Homero ‘Josh’ Garza was already running two successful companies, Optima Computers and Great Auk Wireless by age 21. A keen interest in cryptocurrency mining led him to start GAWMiners in March 2014.

GAWMiners started out selling Gridseed scrypt ASIC miners. The company then partnered with ZeusMiner to sell scrypt miners, often rebranded with their own trade names like ‘Falcon’ and ‘WarMachine’. They promised to bring their own ‘Vaultbreaker’ line of scrypt ASIC miners based on new Gridseed chips to market but the new miners were never produced.

In August 2014 GAWMiners introduced their own cloud mining derivative named ‘Hashlet’. Hashlets were originally priced at $16 and supposedly mined a new proprietary pool called ZenPool with returns higher than other scrypt multipools. Original Hashlets mining ZenPool returned over 15% per week and sold so well the company started running out of reserve mining power. The price for Hashlets quickly rose to $25 per mH and returns dropped to about 7% per week.

GAWMiners soon introduced a full line of Hashlets mining different multipools, along with a premium product called Hashlet Prime priced at $50. Anyone who bought the original Hashlet at $16 had their product upgraded to Primes at no cost. At the time the most profitable Hashlet was ZenHashlet priced at $21. ZenHashlet mined ZenPool and returned about 8% per week.

The company announced on 20 September 2014 that the Hashlet Prime price would be reduced to $25 and each Prime would be able to not only mine scrypt but also bitcoin at 40 GH/sec. The ability of Primes to mine bitcoin directly never came to pass. As months passed GAWMiners discontinued selling scrypt miners but still offered a small selection of bitcoin miners.

GAWMiners then shifted focus to their new PayCoin altcoin (symbol: XPY) launched on 12 December 2014. Hashlet owners were compelled to convert their ‘Guaranteed Profitable’ Hashlets to HashStakers and buy Paycoin at then high prices to charge the HashStakers. At first PayCoin showed promise, reaching a high price of 0.0235 XPY/BTC on 11 January 2015 on the Cryptsy exchange.

XPY/BTC Price Chart

Since then the price chart of XPY has followed the typical pump and dump price action common to almost all altcoins. Paycoin is currently trading at less than 0.001 XPY/BTC causing investors to lose millions of dollars. Both Coinbrief and CoinFire have published reports that Mr. Garza and GAWMiners are under investigation by the US Securities Exchange Commission.

One year later to the month the GAWMiners website is now gone and redirects to btc.com. Nothing is known about the mission of btc.com other than speculation at the Hashtalk forum.

Mr. Garza also announced on March 21 that the HashTalk forum will itself be replaced soon with a new forum not under management of GAWMiners. Posting as GAWCEO on PayCoinTalk Garza introduced the new forum MineralTalk which opened on 2 April 2015 :

garzamineralAnd the saga continues. Whilst Mr. Garza tries to distance himself from the Paycoin fiasco by creating a new forum and exchange it is likely that his attachment to any cryptocurrency venture going forward will not be looked on favorably by investors or traders.

As of 12 April Mr. Garza and the Paycoin Foundation are fighting for control of Paycoin and there is speculation that a hard fork of the coin may happen on 20 April. Three ex-employees of GAWMiners: Jonah Dorman, Evan Lucas and Matt Eden recently formed a new corporation called Blockchain Innovation. Matt Eden in particular gave an interview to the Bits of News blog shedding light on the infighting and claims that Mr. Garza had been selling Paycoin to fund GAWMiners.