R339,000 crypto graphics card fight in South Africa turns ugly

PC hardware and cryptocurrency mining retailer Bitmart has publicly lashed out at Brutech for not refunding over R339,000, which they paid to secure a cache of new Nvidia graphics cards.

In a post on the Carbonite forum, Bitmart stated that it ordered 32 Gigabyte RTX 3060 Ti Eagle cards from Brutech, was told stock was available, and was instructed to pay in full to secure the cards.

While these graphics cards are not the most powerful in Nvidia’s RTX 30-series range, they remain a popular choice for cryptocurrency miners.

As such, they are difficult to get hold of due to the global chip shortage and the massive demand caused by the surge of interest in cryptocurrency mining.

Bitmart’s clients would therefore have been understandably excited about getting their hands on scarce graphics hardware.

According to Bitmart, Brutech told them that their graphics cards would be delivered in two weeks.

Unfortunately the delivery never came.

“We were fed one story after the other,” Bitmart said.

“Ultimately [we] were offered GPU with motherboard bundles, which we declined and requested a full refund.”

Brutech then informed Bitmart that they would pay them back monthly, with a minimum repayment of R30,000 per month.

Part of the reason for Bitmart’s public complaint is that they had not received the promised payment from Brutech.

“They are not responding to text or emails, they are avoiding our phone calls, and they are just not paying back our funds,” Bitmart said.

“This is not good business and we warn members of the public so you don’t get scammed like we were.”

Bitmart said it has started legal proceedings, including laying criminal charges, against the proprietors of Brutech.

Product shot of Gigabyte GeForce RTX 3060 Ti EAGLE graphics card
Gigabyte GeForce RTX 3060 Ti EAGLE graphics card

Brutech responded to Bitmart’s allegations, stating that the order was placed in January and its suppliers confirmed that the cards would all be delivered on 20 January 2021.

However, Brutech’s suppliers later told them that their order had been delayed and no estimated delivery date could be provided.

As an alternative, Brutech offered Bitmart different graphics cards (Nvidia GTX 1660 Ti) that came bundled with motherboards.

When Bitmart declined and requested a refund, Brutech went to its supplier to request a refund and was told that if they take their money back they would lose their spot in the backorder queue.

Brutech said that they have open backorders for scarce RTX 3060, 3070, and 3080 graphics cards.

“We aren’t here to run away with people’s money,” Brutech assured.

“It’s just this whole [GPU shortage] situation is a mess. Our humblest apologies to all we let down — our apologies that it had to come to this.”

Bitmart was unmoved by Brutech’s explanation and demanded its money back in full.

“If you want the privileges of holding stock you need to put your big boy pants on and do so with your own money not ours,” Bitmart said.

Bitmart stated that as of 24 May, it had not received its money back from Brutech.

MyBroadband contacted Brutech and Bitmart for comment, but neither company responded by the time of publication.

Now read: We started mining cryptocurrency again – Here’s how much we are making

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R339,000 crypto graphics card fight in South Africa turns ugly