Is Steemit a Ponzi Platform? (Characteristics of Pyramid Schemes)

I intend to respond to one of the questions in the Steemit Engagement Challenge hosted by @hive-181136. I previously participated in a contest that addressed the topic of Ponzi schemes. However, there's one question that still piques my interest to answer, which goes, "do you think Steemit is a ponzi scheme?" It's such a captivating question that I'm tempted to address it in a spesific post. So, this post is my take on whether the Steemit platform is a Ponzi scheme or not.

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To better understand the context, perhaps you could first read my previous post titled SEC-S17W3 - "Let's talk about Ponzi scheme". I discussed several things there, including a brief flashback about the name "Ponzi", famous Ponzi cases in Indonesia along with their conspiracies, and of course, some funny experiences and my personal opinions regarding that shitty scheme. I guarantee your time won't be wasted reading it. Image edited by Canva Pro.

Returning to the question, "is Steemit a platform with Ponzi scheme?". Well, before answering that, first, we need to know what criteria need to be met for something to be categorized as a "Ponzi". Based on my observations and experience, there are at least 3 things that make a business model or investment considered a Ponzi.

1. Offering unrealistically high profits

Have you ever heard the phrase, "there's no such thing as a free lunch in this world" or "everything comes with a price tag"? I totally agree with those sayings or similar ones. Since I was a kid, I've been indoctrinated with a radical mindset: you have to endure suffering first to get something. I used to think my parents were so tough on me to the point where I had to fast and suppress desires for years before getting something. I even often had to pay for it with my own sweat.

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But after seeing how crazy human greed is hiding behind the word "survive" and the abundance of wolves in sheep's clothing, I realized that the principles instilled in me all this time weren't wrong. This world is too harsh for the naive. And remember, you will get what you pay for. Image source here

Every time you hear an investment offer promising high profits, you should be suspicious, it might be a Ponzi scheme scam. It doesn't make any sense when someone offers you such huge profits. Why wouldn't they take all those opportunities for themselves? Trust me, no one really wants to share wealth (or instant ways to get rich) with you if the wealth they offer is real. There's no creature greedier than humans.

2. Filled with lip service

If you ask people involved in Ponzi schemes what products they sell or what kind of investment activities they do, you can bet they'll be at a loss for words. That's because they actually don't engage in any real activities besides recruiting new people to join as downlines. Then if you ask them again, who are these downlines? They'll say that downlines are "investors" who will be trained to become new wealthy people in the future.

Back in the day, the term Ponzi scheme wasn't widely known. I remember back then it was mostly called a pyramid scheme or MLM (multi-level marketing). Over time, this term started gaining popularity as more and more cases of scams and bogus investments with the same pattern emerged, which is recruiting as many downline members as possible to feed the upline. - My previous post

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If you encounter an offer from someone who's all-bark-and-no-bite, and they prove nothing to answer the questions I just laid out, run Steemian, run! Image source here

3. Exploiting your vulnerabilities

The third characteristic that makes it difficult for someone to get out of a Ponzi scheme is simply because the downlines are being made fools of by the despicable scammers overseeing them. They're forced to succumb to the fear of missing out (FOMO) by being bombarded with messages like "wow, John Doe got a free trip to the Maldives for bringing in 100 new members this month." I bet 9 out of 10 downlines would feel FOMO after being influenced like that, and they'd give more of their time, energy, and money to the fictitious company.

I'm speaking from experience, not as a victim but as an observer. I even infiltrated a Ponzi group on one of the world's most popular messaging apps. Sometimes, when I'm tired from work and need some entertainment, I check the conversations in the group, and often I burst out laughing at the thought of how people could willingly fall for such an obvious scam. The founders even hold regular seminars to indoctrinate their victims further.

Until I realized, these Ponzis have one thing they can sell, something that honest companies cannot. That thing is hope. Hope from downlines who want to earn money to cure their ill mothers, to support their siblings' education, or simply to afford a honeymoon they couldn't have due to financial constraints. The vicious cycle created by these Ponzis will keep spinning until it reaches its last victim.

How about Steemit?

You conclude for yourself, does Steemit fulfill the three characteristics above? Have the Steemit team promised you unrealistic benefits if you join here, either as a content creator or as an investor? Or have you ever felt deceived and fed with motivational doctrine so that you couldn't leave this platform? I think all those questions can be answered with a resounding NO.

A few years ago, there was a trending hashtag #promosteem, and many Steemians participating in this promotion campaign received direct support from the Steemit team in the form of heavy upvotes. We ourselves in Indonesia were very active in promoting Steem at that time we even holding large-scale events to invite new people to join the Steemit platform. Back then, many people doubted us, and some even suspected that the Steemit platform was a multi-level marketing (MLM) and Ponzi scheme.

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But once again, is that suspicion true? It's quite simple: just ask those who were initially suspicious and eventually became active Steemians receiving support from the Steemit team. Do they still harbor the same suspicions after enjoying all the benefits here or not? If there are indeed Steemians like that, then I'm ready to take the time to meet and discuss it over a cup of coffee. Image source here


Thank you for taking the time to read my post

Have a great day

El-Nailul

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Holaa amigo, tu explicación sobre las tres características principales de estos esquemas es esencial para cualquier inversor, analizas de forma acertada sobre las promesas de ganancias irrealistas y la ausencia de un producto o servicio genuino es un recordatorio valioso de que debemos ser cautelosos con las inversiones que parecen demasiado buenas para ser verdad. Y finalmente, tu perspectiva sobre la explotación de vulnerabilidades y cómo los esquemas Ponzi se aprovechan del FOMO es un llamado a la conciencia para todos nosotros.

Por supuesto, steemit no cumple con estas 3 características por lo que definitivamente no se trata de un esquema ponzi, aqui se premia el trabajo y esfuerzo en nuestro contenido de calidad.

¡Me gusto tu participación, te deseo mucha suerte en el concurso!

Hey there! Thanks a bunch for your comment. I totally agree with you that understanding the key features of a Ponzi scheme is crucial for any potential investor. It helps us stay vigilant and steer clear of risky investments. I'm thrilled to receive such positive feedback from the community. Hopefully, my posts can be helpful to others too.🙌

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Upvoted. Thank You for sending some of your rewards to @null. It will make Steem stronger.

Your analysis is thorough and insightful. You've effectively dissected the characteristics of a Ponzi scheme and applied them to Steemit demonstrating how the platform differs from such fraudulent schemes. Your personal experiences and observations add depth to your argument highlighting the importance of skepticism and critical thinking when evaluating investment opportunities.your post provides valuable perspective on the topic and encourages readers to consider the evidence before drawing conclusions. Well done!

I don't know if it's a bonzi scheme, what I see is, good posts from new people get little and boring posts from old members get a lot. It's not fair here, that's for sure.

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