The multilevel marketing industry has been around for decades. It started with bored housewives in the 1960s and quickly exploded into a global multi-billion dollar industry. One industry veteran, however, believes MLMs will soon be a thing of the past – and cryptocurrency scams are to blame.
In 2009, industry veteran Randy Gage released a well-known manifesto about the state of MLM and network marketing. It rocked the industry. Gage exposed “MLM junkies”. He discussed the dark sides of the industry, including the scam-like marketing, the sleazy sales tactics, and the predatory nature of targeting vulnerable individuals.
Gage is about to drop another bomb on the industry. On December 1 at 12:01am, Randy will be releasing a follow-up book called R.I.P. MLM. Randy, according to Direct Selling Times, is “disgusted” at what’s happened to the MLM profession in the last two years: “A good chunk of it has become a cesspool of corruption, manipulation, and exploitation.”
Randy believes the cryptocurrency industry has played a big role in the decline of MLM. Cryptocurrencies have led to an explosion in the MLM industry. Gullible victims are flocking to cryptocurrencies seeking easy money. MLMs welcome these people with open arms, claiming that easy money is just a few clicks away.
Gage’s manifesto explores the industry in its current state. He looks at how crooked people in the MLM space are hurting legitimate participants. This is causing investors to lose money, but it’s also shooting the industry in its own foot and permanently damaging its reputation.
What Will You Learn In RIP MLM?
Direct Selling Times published an excerpt from Gage’s book on Medium. It gives us a look at how the multilevel marketing industry is working behind the scenes – particularly how it’s dealing with cryptocurrencies.
Here are some of the key points from someone who knows the MLM industry and crypto industry – and the negative ways in which these two industries are interacting:
- Gage describes the cryptocurrency-based MLMs as “the worst hustle happening in our space over the last year”; he claims they’re “rip-offs posing as cryptocurrency network marketing companies”
- “These scams use the publicity and interest about cryptocurrencies” to lure in gullible investors with promises of easy money; these companies know that people have heard about “overnight” bitcoin millionaires, and they lure in people based on these unrealistic dreams
- Gage is very supportive of cryptocurrencies; he describes himself as a libertarian and believes “government budgets are the biggest Ponzi schemes the world has ever known” because fiat currencies have no intrinsic value whatsoever. That’s why he’s “a big fan” of cryptocurrencies”
- Despite the fact that he’s a big fan of cryptocurrencies, Gage believes it’s “a laughable idea” to start a network marketing company and build certain product lines around cryptocurrency; he specifically mentions companies that sell tokens today claiming they’ll be valued at 2 or 3 times the price within months. Sometimes, that’s true, and in other cases, it’s a complete scam.
- Gage specifically mentions MLMs that offer “educational packages” priced from 100 EUR to over 100,000 EUR. These educational packages are virtually worthless, but you receive tokens with each package. The educational packages “are tepid at best, and plagiarized at worst”, while the tokens that come with it “have no intrinsic value, and are not negotiable for any other currency.”
- There’s also a discussion of the blatant lies in the MLM and cryptocurrency space at the moment. One company claimed they were licensed by the Vietnamese government, for example, and that they were Asia’s first cryptocurrency. Neither claim was true, and the Vietnamese government eventually issued a statement showing that the document presented as evidence was a forgery.
Government Is Now Targeting Distributors And Company Founders
One of the most important points to get from Gage’s book is that the industry will undoubtedly face regulation in the very near future. It’s already faced significant regulation – and when MLMs inevitably get shut down, it’s not just company founders who are getting in trouble.
Here’s how Gage explains it:
“It used to be that when regulators shut down a Ponzi scheme or pyramid program, they would only go after the owners and company executives. Those days are over. What the government response after Vemma and Zeek Rewards has demonstrated is that in the new reality — the government is going after distributors who have profited from illegal schemes.”
Are you one of the top levels of a crypto-based MLM scheme? Have you sold tokens to unsuspecting investors with promises of easy money? Are you involved in promoting scams like Bitconnect? Here’s what you can expect to happen, according to Gage:
“Your program is shut down with a temporary restraining order and your income, and the income of everyone on your team dries up overnight. You start receiving calls, emails and texts from friends and family that have lost their money. People start looking at you cross-eyed. You hang on for weeks, because the company keeps telling you they’re legit and will ultimately prevail. You’re borrowing more and more money to pay for that flashy house, cars and bling-bling you bought to impress prospects. Your company doesn’t get reopened, it gets permanently closed. Now you’re seriously underwater. And then the agents come to your house…”
At this point, the regulators will be able to easily prove that you earned $200,000 from the scam – or whatever amount you made. But they don’t want just the $200,000 you earned. They want interest on that money as well. They also want the income tax that you deducted from your statement after claiming $75,000 in home business expenses. Pretty soon, you owe $300,000 that you don’t have.
Are Cryptocurrencies Killing Multilevel Marketing?
Randy Gage’s book is titled RIP MLM. You might think that Gage believes the MLM industry is dead.
However, Gage’s book isn’t quite as negative as the title suggests. Basically, Gage argues that the cryptocurrency focus of MLMs is killing the industry. If the MLM industry continues down this path – or on similar scammy paths like diet pills and fake online training programs – then it will inevitably die off.
The network marketing industry, like any industry, needs to provide real value in order to be successful. Right now, cryptocurrency-based network marketing scams are not providing that value. Randy’s book launches on December 1.