High-Yield Investment Program (HYIP)

A High-Yield Investment Program (HYIP) is a type of Ponzi Scheme, which is an investment scam. At one time, 'HYIP' was used in the financial services sector to refer to an investment program which may have offered a high return on investment. The term "HYIP" was abused by the operators of scams to camouflage their scams as legitimate investments. Due to this overuse by the operators, HYIP has become synonymous with scam or Ponzi Scheme. The usage of the term has evolved to refer to a kind of Ponzi scheme that recruits "investors" through the Internet. Due to the widespread abuse of this term by Internet Ponzi schemes, reputable financial services no longer label themselves as "High Yield Investment Programs".


Online HYIP schemes rarely last for the long term. Overwhelming number of cases suggest that HYIPs are Ponzi schemes, in which new investors provide the cash to pay a profit to existing investors, which they typically then withdraw.[citation needed] This approach allows the scam to continue as long as new investors are found and/or old investors leave their money in the scheme, known as compounding (because even higher profits are promised).

HYIP operators generally setup a website offering an "investment program" with returns as high as 45% per month or 6% A day that discloses little or no detail about the underlying management, location, or other aspects of how money is to be invested because no money is invested. They often use vague explanations, asserting little more than that they do different types of trading on various stock markets or exchanges to generate the returns they purport


HYIPs may also mirror Pyramid Schemes by offering current investors incentive commissions, for example 10% of current investment, to recruit new investors.


Such programs are doomed by designed and fundamentally flawed.   Such programs are appealing to people‚Äôs greed, while promising making quick money (at the expense of someone else).


HYIP Investment Games

As a result of online forums and monitoring sites which have made HYIP "investors" more aware of their nature, some HYIP operators promote their programs as a "ponzi-structured game" where one should "not invest money one cannot afford to lose", and where there is "never a guarantee of earnings or refunds". They promise to pay out up to, for example, 95% of deposits, the rest going to hosting or other fees and the owner's profit. In such "games", the first participants ("investors") may make a good profit and are encouraged to refer other people to the program because of referral commission, the fact that they have already made back their principal and are playing with profit, and that the more people who deposit money, the more money can be paid out to participants. In theory, strategies can be developed to maximize profit using these games (but, of course, since this is a zero-sum game, such strategies work by taking advantage of ignorance or errors by others). Some forum users may gain a reputation whereby others will trust their word that they have been able to withdraw their profits, encouraging others to invest in the hopes that more will invest after them and that they can therefore make a profit. As these games are by definition Ponzi schemes, it is inevitable that the majority of participants who are not at the top of the pyramid will lose their money. These "games" might be considered as lotteries. However, the odds of winning cannot be determined, as one cannot know whether one is playing early enough to win money (that is, whether a sufficient number of new participants will follow). Thus, these activities are unlike a lottery or other forms of regulated gambling, where a participant has an equal chance of winning no matter when a ticket is bought, or where the odds of the game are known. HYIP programs generally appeal to the same kind of person who is attracted to gambling. Like gambling, HYIP "games" are a way of separating the participant from his money, while offering a small chance of making a profit. This accounts for their rapid proliferation.


HYIPs generally appeal to emotions of investors who are looking to "get something for nothing". Unfortunately, often those who play become part of the scam. They are encouraged to promote it in order to receive payment on their investment. In this aspect, it mirrors a Pyramid scheme in that users must recruit others in order to profit.

Since August 1st, 2013 iGolder is no longer accepting new accounts and balances can only be redeemed. During the past years, we have been recommending Bitcoin more than our own payment system. We believe in physical gold ownership, and developed iGolder as a mechanism for people to acquire physical gold by trading with one another.

Since iGolder has a central point of failure (our server may be raided by thugs wearing some kind of uniform), we feet it is safer for us to cease operations. The iGolder experiment has been personally rewarding as we met many gold enthusiasts and also learned about Bitcoin in the process. For those who have no idea what Bitcoin is, we recommend doing your own research. Bitcoin is far superior to iGolder in every way, both in privacy and security as our server is always vulnerable to confiscation. Bitcoin is a communication protocol with a built-in "escrow service" capable of protecting both the buyer and the seller, rendering our Safetransit completely redundant. To learn more about the Bitcoin protocol and its feature, please watch "http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mD4L7xDNCmA (Bitcoin 2012 London: Mike Hearn).

For those having gold in their iGolder account, we will ship the physical metal to anyone having more than 1 ounce of gold, assuming the owner is willing to assume the shipping costs. For smaller quantities, we offer to settle in Bitcoin, however we will also settle with any other reasonable payment system. We will give everyone at least two full years (until 2016) to contact us to claim their gold. After that period, any unclaimed gold will go to fund an economic development project in Honduras helping local people to become entrepreneurs.

We sincerely wish you the best in life and hope to keep in contact with you.

Yours in liberty,
The iGolder Team.

Update 2014: Since we announced we no longer accept gold transfers, we have received countless emails asking to keep the free gold charts and the PGP encryption tools. We plan to keep running the domain iGolder.com for both the gold charts and the encryption tools. Better, we are developing state of the art open-source software for a secure decentralized social network with a built-in wallet. We will announce when we have a product ready for use. Stay tuned!