Firstmover International Review: Bitqyck commits to securities fraud
A few weeks ago BehindMLM caught wind of Bitqyck’s plans to launch a securities offering through an offshore shell company.
Today we can reveal that company is Firstmover International.
A visit to the Firstmover International website reveals a .io domain.
This is your first red flag.
The only reason an MLM company operates from an .io domain is when they’re engaged in illegal activity and the owners want to cover their tracks (.io domain registrations by default do not provide ownership details to the public).
As dodgy as a .io domain registration might be however, it’s obviously not enough to conclusively tie Firstmover International to Bitqyck.
Not surprisingly, Firstmover International provide no information about who owns or runs the company on their website.
The Firstmover International website domain (“fmimining.io”) was privately registered on February 24th, 2018 – which does fit the Bitqyck announcement timeline (late February, early March).
For all intents and purposes, Firstmover International is presented as a stand-alone company.
There’s no mention of Bitqyck or any of its US-based management.
Perusal of the Firstmover International website source-code reveals it’s a simple front-end website hosted on Wix.
If you click “login” at the top of the page, you’re directed the back-end which is hosted on “myqy.io”.
Myqy is similar to Bitqyck’s “bitqy” altcoin, but again not definitive evidence of a relationship.
The Myqy website domain (.io) was privately registered on February 25th, 2018.
The domain itself is locked down (http error 403), and appears to only be used to manage Firstmover International affiliate signups and backoffice access.
If you click “home” from the Firstmover International “affiliate application” page hosted on the Myqy (.io) website, you’re redirected to “myqy.com”:
The Myqy (.com) website homepage is currently disabled (timeout).
What we do learn from the domain however is who Bitqyck are using to stage their “international mining” securities offering through.
The Myqy (.com) website domain is registered to Haoyong Zhang of Zhengde Tech, LLC.
Zhengde Tech are a tech firm based out of Shandong Sheng, China.
The company describes itself as ‘an Internet application service provider for enterprise informatization and e-government‘ (auto-translate).
I’m going to point out here that the Myqy (.com) domain registration was last updated in mid 2017, which doesn’t fit our timeline.
This could either be a pre-planned anomaly or a simple typo on the Myqy (.com) website, where someone set navigation links to Myqy (.com) instead of Myqy (.io).
In any event, I didn’t follow this particular rabbit hole any deeper.
Perusal of the Myqy (.io) affiliate signup page reveals the website uses assets hosted on “cs4000.net”:
The CS4000 domain itself is not active as a website. It is owned by Compu-sult, an American company who claim to be “leaders in custom MLM software”.
Through CS4000, Compu-sult provide affiliate backoffice services to a number of MLM companies:
As above, one of those companies is Bitqyck.
Although pretty coincidental, this still isn’t definitive evidence tying Firstmover International to Bitqyck.
It was at this point that I remembered something Scott Brewster said when he first announced Bitqyck’s foray into “international mining”.
According to Brewster, a few weeks ago Bitqyck co-founder Bruce Bise was
working on a replicated site for the Asian launch.
So when you speak to somebody in Spain and they sign up, you’re going to give them a different replicated site than Bitqyck.
That’s coming here in the next day or two.
A replicated site and Brewster’s inference that Bitqyck affiliates would be able to promote Bitqyck’s securities offering had to mean sharing of the Bitqyck affiliate-base.
I’d also noted the following at the bottom of the Firstmover International website:
NOTICE: New Affiliates must have their Sponsor’s ID to enroll
Given that Firstmover International public promotion hasn’t even begun, what Sponsor ID were they talking about?
That’s when I had the idea to punch in a Bitqyck affiliate ID to see what would happen.
I didn’t have one on hand so I just used the “763114” ID that came up in the “cs4000” Google search (screenshot above).
I didn’t want to create a dummy account to test whether Firstmover International would accept the ID.
I ran a Google search on the Myqy (.io) domain and found they had an affiliate login page:
I didn’t need actual access to the account, just confirmation the Firstmover International website would accept it.
So I clicked “click here to reset your password” and punched in “763114” Bitqyck affiliate ID:
It worked, although turns out the account hadn’t been used in some time:
You can verify this yourself by trying any active Bitqyck affiliate ID (referral code).
This is undeniable proof that Firstmover International is plugged into the Bitqyck affiliate database through shared Compu-sult assets.
And that’s important to establish because it confirms Bitqyck’s owners, Sam Mendez and Bruce Bise, are indeed behind Firstmover International.
Read on for a full review of the Firstmover International MLM opportunity.
Firstmover International Products
Firstmover International doesn’t have any retailable products or services, with affiliates only able to market Firstmover International affiliate membership itself.
Note that while the Firstmover International compensation plan does mention “customers”, there’s currently no way to sign up as one.
The Firstmover International Compensation Plan
Firstmover International affiliates invest $950 or more on the promise of a promised ROI.
- invest $950 and receive 25% of passive revenue generated
- invest $1900 and receive 50% of passive revenue generated
- invest $3750 and receive 100% of passive revenue generated
Firstmover International represent passive revenue is generated through “bitcoin miners”.
A 5% referral commission is paid on funds invested by personally recruited affiliates.
If a Firstmover International affiliate convinces five people to invest $3750 or more, their personal referral commission rate is increased to 10%.
Firstmover International pay residual commissions via a unilevel compensation structure.
A unilevel compensation structure places an affiliate at the top of a unilevel team, with every personally recruited affiliate placed directly under them (level 1):
If any level 1 affiliates recruit new affiliates, they are placed on level 2 of the original affiliate’s unilevel team.
If any level 2 affiliates recruit new affiliates, they are placed on level 3 and so on and so forth down a theoretical infinite number of levels.
Firstmover International use this unilevel team to pay generation-based residual commissions.
There are three qualification tiers for Firstmover International residual commissions:
- Gold – within a 60 day rolling period recruit and maintain at least two affiliates who generate $5000 or more of investment volume from their own unilevel teams (no more than $2500 from any one leg)
- Platinum – within a 60 day rolling period recruit and maintain at least two affiliates who generate at least $10,000 of investment volume from their own unilevel teams (no more than $5000 from any one leg)
- Exclusive – recruit and maintain at least two Platinum ranked affiliates
Each of these ranks pays residual commissions on unilevel team investment volume using slightly different criteria:
- Gold affiliates earn 5% on investment volume generated in each unilevel leg, down to the next Gold affiliate found in each leg
- Platinum affiliates earn 5% on investment volume generated in each unilevel leg, on up to two Platinum generations in each leg (the first Platinum affiliate in a leg defines the first generation, the second Platinum affiliate defines the second generation)
- Gold affiliates earn 5% on investment volume generated in each unilevel leg, down to the next Platinum ranked affiliate found in each leg
Joining Firstmover International
Firstmover International affiliate membership is free.
To qualify for commissions however, a Firstmover International affiliate must personally invest or convince someone else to invest at least $950.
Note that all transactions in Firstmover International (both paid in and out), are made in bitcoin.
Before we get into why I spent so long establishing a concrete link between Firstmover International and Bitqyck, let’s focus on the company’s business model.
Firstmover International offer an investment opportunity that is likely to be stacked with affiliates.
That is affiliate membership and commissions are used as a marketing tool to solicit investment. Retail volume, if any, is unlikely to be significant (at present there doesn’t appear to be any way to sign up as a retail customer).
Firstmover International claim to generate ROI revenue through “global bitcoin mining pools”.
The company however fails to provide any evidence of bitcoin mining take place, other than vague assurances regarding “expansion into South East Asia”.
At worst Firstmover International is engaged in Ponzi fraud, paying existing affiliates with newly invested funds.
At best the company has control of legitimate mining operations, however in failing to register with securities regulators in any jurisdiction they operate in, are illegally offering securities.
Suggesting a calculated attempt to avoid regulation and trigger money laundering warnings, Firstmover International only operate in bitcoin.
As per marketing material on the Firstmover International, prospective investors must email the company with details of how much they wish to invest.
The company then responds with a wallet for the investor to deposit bitcoin into.
21 to 30 days after payment has cleared, Firstmover International start paying the investor a passive ROI.
If that wasn’t dodgy enough on its own, now let’s move onto the elephant in the room: Firstmover International == Bitqyck.
No matter how they’ve set it up at a corporate level, Firstmover International is ultimately controlled by Bitqyck owners Sam Mendez and Bruce Bise.
Bitqyck is a US company operated out of Texas. Both Sam Mendez and Bruce Bise are US residents.
At a base level, the fact that Mendez and Bise have gone to such lengths to artificially separate Firstmover International from Bitqyck, suggests the company is likely engaged in illegal activity.
There is nothing illegal about cryptocurrency mining in the US.
Assuming its mining operations are indeed legitimate, Bitqyck could register it’s securities offering with the SEC and provide its services legally throughout the US.
This should be priority one, because the US makes up the largest source of Bitqyck affiliates.
Instead we have Bitqyck launching a passive investment opportunity through Firstmover International, which pretends to have ties to south-east Asia.
From a regulatory perspective, we’ve already confirmed that Bitqyck == Firstmover International in the introduction of this review. This means Bitqyck, Sam Mendez and Bruce Bise are illegally promoting unregistered securities.
That they are targeting investors outside of the US is immaterial with respect to US securities law.
On a secondary level Firstmover International potentially drags Bitqyck’s US affiliates into promoting an unregistered security.
And that’s “potentially” with paper-thin benefit of the doubt.
Bitqyck’s largest market is the US and, as evidenced by Bitqyck affiliate Scott Brewster’s “international mining” announcement a few weeks ago and the fact that Bitqyck affiliates can login as Firstmover International affiliates with their Bitqyck credentials, US Bitqyck affiliates are being encouraged to promote the company’s unregistered securities offering.
So we have both a US company promoting unregistered securities and its affiliates doing the same.
Recently we’ve seen US regulators clamp down on cryptocurrency mining operations. We’ve also seen them specifically go after promoters of unregistered securities MLM opportunities.
Does anyone really think securities regulators in the US are going to look at Firstmover International and not make the same Bitqyck connection we have?
I’ll finish up by again pointing out this isn’t about the US government vs. cryptocurrency mining.
It’s about yet another MLM company trying to shirk its regulatory obligations by illegally offering an investment opportunity.
By choosing to participate, either as an affiliate promoter, an investor or both, you’re potentially setting yourself up to be the next Frank Calabro Jr.
Dodgy websites, investment via email, zero consumer protections, shell companies set up who knows where… on the surface Firstmover International’s MLM offering is bad enough.
The fact that its run by US residents trying to shirk securities law just makes it even worse.
Sam Mendez and Bruce Bice should certainly know better. As should anyone choosing to get involved in this nonsense.