Is Coins of Change a Complete Scam?
Coins of Change claims to be a bitcoin-powered philanthropy platform. Find out how it works today in our review.
What is Coins of Change?
Coins of Change, found online at CoinsOfChange.org, describes itself as “a revolutionary platform that merges philanthropy & entrepreneurship, powered by bitcoin, the world’s leading crypto-currency.”
The core of the platform is its peer-to-peer crowdfunding technology. You can participate in that crowdfunding platform to support causes that matter to you.
That all sounds like a great thing – but there’s one problem. Coins of Change has been called “another crowdfunding MLM bitcoin scam” by various news outlets online. That’s because Coins of Change doesn’t really seem to be focused on charity: instead, it’s focused on funneling money up through a pyramid scheme under the guise of making charitable donations.
Is Coins of Change a complete scam? Or is this a legitimate way to make the world a better place? Let’s take a closer look at how it works.
How Does Coins of Change Work?
Coins of Change markets itself as a crowdfunding platform. However, it seems to be one giant pyramid scheme: the goal isn’t to contribute to charities; instead, the goal is to make money by recruiting new people to the platform.
You’re required to pay $50 to join the company. You can also upgrade to a “Gold Platform” membership with a fee of 0.1 BTC.
Once you pay your membership fee, your goal is to convince other people to pay that membership fee – just like a pyramid scheme. Here’s how the official website explains it:
“When you bring your first member in, you receive your first contribution when they upgrade. Bring in 3 members and you can upgrade to Stage 2 plus keep the third contribution in your wallet.”
The company insists that it isn’t a pyramid scheme – but the sentence above perfectly describes a pyramid scheme.
You’re also required to pay an “administration fee” for all transactions on the platform. Your administration fees go towards “a bonus pool to reward members for referral efforts.”
Your $50 membership fee also gives you access to some basic online education tools, including a Facebook marketing course and an online e-commerce business course.
As you can see, we haven’t mentioned charities once so far. Coins of Change vaguely mentions “philanthropy” and “crowdfunding”. However, they don’t seem to support any real initiatives. Coins of Change appears to be using philanthropy to disguise its pyramid scheme. All money gets funneled to the top of the pyramid, with charities receiving $0.
Features of Coins of Change
Coins of Change advertises all of the following features:
Coins of Change claims to allow users to support causes through crowdfunding initiatives.
Coins of Change claims to support entrepreneurship by giving subscribers access to two online marketing courses.
Coins of Change posts various travel offers, including Caribbean cruises and European vacations.
Coins of Change will charge a hefty “administration fee” on every transaction on their platform. However, they insist that “there is no middle man” and all payments go directly from members to members.
Coins of Change doesn’t seem to support any real philanthropic initiatives. Instead, the main goal of the platform is to help users make money through some type of weird pyramid scheme.
Coins of Change will send you a PDF file after you pay your $50 membership fee. The PDF file explains basic details about bitcoin. Coins of Change claims their PDF file is worth $199, which seems ridiculous.
Coins of Change Membership Fees
Legitimate crowdfunding platforms like Indiegogo and Kickstarter do not charge membership fees. Coins of Change, however, like most pyramid schemes, charges exorbitant membership fees that get funneled up the pyramid.
You’ll need to pay a one-time fee of $50 to join the platform. However, you’ll need to continue paying money to move up in the company. A “Gold” membership is priced at 0.1 BTC, for example (about $1,000). You’ll need to recruit new members to the platform to move through the ranks from Contributor to Apprentice to Entrepreneur to Philanthropist to Legacy.
When you recruit new members to the platform, most of the money gets funneled to people higher up the pyramid than you. You only receive a small portion of each member’s membership fee.
There’s no evidence that any portion of the membership fee goes to charitable efforts.
Who’s Behind Coins of Change?
The Coins of Change LinkedIn page claims that the company is headquartered in St. George, St. Vincent and the Grenadines. The company was founded in 2017. There’s no information online about the company’s founders or executive team. We also don’t have a specific address for the company.
If Coins of Change was a legitimate educational platform or charitable organization, we would expect the founders to be more transparent about their team. If you needed further confirmation that Coins of Change is a scam, the lack of team information pretty much confirms it.
Coins of Change Conclusion
At best, Coins of Change is a pyramid scheme. At worst, it’s a scam designed to lure people into giving to “charitable projects” while stealing everyone’s money.
Based on the complete lack of transparency, the unusual online marketing initiatives, and other shady things about the company, Coins of Change is one cryptocurrency scam you should probably avoid.