Since 2017, Crowd1 has swept across Africa, selling a dream of prosperity and success to the masses. The self-described marketing network has leveraged social media and other platforms to reach millions with highly persuasive grand marketing campaigns, particularly over-the-top promotional materials. They also held highly charged events in cities across the continent before the COVID-19 pandemic.
To be on a path to being a new millionaire through Crowd1, all one needs to do is buy investment course material sold in several packages and then encourage others in their social network to do the same, in what the founders describe as ‘sharing the opportunity.’
The more people one persuades to buy the investment course materials, the more revenue they earn. Technically, by selling a digital product, an investment course, Crowd1 is not a Ponzi or Pyramid scheme according to the law in many jurisdictions around the world. Instead, it passes as a multi-level marketing network or company.
Crowd1 has also claimed to have partners in various industries such as gambling, sports, and media who leverage their huge network to market and then share the profit they make with Crowd1.
The crypto link
If you take a casual look through the various platforms of Crowd1 today, there seems to be no link to crypto beyond using Bitcoin and Ethereum as payment methods on the network.
However, Crowd1 has attempted to ride on the crypto movement more than just using Bitcoin and Ethereum to receive and make payments. In fact, when it launched, Crowd1 was a cryptocurrency that would help its members invest in the real estate market. The coin was named Crowd1 Cash Coin.
It is only later that they rebranded and stopped pushing the crypto and blockchain narrative in their marketing.
Is Crowd1 a scam?
Many believe it is a legit investment platform. However, a few red flags give credence to the idea that it could be a scam.
I mentioned above that thanks to a digital product it sells (investment course), Crowd1 qualifies in the law in many jurisdictions to be a multi-level marketing company and not a pyramid scheme.
However, a 2019 investigative piece by the BBC disclosed that the courses Crowd1 was selling were content plagiarized from blogs and books. That is a huge red flag. Meanwhile, most of the other products turned out to be white labels or non-existent.
A group of super-rich European scammers are sucking millions of $ from the pockets of ordinary ppl across Africa.— Daniel Adamson (@danielsilas) November 2, 2020
They’re hiding the scam incredibly well…
But not well enough for #BBCAfricaEye
New film – Unmasking the Pyramid Kings – exposes #Crowd1https://t.co/DHoGGkzsLi pic.twitter.com/n0hzRvVohY
Also, when you look at their promotional material, there is a lot of focus on selling prospects a dream of abundance, prosperity, and high status. Whenever this is chosen to market an investment opportunity, the chances of it being a scam are always very high.
The BBC investigative piece disclosed that many of the cofounders and top management of Crowd1 have been linked to other scams and pyramid schemes, particularly Onecoin and Bitclub.
There have also been numerous complaints on the internet by those who bought investment learning material and joined the network that they never got what was promised to them.
In a nutshell, Crowd1 is a platform that one should interrogate a lot more. When you take away the rhetoric selling a dream, the high-quality promotional material, and the crowd psychology always at work in their events, little is left to interest you as an investor.