20 price floor. Having previously announced a US$20 buy-back plan to be staggered over a 200 year period, users may now question if the closure of PayBase means this will ever be enacted.

On the HashTalk forum, Garza wrote to reassure users that the plan was still in effect and is currently only being blocked by a “three letter agency.” He writes:

“What does that mean for the honors program?

Nothing has changed in the honors program. If/when we are given the green lite from a certain three letter agency, we will move forward.”

The Mineral exchange and wallet service is designed to be a new trading platform for BTC and a range of altcoins including the XPY PayCoin that had previously been mostly traded on PayBase. The service is coin-to-coin only, and is not yet accepting fiat currency exchanges.

Following a strong community outcry on the /r/bitcoin forum, Garza has sought to clarify and explain his involvement with Mineral, distancing himself from being a formal owner of the company.

“I do not want any lack of clarity to effect [sic] the work mineral is trying to do. At the time of this writing, I have no formal company ownership, stock, in mineral. The primary resource I have offered to the mineral team is feedback. Things I have seen work, and some of the things I have no seen work. I would hope they have considered it valuable.”

There has also been news that the Mineral platform is based on the Coin-Swap exchange code base that Garza recently purchased. The rebranding of the Coin-Swap exchange into Mineral is explained by Garza as being the fastest and most expedient way for the new exchange to launch and begin trading quickly.

US to Hong Kong

Moving the company's base outside of the US to Hong Kong has also raised eyebrows, especially following an Admin post on the MineralTalk.org forum (site down at time of press) outlining that “[b]ecause of Minerals strategic location in Hong Kong your account is safe from regulatory bodies.”

The recent collapse of Hong Kong based MyCoin, and the subsequent fraud investigation, has highlighted this highly de-regulated nature of the sector in the country. The national administration also recently confirmed it has no plans to regulate the sector.

The move to leave the US is making some community commentators fear that the move to a less regulated country may be motivated by the recent investigation launched by the US Securities Exchange Commission against GAWMiners, PayBase, and Josh Garza.

Again taking to Hashtalk, Paybase's forum, Garza explained why he has shut down PayBase.

“Paybase is closing for the following reasons:

  • The model is too heavily built around one coin. And it creates division
  • It has no fee structure. The things we planned to monetize are no longer opportunities
  • It's any lawyers ‘best guess’ on what we can and not legally do with crypto.
  • By now, companies are now much further along than Paybase as far as adding features for Paycoin. We have chosen to help them, at our own expense.”

With Garza billing Mineral as the evoltuion to PayBase, and the wheels of the SEC investigation still turning, many individuals in the crypto industry will be watching with interest to see how the new business venture develops in the coming months.

Embattled CEO of GAWminers and PayBase, Josh Garza

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