Mint Builder Review: ISN Coins reboots with bitcoin
Mint Builder provide no information on their website about who owns or runs the business.
The Mint Builder website domain (“mintbuilder.com”) was registered on October 12th, 2017.
Matt Barkes is listed as the owner, with an incomplete address in West Sussex, UK also provided.
According to his Facebook profile, Barkes (right) lives in the US state of Indiana. This is presumably where Mint Builder is actually being operated from.
Barkes first appeared on BehindMLM’s radar back in 2012 as the founder and CEO of ISN Coins.
ISN Coins operated as a pyramid scheme, combining numismatic coins with affiliate autoship recruitment.
After the original incarnation of ISN Coins collapsed, in 2014 a reboot was launched with a new compensation plan.
Granted ISN have made a better effort in stocking their online store and changing up their compensation plan, but unfortunately the underlying business model appears to remain the same.
As with the original model, ISN Coins 2.0 had little to no retail appeal and was again focused on affiliate autoship recruitment.
Today Alexa don’t even bother to rank the ISN Coins website domain, suggesting the scheme has long-since collapsed.
Mint Builder appears to be an attempt to resuscitate ISN Coins under a new name.
A message on the ISN Coins website acknowledges that the company “is now Mint Builder”.
Why Matt Barkes’ name doesn’t appear anywhere on the Mint Builder website is unclear.
Read on for a full review of the Mint Builder MLM opportunity.
Mint Builder Products
Mint Builder sell gold and silver “fine mint coins”.
At the time of publication here’s what’s listed in Mint Builder’s retail store:
The Mint Builder Compensation Plan
Mint Builder would appear to pay their affiliates a commission when coins are sold to retail customers.
On top of that there’s recruitment commissions, which focus on paying a monthly autoship fee and recruiting others who do the same.
Retail Commissions (?)
The Mint Builder website and compensation plan mentions retail customers, however no details on retail commissions are provided.
Mint Builder Affiliate Ranks
There are six ranks within the Mint Builder compensation plan.
Along with their respective qualification criteria they are as follows:
- Affiliate – pay $199 a year
- Mint Builder – sign up for autoship or recruit a new affiliate each month, personally generate at least 25 points on both sides of the binary team and have a total downline volume of 250 points on both sides of the binary team
- Student Mint Builder – maintain autoship or recruit a new affiliate each month, personally recruit and maintain at least two Mint Builder ranked affiliates (one on either side of the binary team), personally generate at least 50 points on both sides of the binary team and have a total downline volume of 500 points on both sides of the binary team
- Graduate Mint Builder – maintain autoship or recruit a new affiliate each month, personally recruit and maintain at least two Student Mint Builder ranked affiliates (one on either side of the binary team), personally generate at least 75 points on both sides of the binary team and have a total downline volume of 1000 points on both sides of the binary team
- Professional Mint Builder – maintain autoship or recruit a new affiliate each month, personally recruit and maintain at least two Graduate Mint Builder ranked affiliates (one on either side of the binary team), personally generate at least 100 points on both sides of the binary team and have a total downline volume of 2500 points on both sides of the binary team
- Master Mint Builder – maintain autoship or recruit a new affiliate each month, personally recruit and maintain at least two Professional Mint Builder ranked affiliates (one on either side of the binary team), personally generate at least 150 points on both sides of the binary team and have a total downline volume of 5000 points on both sides of the binary team
- Mint President – maintain autoship or recruit a new affiliate each month, personally recruit and maintain at least two Master Mint Builder ranked affiliates (one on either side of the binary team), personally generate at least 200 points on both sides of the binary team and have a total downline volume of 10,000 points on both sides of the binary team
Mint Builder affiliates pay recruitment commissions via a binary compensation structure.
A binary compensation structure places an affiliate at the top of a binary team, split into two sides (left and right):
The first level of the binary team houses two positions. The second level of the binary team is generated by splitting these first two positions into another two positions each (4 positions).
Subsequent levels of the binary team are generated as required, with each new level housing twice as many positions as the previous level.
Positions in the binary team are filled via direct and indirect recruitment of affiliates. Note there is no limit to how deep a binary team can grow.
Residual binary commissions are calculated via points generated on both sides of the binary team.
- recruiting a new affiliate generates 100 points
- a retail customer or recruited affiliate buying a Monthly Graded Mint Coin generates 25 points
At the end of each day Mint Builder tallies up newly generated points on both sides of the binary team.
Affiliates are paid $250 per 250 points matched on both sides of the binary team. This is referred to as a “cycle”.
How many cycles a Mint Builder affiliate can earn each week is determined by rank:
- Affiliate – 1 cycle ($250)
- Student Mint Builder – 2 cycles ($500)
- Graduate Mint Builder – 4 cycles ($1000)
- Professional Mint Builder – 10 cycles ($2500)
- Master Mint Builder – 20 cycles ($5000)
- Mint President – 40 cycles ($10,000)
Joining Mint Builder
Mint Builder affiliate membership is $199 a year.
Mint Builder is the latest unnecessary addition of bitcoin to an existing MLM model.
As with both iterations of ISN Coins, retail sales are an afterthought with affiliate autoship recruitment the core focus.
Although possible, the Mint Builder website creates the impression that its retail pricing is a ripoff.
Can I access cost pricing without joining MintBuilder?
Unfortunately not, in order to access the amazing savings enjoyed by our members you must become a MintBuilder wholesale customer yourself.
To suss out whether this was the case I punched in a few of Mint Builder’s coins into Google for comparison.
- MS70 Graded Mint Coin – Mint Builder want $145 at retail, regular pricing appears to be $32 or so up to $99 with free shipping
- 1oz Silver Round – Mint Builder want $20.09 at retail, regular pricing appears to be $5.25 to $18.95 with free shipping
- American Silver Eagle GEM BU – Mint Builder want $21.75 at retail, regular pricing appears to be $18.95 to $24.95 with free shipping
No matter which of Mint Builder’s offering you look up, it appears cheaper retail alternatives are readily available.
Thus begging the question of why anyone would purchase from them as a retail customer.
That leaves affiliates, who are strongly encouraged to sign up for a monthly Graded Mint Coin autoship.
Doing so qualifies the affiliate for commissions, with earnings determined by how many downline affiliates they have doing the same.
Same old story of ISN Coins, which we know isn’t sustainable owing to it collapsing twice.
Call me cynical, but I believe Mint Builder came about because Matt Barkes decided he wanted in on bitcoin.
it appears all Barkes has done is hook up his ISN Coin connections and add bitcoin as accepted payment.
While it’s true Mint Builder affiliates are paying monthly for coins and will be left with a product, the issue here is a lack of retail sales activity.
An MLM company operating with little to no retail is a pyramid scheme, and I can’t see anything suggesting Mint Builder doesn’t fit this criteria.
Furthermore if collecting minted coins on autoship each month was the money spinner ISN Coins and its affiliates made it out to be, where are all those affiliates now?
Adding bitcoin to a failed business model doesn’t make it any more viable. But what it will do is siphon up some bitcoin into Matt Barkes crypto wallet, at the expense of those who didn’t experience the two ISN Coins failures.
Update 8th February 2021 – At the request of a reader in the comments below, BehindMLM has published an updated Mint Builder Review.
Great review. LOL that they added bitcoin to it. No matter what they call it, either ISN or Mint Builder, it’s just another illegal Ponzi Pyramid Scheme that will eventually collapse, just like USI-Tech, and all of those suckers who get in late will lose all their money while those got in early keep all the money and laugh all the way to the bank.
A person has to be really stupid and gullible to get into one of these deals.
Yet another totally bullshit program. Mint Builder will go the way of all previous silver and coin deals, right down the f*king toilet. And by adding the bitcoin to it, it just proves that the previous business model was f**ked up.
Thanks, Oz, for a most astute review.
Thanks for all your research and info, Oz (and everyone). I got burned in the USI-Tech collapse and wish I could have found you guys months ago!
Having said that, does your site ONLY report on bad guys? Are there any programs that would PASS the BehindMLM smell test? I have Bitcoin that needs a home!
I usually mark these comments as spam but I’ll answer given the current climate.
The problem at the moment is the entire MLM underbelly and bad actors in the crypto space have jumped on cryptocurrency, under the belief they can get away with anything.
That might have been true for the past few years but regulators are slowly catching up.
I have nothing against cryptocurrency and only review MLM opportunities as a neutral third-party. That said, I have yet to see a legitimate MLM cryptocurrency opportunity so make of that what you will.
The postcode on the domain registration resolves to a road near Crawley in West Sussex. Further research using that approximate address allowed me to find two UK company registrations made by Mr. Barkes.
I wonder if Barkes is planning to market his scheme to the British given the lax regulation of pyramids and Ponzis over here as opposed to the US?
I doubt it. Reckon it’s just the misguided “lulz if I incorporate offshore you can’t get me nyah nyah” belief among scammers.
Oz~Very good article. Ive been coin-ning (pun intended) a certain phrase lately, which seems fitting, as suspected.
[Credit to Mr.(COL) Roy Potter]. ‘mene mene tekal upharsin’ (the writing is on the wall).
When BTC came out I did a little research of my own. Cannot recall where or who or if what was said was meant to discredit, so this comes unverified by me further but it WAS NOT favorable in the least, and thus I never jumped in.
House of cards, honestly. And I couldn’t agree more, first impression, lame/deceptive/weak/rip-off, and ‘catch me if you can’, clearly in-place.
Keep up the good work. Now if we could just sound the bell!! taking back this country one bank/peep at a time! cheers.
Thanks for the support!
Nice picture grab from a video still lol. At any rate I am the owner of MintBuilder and I understand your position here is to not actually recommend any MLM and I respect your stance on that.
Let me give you a little bit of my back ground. I got involved in precious metals as a day trader in 1997 and started ISN in 2010 as a way to help people own physical silver as a wealth savings. I fully believe in holding bullion and Numismatics as a wealth savings (not and investment).
To keep the story short our Director of operations at our UK office (which was located in Stoke on Trent UK, employing 10 people) forged my name and sold shares of my UK company.
This caused a major disruption in ISN. We unfortunately had to close that office and that UK business. We decided a rebrand was necessary to remove the bad name of this UK officer so we relaunched with MintBuilder.
Since your initial evaluation we have worked very hard to add more value and make MintBuilder a viable place for people to save real tangible assets and earn a residual income on the side or full time as some do.
Did you go the police and sort it out? If what you’ve said is true, surely you’d want to regain control of your existing company.
Dropping an established brand and rebooting doesn’t add up.
Has the affiliate autoship focused comp plan changed?
& there was: Silence in the courtroom…
THIS IS MISINFORMATION. THERE IS NO $199 DOLLAR FEE…THIS IS TOTALLY FALSE INFORMATION.
YOU CAN JOIN MINTBUILDER FOR FREE AS WELL AS START WITH A LOW SUBSCRIPTION OF $17 and then it goes up higher.
(Ozedit: recruitment spam removed)
As at June 2018, when this review was published, Mint Builder affilite membership was $199 annually.
If that’s changed, cool. It doesn’t mean this date-stamped review is false information.
Instead of having a heart attack, feel free to provide current affiliate costs if they’ve changed.
I went on the Mint Builder website and they don’t openly disclose affiliate membership costs. This is a potential violation of the FTC Act.
What I did find is this: FREE SALES AFFILIATE LIMITED ACCESS ACCOUNT
Yeah, that’s not free affiliate membership, it’s a gimped affiliate account you’ll eventually have to pay for if you want to participate in the MLM opportunity.
Don’t waste my time with marketing bullshit and bugger off with your recruitment spam. Thanks.
Updated Mint Builder review is live.