The crypto space is famous for Ponzi schemes, scams and promises that never turn into anything real, but as long as there are uneducated people willing to risk all their investment for another “get rick quick“ opportunity, someone will take advantage of them.
Maybe you have heard of BitConnect or OneCoin Ponzi schemes - investors were promised unbelievable returns, but instead lost billions of dollars. And now there is a project that seems to be quite similar - EXW Wallet.
What are the so called “red flags“? Let’s have a look.
Promise of unrealistic return
Earn up to 0.32% profit daily without additional effort
What does that mean? If we convert 0.32% daily profit to yearly, we get completely unbelievable 221%. Just for comparison:
P2P platforms like Mintos offer about 12% per year
The historical average stock market return is 10% per year
Average returns from real estate are also about 10% per year
Long-term government bonds return about 5-6% per year
All of these examples come with some risks - most of P2P platforms are not regulated, part of them are scams, so you can lose part or all of your money. Stock market comes with huge volatility - one year you might earn 30%, but maybe for next 5 years you will gain nothing or even lose money. And of course - the same is true for real estate - once in a while investors get burned and prices of properties crash significantly.
In short - if there is a legitimate investment opportunity and it promises about 10-12% return, it will come with some specific risks. But if you get promised 100% or 200% return per year like in this case - then you can be sure, that it is not realistic and in my opinion there is a good chance you are dealing with a scam.
Big promises, but no proof behind them
Just look at all this stuff from their Instagram account. In November 2019 EXW launched their car rental business:
So where can I rent a car? Or see rent agreements? And why does some crypto exchange service need a car rental business? This is a low margin business, even the big companies that buy thousands of cars directly from manufactures, are barely profitable. Has EXW team been in car rental business before?
I would guess that there are no cars, no agreements, no long-term car rental.
What about December 2019? Before anyone asks too many questions about cars, better come up with another concept - for example, real estate cloud:
Maybe you can make more money in real estate than in car rental, but still the industry average 10% profit from investing in real estate does not go together with 221% promised profit for investors.
Also - is it possible to build a tech platform, find good investment properties, sign all agreements, and do all of that in 1 month? Very unlikely.
Setting up one new business per month from a team who is just raising money for their crypto exchange? Is it possible? I don’t think so, but creating an instagram picture - for sure. So here we see new business idea for January, 2020:
I can book hotels and flights anywhere in the world by using crypto? Sounds good. Any proof? Have not seen it.
What is common in case of all these concepts:
these ideas are from industries with low margins, and even if someone would actually implement them and have the best profit margins in their category, they would still not be able to generate anything close to 221% promised return per year.
there is no logical connection between a crypto exchange and random business concepts just like there is no logic behind promising 221% return.
if you would ask to see agreements with their partners or suppliers, or wanted to actually rent a car, buy a real estate or book a flight - I don’t think it would be possible.
Terms & Conditions are suspicious
No one enjoys reading these boring legal documents, but you should! When it comes to crypto projects - you can be sure that the owners will use creative ways in their terms to avoid any responsibility.
- The Issuer is entitled to issue additional EXW Coin Token Bonds at its own discretion.
Lets assume that in total there are 100 Coin Token Bonds. If investors buy all 100 Coin Token Bonds, then they own 100% of them. But if The Issuer (EXW Wallet team) decide to issue additional 9900 Coin Token Bonds, then investors will own only 1% of total supply. So at any point investor share can be diluted to nothing.
- The Issuer will use the money received by the issuance of the EXW Coin Token Bonds to build a platform for tokenized investments especially – but not limited to – real estate.
Basically investors will fund not only all development of EXW platform, but also any investments they will make. Here real estate is mentioned and that is a good example of math making no sense. If real estate can return 10% on average per year, but investors are promised 221% per year, how is it possible?
- 3.2 The Issuer is newly founded Liechtenstein Company with only minimum capital. The planed investments contain a very high risk and the investor can loose its entire investment capital. The business model of the issuer is new and in no way verified.
Liechtenstein is often used for shady offshore companies, so no surprises here. But it is interesting to see a warning about high risk investment and losing all capital. This is completely different from things marketed on website. And again - in terms you won't find any mention of daily or yearly profit, or this 0.32% return.
- 2.3 Any fulfillment of claims (e.g. participations in receiving interest payments or repayment) must only be made if the issuer is in a position to do so from future profits, from a liquidation surplus or from other freely available assets.
Investors assume they will get their interest payments, but according to terms - that will happen only if EXW wallet will be able to afford it from future profits. Will there be any future profits? No, not really.
Crypto revolution with no crypto behind
If we look at OneCoin or EXW - I don’t think that there is any coin or crypto or blockchain behind it. Anyone can display some numbers on their website and my guess is that - anything you see regarding volume, price of this “coin“ - most likely is made up.
For comparison, check out coinmarketcap.com - there are thousands of so called “shitcoins“ with no real value, but still some people trade them for fun. At least 50 versions of Bitcoin, and strange coins like Dogecoin, Dentacoin, TrumpCoin, PutinCoin. All of them have at least some liquidity and are listed in some exchange. But you won't find EXW there. Is it even worse than these?
And that also means - there is no liquidity and no real market demand for this coin. If exw-wallet.com is shut down - that is it. Say goodbye to your investment and your EXW coins.
Of course, if EXW would pay some exchange to actually list it there, it still would not make it a legitimate business (BitConnect was listed as well), but at least you could track price changes, trade volume and verify, that the team behind project can at least create the ERC-20 token they talk about.
Complicated company structure
The structure behind EXW is very complicated, I won't even try to figure out what is behind each of these. But just have a look:
EXW D.o.o - this company is mentioned in Terms & Conditions. That sounds like a company from Montenegro - another place where you can set up an offshore.
EXW Global AG / Stock Company
c/o CONFIDENTIA TREUHAND ANSTALT
Bergstrasse 10 Vaduz, Liechtenstein
Register Nr.: FL-0002.620.252-2
EXW Global Co., Ltd.
12/8 M. 1, Chaofa East Rd., Chalong, Muang Phuket 83130 Thailand
Register Nr.: 0835562016861
CEO: Benjamin Herzog
Wenlock Road 20-22
UK-London N1 7GU
Firmenbuchgericht: Vereinigten Königreiches (United Kingdom-England)
Companies House: https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/11436337/
Viva Payment Solutions GmbH
Current postal address unknown
Previously: Völkermarkter Straße 5, 9020 Klagenfurt am Wörthersee
Tel.: +43 (0)463 / 203008
Punane tn 6-219, Lasnamäe linnaosa
Management Board Member: Benno Candussi
Registry Code: 14733114
Majandusteegevuse Register Estland: https://mtr.mkm.ee
Legal owner & address
The main company is supposed to be Vivaexchange, registered in Estonia. So where is it set up? Let’s check out their legal address in Google Maps:
This looks just like the office space I was expecting to see for an IT/crypto company. I guess all the EXW team are located just behind that door.
Birth year and name matches. But why don't we see him on EXW website as the CEO or owner/investor? Could he be the fall guy to take blame after this blows up?
Of course, no contact info, no social profiles. Why would anyone want to verify them? Just look at their pictures and don't ask questions.
If you will search for these names in social networks, some of them won't have anything mentioned about this project in their Facebook or LinkedIn. Why? Don't want to associate themselves with a shady project?
So how are these guys generating so much money that they can promise investors 200+% profit per year? If we exclude the instagram concepts about car rental, real estate and flights, what else has EXW promised?
Ok, so it is unique arbitrage trading! Again - complete nonsense in my opinion. If you had some unique approach to generate lot of profit with low risk, then you would take a loan from someone for 5-10%, generate 200% return and that is it. You don't need investors and you would not need to promise or pay anyone 200% per year, if your unique trading approach would actually work.
But what if it is true? Could it be? I know one more company, who also promised to have unique trading software:
Regardless of the stake though, investors were promised a one-percent return of investment (ROI) on a daily basis. To this end, the company had developed its own proprietary “trading bot and volatility software” that would turn your Bitcoin investment into a fortune. Or so the information provided on the website suggested.
This meant that salting $1,000 away into your BitConnect investment account could net you more than $50 million within three years, assuming the scheme does indeed live up to its promise for one-percent interest compounded on a daily basis. Needless to say though, many deemed this model unsustainable.
Yes, BitConnect - the Ponzi scheme which went from 2.6 billions $ in market cap to 0:
Warnings from regulators
I don't have much authority - just another blogger that might have some evil intentions. I completely agree - be skeptical of both bloggers and hopefully any investment scheme promises as well. But if there are warnings from Austria and Germany governments about EXW, maybe those should be taken more seriously:
Crypto Ponzi schemes still work - for their owners, of course.
These schemes are easy to detect, but when promised high %, investors lose their mind and overlook all the red flags
Unrealistic return? Run away, you don't even have to look for other stuff.
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