BitCloud Academy Review: Another BitCoin pyramid scheme?
There is no information on the BitCloud Academy website indicating who owns or runs the business.
The company’s website does have an “about us” section, however only the following vague marketing spiel is provided:
BitCloudAcademy is not owned by any single person or entity, we are a team of experts, entrepreneurs, professionals, network marketers, and programming geeks who have all come to together to launch a very simple business around a very complex industry.
The BitCloud Academy website domain (“bitcloudacademy.com”) was registered on the 18th of December 2014, however the domain registration is set to private.
A visit to the BitCloud Academy website reveals an advertisement for a company webinar to take place on February 16th.
The webinar itself has since expired, but the link to it reveals two names; Mike Lavoie and Roberta Betts:
Mike Lavoie (right) first popped on BehindMLM’s radar as the co-admin of Cloud 2×2.
Lavoie partnered with Todd Hirsch to launch the opportunity, with the duo partnering up again to launch BitCoin Cycler in late 2014.
Both Cloud 2×2 and BitCoin Cycler were little more than recruitment-driven pyramid schemes, with Lavoie and Hirsch both having a long history of launching similar opportunities individually.
That said, whether Hirsch is involved in BitCloud Academy is unclear.
Roberta Betts meanwhile is another previous partner of Lavoie’s, with the pair credited with launching ProMatrix Plus in early 2013.
ProMatrix Plus saw affiliates invest in $25 matrix positions, with ROIs of up to $360 once enough new positions had been invested in. The scheme has long-since collapsed.
Betts (right) was/is also an affiliate in BitCoin Cycler.
What we appear to have with BitCloud Academy is the latest offering from a group of individuals with a history of launching dubious opportunities.
Read on for a full review of the BitCloud Academy MLM business opportunity.
The BitCloud Academy Product Line
BitCloud Academy has no retailable products or services, with affiliates only able to market affiliate membership to the company itself ($250-$300 and then $50-$100 a month).
A series of marketing tools are bundled with each BitCloud Academy affiliate membership.
The BitCloud Academy Compensation Plan
The BitCloud Academy compensation plan sees affiliate sign up for either $250 or $300, and then invest in $10 “Bitcoin mining” positions.
BitCloud Academy affiliates are paid to recruit new affiliates via a series of to matrices, Gold and Silver.
These matrices correspond to how much money a BitCloud Academy affiliate pays for their membership; $250 for Silver and $300 for Gold.
The matrix used for both membership matrices is a 2×12, which sees two positions on the first level:
These two positions then multiple into another two positions each for the second level, and again for the third and so on and so forth down a total of twelve levels.
How much of a commission is paid out depends on what level a newly recruited fee-paying affiliate is placed on:
- level 1 – Gold Matrix = $20, Silver Matrix = $10
- level 2 – Gold Matrix = $16, Silver Matrix = $8
- levels 3 to 12 – Gold Matrix = $4, Silver Matrix = $2
Note that BitCloud Academy affiliates must qualify to earn beyond level 4 of the matrix as follows:
- levels 5 and 6 – recruit and maintain at least one affiliate
- levels 7 and 8 – recruit and maintain at least two affiliates
- levels 9 and 10 – recruit and maintain at least three affiliates
- levels 11 and 12 – recruit and maintain at least four affiliates
Note that “maintain” refers to an affiliate actively paying their monthly affiliate membership fee. Recruited affiliates who do not pay their monthly membership fee do not count towards matrix level qualification.
BitCoin Mining Pool
For $10, BitCloud Academy affiliates can purchase investment positions that the company claims will deliver a ROI for 500 days.
How much of a ROI will be paid out during this time is not specified, but obviously the implication is that it will be >100% of the $10 position cost.
Referral commissions are paid out on all BitCoin Mining Pool positions, paying out 5% on investments made by personally recruited affiliates and 2.5% on levels 2 and 3.
One $10 BitCoin Mining Pool position is included with the purchase of either $250 or $300 BitCloud Academy affiliate membership.
Each BitCloud Academy affiliate membership is bundled with one entry into the company’s matrix cycler.
This matrix cycler is a 2×3 matrix, which is like the recruitment commissions matrix but only extends down three levels instead of twelve (fourteen positions).
Positions in the cycler are filled as new affiliates join and pay their membership fees, and existing affiliates cycle out of existing matrices.
Commissions are paid as the last level of the matrix fills, paying out $1000 once all eight positions are filled.
Once this is achieved, the matrix splits and each position moves up a level in the matrix. Note that those who recruit one or two affiliates into the scheme are able to “jump” levels over affiliates who have not.
Once the matrix has split, the process then repeats itself, where the third level of the matrix is once again filled and commissions are paid to the top matrix position.
Positions that “cycle” out of the matrix once it’s filled, are re-entered into the bottom of an existing matrix (typically following a position of the affiliate who recruited them).
Joining BitCloud Academy
Affiliate membership with BitCloud Academy is either $250 for Silver or $300 for Gold. An ongoing monthly fee of $50 (Silver) or $100 (Gold) is also charged.
Note that the primary difference between BitCloud academy’s affiliate memberships is earnings potential through the company’s compensation plan.
As with BitCoin Cycler, BitCloud Academy appears to be hitched to Mike Lavoie’s SkyCoin Lab mining operation in Canada.
That’s the *winkwink, nudgenudge* alleged source of revenue paid out for 500 days, but it’s far more probable that some of the affiliate fees charged are simply recycled as a daily ROI.
Even if we humor BitCloud Academy and assume 100% of the daily mining ROI paid out is solely attributed to Lavoie’s operation, that still doesn’t excuse or justify the rest of the company’s compensation plan.
Which, again like BitCoin Cycler, is pure pyramid scheme.
Affiliates buy in for either $250 or $300 and are then paid to recruit new affiliates into the scheme. Then, as long as everyone keeps paying their monthly participation fee, everyone continues to get paid.
Those who “get in early” and recruit the most make the most, with the scheme coming undone once those at the bottom of the pyramid fail to bring new recruits on board.
When that happens, they’re going to have a hard time justifying coughing up $50 or $100 a month.
They stop paying, which means those above them stop earning their monthly commission. They too stop paying and once this effect has trickled far enough the company-wide affiliate genealogy, a pyramid scheme collapse is triggered.
And while this is all going on, the cycler matrices also continue to stall, as they too require new affiliates to purchase Silver and Gold positions to push positions through.
The matrix components of BitCloud Academy are regulatory red-flags alone, with the BitCoin mining ROIs likely dragging the scheme into Ponzi/pyramid hybrid territory.
Of note is that the marketing tool products bundled with BitCloud Academy affiliate membership are neither here nor there, with the company itself acknowledging that
With your entry fee of $250 you will get a position in the cycler, position in the silver residual matrix and also $10 worth of bitcoin mining in our mining pool.
Positions in BitCloud Academy’s compensation plan are what affiliates are purchasing, with whatever else is tacked onto that being entirely irrelevant.
With two BitCoin related schemes under Lavoie’s belt, one has to wonder how many he can launch before the ruse becomes as stale as it’s advertising credit-based counterpart.