BitConnect was launched on November 15, 2016. It was released as an open source software in January 2017. It's a peer-to-peer Cryptocurrency in which transactions take place between users directly, without an intermediary. These transactions are verified by network nodes and recorded in a public distributed ledger called the blockchain using Proof of Work(PoW) and Proof of Stake(PoS) algorithms.
BitConnect shut down in January 2018, after receiving cease-and-desist orders from authorities in Texas and North Carolina. The Texas State Securities Board and North Carolina Secretary of State Securities Division told BitConnect it “isn’t registered to sell securities in those states.” Texas regulators warned that “Despite providing no information on how it will make money for investors— including the algorithms behind the Trading Bot—BitConnect is touting its investments as a ‘safe way to earn a high rate of return.’”  
Aside from official reports of state-specific sanctions, BitConnect's own website reported that the website/platform had been experiencing DDOS attacks and that it had been made "clear that these will continue."  The site also indicates that investors' funds would be refunded in BCC token at a balance of 363.62 USD, despite dropping precipitously from an all-time-high of $442.49 to below $25. 
Following the announcement that BitConnect would no longer be operating, an Initial coin offering (ICO) project called BitConnectX was announced. The ICO outlines phases of investment in the project in the exact same manner as the original BitConnect had. 
BitConnect was promoted by popular cryptocurrency YouTubers CrytpoNick and Trevon James. Widely seen at its outset as a Ponzi scheme, BitConnect was publicly called out as such in a tweet by Vitalik Buterin of Ethereum.  On January 16, 2018 Trevon live streamed further purchase of the BCC token with Bitcoin on YouTube to encourage users of the Bitconnect platform (amid a flurry of chaotic and hateful messages in the accompanying chatroom).  The video, which had been titled "you win," was removed shortly thereafter.