Reader Interactions


  1. From the Tipline [shortened and paraphrased somewhat]. My comments follow:

    “Dennis, you are right. There is something weird. Large anonymous investors appear to chip in (e.g. 9k recently totalling now 15k) just after the times of negative press. This is suspicious. They need to be able to get 35k out so they can repay the other Crowdfunding campains – 36k has to be repaid by the end of this year so they are desperately chasing money – anything – and unless they get other sources of subsidy they simply cannot survive. It is unbelievable and suspicious that Symbid is tolerating the juggling of valuations and figures within the Tradeqoin scam offering. Are the previous investors aware of the devaluation? After all they invested into a company supposedly worth 1.7 million! Shouldn’t the whole campaign have been terminated and then started all over again with the new figures and business plan?”

    On the surface there does appear to be an element of rolling funding within the Qoin/Tradeqoin operations as the Tipline comments suggest, keeping the whole thing afloat by robbing Peter to pay Paul, a little like Ponzi schemes do. The key question along these lines is WHERE DOES THE PROFIT COME FROM in the Tradeqoin business model?

    There is none –

    1. The freemium business model doesn’t scale down to a high energy, labour intensive, slow relationship-building business such as a Barter/Trade Exchange;
    2. Their current business is non-existent (as I have shown with the telemarketing investigation that revealed only 6% genuine members and negligible trading in decline); and
    3. Their commissions on turnover is calculated on trade, NOT CASH!

    This is all nuts!

    I repeat here what I’ve said all along . . . Tradeqoin is not a viable business model; the principals are amateurs presenting neither an accurate nor the full story to their investors; and no investor will ever see any ROI. My recommendation remains the same: DO NOT INVEST.

    Having seen Tradeqoin’s second (revised) crowdfunding attempt, I do agree with these comments that indicate these guys are broke and desperate. Short of some miraculous and/or foolhardy injection of substantial funds, I would not be surprised if there is a demise of the entire sham at some point in the near future.

    Thanks for your comments and feedback. You’re onto it!

  2. From the Tipline:

    “Where are the wages?Wasn’t it 600.000 Euros before? What happened to them now?”

    I don’t know. Does it really matter what they say any more?

    The thing with people who are desperately clutching at straws and dredging up nonsense like this Tradeqoin scam is that the leopard doesn’t change its spots. Running, walking or sitting it’s still the same leopard. Digging into their latest concoction will just show more nonsense and pipedreams as you have revealed with your three questions.

    I have repeated over and over: the underlying business model is flawed. No amount of jiggery pokery with numbers, valuations, spreadsheets or whatever they choose to change in mid flight alters the fact that fundamentally, there is no solid business model:

    1. Freemium can never work in this industry
    2. They grossly misrepresent their existing business (by 94%) and
    3. There is simply no realistic income streams.

    Even if the Good Lord showered them with gold from the sky to pay their wages it will still only enable them to pay themselves until that set of Mana from the heaven ran out. Qoin simply does not understand the realities of business. Their very successful business model for years has been to secure grants from the public purse and spend it. I have absolutely NO PROBLEM with that, BTW. Good on ’em but taking monies from private investors on the basis of BS ticks me off no end!

    Unfortunately for them they have tried the same approach with crowdfunding and it has come unstuck because unlike the political arena that they used to work in before, people like me (and others) have been asking questions and are holding them to account. They clearly didn’t expect this to happen and are grossly unprepared for any meaningful challenge to their self-aggrandisement – both in terms of content AND their capacity to handle criticism professionally.

    Questioners have no wish to see them showered with our gold only to pocket it and vanish into the sunset with yet another business that has [according to their own words] a “successful exit”.

    Nah! It’s all bunkhum and if they’ve got an ounce of credibility, Qoin’s Rob van Hilten should resign or be kicked off the IRTA Board of Global Directors quick smart over it all. Oh look – there’s a pig flying past that coconut tree!.

  3. From the Tipline:

    “TQ’s crowdfunding money will go 10k to IT and 40k to sales:-

    Symbid funding
    The funds will be allocated as follows:
    IT upgrades; improvement of marketplace, mobile app and
    POS terminals € 10.000
    Sales team € 40.000

    Why do they need to spend 10k on IT when RVH says they’ve invested 1 miljon Euros into TQ?”

    I do not believe anything that Tradeqoin produces or that RVH says in regards to Tradeqoin. If they have invested 1 Million Euros into Tradeqoin then they’ve just blown $300k on their own figures because their latest revised valuation is now ‘only’ 700k! That’s what you get for talking nonsense, playing fast and loose with BS and winging it as you go!

    It’s all a few guys playing with smoke, mirrors, spreadsheets and the fantastic Equidam business valuation tool that produces pretty reports that average a wide range of crazy figures. Don’t waste your time worrying about it. Only Friends, Family and Fools will invest and in due course all of them will rue their losses, that’s if the crowdfunding campaign even succeeds!

    By my calculations 40k of sales people will get them one guy for eight months (http://www.payscale.com/research/NL/Job=International_Sales_Manager/Salary), two guys for four months or four guys for two months – and that’s without management ‘income’ for the principals! Lord Luva Duck! These guys are crazy thinking that this all makes commercial sense. They really should go back to sucking off the public teat and leave the genuine investors alone!

    Thanks for your feedback. Don’t waste too much of your time on it!

  4. From the Tipline (again!) edited very slightly for clarity:

    “First Tradeqoin said they would grow to 390 members by the end of 2014 and then to 5230 by 2017. Now they have adjusted this to 50 members per quarter and by 2017 they will have 750. I wonder with all the money that has gone in so far , over 1 million Euro’s of their subsidy and after three crowdfunding campaigns, what they have done with all that money this year?. Since your blogging they have now let go of the Achterhoek area and are focussing on the area of Amsterdam exclusively. This means that they got rid of all Achterhoek members (who were sleeping anyway and of course not paying either). But that means that according to your research and the figures on the Tradeqoin website their membership base is reduced by 41 listings. That means that there are only lets say a little more than 100 listings left. That makes for VERY expensive members: 1 million towards a net loss of 100 members as in January they claimed to have 200 members! What are they going to do with that 50k that they need for sales and IT, that they now claim will grow with 50 members per quarter? With a $50k they will miraculously grow to 200 members in 2015? Crazy, if you tell me. Whoever still believes that Tradeqoin can deliver and then invests into this fairytale, deserves to lose their money.”

    I agree.

    Your focus on memberships is only one way, but a good way to look at the whole Tradeqoin offering. I predicted that the Achterhoek region would distance themselves (or be distanced) due to fundamental differences in thinking, as revealed in my telephone survey. I don’t see this as a bad thing for a clean out at Board and membership level of people who do not agree fundamentally with your core business model gives them at least half a chance to do something right from here-on-in. Of course it destroys their false and deliberately misleading claim (still on the Symbid website BTW) that they have 200 members but I knew that anyway, hence my claim of at the most 6% Members as per the IRTA guidelines of what constitutes a member.

    You repeat the claims that I blogged about which came from Ron van Hilten himself that Qoin has put 1 million Euros into Tradeqoin. I do not believe that this comment is true. For one, it is not represented in the core valuation figures of real or tangible assets. It has never been explained where the money came from or for what it was used, thus it sounds to me much more like a fabrication; a throw away show-off line that can never be substantiated, short of some MORE financial jiggery pokery.

    Like you, I see a business desperate for cash, presenting anything that they think sounds good, then again desperately coming up with answers and changes in mid-stream that they think will secure them the $50k that they clearly need to avoid serious business failure. I cannot predict the outcome of their crowdfunding campaign. I can’t predict their further responses to their daily trauma of increased exposure but I CAN predict with confidence that there will be no ROI from any genuine business that provides goods or services and that produces a profit for there simply isn’t a business there. Rolling crowdfunding income from one campaign to the next may be made to work in the short term but the entire Tradeqoin business is a joke – totally amateurish and grossly dishonest.

    Yet again, I speak it so clearly, invest if you are a Friend, Family or Fool but do not expect any return on your investment.

    Thank you for contributing.


  1. […] the Tradeqoin update where they announced recently that they had reassessed their business plan and devalued the Tradeqoin company, lowered their crowdfunding ask and so on. This took me about 3 hours including research work, […]

  2. […] because of course we could all see that Tradeqoin’s prospectus was a nonsense. That they totally rejigged their entire valuation (down by a million Euros), business projections to a tenth and crowdfunding […]

  3. […] projections and crazy business model that their prospectus contained forcing them to review and rewrite their projections down massively; to reduce their crowdfunding ask from 150k to 50k and to just ‘casually’ […]

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