BungeeBones Review: Paid links & bitcoin
Not so much an MLM company as a website + script, Bungee Bones is owned by a one Mr. Robert Febure. No contact details are provided on the BungeeBones website, however the domain’s registration lists an address in the US state of Florida. Presumably this is where BungeeBones operates out of.
I wasn’t able to find any concrete MLM related history on Febure, indicating that BungeeBones is his first stab at running an MLM company.
Read on for a full review of the BungeeBones MLM business opportunity.
The BungeeBones Product Line
As BungeeBones is not so much an MLM company as website, so too is their product not so much a product as a script. The idea is that affiliates download Febure’s BungeeBones traffic exchange script, and make money when they sell advertisements to other webmasters through it. Webmasters can also make free directory listings, which I guess is there to get the ball rolling.
BungeeBones is a php script that requires the popular scripting language “PHP” be installed and functioning on your hosting account if you want to install the web directory on your site. The advertised website listings can be viewed by visitors to the websites with a browser like any other web page.
Posting on the “Bitcoin Foundation” website back in December of 2013, Febure revealed his motivation for creating the BungeeBones script:
I have a “distributable” web directory that can be installed on any Bitcoin related site. The idea is to produce a distributed list of Bitcoin related websites where the list isn’t dependent upon that OTHER centralised monopoly (aka Google).
It’s still got some rough edges too, as I’m its sole developer but anyone can add their link and/or add the web directory itself to their site if it has PHP. There is a built in shopping cart for purchasing better placement (all prices denominated in Bitcoin of course). It currently operates as a general directory with Bitcoin being one of many categories but that also allows a car dealer, for example, that accepts Bitcoin to list under car dealers too.
Free advertisements in BungeeBones are pushed down in favour of paid advertisements, with everybody in the network clicking eachother’s ads and generating “traffic”.
Paid Links are always displayed ahead of free links. Paid Links are ordered by bid amount from highest to lowest.
Pay more for your “link”, get a higher ranking in the BungeeBones communal directory.
The BungeeBones Compensation Plan
The BungeeBones compensation Plan revolves around affiliates sharing advertising commissions generated via use of the BungeeBones web-directory software.
Commissions are set at 50% for the affiliate who makes the sale, with the remaining 50% split “among the upline”. This split is distributed using a falling split ratio, meaning that the immediate upline (the affiliate who recruited the affiliate who made the sale) gets 25%, the remaining 25% is then split with the rest of the upline.
The third-level upline affiliate gets 12.5%, the fourth-level gets 6.25% and so on and so forth. This continuous splitting of commission percentages continues until
the next immediate upline is BungeeBones itself. At that point BungeeBones receives the final remaining portion of the initial advertising fee.
In this sense BungeeBones are using a reverse infinite unilevel MLM compensation structure. Think your typical unilevel levels, but reversed and with variable percentages per level (depending on how many levels down a sale is made).
How much of a commission is ultimately paid out depends on what the “paid link” sells for. BungeeBones uses a bidding process to sell their links, so whatever their advertisers want to pay is what is split between their affiliates.
There is no cost to join BungeeBones as an affiliate. Note that a website or some form of online property is required to install the BungeeBones script on though. This should be taken into consideration as potential indirect cost of BungeeBones affiliate membership.
Call me cynical, but BungeeBones feels like little more than an excuse to collect bitcoins via infinite split loops, with a tacked on communal link marketplace and MLM opportunity.
The BungeeBones directory, communal or otherwise, holds its value in the strength of the sites that populate it, just like any other link-farm directory. And given that there’s an MLM compensation plan attached to BungeeBones, I think it’s a fair call to suggest that the only people buying links are going to be affiliates.
Not helping is the whole bitcoin thing. Sure it’s new and shiny and constantly hitting the headlines (lately for all the wrong reasons), but on its own, I don’t think bicoin is ready as a currency to handle MLM. Maybe in paying out commissions but certainly not on the consumer-end.
Not when you’ve got what appears to be rampant money-laundering, theft, wild fluctuations and a general overall lack of security plaguing the currency.
Somewhat amusingly, on his “1stBitcoinBank” blog (advertised off the BungeeBones website), Febure proclaims
The Mystery and Voodoo of Money Laundering
Posted on February 16, 2014 by Robert Lefebure
Ever since I first heard the term “money laundering” used in relation to Bitcoin I never saw the connection.
Pardon me for being thick headed or dim witted but I fail to see how it could ever be a tool for money laundering.
Thick-headed indeed. Just 12 days after Lefebure made his case, the
U.S. government arrested Charlie Shrem, the CEO of Bitcoin exchange BitInstant, charging him with laundering money for customers of online drug bazaar Silk Road.
The U.S. attorney in the Southern District of New York said Shrem helped someone he hadn’t met in person, Robert Faiella, sell more than $1 million worth of bitcoins to Silk Road customers.
That’s one way to do it.
Meanwhile another man, facing charges of money laundering with Bitcoin, only just recently tried to make the case that what he did wasn’t illegal because… wait for it, bitcoin “isn’t money”.
Not surprisingly a Judge shot that defense down, paving the way for money laundering charges against the accused to proceed.
Nevermind the “link-selling as an MLM product”, the use of bitcoin as payment alone is enough to warrant a trip back to the drawing board on this one methinks.