Stepium Review: Not so American ethereum gifting scheme
Stepium provide no information about who owns or runs the company on their website.
The Stepium website domain (“stepiumusa.com”) was privately registered on October 21st, 2017.
A marketing video on the Stepium website states the company is a “high-tech American-based international project”.
This appears to be baloney, with Stepium only creating the illusion of being a US company.
Facts supporting this include:
- Russian and English being the only provided languages on the Stepium website
- Stepium’s social media profiles are written in Russian
- Russian marketing videos featured on the Stepium YouTube channel
- Alexa tracking Russia as the only significant source of traffic to the Stepium website
Oh and the voice-over for Stepium’s English marketing videos were purchased through a Fivver gig.
It is far more likely that whoever is actually running Stepium is based out Europe over the US.
As always, if an MLM company is not openly upfront about who is running or owns it, think long and hard about joining and/or handing over any money.
Stepium has no retailable products or services, with affiliates only able to market Stepium affiliate membership itself.
The Stepium Compensation Plan
Stepium affiliates gift ethereum to the affiliate who recruited them.
Gifting payments are referred to as “contracts” and qualify an affiliate to receive gifting payments on each contract tier from subsequently recruited affiliates.
- Contract 1 – 0.06 ETH
- Contract 2 – 0.26 ETH
- Contract 3 – 1.51 ETH
- Contract 4 – 5.01 ETH
- Contract 5 – 30.01 ETH
- Contract 6 – 155.01 ETH
Note that a Stepium affiliate can only receive gifting payments up to the tier they themselves have gifted.
If they recruit someone who gifts higher than this tier, the gifting payment is paid upline to the first affiliate who has gifted at that contract tier.
Stepium pay residual commissions via 2×3 and 2×4 matrix structures.
A 2×3 matrix places a Stepium affiliate at the top of a matrix, with two positions directly under them:
These two positions form the first level of the matrix. The second level of the matrix is generated by splitting each of these first two positions into another two positions each (4 positions).
Level three of the matrix is generated in the same manner and houses 8 positions.
A 2×4 matrix expands the structure by one more level, adding an additional 16 positions to the matrix.
There are six matrix tiers in total, corresponding with Stepium’s six contract gifting tiers.
Positions in each matrix are filled when directly and indirectly recruited affiliates make gifting payments at each contract tier.
Stepium pay residual commissions when the last level of a matrix is filled (level 3 for a 2×3 matrix and level 4 for a 2×4 matrix) as follows:
- Contract 1 matrix (2×3) = 0.05 ETH per position filled on the third level (8 positions)
- Contract 2 matrix (2×4) – 0.15 ETH per position filled on the fourth level (16 positions)
- Contract 3 matrix (2×3) – 1 ETH per position filled on the third level (8 positions)
- Contract 4 matrix (2×4) – 3 ETH per position filled on the fourth level (16 positions)
- Contract 5 matrix (2×4) – 15 ETH per position filled on the fourth level (16 positions)
- Contract 6 matrix (2×4) – 75 ETH per position filled on the fourth level (16 positions)
When a matrix at any tier is completely filled, a new position is created in a new matrix and the process repeats itself.
Stepium affiliates who gift in at the Contract 3 and higher tiers are able to invest funds on the promise of an advertised monthly ROI:
- invest 1 ETH and receive a monthly ROI of 3-4%
- invest 4.5 ETH and receive a monthly ROI of 4-5%
- invest 8.5 ETH and receive a monthly ROI of 4.5-5.5%
- invest 20 ETH and receive a monthly ROI of 5-6%
- invest 35 ETH and receive a monthly ROI of 6-7%
- invest 60 ETH and receive a monthly ROI of 7-8%
Referral commissions on mining ROI investment are paid out 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.
Stepium cap payable unilevel levels at six, with commissions paid out as a percentage of ethereum invested on each level as follows:
- level 1 (personally recruited affiliates) – 10%
- level 2 – 5%
- level 3 – 4%
- level 4 – 3%
- level 5 – 2%
- level 6 – 1%
Stepium affiliate membership is tied to a minimum 0.06 ETH gifting payment.
Full participation in the Stepium MLM opportunity costs 94.2 ETH plus any ethereum invested into mining contracts.
Your first red-flag with Stepium is the attempt to appear American.
Considerable effort has been made to present Stepium as a US-based company, when that’s obviously not the case.
Your second red-flag is, beneath the cryptocurrency jargon, Stepium is as simple as gifting funds to the person who recruited you and receiving gifting payments from people recruited after you.
This is old school cash gifting in cryptocurrency wrapping.
On top of that there’s a long-form Ponzi attached, by way of investment made under the guise of “mining contracts”.
Both components of the Stepium compensation plan rely on affiliate recruitment, without which the company collapses.
Through matrix commissions Stepium demonstrate they aren’t above committing fraud (the matrix commissions are pyramid fraud), which is pretty much what happens with the gifting and investment components.
Gifting is self-explanatory. The investment monthly ROIs are low enough to suggest they might be tied to mining, however given the rest of Stepium’s fraudulent business model, are more likely designed to keep affiliates active over a longer period of time.
At the end of the day MLM gifting schemes, in any currency, primarily benefit those running them.
This is due to gifting pass-ups made at each level, which effectively funnel larger and larger amounts of money up the chain to the admin. A few early adopters will of course make back what they gifted and perhaps a modest profit.
When affiliate recruitment dies off however so too do new gifting payments entering the scheme. At any given time newly recruited affiliates who have yet to make back their money make up the largest group of affiliates.
And it is ultimately these affiliates that will lose out when Stepium collapses.