A dozen years ago, selling on eBay was one of the earliest ways to be an entrepreneur. Single person operation so to speak. Then the biggest conundrum is how to get paid? Buyers would literally send cash in the mail, that was one method I used. Then Paypal was flourishing in USA then most of the advanced or First World nations such as Britain, Australia, Canada – all were able to accept Paypal.
So it took some trouble to get a Paypal account working (to receive payment) and to make sure it can be withdrawn (associated with a bank account, or even early days, associated with a credit card, hence when you withdraw, it goes in as a credit into the credit card – which the banks or credit card operators namely VISA and Mastercard detested and finally disallowed).
Then alas, if you clicked yes to their terms and conditions, Paypal can withhold your money without any specific reasons. The murky reason is to protect the system, protect users, protect buyers so on and so forth. Then you’ll see sellers who made it successful and when their deposits hit $3000 dollars or $10 000 dollars, the account is frozen. Forever. Simply ending the entrepreneur’s career, with a supernova of negative feedbacks left by eBay buyers who trusted the seller and the Paypal system.
Today, even with Bitcoin growing strongly, the same trick is being applied. Albeit at an even miniscule level – the chicken or egg level. People are using Paypal to purchase Bitcoin! Bitcoin was created to sidestep Paypal and banks, and Western Union. Then why are there users who are using Paypal to buy or sell Bitcoins? Still perhaps out of necessity. Since the above eBay example shows, you could send money in an envelope by mail. Then there is Paypal. Then they thought using it is good to get things going.
There are Ponzi schemes created daily. Nigerian scammers, turning USD from paper, money growing MLM schemes that guarantees 30% returns every month. And then there is Paypal.
Some examples of systems or schemes:
Then there are ETF or funds or ICO to fund purchase of Bitcoins, or purchase of cloud mining. These are schemes to avoid again. Why go around the bush twice? When you could simply buy Bitcoins directly? Simply these schemes baits user with tales of riches (example Bitcoin rising 400%) then tales of dangers (Bitcoin collapsed from $1000 to $100 after Mt Gox incident). Knowing psychology, they lay a plate that covers the greed (to want to achieve enormous bountiful gains) and another bowl that covers mitigating the risks (example we will protect you since we are valid big company with 4000 mining machines, or we have offices, we have real buyers who invested then gained that money and they withdrew successfully, then reinvested!). How sweet!
Everybody knows the Nigerian who dresses up like slick like Akon, then invites you to his hotel room with a free lunch, and attempting to show you his magic paper that turns from white into United States Dollar notes is a trick. Then how is it possible that there are people being tricked daily? The same principles. There is one plate and one bowl. Then when you seemingly see the unbelievable part of the paper being transformed into 100 USD notes, you in turn transformed yourself.
There was this age old advise in the KBS TV channel, that parents give to their kids. Do not follow any stranger or take their candies. Many kids knew and follow this advice promptly. Yet some will be not since the candies are real, believable, sweet, and tastes good.
Update: 29 May 2017 – there you go again(!!!), reported by The Guardian.