Amzbit Review: Combining Amazon and bitcoin = cash gifting?
Amzbit operate in the e-commerce MLM niche and provide a corporate address in Florida on their website.
On the “our story” section of the Amzbit website, Burke Hedges and Sean Connors are cited as “the minds behind Amzbit”.
Burke Hedges and Sean Connors, the minds behind Amzbit, recognized that greed and corruption had taken over a lot of business and were looking for a positive way to help people earn money while also providing 100% transparency.
A chance meeting, that turned into a brainstorming session eventually gave rise to the idea of Amzbit.
Burke Hedges is a former top earner in LifeVantage.
Following an investigation into Hedges for misconduct, Hedges was terminated as a LifeVantage affiliate in August, 2011.
A month later Hedges sues LifeVantage for wrongful termination.
An initial ruling on the case was issued in favor of Hedges, but in an unpredictable move the judge reversed the decision after damages were assessed in the multi-millions.
The reason for the reversal was allegedly that Hedges caused the initial material breach of contract, not with misconduct but under new allegations by the defendant that he used a proprietary training tool without permission. A claim that Hedges denies.
According to an article on Medium by “writer & marketeer” Melissa Razdrih, published November 17th, 2017,
a trial is scheduled for Monday, November 27th to bring to light the truth of this case.
In a followup article published on November 22nd, Razdrih wrote
In a hearing Monday, November 20th, a judge in the 3rd District Court of Salt Lake County ruled Burke Hedges and legal team will not be allowed to present their entire case in front of a jury at Monday’s trial.
The case, which is set to go to jury trial Monday November 27th, is a last ditch effort for Hedges to prove his allegation that LifeVantage (LFVN) is guilty of wrongful termination and defamation.
This ruling is a devastating blow for the Hedges camp.
A third article published on November 24th claims Hedges lost the case.
The decision was made that if Hedges was in breach of contract he is strictly liable for the termination that resulted.
And since the judge had already ruled that the material breach was on Hedges, he will have to wait until appeals to present the MLM Civil Trial of the Century worth $34 million in damages and a chance to stand up for distributor rights.
So what does that mean for Monday? For now, the MLM Civil Trial of the Century is to be continued in appeals court.
Instead, the Hedges team will present an undisputed case for $60,000 that LifeVantage did not make good on as part of their contractual obligation.
This case doesn’t appear on Pacer so I’m unable to track it myself.
After LifeVantage Hedges was an affiliate with Numis Network for a few years.
Sean Connors meanwhile is a bit of a mystery. I was unable to find anything previously tying him to the MLM industry.
Read on for a full review of the Amzbit MLM opportunity.
Amzbit has no retailable products and services, with affiliates only able to market Amzbit affiliate membership itself.
Amzbit refers to affiliate membership as a “Smart Subscriptions” (Amzbit initially referred to them as “Smart Contracts”).
The company states Amzbit affiliate membership provides access to a “digital product library”.
An active Smart Contract gives you ACCESS to exclusive business coaching, personal development master classes, leadership mentoring, books, interviews, podcast, webinars, workshops and other exclusive products.
The Amzbit Compensation Plan
The Amzbit compensation plan combines cashback via sharing of Amazon affiliate commissions and “member to member” payments among Amzbit affiliates.
Amazon Affiliate Commissions
Amzbit members and affiliates are encouraged to purchase products from Amazon using Amzbit’s affiliate referral links.
These sales generate an affiliate commission for Amzbit, which the company shares with affiliates and members.
Members receive 50% of the percentage of Amazon affiliate commissions Amzbit receives from their purchases.
Affiliates receive 100% of Amazon affiliate commissions generated by their purchases.
Amzbit affiliates are paid a $25 direct commission on recruitment of Amzbit affiliates.
Team Growth Bonus
Amzbit pay a $25 Team Growth Bonus via a 2-up compensation model, tracked via a unilevel team.
The $25 Team Growth Bonus generated from the first two affiliates recruited by an Amzbit affiliate are “passed up” to the affiliate who recruited them (or their upline if they haven’t yet recruited two affiliates).
From the third recruited affiliate, the $25 Team Growth Bonus is paid out to the recruiting affiliate (ie. it’s not passed up).
In turn, the Team Growth Bonus generated by the first two recruited affiliates from recruited affiliates who are not passed up, are paid to the recruiting affiliate.
Under this model each Amzbit affiliate passes up their first two Team Growth Bonuses. They keep the Team Growth Bonus from their third recruitment, as well as Team Growth Bonuses passed up by their downline.
Generational Member Bonus
Amzbit pay a $45 Generational Member Bonus each time an affiliate renews their $100 Smart Subscription.
When an Amzbit pays their $100 Smart Subscription fee, the system searches their upline for ten affiliates who are “active” with their own Smart Subscription fees.
- the first active affiliate found is skipped over (Amzbit claim they keep $5 that would be paid to this affiliate “to cover Amazon Prime and other Incentive Programs”)
- the second active affiliate found receives $5
- the next three active Smart Affiliates found each receive $5
- the next five active Super Affiliates found each receive $5
To qualify as a Smart Affiliate an Amzbit affiliate must personally recruit at least three affiliates who are current with their Smart Subscription fees.
To qualify as a Super Affiliate an Amzbit affiliate must personally recruit and maintain at least three Smart Affiliates.
Amzbit affiliate membership is $100 every 30 days.
Amzbit affiliates who don’t maintain the $100 membership only receive direct recruitment commissions and Amazon commissions.
With the exception of Amazon purchases, all payments within Amzbit are made in bitcoin.
Amzbit present themselves as the fusing of Amazon and bitcoin.
As a member of the Amzbit community, you will automatically become a part of the Amzbit Associates Commission program.
Through our partnership with Amazon, you will earn a portion of the profits on any sale made through Amazon.
By using Bitcoin as our primary payment method, you can experience all the benefits of blockchain technology and be a apart of the future of the financial industry.
To most people this would imply the purchase of goods through Amazon with bitcoin. Amzbit however is a far cry from that.
What Amzbit’s MLM opportunity boils down to is sharing generated Amazon affiliate commissions, pyramid recruitment and cash gifting.
Commissions generated by Amzbit affiliates and customers using the company’s Amazon referral links has nothing to do with the MLM side of the business.
In and of itself there doesn’t appear to be anything about cashback violating the terms of Amazon’s Associates Program.
Amazon’s Associates Program Policies do however state that Associates
will not misrepresent or embellish our relationship with you (including by expressing or implying that we support, sponsor, or endorse you), or express or imply any affiliation between us and you.
I refer to the previously quoted statement from Amzbit’s website, which states the company has “a partnership with Amazon”.
Through our partnership with Amazon, you will earn a portion of the profits on any sale made through Amazon.
Of greater concern as far as the MLM business goes however is Amazon’s prohibition of sites that “promote or undertake illegal activities”.
This is where problems for Amzbit begin.
There is simply no getting around the fact that Amzbit are paying both pyramid recruitment commissions and operating a cash gifting scheme.
Pyramid recruitment commissions are paid directly by way of $25 per Amzbit affiliate recruited and residually through the Generational Member Bonus.
As for cash gifting, here’s how Amzbit themselves describe the collection of Smart Subscription affiliate fees;
The purchase price of an Amzbit Smart Subscription is $100BTC ($100 worth of Bitcoin at the market value, at the time of the transaction) paid directly to other Affiliate Members.
100% of the product purchase price is paid directly to the Affiliates through the Member to Member – Trust but Verify System.
The company keeps none of the purchase price of this product.
Affiliates paying affiliates in MLM is cash gifting, and this holds true irrespective of the currency used.
In a nutshell $25 of every $100 paid by Amzbit affiliates is gifted to another affiliate through the Team Growth Bonus.
Amzbit themselves represent that these payments are made “member to member”.
By their own admission the company “keeps none of the purchase price”, which means they cannot even claim to be selling access to their “digital products library”.
In any event, from a regulatory standpoint what is attached to gifting payments is irrelevant.
If a participant pays a fee which in turn qualifies them to receive fees paid in by other participants, that’s cash gifting.
A business model which is entirely illegal across the United States.
With all of that in mind, there’s three ways Amzbit will come to an end.
- Amazon will terminate their affiliate account, (not required for the MLM side of the business but a key component of Amzbit’s smoke and mirrors)
- a regulator (the FTC) will investigate and shut the company down for illegal pyramid recruitment and cash gifting or
- affiliate recruitment will organically decline and Amzbit will inevitably collapse
None of these scenarios bode well for Amzbit affiliates.
In both pyramid and gifting schemes, upon collapse or shutdown the largest group of participants is always those who have yet to make their money back.
Amazon comes down HARD on affiliateships that abuse such terms. I’ve been on the receiving end of one such action (purely by accident). There is one appeal, that’s it.
If I buy something on Amazon Without using this link… are affiliate fees paid out by Amazon?? Trying to understand what this all means….
No you have to actually visit the Amazon website through a link provided by an affiliate (has their ref code embedded into it).
So this means Amazon “could” start seeing an abuse on the system by Amzbit and cut this quickly as mentioned in comment above.
This sounds SKETCHY at best.. However, it appears as if the whole Amazon affiliate fee rebate is just a cover for really is going on here…. even more reason for Amazon to want to steer clear of being aligned with them…..
Cash Gifting??? come on now…
Not sure if that Amazon crap will fly or not.
So I contact Amazon today and here is the reply…..
Burke Hedges is a con man, just like Eric Worre. They are both makers of worthless training and recruiting crap.
In the early 1990s Hedges sold a generic recruiting book and video called “Who Stole The American Dream.” He sold millions of both because so many idiot network marketers were led to believe that the book and video were the ultimate recruiting tools.
Today Eric Worre does the same thing with his book and video (“GoPro” and “The Rise of the Entrepreneur”), and his big trainings in Las Vegas.
Worre, just like Hedges, is a master at getting people to believe that he has the “secrets” to making it big in MLM.
Funny thing is that neither Hedges or Worre, in any of their trainings or videos, are ever upfront about how they really succeed in network marketing. Neither ever tells about how many times they’ve been a master distributor and all the upfront payout money they’ve received.
I’ve got to hand it to Worre. He’s a “con man’s con man”, the best in mlm history (or maybe the second-best to Dexter Yager, who over many years, got his followers to buy tens of millions of cassette tapes until his practice was stopped).
Worre claims that 20,000 people attended his last training gathering, each paying $500. That’s a $10 million weekend. Plus he sold streaming to people who couldn’t attend the live gig. Not bad for three days work.
It’s impressive when considering that Worre is just peddling generic training that can be found for free on YouTube. Lots of desperate suckers out there willing to pay the price.
Hedges and Worre know good and well that in mlm there’s a “sucker born every minute”, and Hedges and Worre are going to do everything they can to get a dollar from each of those suckers.
So when Hedges and Worre come knocking on your door, hide your credit cards.
i think Burke has a fundamental misunderstanding of blockchain technology. When he first launched Amzbit, their product was “Smart Contracts”, a poorly-understood buzzword that is commonplace in conversations about Ethereum-based projects.
He seems to have mistaken the underlying blockchain technology for a product or service that can be bought or sold. That may be why he changed the name to Smart Subscription.
In the final analysis, it doesn’t matter because they have no product other than the opportunity to get in at the top and earn residuals on the monthly subscription renewals paid by those who come later.
Early on, Burke was hedging (pardon the pun) his bets re: the “partnership” with Amazon, stating that there will be other online merchants that will want to partner with them.
Ultimately, he intends to include consumable Amzbit products as a revenue source. (Yippee! Just what the world needs – another expensive MLM shampoo or cockamamie vitamin product!)
Anyone who can fog a mirror can be an affiliate with Amazon and earn a tiny commission on products they recommend to friends. It’s a pittance, really.
Amzbit is the “master affiliate” and they will pay Amzbit affiliates. That means Amzbit affiliates will have to rely on Amzbit to pay them (in bitcoin).
If Amzbit gets shitcanned by Amazon, they will have lost their cachet of legitimacy and it will be seen for what it is – a gifting scheme.
Shame on Burke. He knows better than this. I give it 6 months.