Have you been into the network marketing business before? Gosh, it reeks with presentation and buy-in cliché ads. You could almost tell from a mile away when a network marketer is trying to sell some product to you unapologetically. They begin by asking you, ‘have you heard about xyz…?’
And then they go on to convince you on how you could make so much money out of the system by doing simple tasks or buying the product and reselling at a margin price. Well, you get the picture right? Sometimes you just can’t shake them off. And then you buy only to discover that the packaging was all it – nothing more than a hoax.
After being into a couple of MLM campaigns myself, I’m convinced that the market may be viable but lacks certain qualities to truly amplify the potentials, or maybe people just go about it the wrong way.
The market potential of Multi-Level Marketing is a striking $200+ billion USD annually. And this industry still suffers from the incompetency of naiveties and untrained marketers. I do know a couple of friends who have gotten rich through this venture and ended up being poor again.
The major concern is still a unique perspective of the larger percentage of the general population considering MLM business as pyramid schemes and that end up enriching on a few individuals or a single entity. Many people are of the opinion that people should be wary of such get rich quick schemes.
These question, therefore, follows: What is network marketing? What are the objectives of this network service industry? And who is a network marketer?
These three fundamental questions continue to provide an insight into why a product such as UPLINE should exist anyway. Because they provide solutions to some of the major problems plaguing the industry.
First, Network marketing is a way to build up a pool of unique fan hub, a social niche that facilitates the perspectives on how goods can be sold on a person to person basis. This ecosystem of peer marketing, enables individuals to acquire skills necessary to motivate other buyers to become sellers. In the end, a chain is formed, a link between different owners and sub/mini retailers of certain products or services.
You see, clearly, this program was aimed at extending any product’s reach via peer marketing scalable techniques. Hence, promotional benefits should be a win-win.
In this age, people may still have bad opinions about this market because there are a lot of products or promised services out there that do not exist and are complete rip-offs. These, continue to deter people from this market.
The major limitation with this industry can also come from attrition, whereby systemic marketers lose a considerable amount of the team members within their network structure through discouragement, unprofessionalism, and better-paying prospects – as they could not wait patiently to reap the dividends of team building.
The key to success in this venture is in the structure and integrity of each downline within the structure. By integrity, I mean the ability of the interdependent marketer to have a wholesome ideology and much zest.
The potential of MLM does not just help the marketers, but also the company. As they cut back on expenses driven by publicity, and advertising and saving huge amounts in the end.
With over 103 million people having recorded at one time as being participants in network marketing globally, an increase in entrepreneurial activities is specific indicators of the uprise in the industry.
Therefore, it is important to note that this industry is thriving despite the use of outdated models to run the venture.
Moreover, other reasons why people fail in this business is the lack of proper training mechanisms and poor sales orientation guidelines. To others, it might just be sheer bad luck. This is where I thought Upline comes in.
However, while blockchain can intimately solve these problems by extending its characteristic tools to enhance the value communication between network marketers and their prospective clients who in the end should become a reliable disciple, Upline solution is rather simplistic and almost plain with no sophistication that is usually associated with blockchain.
Tokenization can serve as a huge incentive for any business market to obtain rewards that have inherent worth and could appreciate over time. But from the perspective of the Upline business presentation, there’s hardly any mention of blockchain technology to be used to support their platform’s design model other than to integrate multi-cryptocurrency payment gateways. I mean any p2p exchange site can do that also.
More so, there are no consensus algorithm or specific technological ground for which they want to build ‘a decentralized network marketing platform’. It then begs the question; why do they want to tokenize the industry? Or why should the solution be attributed to being blockchain-based?
Everything is now ‘block-chained’, whether or not they understand the use or need for the decentralized ledger or not. In my opinion, I think they just want to raise money to build their product, just like it was stated in their whitepaper. So all the project is truly after is the TGE. But the product can well do without the blockchain.
More so, at a glance, one would think they want to tokenize the MLM industry but the main objective of the token offering is to raise funds to build the platform’s simplified system tools, which will operate basically off-chain from the looks of it. The only thing associating the blockchain to Upline is the presence of smart contracts that will be used during the token generation event.
What should be expected if Upline achieves decentralization of the multi-level marketing industry? They will bring about an order business model to how these marketing procedures are conducted and ensure transparency of data which is recorded on the blockchain for referential purposes.
Moreover, the incentives it provides users of the platform is a rather unique cause to pursue the venture with vigor.
More so, they intend to incorporate into their platform, a turn-key application layout that removes all knowledge barriers that hinders the industry.
The model of duplication – as Upline’s vision, is summed up to mean that a cycle is created to ensure that stakeholders of the industry can rely on a template business or network marketing operation model.
As for a prototype, the platform has an MVP that prospective users can interact with to familiarize themselves with what features are to be expected when the final product is released.
Upline was to raise a minimum start-up capital of 300,000 Euros or a maximum of 14 million Euros to deliver the product to the market. To achieve this, they are willing to generate 111.1 million UPLs tokens at minimum or 222.2 million UPLs tokens as their maximum allowable. Of which, 13,5 million UPLs tokens will be made available during the pre-ICO.
It is expected that the tokens be used as a means to own certain contract with the company, whereby once a year they distribute at least 20% of their annual profits with their stakeholders – those with UPLs tokens.
The crowdsale has two stages: the presale and the ICO main sale. They have three bonus structures, for the presale, it is set at 50% bonus while that of the ICO main sale is set to 35%. The third bonus tier comes in-between the start of the ICO main sale and the reach of their hard cap.
The tokens will be sold at 0.1 Euro (or 10 cents) per UPLs token. So far, for their presale, they have raised 212,437 Euros, out of the 300,000 needed.
Their roadmap is somewhat sketchy, showing that the project started development since March 2015. And the token sale is to run for 3 months. Once the project is listed on the exchange, that’s all.
No future development or prospect for the project – other than ‘global scaling starts’, there’s not much to go on with. It would seem they would have hit their final objective at that stage. However, the global scale is somewhat ambiguous.
Jaan Rammul is the CEO and founder of the project. His short profile from the whitepaper indicates he has had 5 years entrepreneurial and leadership experience and 3 years in the network marketing and sales industry.
The product design is creatively handled by a 3-man team where an outstanding member has a downline structure of over 100,000 members.
Each member seems to have a successful independent achievement. But together, this would be their first project and as for being able to pull it off, well the team have the experiential advantage on an off-chain environment where I think the product will survive more. However, for a blockchain based project, it would take a little more than a fancy business proposal.
On their advisory board comes the bump-up of legal manpower and a cryptocurrency investor.
Their website is well designed and has a reflection of refined quality. They also have Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn accounts and also a telegram channel with only 87 members. I would say their social media presence and activity is poor.
No bounty campaign observed on any of the cryptocurrency forums or on their website. Their whitepaper is essentially a business presentation paper, lacks certain technicality to it, but it is well written.
They will be accepting BTC, ETH, EUR, LTC and USD during the crowdsale and all funds are to be contributed to the company’s wallet or account directly through the smart contract. The funds will be held by the company until the need arises for them.