Is crowd1 legit?
Disclaimer: Just like everything on this website, this review is an opinion based on our observations. If you have other insights that we may have missed that would change our views, please bring them forth. Read additional disclaimer at the end of this article.
A lot of buzz, whether it is paid or organic, has been heard recently about Crowd1. We had gotten few requests about our opinion on this project because of the ‘cryptocurrency’ payment aspect involved with the project.
This article is an answer to those requests.
What is Crowd1?
What does Crowd1 do?
That depends on who you ask or where you get your information from.
For instance, when you read up on their website BEFORE registering, this is how you see Crowd1 describing what Crowd1 does:
“Crowd1 is an internationally known online networking company that provides members with an opportunity to engage in the largest growing online sales force. Crowd1 provides tools for you to take part in international networking, the gig economy, and quality education. Achieving better digital equality in the world while building a network of motivated entrepreneurs remains at the heart of the operation. During the first 16 months, Crowd1 managed to grow a sales force of over 5 million Affiliates and counting.”
The vagueness is a wow factor in that entire paragraph. AFTER you register, the true model is revealed to you and here it is, in their own words:
“Crowd1 brings you possibilities of a lifetime residual cash flow based on your team’s growth. The best way to utilise the crowd economy is to introduce your friends for free. You become a part of the cash flow created when your friend’s activities create cash flow in the crowd. Take the opportunity today and put yourself in the central position of a global movement.”
Notice the text that we highlighted in bold, those reek the stench of Multi-Level Marketing business which in many cases have been regarded as a PYRAMID scheme.
Their intro video is quite uneventful and useless, in our opinion.
Join the world’s fastest-growing network marketing company. Impossible is nothing! https://crowd1.com/
Products offered by Crowd1
Crowd1 offers 3 products and all of them are exclusive to Crowd1 members:
This is an affiliate marketing site for the online gaming industry and eSports including “online casinos, slots, sports betting, lotteries, mahjong, poker as well as other Mobile Games.” This space is not new and there are many established companies in the space. Competition is fierce and adding an affiliate angle to this space is new but the success depends totally on how many of these referrals actually enjoy playing these games.
MIGGSTER is a mobile gaming platform exclusively accessible by Crowd1 members. MIGGSTER lists out the global statistics related to the mobile gaming industry that are not entirely true about the actual potential of the mobile gaming space. For example, the website refers to the 5 Billion Mobile users in the world, however, not all mobile phones are useful for the mobile games platforms to play. This reduces the total potential market size to 2.7 Billion smartphone users. There are already many successful mobile gaming platforms, it might be a uphill battle to convince people to play on MIGGSTER, especially when the platform is only available to Crowd1 members, in our opinion.
This is the platform where all the educational packages are housed. The site claims to be “World Class Marketing Real Estate Training”. Our impression is that the name is a clever rehash of the world’s famous site for developers, ‘Github’.
The more we look at the platforms that are already out there doing the things (like affiliate marketing, online gambling and mobile gaming) that Crowd1 wants to exploit, the less we are convinced about the ‘successful execution’ of Crowd1’s vision.
What we don’t like about Crowd1?
There are so many things that we despise about this company for many reasons (listed below). We have seen this before and were victims of such a MLM company which actually had products that we could use in our daily lives and that still failed miserably.
Smell of Pyramid scheme
This is a pure opinion of ours. The whole set up of selling digital products based on membership level and ‘number of individuals’ you invite to your network to upgrade your own level sounds like a Pyramid Scheme. Although, we do understand that not all pyramid schemes are ponzi.
The merchandize section shows the products that are not that unique and something that you could get over Amazon for half the price. As such, we are not sure if the listed merchandise will pick steam. Obviously, with over 5 million users on their platform, there may be a market for their merchandise.
Cost of entry
The basic plan starts at €99 and can run up to €2499.00. Below is the breakdown of each of their plans:
|Education package from mygrithub.com Value €99||Education package from mygrithub.com Value €299||Education package from mygrithub.com Value €799||
Education package from mygrithub.com Value €2,499
|Crowd1 Rewards worth €100||Crowd1 Rewards worth €300||Crowd1 Rewards worth €1,000||Crowd1 Rewards worth €3,500|
|Streamline up to level 4||Streamline up to level 8|
Streamline up to level 12
Streamline up to level 15
|Matching bonus up to level 1||Matching bonus up to level 3||Matching bonus up to level 4||Matching bonus up to level 5|
Line of business
The main allure is developing your own ‘global gambling network’. Many people might have moral issues with gambling business and some religions (and countries) specifically ban gambling activities. We have no moral issue with gambling but it might be for many.
Rumors about a scam
If you search for Crowd1 on the internet or YouTube, you will find 3 types of people:
- Those who have never heard about Crowd1
- Those who are current members and pimping it with their personal referral codes
- Those who despise the company and call it a scam with their own version of the ‘proof’
For instance, Trijo News ran a piece stating that “beyond the polished surface, you find a suspected pyramid scheme veteran as the founder, and a concept that seems to be in the gray area of what is legal.”
Some crypto enthusiasts are comparing it with other Crypto Scams.
What’s working in favor of Crowd1’?
We tried hard to keep our preconceived notion about this company from the time we first landed on the website to the videos and the whole model.
Quite honestly, it has been a big challenge. Yet, here are few things that we think go in Crowd1’s favor:
“Life is not fair and we should be grateful that it is not, if it were, we would be bored,” that’s the quote from Johan Staël von Holstein, CEO of Crowd1. Whether you agree with that statement or not, Johan has a history of turning startups into billion dollar companies, however, he also has been associated with the companies that were wound up.
For example: Icon Media Lab started by Johan and served as CEO for the first two years has gone public. His second venture, Letsbuyit.com went public too. However, his next two ventures namely, IQube & MyCube were both wound up.
We will have to see the fate of Crowd1 as to whether it goes public or gets wound up.
Many MLM companies are a big deal in the world. For example, Amway, a company that has products sold exclusively to its members.
While gambling could have it’s own disadvantages, it could also add the advantage of onboarding clients that play consistently on your platform, hence, generating handsome recurring revenues. This aspect could very well surprise everyone, including us, who are staying away from Crowd1.
Great combination of crowdfunding and network marketing
Many MLM companies are a big deal in the world. For example, Amway, a multi-billion dollar company has a massive user base who buy and promote their products exclusively available for Amway members. Crowd1 combines that MLM model in the digital space with the power of network marketing across 3 different spaces: gambling, affiliate marketing and digital education.
Work From Home in a post COVID world
Covid19 has changed the way we view work from home forever. There are going to be a lot of job losses by the time we are done with this pandemic and that means, there will be a lot of scope for companies that promise the opportunities to become your own boss and that is one of the things Crowd1 sells.
We take a closer look at the Terms and Conditions
Generally, we do not dissect terms & conditions of a project but for this one, we are looking at the Terms and Conditions (T&C) of Crowd1, the entire 33 pages of it.
Right off the bat, this line in the T&C “Every “SUBSCRIBER” assumes sole legal responsibility for his or her decisions to follow suggestions made in any of the services the services offered on Crowd1.com,” is somewhat skewed in its formation and shifts the entire onus onto the unassuming consumers. [This is a standard practice in the industry, however, we would have expected some phrase where it says ‘we are vetting the products on our platform before they are offered, however, responsibility lies on you, etc., etc., but let’s move on.]
This caught our attention: “Company, “Crowd1.com”, and any of our subsidiaries, do not guarantee or represent that any “AFFILIATE”, who follow any suggestions or advice given in any of our services, will be making profits.”
And here is where I believe the picture is worth a thousand words.
Above screenshot is from the Google Play Store. Look at the potential balance and the streamline level. The indirect suggestion that someone could stand to gain that big of a ‘bonus’ at 1st level is quite astounding and yet the terms and conditions actually deny any claims of possibility to make any money. From a legal standpoint, they are on point but their claims (although hinted indirectly), contradict to the T&C, in our opinion.
Another flag, although legally accurate I suppose, is this one: “understand and agree that Crowd1.com reserves the right to cancel my account at its absolute discretion, and no form of refund will be due to me for whatever reason” and this one “In addition, Crowd1.com, reserves the right to approve or deny the reactivation of a canceled account. Moreover, Crowd1.com is under no legal obligation to disclose reasoning for such denials.”
It doesn’t even refer to ‘violations leading to termination’, no, it explicitly says “absolute discretion and no disclosure of ‘reasons’”, talk about monopolizing the rights!
We are ready to quit right now, but we are only on page 3 of 33.
One way gift certificates, as per the T&C, “REFUNDS on Gift Certificates – The original owner of the gift certificate cannot receive a cash refund on the Gift Certificate but it can be deposited back to their account. The party who has received the gift certificate to join the C1 opportunity will not be able to redeem or request a refund for the Gift Certificate. There are no cash refunds for gift certificates.”
Some concerns on how the confidential information is handled are noticed in here: “Company may supply to Independent Affiliates confidential information, including, but not limited to genealogical and Downline reports, customer lists, customer information developed by Company or developed for and on behalf of Company by Independent Affiliates (including, but not limited to, credit data, customer and Independent Affiliate profiles and product purchase information), Independent Affiliate lists, manufacturer and supplier information, business reports, commission or sales reports and such other financial and business information which Company may designate as confidential.”
In our opinion, this is all coming together as a big ‘make money for us, not for you’, for instance, here is a term in the T&C: “No commissions are paid on the purchase of Sales materials or for Sponsoring Independent Affiliates.”
Refund policy seems a bit wanky. For instance, how are you to test a product without actually using it? In our limited interpretation, that is what it sounds like based on these terms in the T&C lifted directly:
“When you purchase a Crowd1 Education Package, you have a 14-day cooling off period which means that you can regret your purchase entirely and get a refund of your money. This cooling off period will be terminated and cancelled immediately if you:
- Choose to use any of the features in your Crowd1 website
- Have used your Crowd1 products including but not limited to Education Packages”
We have never seen a company saying that you are entitled to a refund as long as you do not open the package or use the product.
I think we are done with looking at their twisty Terms & Conditions. Here are their Terms and Conditions if you would like to give it a full read.
Their tagline, “Impossible is nothing” is quite corny because of its fallacy. For example, you cannot bring dead back to life or turn the time even by a split second or the list goes on where things by their very nature are impossible. And, it is just a rehash of the most overused motivational line “Nothing is Impossible” which I always thought was a foolish statement used by people dreamers with no plan or execution.
Count us unimpressed, so far.
Issue with the countries that are banned
The other aspect that we thought was interesting is the countries that are not allowed to participate, including the United States.
If this is truly a global company and has digital products that can be made available anywhere in the world, what’s stopping them from allowing the US participants?
We assume that the rules are much more stringent in the US in terms of investor protection. Especially when it comes to a business model that looks like a pyramid scheme and the one that directly deals with the online gambling industry.
We understand that not all States in the US allow businesses associated with online gambling, and maybe that’s why they are not allowing participants from the US. Well, if this were true, how come the company is registered in Dubai, UAE that has a ban on gambling and gambling related businesses (?). This is merely posed as a question for someone learned enough to educate us.
Is it a scam?
We do not think that Crowd1 is a scam. Following reasons support this assessment:
- A company with actual products (irrespective of whether they are good or not)
- Team with history and background of running business
- Online gaming is expected to be an exciting space in the coming years
- The digital marketing line that is expected to grow leaps and bounds in the post-COVID world
The assessment that this may not be a scam is not a guarantee that your investment is safe. We cannot provide that kind of assurance from our limited research.
Is it a Pyramid scheme?
In our opinion, Crowd1’s business model comes very close to a pyramid scheme, albeit we could categorize it as Multi-Level Marketing like Amway.
The key variance between a business like Amway and Crowd1 is that Crowd1 exclusively deals with digital products like online gaming, affiliate referrals and educational packages made available to only its members instead of physical products.
We are not able to convince ourselves to invest in Crowd1 and for that very reason we cannot recommend it to others. Like we said earlier, we have been victims of similar ‘boisterous promises’ before and when we finally gave in to buy into the package, we couldn’t con others to be suckers like us.
Crowd1 may very well be a great opportunity for those who are good at convincing people irrespective of the product they are marketing.
We could be wrong!
It is absolutely possible that we completely got this concept and the company wrong and we might be losing on a once in a lifetime opportunity.
That is fine with us.
We just don’t want you to lose on an opportunity if you think this is the best thing on the internet. Do your own due diligence and do not listen to some random guy on the internet.
For our own investment, we are staying away from Crowd1. Do what suits you.
Thank you for reading and sharing this article. Stay safe and healthy!
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