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Karatbars swims in murky waters

Difficult to tell if it is an elaborate pyramid scheme or just a worthless cryptocurrency.

The brevity of the few standard paragraphs the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) issued a few days ago to warn the public against doing business with Karatbars International belies its importance.

In fact, the warning can apply to all the agents and representatives currently marketing Karatbars products – if the products are marketed to the public as investments.

Read: How cryptocurrency scams work

Neither Karatbars International GmbH or a local office of the company, nor any of its representatives, are registered to sell financial products in SA or offer members of the public financial advice. Any agent or representative that sells Karatbars as investments will need to register with the FSCA and adhere to all the requirements of the relevant legislation.

Brandon Topham, divisional executive for investigation and enforcement at the FSCA, says Karatbars and its agents are prohibited from selling or promoting investments which fall within the definition of a financial product. “Questions exist as to whether or not this is the case,” he says. “We await further information from the company.”

Read: Ponzi participants ‘more likely’ to defraud their employers

Topham adds that the FSCA did not receive any additional information from Karatbars as claimed by its legal representatives in media reports following the publication of the warning by the financial services watchdog.

“We are not able to conclude at this stage whether the company is selling or advising on investments which qualify as financial products or providing financial services as defined by our financial sector laws. If it is, it would be in contravention of the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services [Fais] Act and the Financial Sector Regulation [FSR] Act.

“We can only advise the public that Karatbars is not a registered financial service provider and cannot sell or advise on investments,” says Topham.

However, the fact that the FSCA issued a warning mentioning Karatbars by name indicates that it is worried about the organisation.

“We are extremely concerned by the number of people who apparently are acquiring some form of investment as this organisation is not domiciled or registered in any form in SA or with the FSCA as the relevant authority,” says Topham.

“This is a red flag that people’s money may be at risk.”

And it is not the only red flag. Another, bigger red flag is that Karatbars shows all the features of a pyramid scheme.

The Namibian central bank, Bank of Namibia, investigated Karatbars and came to the conclusion that it is nothing more than a pyramid scheme that preys on vulnerable people. “Members’ income is based on the successful recruitment of new participants to purchase new gold embedded cards for which money is accepted as a regular feature of joining the business,” reads part of the bank’s statement issued in May 2019 when it banned Karatbars. “The fees paid for the small gold embedded card is used to render legitimacy to the business practice.”

Questionable

It further said that the business practice is questionable in that commissions are paid on the recruitment of new members rather than on the sale of products.

Update: Karatbars has been investigated by financial authorities in several countries around the world, including its home country, and received stern rebukes from most. The Netherlands banned Karatbars’ activities totally, with Canada’s financial authorities warning against the organisation in 2014 after concluding that its affiliate and referral program operates like a pyramid scheme.

At that stage the business has attracted 5 300 affiliates in Canada. The authorities found their primary aim was to recruit more members by offering staggering returns of up to more than 2 000% over 12 months.

The authorities found their primary aim was to recruit more members by offering staggering returns of up to 2 000% over 12 months.

It also had doubts over Karatbars’ claims that it used an international security company to store gold on behalf on investors, while the government of Madagascar rubbished its claims that it owns the largest gold mine in Madagascar.

In the Netherlands, financial authorities warned people against investing in a Karatbars gold investment product that also promised investors in gold bars that Karatbars would store their gold safely.

The gold ’embedded’ in plastic cards

Investors are not better off when they opt to buy small quantities of gold from Karatbars and get it embedded in a plastic card similar to a credit card either.

The price Karatbars sells these gold cards for was another factor that the FSCA highlighted when Moneyweb asked for further information about its stance on Karatbars. Topham says that agents profess to sell gold (which is not a financial product and is thus outside of the authority of the FSCA), but that the selling price “is substantially higher” than what one would normally pay.

“We are informed that this is as a result of the multi-level marketing methodology applied by the company from Germany,” says Topham.

The Karatbars website offers its classic card containing one gram of gold at €67, equal to R992 at the current exchange rate of R14.82 per dollar. The international gold price is currently around R701 per gram.

‘Investors’ are thus paying a premium of nearly 42% for their gold, which lends credibility to suspicions that the role of the gold cards is merely to dress up the pyramid scheme as a multi-level marketing network in order to legitimise it.

Karatbars offers several products, which its founder Harald Seiz says is aimed at helping millions to find financial freedom from the current system of debt. He is highly critical of the world financial system, central banks and fiat money (although he accepts euro when selling gold).

As such, Karatbars produces its own currency, CashGold, with bank notes that contain small amounts of gold in denominations of 0.1 gram to 1 gram.

The notes do not have a face value, but the value is linked to the gold price. Or not, depending on which section of the website one reads.

Karatbars says the value of the CashGold notes is not directly linked to the gold price and promises to update the value of CashGold notes several times a day on its website. The update was not found when looking for it a few days this week.

Karatbars hails its cryptocurrency, KaratGold Coin, as the first and only cryptocurrency that is backed by physical gold. Its website and all marketing material put out by Karatbars promotes gold as the ultimate store of value, usually followed by a long list of political and economic risks that will make fiat money worthless.

However, its cryptocurrency is close to worthless despite the promises that it is backed by gold. It is trading at around $0.01835 on different electronic exchanges, equal to R0.273. Information on the Karatbars website is sketchy but it seems that 10 000 coins were backed by 0.1 grams of gold at the time of its initial coin offering.

Gold vs crypto – investors ‘no longer have to ponder’

The gold supposedly backing the currency is worth less than one cent per crypto, making a mockery of Karatbars’ claims that “when you choose KaratGold Coin, you invest in gold as well as in a cryptocurrency and no longer have to ponder which investment suits you best”.

A goal was set to grow the value of the coins to 0.1 grams each by using 20% of the profits from Karatbars’ payment platform (KaratPay) and from worldwide sales of gold to buy more gold to back up the currency. “The price increase is assured, as can be seen in the value stability of gold and increasing crypto rate,” according to the Karatbars website.

A video promoting Karatbars makes for interesting watching, with the company apparently admitting that there are risks that authorities will close down its operations.

Its solution to being banned in certain countries is to establish operations in as many jurisdictions as possible.

Karatbars also launched its own encrypted cellular phone to aid members in conducting conversations safely and to leave no trace of financial transactions, which begs the question: Why is this necessary if everything is legal and above board?

The FSCA says that action will be taken if Karatbars and its agents keep on selling investment products in SA, whether through public meetings, the internet or social media platforms.

Meanwhile, other regulatory bodies that enforce other laws might also have grounds to investigate Karatbars further, especially to determine whether or not it is a pyramid scheme.

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Karatbars is marketed by a certain grouping in the faith community in the town where I live. The innovative pastor is monetising his congregation. Maybe this is the newer form of church offering. The pastor takes the offering in the form of Karatbars.
They sidestep the FAIS rules by pretending to “give information only, and not advice.” After they have “informed” the gathering, everybody joins up though.

Is there something here for the FSCA to investigate? The essence of the matter is whether Karatbars makes a promise to deliver something of a financial nature in the future. If they do, then they have to register with the FSCA and the pastor needs to comply with FAIS.

As long as the pastor only promises to deliver something of a spiritual nature in the future, he doesn’t have to register with the FSCA. For this, he will have to register with a higher authority. ☺

Rather take spiritual advice from the local pastor, not financial advice

Even pastors can have good financial sense. And in fact, many of them to be frank have a far better sense of finances than spirituality.

@AmerNatal

Sorry, what?!

Did you even think before writing this comment?

That is an absolutely ridiculous statement to make and all it does is show how little you know and understand of the world.

I dont think its ridiculous. You need some sense of finance and marketing to be able to attract people to your congregations. This aside, there is no shortage of hypocrisy and self deception among pastors and priests. Perhaps one who is genuinely wise, you might come across rarely, but they are exceptions. Usually those are the ones who are closer to accepting their own ignorance instead of pretending to know things which one does not.

Anyway, this is going away from the subject. The point is that business saavy pastors are certainly less hard to find.

@AmerNatal

If a pastor was business savy and had a moral compass pointing north they wouldn’t be a pastor anymore, they would be in the private sector.
If a pastor was business savy and a broken moral compass, he’d be using the church and religion to make money for himself.

Kenneth Copeland:
In the waning days of 2015, renowned televangelist Kenneth Copeland laid out exactly why he needs a luxury private jet to do his job: You can’t “talk to God” while flying commercial.

Jesse Duplantis:
A US televangelist has asked his followers to help fund his fourth private jet – because Jesus “wouldn’t be riding a donkey”.
Jesse Duplantis said God had told him to buy a Falcon 7X for $54m.

But let’s just see how this whole karatbars thing plays out, but I won’t be surprised if the church of karatbars goes down and the top guys fly away with their private jets.
It’s just very interesting because I see a number of similarities in each of these selling hope to desperate people.

Don’t take that statement out of context and say I’m attacking the church or religion or something, I’m saying there are people who steal desperate people’s money under false pretenses.

What kind of mediocre journalism is this? Karatbars has never been banned “absolutely” anywhere, especially not in Netherlands or Canada. In Canada, the AMF investigated into Karatbars in court. Instead of finding it to be illegitimate or fraudulent, Karatbars won the case on four out of five points. The fifth had to do with something called a World Pool bonus, which has been discontinued, not because it is fraudulent, but because it was considered as an “investment”. Karatbars then re-opened in Quebec and has been active ever since. Even then, while this was happened, Karatbars was active in every single province. If you want to verify, you can google the court order online.

With such poor journalism, you already are disqualified from me having any reason to take this article seriously. Do proper research and brush up on your accuracy.

Ok. Then clarify this for me. Why are the marketing efforts for Karatbars exclusively focussed on uninformed individuals? I have never met a person who understands the financial market, who is interested in Karatbars. Why is anybody willing to pay a 40% premium to buy gold, when he can safely and easily buy it online, at the current price? Do they pay the premium for the plastic card, or do they pay the premium for the privilege to speak to you?

If this scheme is so super-legit, why not simply register with the FSCA then? It is easy and straight-forward. Thousands of FSP’s and brokers who do honest business are registered. You only have to avoid the FSCA if you are not compliant and if your clients cannot trust you.

So, in essence, you are charging your clients a 40% premium because you are not trustworthy.

Please show me a site where I can buy 1g 24ct 999.9 fine gold at the spot price of cR710/g.

The only one I know is Mr Kruger where the price is R 947/g (spot+34%) whereas I get R 848/g (spot+20%) from Karatbars.

Karatbars and affiliates CANNOT register with FSCA…they do not sell investments or financial products.

Karatbars sells gold, period. Last time I checked, gold is an asset like property, not a financial product.

Myricals, on the Interactive Brokers platform you can buy a gram of gold for R696.50. IB is regulated by USA authorities and their representatives in SA are regulated by the FSCA. This is where I buy my gold. No plastic cards, no meetings, no hype and no promises of instant wealth either. Best of all, I don’t need to convince other people to come to presentations in order to make my investment grow.

From what I can garner, IB is a trading platform in various financial products, which requires FSCA registration, but the gold trades are not regulated by the FSA and of course do not require to be as gold itself is not a financial instrument; Precisely why Karatbars does not require FSCA regulation.

The minimum order in gold under metals is 2oz (c56g or over R39k). Now the ordinary man in the street has this amount just lying around right? Like I said, the spot price is not achievable for 99% of people out there.

Now that I have converted R39k into gold, will IB deliver the physical gold to my door? If not, I have not bought gold but a digital representative of gold which is the same as an ETF…NOT Gold.

The reason why Karatbars doesnt register with the FSCA is because that doesn’t apply to them. They are an Ecommerce company which sells products like gold, Kimpulse phone, WHIM laptop, and gold backed cryptocurrency. None of these qualify as “financial advice” first off. Marketing products is not “financial advice”, and owning gold is private property. Especially privately issued gold like Karatbars. This is not something like a government issued coin we are talking about. Those can indeed be seized, which is why those kinds of items want much more of your information and whereabouts when you purchase them. This is not what we are dealing with here. This is gold bullion which is privately issued like many other independent companies who sell the same.

It is good that Karatbars is being investigated, because these regulators obviously, like what happened with the AMF in Canada, are completely clueless about all the details. The AMF in Canada had the same concerns. After a court investigation, they found out there was nothing fraudulent or illegitimate, they just didnt understand Karatbars. Why do you think Karatbars is active in Quebec now? Even when the court case took place, Karatbars was legitimate in every other province in Canada, only the most anal of provinces (Quebec) wanted to look deeper out of concern.

That these regulators would come to a different conclusion would suggest the AMF is mediocre with its methods. I dont see any reason or evidence that points to that. The AMF are quite thorough and have high standards. Still, Karatbars was found legitimate.

So this is my theory – these regulators who are complaining are simply like how the AMF was. They are not informed with all of the facts. Come on, even this guy who wrote the article spread this misinformation that Karatbars was ” banned absolutely” in Canada.

I am reading the long-winded replies from those who are clearly “investors” in this pyramid scheme with great amusement. Shame. Must be terrible to realize that you’ve been duped. And then the first reaction? Deny, deny, deny. Especially to yourself.

@Sensei

IB cannot deliver gold.
To put it simply, you cannot buy gold from IB.
You can only trade gold without physical possession.
So the price you mention is mute and not achievable.

Transcript:
Me:
“What is the purity & fineness of XAU; can the gold ordered delivered to me?”

IB:
“Thank you for your interest in IBKR. We offer trading in un-allocated physical gold on the London bullion exchange. In theory it would be possible to have the gold delivered however this is not a service that we offer.”

Me:
“So who would I contact to arrange to have my gold collected by Fedex?”

IB:
“This is not something that can be arranged through IBKR. You would have to contact another broker which allows for physical delivery.”

Totally agree, logically Karatbars just makes sense. I mean who wants to just own the gold directly. As an unrelated matter, I have this fantastic opportunity I think would appeal to you – whitening toothpaste. You can sell it to your friends, who can sell it to theirs and so on… possibilities are endless. You can be your own business owner.

If the toothpaste does not appeal to you, I also got weightless shakes. It’s not a pyramid, it just a pyramid on its side.

Charles wins comment of the day

IcedCoffee,

That will not happen with Karatbars. Ive been watching this company closely since 2011. Its been now 8years. Trust me, they are in it for the long haul. And since 2011 Ive been hearing from people like yourself how Karatbars is a sinking ship, that they wouldnt even last a year or two. Well now, approaching a decade and Karatbars is still here, even after the AMF conducted their investigation and found nothing so alarming as to cause them to ban Karatbars from Quebec.

Unfortunate you would miss out on the wonderful work that is being done by this company simply due to uninformed prejudice.

@AmerNatal

Your choice of words are strikingly interesting at the end there.

“You would miss out on the wonderful work”. Sounds like something I’ve heard from those televangelist who buy planes for themselves and justify it by saying Jesus wouldn’t be riding a donkey.

Also, your opening statement, “That will not happen with Karatbars. Ive been watching this company closely since 2011. Its been now 8years. Trust me, they are in it for the long haul.”

You keep watching it, I will also, but I’ll be watching from afar, some pyramid schemes stay afloat for a long time, till they don’t anymore.

We have even had a few “pyramid style schemes” listed on the JSE…just because it appears official doesn’t mean it is. I will not be looking to burn my fingers in this gold furnace, that’s for sure.

IcedCoffee,

No televangelist sentiments here. I said you may miss out on the work Karatbars is doing because I entirely support this completely on rational grounds. There is no sense of emotionalism or sensationalism attached to it. Are you so fanatic that anybody who supports a project with passion you will equate with as being similar to “televangelists”? What kind of extremism is this?

Yes, please do continue watching. But please tell me, the longer this project stays afloat (now its been almost a decade), will there be an expiry date to your statement that this is just a pyramid scheme staying afloat? How much evidence do you need? Obviously the thorough investigation by the AMF in Quebec who declared it wasnt a pyramid scheme was not enough for you. The confession of Marvin Steinberg that the smear articles online are a by product of fake news is also not enough for you. Now, Karatbars is being investigated by BaFin. If BaFin also does not find any illegal scheme has taken place, will that be enough? Please clarify, what is enough evidence for you? Or, are you just one of these trolls who get superficial thrills online from arguing for its own sake, really just seeking pleasure from negative trolling at all costs instead of actually being concerned with truth?

@AmerNatal

You are so entertaining. You clearly don’t understand how a pyramid scheme works, that’s why they work in getting people on board.

I will make the suggestion again you go and look at some research how pyramid schemes operate and are setup to just about get away by not getting shut down, because it’s so much quicker to change the operation of a business than it is to change legislation.

Criminals have and will always operate ahead of the law, using the latest technology and legal loopholes to adapt their business model before legislation catches up.

Just because an company or operation hasn’t come crashing down yet, doesn’t mean the law (or their lies) won’t catch up with them. There is Herbalife and various others like it still doing the rounds worldwide.

Conning people who will give everything they have to get-rich-quick is a terrible crime and I would say it’s a form of “financial murder”.

I wish more people would ask legitimate questions and if things don’t seem right they would walk away, but unfortunately as some say, greed is a curse.

Iced Coffee,

I understand perfectly well how pyramid schemes work. A chief characteristic is that there is more emphasis on sales involving recruitment than actual product. This is not the case with Karatbars. The AMF had exactly the same concern as you. Thats why they investigated thoroughly into the company as pyramid schemes are illegal in Quebec. After their investigation, the court concluded that Karatbars is not a pyramid scheme. So the question is, why wasnt Karatbars banned from Quebec after they specifically looked into the question as to whether this is a pyramid scheme?

You do understand that there is a difference between legitimate network marketing companies that use a model that looks like a pyramid and a pyramid scheme right?

If all you want to own is physical gold, buy an ounce/half ounce/quarter ounce Krugerrand. Much more cost effective than buying gold in quantities of a gram. Gold is gold and has been a around for thousands of years.

And don’t get me started on anything linked to cryptocurrencies – this is pure speculation, very high risk and is not suitable as “investments” by your average guy in the street by any means

Buy an ounce or quarter ounce? I dont think you realize how condescending your comment is. You say it as if affording an ounce or quarter of an ounce is so easy. I struggle to own even a few grams.

I dont think you understand what this company is about.

@AmerNatal

…and sadly it seems that you don’t what this company is about either.

I just hope you manage to get out what you put in before the ship sinks while the captain and founder Harald Seiz runs off to go live out his days (in hiding) with all the money he stole on some small island or tiny poor country where he hopes no first world people would recognise or find him.

Karatbars was banned in Namibia and the FCSA has warned that it is operating illegally in SA. But regulators are always slow. Look at the facts:
Karatbars lied about owning a crypto bank in Miami and about owning a gold mine in Madagascar. Why lie so blatantly?
Why does a CEO need to tell “members” how to react when someone accuses them of being part of a pyramid scheme?
And… the “gold” you buy costs more than the spot price, and you make money through a multilevel marketing network.
It is an elegant pyramid scheme. Finish and klaarl

Karatbars did not lie about the cryptobank. It will be fully operational after the ICO phase. Youre talking like just another uninformed individual about this project. People were saying the same thing about the CEM machines and K1impuse phone. The CEM (Cashgold exchange machines) have already been delivered worldwide. The K1Impulse phones are already on their way to customers. People have already started exchanging the crypto coins for gold. This company is fullfill each and every promise it has made.

Why lie about the cryptobank and not the other stuff? Doesnt make sense. They have registered for a cryptobank, it is simply under a different name to protect the brand. They are smart in that way. Also, cryptobanks do not operate by same laws as an ordinary bank, so maybe not good to use the same standards.

The goldmine in Madagascar, the company has already provided proof of. Did you download the official documents the company has made public?

@AmerNatal

I won’t even bother replying to the rest of your comment, just the first two sentences.

Karatbars clearly stated that the bank was operational. Thus they lied.
Facts are facts, your point of view, if different from the facts, doesn’t change the fact.

Like gravity has been observed, tested and accepted as fact. You can’t now say you don’t believe in it and thus it won’t affect you. I guarantee you, gravity will bring you back to earth whether you believe in it or not.

IcedCoffee,

No,Karatbars never said it was operational and I challenge you to provide evidence. It also wouldnt make sense. How can the cryptobank be operational when the coin is not even out of the ICO phase yet?

Imagine been at the bottom of a pyramid scheme and having to defend it to hope you will get a pay out.

Let me explain something. The way you earn income in this company has little to do with whether you are on “top” or the “bottom”. Why? Because there can be people in your downline who earn much more income than you who might be in the ” upline”. The position in your organization is a small fraction of something that influences whether you make money or not.

What I mean by that is that you have a “dual team” system where two legs have to be developed, like a right team and a left team. Both sides must have enough “units”, which represent transactions such as gold, KImpulse phones, WHIM laptop, and so on. One needs to have enough transactions on BOTH teams before one can earn a payout. That means you can have 100units on one leg, and zero on the other, and you still dont get paid. This means that somebody bow you who has developed their left and right teams may make far more commisions than yourself who might be positioned “higher”.

This distribution completely eliminates this problem of somebody earning more income than somebody else simply because of positioning alone. In most cases, its just plain old hard work which gives you results just like most other businesses.

@Anything

I would have hoped one person that got into this and saw the light or should I say lack of light at the end of the tunnel would tell people they got out and warn other people, but no.

Once again selfishness wins. Get other people caught in the same net with the thinking that it might offer you the opportunity to get out while they get trapped.

@AmerNatal

SIES!

IcedCoffee,

This is blatantly false. Nowhere has Karatbars ever said that this cryptobank is operational. They only said that it was founded and licensed. Your comment is ridiculous. Why would their cryptobank be operational while the coin is not even out of the ICO phase?

IcedCoffee,

Get trapped? You do know that you can generate income from Karatbars with zero investment of any kind right? Nobody is forced to purchase anything to earn commissions, and no product is required to purchase on a monthly basis or something of that kind. So what trap are you speaking of?

@AmerNatal

You deserve a facepalm emoji for your last comment.

“So what trap are you speaking of?”

I never said anything about people being forced to purchase anything, as you allude to.

Have you ever heard of the Kubus scheme? If not I suggest you go read a little about that. They got people to buy milk yeast cultures, which they then “cultivated” at home and then you send back to Kubus who then paid people for this culture, so they would sign more people up for it.
There were several corporations from the US involved pushing this, so looks can be deceiving.

As the saying goes “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is”.

Sidenote: Not Adriaan Nieuwoudt’s first or last pyramid scheme, he’s at it again with his Eureka Movement even after having spent time in jail for one of his previous schemes. Seems he doesn’t learn.

So the “trap” I was referring to, in case you haven’t figured it out yet, is karatbars. Just like people were stuck with “vrot” milk that they couldn’t sell after the company disappeared, people will be stuck (trapped) with karatbars, the crypto and little plastic cards with little pieces of gold and nobody will want to buy it.

If people are lucky they will get the gold value of the gold they hold, but it’s too bad they already paid 40% premium. So either way people are still losing money.

IcedCoffee,

The way gold pricing works requires proper knowledge. You do not demonstrate to understand how it works and I am rather confident that if you were quizzed about many factors that influence pricing such as mining, refinement, manufacuring, and distribution, along with the differences between one kind of gold product and the next, you would probably fail miserably. It took me a bit of time to study it before I could say I understood how pricing works. But here you are, in sheer arrogance, speaking as though you are knowledgeable about the subject. That is evident in your statement that the price of Karatbars is 40% higher than other gold in the same class.

Do you know how much UBS sells 1gram of gold? 120$US. Is UBS a scam or ripping people off? No. So why does UBS sell 1gram of gold for 120US dollars? Its certainly much higher than Karatbars. I won’t tell you the answer. How about you make an actual effort to research, hopefully in spirit of the mind of a beginner?

Incitatus,

Actually I have full confidence in this project and do not consider myself in denial. I just dont like misinformation, such as the claim that Karatbars was banned in Canada. Why should I sit by and let misinformation fly about a company that has changed my financial life? I am now fully independent and I am grateful.

Stop projecting your own assumptions onto others.

I jump in here because I cannot get to AmerNatal’s reply about the pyramid scheme. She said that someone below you can actually earn more than you and it is correct. It works on direct sales. I have my son under me and he is making waayyy more than me.

many in this chain are showing the first of the five steps in realising they are involved in a scam……DENIAL

..and now they need “downlines” from MW, so that they end up not last in line. 😉

No, many people believe in the project because they are able to save in gold in an affordable way whereas before it was not possible to them. Many have also left their 9-5 jobs and have become financially independent with this company. Finally, some people are happy about the coins because the company fulfilled their promise of exchanging their coins into gold.

Lol…Karatbars does not sell financial products…it sells 24ct 999.9 fine physical gold and just links it with crypto for ease of cross-border transacting…

Where do you guys get this crap from?
Do a snippet of research before publishing nonsense!
Moneyweb should ban this kind of shoddy “journalism”!

Or is this the financial establishment running scared of disruptive technology that will eat away at their abundant crockery?

So gold is not a financial product?
But hey, maybe you like gold so much you are willing to pay 40% more for karatbars than the spot price of gold.

No…gold is an asset just like a property.

Go ahead and try get the spot price…you will be in your grave waiting to get it. The current local price is R947/g https://mrkruger.co.za/pricing/

Gold is an asset, just like property; it is not a financial product.

The spot price of gold is the domain of governments, banks and conglomerates. No private individual will ever get this price.

The current local price is R947/g at Mr Kruger. Karatbars is currently R 848/g.

a) It is not that price.
b) So it is less than a rip off boutique. Congrats!

Hello Myricals.

I understand that in order to own physical 1g (or 2,5g) gold through KBC is through the plastic card.

Have you personally made such purchase as yet? How much have to invested as yet?

Say for example I want to invest the equivalent of R250,000 of one’s life-savings into Karatgold, it equates (as you said) at R848/g, being the cost of a single card.

R250,000 divided by R848/g = I need to safely store almost 300 plastic cards?? (Instead of choosing the plastic cards, can I just have it as crypto, without the physical gold?)

When I want to sell the KBC to live off the profits, WHO and HOW will the physical heap of plastic cards in my possesion, be collected, to be redeemed/resale?

Please help. The product is rather difficult to decipher. It beats me why this MLM is so structurally complex…

Say I decide to join KBC, does it benefit me financially in any way to get other people to join? Will I get something for referring (as a bonus)?

First and foremost, never put your life savings into a single asset. We are diversified into gold, property, crypto and a variety of other asset classes.

Secondly, you are not investing but merely exchanging ZAR for gold. We store our gold in vaults and draw from a gold ATM when we need to.

Just google Myricals and email me. Once you grasp the concept, it is pretty simple.

First and foremost, never put your life savings into a single asset. Diversify into a variety of asset classes across various geographies.

Will not spam here so lookmeup.

No, there is no plastic card connected to KBC. Youre thinking of the Classic Gold cards. Thats different. These cards come with security technologies like DNA, hologram, blacklight recognition, and so on. These cards are more expensive generally because of the added features. Normally people think of this when they make these claims about the gold being overpriced. But it is not overpriced for that kind of product. In general, they’re called kinebars. UBS charges around 120$ for one gram of kinebar.

It is the Cashgold which is connected to KBC. Once again, like Ive been said many times on this thread, be more accurate and get up to speed instead of assumptions made from misinformation.

I see Karatbars being heavily pushed in my local Facebook Groups.
Rather invest in good old fashioned carrots – they are cheaper and better for your mental and physical well-being!

IcedCoffee,

Your paragraphs and paragraphs of reply are irrelevant. Karatbars has never promised high returns if somebody does the business. That’s the first point. Secondly, the business modelled is structured in such a way that the only people who generate income are those who work sincerely at it. Karatbars neither presents itself as a get rich quick scheme, and neither is the business model structured that way.

The price mentioned is the spot price of gold which nobody gets. Locally, the price is currently R947/g: https://mrkruger.co.za/pricing/

Or just buy through FNB at below the karatbars price, 2% above spot rate at R828/gram?
Or buy krugerrands from an official dealer if you want the physical… Plenty in Bedforview =)

I prefer 24k 999.9 fine gold at R848/g from Karatbars.

Minted coins are registered and can be recalled by the issuer at any time. So just when you would need your gold, the SA government will recall Krugerands as they will need it as well at such a time.

This whole concept is for slow people who don’t do their research.

…agree. It ties up what what I said in the past: allow the Karatgold-believers to place their entire life-savings into it. What a better way to learn? “school fees”.

Ummmmm no. That is your projection. Stop trying to sound smart. What you said was just silly. All kinds of people have joined Karatbars, from different backgrounds, social classes, levels of education, and yes different levels of intelligence. Ive known people in this business who are both business savvy and wise with their finances, and Ive also known people who are “slow” as you say and without slightest clue of what they are doing.

This is a realistic viewpoint. Yours was just childish.

@AmerNatal

What are you still doing here?

The irony that lies in your last paragraph is just priceless. You are the one making comments and throwing insults like you’re on a schoolyard and the group has excluded you because you just make a whole lot of noise and throw tantrums.

But yes please, do actually waste all your energy on us, so you leave other people who might not yet know better or are in a desperate financial situation alone, so they don’t get caught in this nonsense.

IcedCoffee,

I dont see any insults that Ive thrown around. Oversensitive maybe?

Again, your projecting this ridiculous commentary that only “desperate” people get involved in this. I know people who were well off financially before they even got involved in this project and were far from desperate. Cant you just accept that some people simply resonate with this project? Why this condescending attitude with sweeping generalizations that you have to be “desperate” to be a part of this?

Your views are far from being objective and balanced.

@AmerNatal

Why are you saying, “Again, you’re (sic) projecting this ridiculous commentary that only “desperate” people get involved in this”?

You go on to say, “I know people who were well off financially before they even got involved in this project and were far from desperate”.

So just so we are on the same page with regards to the definition of the word desperate.

“(of a person) having a great need or desire for something”

So, if not desperate, what are people, when they go and put money into something that promises them vastly higher returns than any registered and licensed investment vehicle? Are they then not desperate to get money?

“Why this condescending attitude with sweeping generalizations that you have to be “desperate” to be a part of this?”
It is you who is linking “condescending attitude” and “desperate”, is it because you identify with karatbars and because I called it as it is? Are you offended or “touched on your studio” because you feel, as you put it, “some people simply resonate with this project”? And because it resonates with you, you feel that I am calling you desperate and thus you feel I am being condescending as you fell you can’t win this “argument” as the facts are against you and your karatbars following?

Please tell me why, if everything around karatbars is legit, why did they no go and get the necessary paperwork, why are they being investigated in numerous jurisdictions and why are people warned to stay away? Because it is such a wonderfully legit investment / money making opportunity?

Again, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

But don’t take that advise, go and invest some money in House of Monopoly (Pty) Ltd, don’t think anything of the name, please.

But if you believe karatbars I’m sure you will not bother to read the article Adriaan Kruger wrote titled “When high returns raise suspicions” about this company on 14 October 2019, not even two weeks ago.

“With the slogan ‘Receive double the money you invest’, the moneymakesmoney.co.za website offers investors returns of 20% per month – actually much more than double the original investment. The website promises that investors will receive a total of R12 000 for every R5 000 they invest.

This immediately raises the question as to whether it is a pyramid scheme that will operate until it runs out of gullible ‘investors’, or shut down even sooner when authorities come knocking on the door.”

But yes please, do keep commenting on here, I’ll entertain you all day long if it means you rope one less person into this pyramid scheme.

Hahahaha I appreciate your support for Karatbars but actually at Mr Kruger they dont even sell one gram alone. They sell 100gram, 50gram, and 10grams.

Even APmeX dont sell 1gram alone. They advertise a cheaper 1gram price than Karatbars. But then when you do a checkout (give it a try), you are then asked to purchases a minimum of 250$. So only then, like bulking anything in bulk, will they give you price per gram cheaper.

Karatbars is one of the few companies willing to sell 1gram alone.

Thank you for making my point…I can buy 10g from Karatbars cheaper than Mr Kruger & APmeX. Karatbars is $56.25/g & ApmeX starts at $61.33 & goes down to $59.33/g if you buy 25g or more.

Karatbars starts from 0.1g for the same price of $56.25/g not matter the quantity in order to make it accessible to anyone.

If you really want to own gold why not invest in the NewGold ETF? Avoid the marketing rubbish, its well regulated and backed as a legitimate financial product…

Because you do not own physical gold in an ETF…the gold will always belong to the issuer of the ETF, the custodian. You will own a fractional trust in the custodian company, not the gold.

I think you are confusing this with an ETN, the ETF value is directly linked to the underlying bullion… ABSA (the custodian) could go bankrupt and it wont impact the value of the ETF.

You still do not own the gold…we have gold in our possession…that is ownership.

LOL Karatbars probably owns less gold than the guy on the street selling that “genuine rolex”

Wow, I must be lucky then to have received over 150g in the last 2 months from Karatbars…do you think it’s fake gold?

@Myricals

Do you believe in miracles? Because the way go go on about karatbars I would think it’s a religion, not a company / product.

You are starting to sound like some people that belong to certain groups.
I’m still trying to figure out which group…
a) The Church Of Scientology
b) Herbalife
c) Flat-Earth Movement
d) VBS Bank looters

But there are some weird correlations between your type of argument and those groups…

As @Sensei put so well:
“Then clarify this for me. Why are the marketing efforts for Karatbars exclusively focussed on uninformed individuals? I have never met a person who understands the financial market, who is interested in Karatbars.”

I’m sure we are all eyes and ears.

Wow, just wow. Get a professional to help you with your money.

Karatbars owns ALOT of gold trust me. Ive been having my grams delivered to me on a weekly basis since 2011.

@IcedCoffee

Not here to defend anything but state facts from my own experience over the last 5 years.

Marketing efforts are not targeted in any way. All the financially acute already with Karatbars is a testament to that. More less financially literate people join because it is a simple numbers game and of course, many financially literate people think they know better.

I consider myself financially literate and just smile at the financially literate cretins who cannot grasp the concept that selling gold is not a financial product or investment and consequently has absolutely nothing to do with the FSCA.

Financially ‘acute’.

I have never seen anyone more educated than my gardener falling for this joke. Hype marketing is the biggest give away.

More degrees in Karatbars than any company listed on the JSE.
Your uneducated comment suggests that you are your own gardener.

@Myricals

Wow your comments are swaying me. I mean you’re not defending anything?
That’s not what I see…

No wait…”More degrees in Karatbars than any company listed on the JSE” that makes it so legit then, good thing I don’t have a degree then, so I can’t join you guys at karatbars.
I will just stay here on the uneducated sidelines then and watch how this plays out for the “educated”.

@IcedCoffee

If you don’t read the thread to understand my comment you insult your own intelligence and look just like the fool you are.

IcedCoffee,

People who have benefitted from Karatbars both in terms of storage of gold as well as generating income are excited about how it has transformed their lives. You can be dismissive and say this is “cultish”, pathetically comparing it to Scientology, but this is not a good comparison. Karatbars does not have any belief system behind it. They simply state saving in gold can be a good idea as protection against inflation. This is a fact, not a belief. Sure, some people here and there may be fanatical, but you are bound to find fanatics among any project which becomes expansive enough to include large numbers of people. I’ve seen fanatics following theistic preachers, and I’ve even seen fanatics who model themselves after atheists like Richard Dawkins or Neil Degrasse Tyson.

Sorry, saying that you observed some people with high energy and excitement (many of them just simply happy instead of fanatical) is not good reasoning to dismiss something as a scam. Give me something more solid.

@AmerNatal

Oh dear, looks like you missed the plot.

“Sorry, saying that you observed some people with high energy and excitement (many of them just simply happy instead of fanatical) is not good reasoning to dismiss something as a scam.”

It was just an interesting observation, a sprinkle of salt if you will, on top of the main scam dish that karatbars is, it was never my argument of why it is a scam. That was a poor effort to try and make it seem like that was my “evidence”.

If you do not see that the model on which karatbars is built is in line with pyramid schemes. If you haven’t seen it after 8 years, it is 8 years that you’ve been following this right? Then you’ll never see it.

I am just hoping you have zero success in getting people on board with the “wonderful work that is being done by this company” and that they do not end up losing money through karatbars.

no i just think you got suckered into paying 40% more for something than you should have

Yep…I paid $3/g…big sucker I am! Could have got it for $2/g in January…

This paranoia about the Newgold ETF is part of the propaganda that feeds into the pushy sales MO of Karatbars. Newgold’s current price is R732.11/gram (net of fees)…end of.

Absolutely. Dont invest in a business you dont understand. Seek to become properly informed and learn as much as possible about it before you can say you have adequate info.

Karatbars has been around for almost a decade. They could have disappeared long ago if they wanted to simply get rich quick and scam people. And no, my argument is not merely that you dont understand the business. My argument is that you dont understand it because you are not being objective and balanced enough to look into it. And even if you did, perhaps then you would still not be attracted to it. Thats fine, we all have preferences. But all of this talk about the company wanting to run off with peoples money is just neurotic nonsense. There is no evidence for such, and if the company wanted to do so – it would have disappeared years ago. Why since 2011 havent do they run off with peoples money then?

By the way, your comments I also consider to be rather brainwashed, so the feeling is mutual.

If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and makes noise like a duck, it more than likely, a duck.
The traits of a pyramid scheme…ahem…”multilevel marketing scheme”
1) Undefinable or overpriced product
2) A lot of hype and rallies using motivational speakers
3) Concentration on increasing membership as you make your real money from each member recruited
4) Relies on the increase in membership to keep the sausage machine going
5) Can have a concept or product that fits in with the sign of the times…ie increasing or active gold price in market uncertainty (and relatively stagnant markets.
6) The top guy in the scheme hailed as a type of “god and saviour”
7) you have to buy into the concept and not the product as the product can be obtained cheaper elsewhere.

The fact that this scheme slates FIAT currency, but at the same time, you have to buy in with FIAT and need to cash out into FIAT for it to be of any use should raise a flag or two.

Gold as investment..yes..as part of a portfolio to hedge bets, but methinks the days of exchanging gold for food and shelter are over.

I have been following the hype around this and where the members are marketing financial freedom and investment, then it does cross the line as providing advice, as people are moving current savings from other investments into the scheme.

Regulation is of the order here as Estate Agents (who sell property investments) and Financial Advisers who sell other investments are heavily regulated, have to carry indemnity insurance and can be disbarred where clients have been wrongfully advised.

A long time ago, someone once told me
“When most people start talking about the stock exchange to you, it is time to get out of the market”

Remember the great property run not so long ago, where everone in sundry was a suddenly property expert..the hangover is still being felt to this day.

The flower seller that suddenly becomes a karatbar investment Guru, slating regulated investment, telling everyone not to listen to the outside noise and look forward to the great EXPECTED returns…….Be warned….there is trainwreck on its way here.

If anyone has seen the “Karatbars KaratNet market launch in Amsterdam” on YouTube and you didn’t get a heebie-jeebies feeling, then I don’t know.

Gives me that weird blind religious following vibe and makes me think of a certain Pastor Alph Lukau who resurrected a dead man…

I’ve read many “Karatgold review scam” on google, and yet still can’t fully understand the rationale of the 1g gold infused card product as a product.

Why do you want to own physical gold?? (…please tell me your physical address 😉
IF we all come to distrust the global FIAT financial system (which evolved over centuries), when surely all my Pension, RA Fund money is supposed to be physically owned in cash in a safe, at home. Physically owning cash, gold or any asset has it’s (high) risk (especially in SA with our burglary rate)

Owning physical gold borders on being medieval. Own your assets (in FIAT) but in digital form, eg. in gold ETF’s (i.e. which already exist via modern banking & asset companies). Not crypto. Just FIAT in digital format.

But hold on “I want to help millions to find financial freedom from the current world financial system”. Why would I want to help a stranger??? WHY would KBC founder Harald Seiz want to HELP ME? Does he owe me a personal favour he has to repay??
WHY does such schemes (sorry, investments) always needs YOUR and MY MONEY to be successful??

If one 1g gold (per KBC card) equals say R700….if you want to “own physical gold” in meaningful amounts….say totaling R1mil of your life-savings: …..you will need to find space at your residence for a pile of 1,400+ gold-infused plastic cards!!

But hey, why not just pry the physical 1g gold bar from each card, and resell all the plastic to your local recycle plant?

KBC is very clever: in essence they’re selling overprice plastic to unsuspecting people. Darn, why didn’t I think of that?

“KBC” is very clever: in essence they’re selling overprice plastic to unsuspecting people. Darn, why didn’t I think of that”

What is this imaginary plastic card that youre saying is connected to KBC? There is no such thing. KBC is backed by Cashgold. Cashgold is made of paper with grams of gold embedded into them. They look like bills of cash, except they contain gold. Why would somebody want to use it? Because Karatbars has created an innovative system where gold can be used as payment, transactable gold. Like fiat currency, its convenient to have it in the form of paper so that it can pass through hands easily.

You haven’t gathered enough info about this project, yet your loose tongue is flapping left and right about it. It is astounding how people jump to conclusions because of impatience and prejudice.

@AmerNatal

This comments makes you sound like some of the people involved in the climate hysteria.
I mean if you look at articles of doomsday prophecies from years ago, like some of the 1989 articles claiming countries will disappear under rising seas by 2000.

This hysteria around karatbars reminds me of the many churches that have popped up, preached amazing stuff and then a few years later disappear with millions of dollars.

And if your argument is going to be, you don’t understand it, then maybe it’s wise for people to listen to the following nugget of wisdom.

“Never invest in a business you cannot understand” – Warren Buffett

@AmerNatal, appreciate the response 😉

I hear what you say bud. Yes, I could be ‘prejudiced’….but what about the KBC believers? Aren’t they just as prejudiced to read & research what they look for?…positive affirmation.

I fear Karatgold overtly complex system or scheme serve at least 2 purposes (i) it acts as the “camouflage” in this brilliantly devised MLM scheme, and (ii) the KBC coin value has been dropping the past few years, so Harald Seiz and his leadership strives to continuously add interesting functions to such a scheme, in order to keep the interest in the MLM/Ponzi alive.

What impresses me most about MLM schemes is the innovative way the “inner workings” are structured to camouflage the scheme. I must give credit where it’s due: kudos for brilliance in deception 🙂

I’m sorry to disappoint, but this ‘Carrot’gold is not for me. Like the founder, I prefer to see (inexplicably) other complete strangers rather to make money and achieve financial freedom, instead of myself. Such wealth is not meant for me 🙁
I’m a nut case & am now heading off to my local veggie store….the carrots are on special this Friday.

@AmerNatal

We need to ignore the likes of Sensai and IcedCoffee..these are just trolls whose sole objective is to rile people up…they are people of little or no substance in their lives resorting to trolling to give themselves a sense of superiority. They will never amount to anything.

Hi Myrical,

I understand their concerns. Actually there are some things about Karatbars I myself dont like either. But their problem is like the fellow in the article who said Karatbars was ‘absolutely banned” in Canada – speaking out of misinformation because one lacks the patience to do proper research with reasoning that is truly objective. Most of these people watch a video or two, read some smear articles online (made sometimes by people pushing their own product or earning revenues from advertisements) and then just go around parroting the same infomation.

This must be what is happening to a great extent. How then is it possible for the author of this article to make such a blatant mistake as saying Karatbars was “banned absolutely” in Canada? The only reason would be because this fellow read it somewhere in one of these articles, and then he just continues repeating it like a virus. This points to not only mediocre journalism, but also mediocre due diligence among people who are just curious and looking into the project.

@AmerNatal

Once you understand who is under severe threat from the disruptive technology that Karatbars brings, you will know the source of all the lies & deceit coming through in mainstream media.

@Myricals

Why would you single myself & Sensei out?

It’s Sensei, not Sensai, not sure he’s involved in Japanese beauty products.

Calling us trolls, achieves nothing for your “argument” for karatbars.
Please address the points people would like answered, just because we have different views with regards to what karatbars is, does not per default make us trolls.

Troll – “Someone who deliberately pi***s people off online to get a reaction”

If you’re getting p****d off then it must be because we pulled a heart string or too much of your identity is tied to something like karatbars and hence you jumping to defend it without facts or sound reasoning, then you need to take some time and look why that is the case.

Self-reflection is a process by which you grow your understanding of who you are, what your values are, and why you think and act the way you do.

Self-reflection has helped me and I am sure many other people and I would like to suggest you consider doing it someday.

Well, it is encouraging to see that all the financially astute people who went for pipcoin and MMM are economically active again.

This is another MLM operation being pushed by the same Andrew Eaton, Tony de Gouveia, Conray Labuschagne, same pushers of the Bitcoin Lifestyle Galaxy MLM wealth builder…same modus operandi…sign up and pay/buy in to join the network, recruit, get so called benefits and bonuses, one look at the social media pages and they living large, business class flights all over the world, fine dining et al, its a seriously sucessful organisation. Viva financial freedom, Viva!

What you said there was downright false. The court ruling was NOT in the AMFs favour. In fact, I suggest two things. First, download the official court document online. Its in French, so you will need to translate it. It explains everything in the case and why the AMF have come to the conclusion Karatbars is a legitimate operation. Secondly, I suggest calling the AMF yourself. Confirm whether or not Karatbars was found to be a scam by them. I am serious. Do it. And then if after that youre still saying that the AMF won against Karatbars, then maybe you have some loose screws that need adjustment.

Secondly, Karatbars have NOT been avoiding marketing their products in Canada or the US. What are you talking about? They registered their cryptobank in Miami. One of the commom places which they hold events is in Los Angeles. The largest group of affiliates, Synergy, is in Canada. Their CEMs (Cashgold Exchange Machines) are distributed now all over the US (go check videos on YouTube).

Where do you come up with this information?

If anything has a hint of crypto, stay away.

The fools have already been burnt.

Don’t be a dunce on top of that.

A few ads on well known South African advertising platforms to invest in karatbars.No thanks.

Please note that German Financial Authority, Bafin have issued a cease and desist order and ordered Karatgold to stop trading KCB/KBC coins in Germany (through the issuing co Belize co). They are obviously very concerned about the company and doing whatever they can to stop this (very likely ponzi scheme).

Have read that Belize is a favorite global destination for questionable “financial” companies to have their regulation enshrined. Their regulatory bodies are known to have easy compliance, and are rarely policed / toothless.

Their only concern is whether Karabars needs registration to offer these products. They reserved judgement as to whether its a scam, which is why they said in their declaration that its open to revision. AMF was worried about the same, and then after an investigation found the company to be legitimate.

Put things into perspective and don’t go off on your high horses with conclusions far too premature. How about you let the BaFin do their due diligence and then after they come to a conclusion based on evidence, come to your own?

1) It is a common complaint from Karatbars’ very own affiliates that the gold they’re selling sold is overpriced.
The current gold price is €42,65 per gram.
Karatbars is charging €86,80 for their 1 gram physical gold coin.
How Karatbars can justify charging double the going rate for their gold coin is a real mystery. It also makes no financial sense for anyone to buy at that price when other options like Krugerrands and ETFs exist.

2) Beware the cult of personality that surrounds this scheme. Their modus operandi is to book flashy conference venues around the world and they often rope in a few well-known faces to add further hype to their sales sessions.

3) Affiliates have warned that once they run out of family members or friends to sell to, they end up losing their money spent on the scheme and never regain their money.

4) The 2014 warning issued to Karatbars by Quebec’s AMF led to two years of litigation, which ultimately ended with a ruling in the AMF’s favour in 2016. Karatbars was ordered to cease operating and promoting in Canada. The individual affiliates and Karatbars were fined for violating the Canadian Securities Act. The AMF held that Karatbars affiliates are investors, that the contracts between the affiliates and Karatbars are investment contracts and that, accordingly, they are subject to the rules that the AMF is responsible for enforcing.

5) Karatbars has deliberately avoided marketing their cryptocurrency to residents of the USA, Canada, China, and Singapore due to these countries requiring them to register with the securities regulator in that country in order to do so. No legitimate financial services company has ever shied away from registering with the authorities. Why does Karatbars want to do so?

6) Affiliates in Las Vegas who tried to convert their Karatbars cryptocurrency to gold were met with apologies by Karatbars on YouTube, because it couldn’t be done. Try to do the same yourself or try to see if the cryptocurrency has any use/value outside of the Karatbars ecosystem and you’ll quickly see if they’re leading you in the right direction or not.

7) Are Karatbars and their affiliates complying with our local regulations like the Precious Metals Act and FICA? If not, affiliates are facing more than just administrative sanctions, imprisonment in a South African jail is also on the cards if these laws are not being adhered to.

Well said, paxpecunia…I wish I could give you more up-votes!

Add to what you said, there’s also reports which question Karatgold’s link to a Madagascar gold mine, that supposedly serves as the underlying support their ‘gold backed’ crypto. KBC is an impressively camouflaged Ponzi/MLM, abusing an otherwise valid crypto sphere, to operate in. It also attracts ‘believers’ among us that’s easier led into media-hyped conspiracy talk about the “soon to crash” Fiat global monetary system….easy sell.

Thanks, Michael.

The Fort Dauphin mine exists in a remote part of Madagascar, but it isn’t a gold mine. It’s a titanium and zircon mine. It’s owned by Rio Tinto and QIT Madagascar Minerals, not Karatbars. So this is yet another mysterious claim to add to the growing list of questions surrounding this scheme.

It is false for any Karatbars affiliate to state that their cryptocurrency is backed by actual gold. It’s not even directly linked to their so-called CashGold gimmick – their own whitepaper on the cryptocurrency admits as much.

I wouldn’t even give them the compliment of calling the scheme “impressively camouflaged”. It’s layers of contradictory convolutions stacked on top of one another. But the signs are beginning to show that the tower is about to come tumbling down with the announcement of the investigations in Florida and Stuttgart, Germany.

Regarding the whole cryptocurrency space, I wouldn’t agree that there is much legitimacy to be found there. The bitcoin and cryptocurrency market has lost a combined $170 billion since the year-to-date high in June.

I can understand people’s scepticism about the world’s financial markets at this time, but unregulated and high-risk alternatives are not the solution. There is a certain measure of safety in traditional alternatives like Kruggerrands and there really is no need to put one’s money at risk in excessively complex alternatives.

I hope that the FSCA will take further action to protect South African consumers against this scheme.

@paxpecunia

What a lot-a-cobblecock!

Your lies are so obvious and easily refuted it brings into question whose agenda you are punting?

1 The current price of gold you quote is the spot price…only banks, governments and big corp get this price.

Karatbars’ price for any amount of gold is €50.60/g.

3 The is no fee to register as an affiliate, so you cannot lose money you never paid. You buy gold and can only lose this money if the gold price goes to zero.

4 The AMF ruling favoured Karatbars, NOT the AMF…Karatbars operates freely throughout Canada

5 KBC is a utility token not subject to regulation in USA, Canada, China or Singapore. Affiliates in these countries are free to own and do own KBC. I personally have 4 US citizens that contributed KBC to our Master Node.

6 My daughter was in Las Vegas and stood in a queue to redeem her 100 KBC for 1g CashGold. She and thousands of others did so.

7 Affiliates are not trading in gold. They do not buy and sell. They only buy gold from Karatbars for their own account and pay the import duties etc when Fedex delivers. There is no regulation whatsoever attached to buying gold. Karatbars has complied with regulation in every jurisdiction in which it operates, including SA.

I’m not surprised that you would invent words when answering my comment, Myricals. You must truly believe in financial miracles if you think that Karatbars will bring anyone near any kind of financial success.

1) Nope. Go to your favourite Karatbars website and double check what a Karatbank coin is going for these days. You will be unpleasantly surprised.

2) You omitted this point in your response. I wonder why. 🙂 Perhaps because you’ve been brainwashed already?

3) Oh, there are most definitely fees for affiliate memberships – they have a whole pyramid of gold status, etc. You seem to enjoy misinformation.

4) Perhaps that’s what your leadership have told you to respond, but if you actually bothered to read further as to what’s occurred since 2016, you will again be unpleasantly surprised.

5) You’re missing the point as to why the cryptocurrency wasn’t supposed to be sold to people in those jurisdictions. Your leadership is not going to be very impressed with you.

6) I believe that she stood in a queue – that’s the only part of your response with an ounce of truth. I don’t believe for a second that she was able to convert KBC to anything with an ounce of value. Come on now, be honest with yourself.

7) Karatbars trades in gold – they state explicitly in their affiliate agreements that they sell precious metals. What are the affiliates doing if not referring people to the scheme to buy precious metals?

Your last paragraph reveals that you have no clue how precious metals (of which gold is one) are regulated in South Africa. This is the biggest warning sign of all.

Karatbars has had numerous warnings issued against it by various international financial regulators. If you bothered to read anything other than Karatbars marketing material, you would know that by now.

There’s a very simple way to convince me of your arguments: show us your and your daughter’s bank statements if what you’re claiming is true. Of course you won’t and I’m sure you’ll have a lot of fun coming up with “cobblecock” reasons why not.

PS. Well done to Adriaan Kruger on a well researched article. We need more of this on Moneyweb!

1 Disingenuous of you to quote a collector’s item? Here is the price of 1g CashGold which 99.99% of affiliates & customers purchase:
http://myricalgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/Cashgold-1g.jpg

2 Never been to one so cannot comment.

3 Here are some of the people we have sponsored who paid zero for free membership:
http://myricalgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/Free-registration.jpg

4 “Karatbars has prevailed on all points but one. The Tribunal reversed its conclusion on the ex parte order and confirmed, in a very lengthy judgment available here (in French): http://canlii.ca/t/gvl90, that the Karatbars marketing plan is not an investment contract, and therefore, that Karatbars can sell same without the need of being a registered issuer.”
Go read it…

5 Karatbars’ biggest communities are in those jurisdictions…Karatbars definitely did not avoid marketing in them. Karatbars is NOT a financial services company.

6 Are all these videos are false?
https://youtu.be/DULYhTWbU1Q
https://youtu.be/73005FjqY-8
https://youtu.be/9IFKbrVaE8g
https://youtu.be/4V3D6otnOQM

7 Karatbars is registered and complies with LBMA regulations and complies with section 2.10.6 of the Department of Resources, Precious Metals Trade.

@paxpecunia

“Well done to Adriaan Kruger on a well researched article. We need more of this on Moneyweb!”

I agree with you 100%! The same can be said about his article regarding House of Monopoly (Pty) Ltd less than two weeks ago.

Your comments have hit the nail on the head, they make up words and never actually address the questions or provide actual evidence, it’s just insults or claims, but like you said, even their whitepaper contradicts itself.

@paxpecunia

1 The current price of gold you quote is the spot price…only banks, governments and big corp get this price.

Karatbars’ price for any amount of gold is currently €50.60/g.

3 The is no fee to register as an affiliate, so you cannot lose money you never paid. You buy gold and can only lose this money if the gold price goes to zero.

4 The AMF ruling favoured Karatbars, NOT the AMF…Karatbars operates freely throughout Canada

5 KBC is a utility token not subject to regulation in USA, Canada, China or Singapore. Affiliates in these countries are free to own and do own KBC. I personally have 4 US citizens that contributed KBC to our Master Node.

6 My daughter was in Las Vegas and stood in a queue to redeem her 100 KBC for 1g CashGold. She and thousands of others did so.

7 Affiliates are not trading in gold. They do not buy and sell. They only buy gold from Karatbars for their own account and pay the import duties etc when Fedex delivers. There is no regulation whatsoever attached to buying gold. Karatbars has complied with regulation in every jurisdiction in which it operates, including SA.

Myricals,

Ive come to the understanding that people like IcedCoffee are the types who hold compensating for their own insecurities and feelings of deficiency as more important than truth. Thats why you can talk patiently, explain, provide all sorts of reasonings and even evidence, they will still troll away for the simple reason that they enjoy it. What we have with people like this are pleasure-seekers who enjoy trolling- not balanced minds who are concerned with inquiry and proper analysis.

@AmerNatal

Is that your professional clinical psychological assessment?

You speak of truth, yet the claims by people associated with karatbars has too many inconsistencies to keep track of, unsubstantiated claims and everything is done in the grey area of the law.

Karatbars makes so many claims and yet can’t provide evidence. Did you even listen to the interview with Danie van Zyl on Moneyweb’s RSG Geldsake? Not sure if you understand Afrikaans, but it is very clear from that interview that karatbars is a balloon of hot air waiting to pop.
He dodged questions and couldn’t provide a shred of evidence.

Just because it sounds like someone can make an argument doesn’t say anything about the factual truth of the information. Not sure if you ever had debating at school where one had to defend total bogus topics or science.

If someone is good enough in their argument or communication they can make you question anything or everything or alternatively they can sell you anything.

Have you heard or read of the idiom that says, “he’s such a smooth talker, he could sell ice to Eskimos”?

“Try to do the same yourself or try to see if the cryptocurrency has any use/value outside of the Karatbars ecosystem and you’ll quickly”

Ummmm all those coins can be sold and exchanged on several major public exchanges. Again, where do you get your info from?

@AmerNatal, which “major” exchanges are you referring to? KBC was actually removed from certain exchanges like HitBTC.

The one random site which I did manage to find lists your KBC coin as being worth 0.00000204 bitcoin or 0.016243 dollars or R0,24.

So your KBC coin is worth about as much as a 20c coin. Wow. What an underwhelming “investment”.

My information comes from reputable websites across the Internet that are publically available for all to see and research for themselves.

Where does your information come from? I won’t even bother to ask. 🙂

@AmerNatal ignore paxpecunia.

His objective is to spread lies & smear Karatbars (see the obvious lies he spreads in this thread); he appears to be on the same agenda as those who stand to lose most with the Karatbars’ blockchain technology.

He knows that:

– KBC is listed 13 exchanges and will increase over time.

– KBC started at less than a cent and even at the current price is massive growth.

– 1xKBC is actually worth over R30 right now in the gold we draw from the CEMs.

– all his sources are either fake news or extrapolated from fake news which he chooses to perpetuate to fit his agenda.

Correction: KBC worth R7.05/KBC in gold drawn from CEMs…goes to R9.40/KBC in January at current gold price.

@Myricals

Wow, that gold price in January!
Seeing into the future now are we?

@IcedCoffee

Not the gold price; the value of KBC in gold.

I just smile at the ignorance…

@Myricals

Oh no wait, at the current gold price the value of karatbars will increase?

But I thought karatbars is linked to the gold price and that is why it is so wonderful, because it can’t be manipulated like other crypto’s?
I could have sworn one of the selling points of karatbars is that it is tied to an asset like gold, thus moves in line with the gold price. I mean that is the reason why they claim to mine fake gold in Madagascar, not?

You sure stepped in that one. That wasn’t even the point of my comment. Hilarious!

How can you predict the price will be R9.40/KBC in January?
Magical Myrical Moon Dust?

@IcedCoffee

You are entrenching my point that you are completely ignorance about Karatbars.

Karatbars is not backed by gold, KBC is backed by gold.

We currently exchange KBC100/1g gold (cR7.05/KBC at current gold price) and in January, we exchange KBC75/1g gold (cR9.40/KBC at current gold price).

This is not a prediction, it is a guarantee…my only caveat being that calculations are based on the current the gold price.

The conversion rate of KBC to gold will continue to decrease as more gold is deposited to the vaults. Eventually, down to KBC1/1g gold.

@Myricals

Oh my goodness…#facepalm

“Karatbars is not backed by gold, KBC is backed by gold.”
Is that your argument? Because I used the word karatbars instead of KBC?
Whatever man, you’re missing my point, again.

Let’s get back to the point again.

You say, “This is not a prediction, it is a guarantee…my only caveat being that calculations are based on the current the gold price.”

Does anything stand out to you?

Maybe the word “guarantee”?

“my only caveat being that calculations are based on the current the gold price”

Do you even read what you right? You remind me of some politicians that dig their own holes because they can’t keep track of the lies and false information that they need to repeat and they then make their own noose out of these lies and false information.

You and the karatbars people, including Danie van Zyl speak about these vaults. Since Danie couldn’t provide an answer, I suggest you go and look and see if you can find those vaults and if you can go view the gold.

Don’t be shocked if it turns out if there is a wizard of oz behind the curtain.

The leaders in SA are making a lot of money. They love flaunting their business class flights and fine dining on social media and one leader has been showing off his new mansion in Cape Town. My question is are they declaring this substantial income to SARS and paying income tax?

@Crypto George

All income & capital growth is declared. Customs Duty and VAT is paid on all Karatbars’ products delivered by FedEx.

Given that many SA Karatbars’ Affiliates are part of a greater wealth mastery system in SA, tax is mitigated through local & offshore trusts and via a SARS registered S12j company listed on the JSE.

As NON-Networkers we have generated more income & wealth from our efforts in 5 years than any financial planner in the world could do for us in a lifetime. I know this after 25 years in the financial services industry, including BoE & Investec, and personal experience of the products they peddle to middle-class SA.

My daughter at age 22 will never have to work a day in her life thanks to Karatbars and the like. She is free to pursue her passion unlike the myriad of SA citizens sitting on the sidelines begging for jobs.

@Myricals

After 37 years in the investment industry and 17 of those years heavily involved in the gold mining industry, I wasn’t making money until I started selling Herbalife products. Now I’m retired and my kids and grandkids can pursue any studies they wish and never have to work for anyone ever.

I chose to beg by the side of the road for a job when I get board and make R2’500/hour just for kicks.

Oh wait…are we not suppose to suck nonsense out of our thumbs?
Whoops, guess everything I wrote was a lie, or was it…?

Do you see how little meaning your so called “personal account” means Myricals?

Good for you, mate…1 of the 1%…

@Myricals

Seems like you didn’t understand my comment.
I see why you don’t understand why karatbars is a pyramid scheme…

Good for me? What that I won’t put R1 into karatbars? I know.
If the good for me is aimed at something else, I guess, yes good for me.

I mean good for you that you have a keyboard and an internet connection. VIVA!

Now you see why I exposed you as a troll?

@Myricals

Expose away will you please, but do not stop there. Go and expose karatbars for what it really is, not what you are told to tell people what it is.

It seems that you once again (I’ve lost count) have missed the point.

You write this wonderful memoir which for all we know is sucked out of thin air or your thumb (like the one I wrote to illustrate my point) and you expect us to believe you based on this memoir, that karatbars is some myrical that will bring us riches?

You sir, are a hilarious.

Sadly the truth is only a small percentage of people will get rich from karatbars, but many will lose their money.

P.S. Have you followed the Highveld Syndication property syndication schemes or the Tigon trial with Gary Porritt? Those people dodge and dive for their whole life to get away with money they stole.

Does the company karatbars actually make anything? Cause it weirdly looks like a bag of money that gets bigger the more people join. What happens with everyone’s funds when Harald Seiz grabs the bag and runs?
The people that bought gold or KBC have some gold they can go and pawn off? For which they paid a 40% premium?

I have read this article by a learned journalist, and most of the comments placed and frankly I am flabbergasted by the absence of fact, the lack of understanding of Karatbars, and the pure journalistic sensationalism espoused.
Do your self a favour
Read the Auditors Financial Report on the activities of the Company (which by the way verifies the assets within the business) undertaken by Deloitte no less.
Study the vision of Harald Seiz and it becomes very plain that here is a man with a vision that quite frankly I do not think the the world is ready to accept
For those that can remember cast your mind back to the response that Bill Gates and Stephen Jobs received when they addressed “The Big Blue” (IBM) re the concept of the PC – They were laughed out of the building
Where is IBM today versus Apple and Microsoft
The essence of Karatbars is to provide you with the opportunity to exchange your FIAT Currency for tradeable gold – “Save in Gold”
In just the same way that you exchange your FIAT Currency for Groceries at the Grocer – Checkers, Pick n Pay, it is your choice where to make the exchange
Break it down into the simple elements and the suspicion and perceived murkiness will lift

Marvin Steinberg recently admitted to his crimes in jail, and on top of that has mentioned the names of media outlets he hired to conduct this smear campaign. It has been an entire media conspiracy which is now being uncovered. You can read about this recent news here(you will need to translate from German): https://www.berlinertageszeitung.de/politik/53735-karatbars-%E2%80%9Emarvin-steinberg-gest%C3%A4ndnis-bei-polizei-und-das-handelsblatt%E2%80%9C%20.html

Anybody who wants more insight about how Karatbars has been a victim online of an orchestrated smear campaign should read this. This is the confession of Marvin Steinberg, the man who stole billions of coins from Karatbars and orchestrated fake news to damage the reputation of the company in order to manipulate market prices. Yet another tribute to the same message people; to do proper due diligence. Dont automatically believe the negative nonsense that has been perpetrated against this company:

https://www.berlinertageszeitung.de/politik/53735-karatbars-%E2%80%9Emarvin-steinberg-gest%C3%A4ndnis-bei-polizei-und-das-handelsblatt%E2%80%9C%20.html

@AmerNatal

“This is the confession of Marvin Steinberg, the man who stole billions of coins from Karatbars and orchestrated fake news to damage the reputation of the company in order to manipulate market prices.”

Wow, that sounds like someone who’s confession I should trust.

Maybe I should call Jordan Belfort and ask him to invest some of my money since he’s served his time and confessed.

Oh wait…maybe not.

Do you even comprehend how ignorant you portray yourself to be by posting this last comment and link?

If not, I again suggest you consider some time spent on self-reflection. I would like to suggest doing some research on meditation, ayahuasca or even a hero’s journey, but it seems the research you do is very selective and tainted with opinion so you might call me a something something troll (or something evil), but consider giving yourself some quiet time.

IcedCoffee,

I actually teach meditation full time and used to live as an hermit for several years. Funny you should mention that.

Yes, actually you should trust Marvins confession. Already two cryptocurrencies who worked with Steinberg under similar circumstances have become bankrupt, so other companies besides Karatbars have experienced the same. This aside, Herald Seiz has been saying for a while that the fake news perpetrated against Karatbars is likely the work of Steinberg. It is a genuine confession, did you read it? The names of two other people have been mentioned along with the media outlets he hired to spread this fake news. So it is an entire media conspiracy which is unravelling and I will not be surprised if there is more news to follow in this direction. You should take it seriously, because this is a serious issue that deals with corruption in the media in general. This is real stuff, its not a joke.

I dont think I portray myself as ignorant, and the link needed to be shared. If youre basing your conclusions on information obtained from these media outlets, it should certainly concern you. If it doesnt, then I propose that it is none other than yourself who is being idiotic. Are you contented to believe false info that has been given to you? Or do you want to be somebody well informed who does their proper due diligence?

If this is your attitude that you want to remain blind to facts simply because youre a troll and only prefer to dwell on the negative at all costs, no matter what anybody says and regardless of any evidence provided to you, then youre simply a fanatic with an extremist attitude. Or perhaps you simply enjoy the feeling of self importance that comes out of argument, but it is only a sign of intelligence to alter ones attitude when one comes into contact with information that is contrary to what one has believed.

@IcedCoffeeTroll…resorting to abuse when he loses the debate.

Do you even see your denial of the facts, Mr Troll?
Everyone else here does…

@AmerNatal & Myricals

You sure do put a lot of eggs in one basket called Marvin Steinberg.

Again I ask, how can you trust him? What actual facts do you have? Why would he suddenly confess? Did he get some form of payment from someone? Why can’t this story be fabricated? What has he got to gain from coming out now?

You do realise that you are accepting one persons confession to legitimize the whole of karatbars?

That is like saying you trust Angelo Agrizzi is telling the truth and nothing but the truth in the state capture enquiry, without a shred of evidence. If he provides evidence, black ink on white paper and other sources can corroborate the evidence, then it’s a whole different story.

P.S. Gavin Watson didn’t kill himself & neither did Jeffrey Epstein

IcedCoffee,

How about you actually read the article first? Marvin Steinberg “suddenly” confessed because he was arrested by Dubai police. They have issued a full official report explaining the situation.

Two other companies besides Karatbars have experienced similar symptoms working with Steinberg, and both coins of those companies are no longer traded anywhere because of the damage Steinberg has done. Its a long story to explain here, but Steinberg would actually be curiously trolling videos on Karatbars on YouTube, targeting all the videos which were smearing them. He also sent out Facebook requests and opened conversations pretending to still be with the company and offer support. I did not have a conversation with him but I actually received a random friend request from him. I proceeded to block him immediately. For many weeks he used to publish actually his own smear material on the company. None of this is normal behaviour.

He confessed in Dubai because he was caught red-handed. If he was innocent, nothing would have stopped him from fighting for his innocence.

In either case, it is interesting you are quick to be skeptical about whether Steinberg actually confessed, while at the same time not being skeptical about the claims against Karatbars. Do you have double standards?

@AmerNatal

Wow…the Troll didn’t even bother to read the article of Marvin Steinberg’s arrest and the fact that the numskull cybercriminal is sitting in jail…let alone read the accounting experts report.

Ignore him…Trolls thrive on attention.

This may be an interesting topic for Moneyweb to do some research on in future:
Criminals creating entire “news websites” that have been designed with the sole purpose of placing fake articles defending their schemes. The http://www.berlinertageszeitung.de is one such example.

This is a newspaper established in 1945. Are you saying that Karatbars execs actual acquired it in the late 90’s or even earlier, posted a myriad of articles over the past 20 years, 12 years before Karatbars was established, with a view that they may need to post articles to protect the image of a company that was yet to be created?

Correction: Established 2004…same argument applies with Karatbars created in 2011.

Thank you all for the healthy debate. Facts and counter arguments were presented as well as the customary insults (my apologies for my part).

In synopsis, it can be concluded, based on the facts presented, that this article is summarily debunked.

@Myricals

Congratulations, you won nothing.

I hope we can discuss other financial news stories in the future where there are more facts present.

WOW….!! 138 comments to date, and counting!

Adriaan Kruger! YOU sir, has created a MONSTER! 😉

I sadly note plenty of comments between a handful of die-hard commentators….for and against.

Look, I don’t think any of the (against) commentators are here to mock any Karatgold investors….we simply want to warn others to be careful. I’ve found MW’s commentators a helpful bunch, although we have all different personal views 😉 It just needs reciprocate respect.

Despite that I’m (still) not convinced about KBC and the scheme’s bona-fides, I would LOVE TO HEAR in future from Myricals & AmerNatal re their successes (or failures) re Karatgold. Two of my clients are already into it. No hard feelings. I also wish the said followers well, and hope it works out well for you 🙂

Such financial freedom is not meant for me. I would like to see others to have financial freedom…like the founder.

One characteristic that is another red flag (now that its mentioned in comment sections) about internal mudslinging of scheme members or ex-members, and smear-campaigns, etc…that you don’t know who to believe. I don’t care about the nitty gritty detail. If I want to be involved such an organisation, I’d go and make shady dealings with characters at my local biker’s pub.

Reputable financial institutions’ CEO’s don’t enter into smear-campaigns, mudslinging against CEO’s of competitor banks or asset managers. Not the norm.

Also, when one google “is Karatgold a scam”….you’re going to end up reading an overwhelming number of sites/responders that have vehement arguments for and against (for such a lesser known small scheme).

Conversely, when one google “is ABSA/FNB/Nedbank/Investec/Coronation/JPMorgan/HSBC/SocieteGenerale a scam”….you’re hardly going to find similar scope of for and against arguments. Point is, reputable organisations don’t have to defend themselves to prove that they’re not a scam.

Why then is it necessary of KBC to defend themselves? OK, as there’s so-called smear-campaigns against them, I ask myself “why?” What type of underworld are we dealing with here?

I just hope NOT EVERYONE goes into KBC or similar schemes, for the simple reason if EVERYONE on the planet is able to earn an income from Karatgold….everyone will leave their careers, and practice this scheme only. There will be NO NEED to work. Then there will be no doctors, no greengrocers, no fuel deliveries, no IT people (systems will be down worldwide), no shops, no farmers….we all will earn a living from KBC.

Just rational thinking.

I wish no harm to those for KBC. If it works for you…amen…you have found your answer. I hope it does well for those individuals.

…and omitted to close off almost like a British officer’s typical expression:

“AS YOU WERE & CARRY ON” with Karatbars.

@MichaelfromKlerksdorp

Good summary there, could not agree with you more.

As you mentioned, “Why then is it necessary of KBC to defend themselves? OK, as there’s so-called smear-campaigns against them, I ask myself “why?” What type of underworld are we dealing with here?” – MichaelfromKlerksdorp

There have been a number of big companies in the last few years that have gone through some terrible publicity and I can’t help and ask who do you believe and why do the stories from the insiders differ so vastly. Since the facts almost never see the light of day, I would encourage people to be cautious and careful who and what to believe as “facts” can also be fabricated.

Just look at what kind of things have come out in South Africa in the last few years and the pools of corruption, we’ve had some of the big accounting firms and the likes of McKinsey making names for themselves.

The Old Mutual & Peter Moyo saga was a good example of why I haven’t done business with OM in a good number of years. I don’t want to be near when the pawpaw hits the fan and the pips go flying.

As you put so well Michael, “One characteristic that is another red flag (now that its mentioned in comment sections) about internal mudslinging of scheme members or ex-members, and smear-campaigns, etc…that you don’t know who to believe. I don’t care about the nitty gritty detail. If I want to be involved such an organisation, I’d go and make shady dealings with characters at my local biker’s pub.”

IcedCoffee,

Actually if you knew about the Marvin Steinberg case details, there is no doubt at all about the crimes he committed. There is no reason why he would confess to something he has not done either. If it were false, and yet he still confessed, it would only because there was something incriminating against him, which amounts to almost the same. He was certainly arrested in Dubai as the department handling the interrogations have released an official report explaining the situation. He is 100% guilty, and there are two other collaborators who have also been named. This aside, two other companies have been on the lookout for Steinberg as they experienced the same problems as Karatbars. These are facts, not heresay. Read about the case from official documents and other commentaries, you clearly need to get up to speed on this.

All this aside, why do you have enough criticism to suspect that maybe Marvin Steinberg is innocent? Why do you not have the same open skepticism with Karatbars being innocent and a legitimate project? The court judgement in Quebec declared it to be legitimate after a thorough investigation. They found it was not a pyramid scheme. Again, this is not hearsay. Get off your impatient ass and read the official report about the case and court ruling.

So do you have double standards? Where is the same objective skepticism about Karatbars being a legitimate project? You are certainly quick to assume Marvin Steinberg might not have scammed the company inspite of all the evidence against him and by his own confession which confirms the evidence. Finally, why would he confess if innocent (he did indeed confess according to the official report from Dubai).

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