Posts Earth2: Scam or the Next Bitcoin? My Research...
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Earth2: Scam or the Next Bitcoin? My Research...

Good evening, YouTube!

Intro

I was minding my own business this Sunday when Quora interrupted me with a notification (little bit of a sidebar, I was watching the Netflix movie, The Social Dilemma this weekend… highly recommend), which I fell trap to, so I opened their app and began scrolling. After a quick peruse, I ran into this post, which looked… interesting. Note that it’s a promoted post (🚩) and I try to avoid these at all costs, but, against my own judgment, I began to read about this thing called “Earth2”.

Earth2 promoted post on Quora

What is Earth2?

To save you the time, Earth2 is basically a “company” that has decided it will duplicate the Earth into 10m x 10m = 100m2 sections (The Earth divides into 5.1 trillion 100m2 sections for those math majors at home) and sell them as plots of land in a digital world. Eventually it sees augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) taking place in this “digital world”. Possibly something similar to Second Life? But… cool… nothing terribly wrong with that.

Where I began to have some red flags pop up is when, literally, in the first sentence of this promo I find values are currently increasing at 1% an hour… I’m no math major, but, 1% an hour is ~27% a day. If you continue compounding for a year, you will end up with ~7x1039% (~7000000000000000000000000000000000000000%)…….. Uhm, yeah, that’s more money than there is in the entire world (~1.2 quadrillion = ~1.2x1015 = ~1200000000000000), and by a long shot. 🚩

Well, now that we’ve got that unrealistic expectation out of the way…

The post on Quora goes on to say that there’s five sources of income for Earth2.

  1. Land value:
    • The price of land inside Earth2 fluctuates from country to country. Each country starts at the very attractive price of $0.10 for 10mx10m of land. The value changes depending on trading price and demand per country giving you potential opportunities to buy low and sell high.
      • (Conveniently this fails to mention the opportunity to buy high and sell low… Er, I guess, the mis-opportunity) 🚩
    • This trading platform is available and operational right now and is a potential way for early buyers to earn big returns on their land purchases.
      • (lol at earn big returns) 🚩
  2. Land income tax:
    • Tax, if I understand correctly, where you get a percentage of the sale of land in a country where you also own land. So, it sounds like the more people that use the game and buy land, the more you will make… Hmm. Sounds like you’re being, almost, paid to recruit new users..? Hmm, let’s see what’s next.
  3. Referral system:
    • Actually, you literally get paid to recruit new users (5% savings for you and 5% savings for them).
      • Now, referral programs are very normal and there’s not much harm with them to incentivize new users. For example, with Uber or DoorDash, etc. whoever you refer, they will normally offer ~10% off of their first order and you will also get ~10% off of your next order, etc. That’s fine, that’s sustainable. But, note that those companies don’t give you 10% off of all of your orders for life. Which, Earth2’s referral system is “5% off of all future purchases”. Yikes. But, at least they’re not giving percentages for who your referrals refer, because that is the literal definition of a pyramid scheme.

Some other sources of income that will be available later… they require many things to go as planned, so for present-day purposes, they are not terribly relevant to this evaluation.

Common Earth2 Talking Points

As I continued to research, a common theme that I saw is the comparison to other extremely risky and speculative assets. AKA “It happened once, it could happen again”. While they’re not wrong, they are tip-toeing down a slippery slope. The example in the Quora post is comparing Earth2 to The Million Dollar Homepage. The Million Dollar Homepage has one million pixels each for sale for $1 on its website. They are arranged in a 1000 x 1000 (= 1,000,000) grid. No foul play in this idea, but, note who got rich there. Was it the guy selling the pixels or was it the people buying them? 🚩

Finally, to the conclusion of the Quora post, the author says that he would “put a couple of hundred dollars” into it. Remember that if you put a couple of hundred dollars into it, he’ll make 5% of a couple hundred if you use his referral code (and, of course, he gave his referral code in the post).

Another theme I see with these Earth2 posts is trying to give credibility to the company. The Quora post states that “The Oculus founder has announced that he is also actively involved with Earth2”, while the linked Twitter post states that “Oculus co-founder updated his LinkedIn to CONFIRM he is working on Earth2.io”… although it links to Dillon Seo’s LinkedIn which states that he is a freelance worker for Earth2 doing “business advising”… Now, I’m not sure if I’d say “advising” is similar to “working on”, but, sure. 🚩

Earth2 = Next Bitcoin?

I did some further digging through YouTube and was disappointed, but not surprised as to how many videos there are promoting Earth2. Notice that nearly every video is giving out their referral code. It seems like people are advertising this over many different forms of social media. I’ve seen some younger people mention they’re finding out about it via TikTok. I’ve even seen a few videos comparing Earth2 to bitcoin. One YouTube comment, in particular, was made on a video that Earth2 published. The (now edited/deleted) comment read “Imagine if this will going like bitcoin?”. The comment even had a “love symbol” from Earth2 themselves! 🚩

Earth2 likes a comment on their video comparing Earth2 to bitcoin

Let’s actually compare this to bitcoin. Let’s start by looking at bitcoin’s website and see how many times they mention that you can make money buying bitcoin… Nothing on the main page, maybe we can find something in the FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions):

  • Q: Can I make money with bitcoin?
  • A: You should never expect to get rich with Bitcoin or any emerging technology. It is always important to be wary of anything that sounds too good to be true or disobeys basic economic rules.

Well, we were comparing this to someone’s post that we read on Quora, let’s actually check Earth2’s website: https://earth2.io/. Well, they start things off with a ticker at the top of the website with land going up >30,000%… That’s not sustainable but okay, it’s subtle enough, maybe they haven’t actually said anywhere that ‘this will make you money’.

Earth2 land prices increasing >30,000%

And a side note that if you’re scrolling through their website, you will come across their intro video, which, I will give them credit, is pretty slick!

Continuing to scroll down the page you will find a section titled “Make profit now”. Oof. That’s quite blatant and I don’t think I need to elaborate on that any further. 🚩

Earth2: Make Profit Now

Depositing vs Withdrawing

The next thing I wanted to briefly talk about is getting money in and out of Earth2. Getting money in is very easy, with many different options from PayPal to credit cards. However, withdrawing is a different story. I’m not surprised you can’t withdraw via credit card as credit cards are more of a one-way type of transaction, however I am surprised you cannot receive money from PayPal. Maybe that would be.. too easy, because these are the hoops you have to jump through to withdraw:

  • Only via ACH transfer (bank to bank)
  • Need to give Earth2 the following info:
    • Full legal name
    • Current address
    • Account name
    • Email address
    • Exact bank account name
    • Account number
    • Phone number
  • All of this needs to be sent via email to credits@earth2.io 🤯

Why is this feature not built into your Earth2 account? Maybe having users withdraw wasn’t part of the plan… I’m joking… somewhat.

If they’re doing this via email, then it’s not automated. Users have posted images of their “withdrawal confirmation emails”. This means that deposits are automated, but withdrawals are not! 🚩

Earth2 Terms and Conditions

And now, as the magician says: “For my final trick, I will disappear!”. Well, not me, just your dollars. Before giving your money to any website, you should always read the terms and conditions. I’ll be honest with you, I didn’t read the whole thing, but just a quick skim gave me two massive red flags (🚩🚩). The first being this typo in the terms and conditions:

Typo in Earth2 Terms and Conditions

Did they not have anyone proofread this?

Finally, the big kicker, the moment you’ve all been waiting for:

We reserve the right in the future to convert your holding of Virtual Land (or any equivalent credits held in the Earth2 platform) to an equivalent value of a crypto-currency that we may create in the future. Any conversion would be conducted at a valuation reasonably determined by us.

Soooo, in other words, whenever they get tired of letting people withdraw $USD, they will let make you withdraw Earth2 bucks. Or, if you’re lucky, maybe even Schrute bucks. 🚩

Conclusion

That’s the extent of my research. Long story short, I will not be putting any of my money into Earth2 anytime soon. I envision that the developers will continue to keep pumping up land value until, eventually, too many users start to initiate withdraw requests, and once that happens they will halt withdrawals and the house of cards will begin to fall. However, I think they will still let you withdraw, but only in their own cryptocurrency. Once they flip this switch, they will remind you of all the development they have planned and the potential value that this cryptocurrency could have. However, I see that development trickling to a halt and they will have essentially have performed an exit scam.

However, with all of this, I still think you can make money in Earth2, as long as you can withdraw in time and beat the ticking time bomb (not likely).

Lastly, I haven’t given a quote yet, so I will finish this post with:

“If it’s too good to be true, it probably is”

Goodnight, I’ll see you in the next video.

🚩

This post is licensed under CC BY 4.0 by the author.