As of this writing, the crypto market sentiment is nearing an all-time low. The Crypto Fear Index is sitting at an abysmal 37 out of 100. Bitcoin is resting above $7,000, and the price sees no signs of immediate recovery. The only participants left in crypto on social media are the die-hard faithful or those who have lost their private keys. It would appear that the landscape is primed for someone with a real project to come along and sweep up the disenfranchised with promises of progress and newfound gains. Richard Heart is proclaiming to be the man to fill this role with his HEX project, although it is not without controversy.
Richard is a fascinating subject, one that first appeared on the radar on an episode of Bitcoin Uncensored with Chris Derose. Richards’s interest lies in several categories, specifically life-extension, self-improvement, entrepreneurship, marketing, and cryptocurrency. Richard has interviewed and recorded several of Bitcoin and Crypto individuals on his youtube channel. A former proponent of Bitcoin, his support was well documented over multiple public videos. His change in opinion was equally open after the Bitcoin price tanked to $3,500 in 2018. It was this price plunge that caused him to look at what he claims matters to people: making lots of money. Enter the HEX project: an ERC-20 token with some unique properties.
On a basic conceptual level, Hex is the crypto-equivalent of a CD (certificate of deposit). Like a standard CD from a bank, the more extended HEX tokens are locked up, the more interest is generated. There is also a gamified staking and rewards system built on top of the time-locked funds. HEX also has built-in “Pumpamentals,” as Richard calls them.
As he explains it, pumpamentals are properties of a coin or token that allow it to increase in price. Bitcoin had two pumpamentals: being able to onboard users for free by mining with the core wallet, and that the new supply decreases every four years. In contrast, Hex’s offering includes a free token claim if you held Bitcoin in a wallet as of December 1st, 2019. There are also referral fees that earn free HEX for both parties. So far, no issues, Bitcoin Cash was a free token if you held Bitcoin at the hard fork, and Amazon has had an affiliate program for years.
Another gamification aspect is that all the free unclaimed HEX tokens are redistributed to those who HAVE claimed their tokens after 350 days. This redistribution includes all tokens unclaimed by Satoshi, Mt Gox, and other large exchanges like Coinbase and Kraken. This layer of strategy encourages early adoption and provides a “Big Payday” for when those tokens are rehypothecated.
Several other gamified aspects will go unmentioned for simplicity. But those referenced are enough to illustrate much effort and time has gone into the HEX project, to encourage discussion and garner attention from the crypto-faithful. HEX is only roughly a month old, but already the eleventh most popular Ethereum app on Dapp Radar, down from the second most popular.
Thus far, this sounds like free tokens awarded for merely holding Bitcoin. Why do people hate on HEX so much on Twitter? It seems to stem from the fact that you can pay/donate/send Ethereum to a specific address and “Transform” it into HEX. 49,000 Ethereum has been transformed to date. What does this mean? Simple: that Richard, or someone close to him, has access and control of those 49,000 Ethereum, just over $6.3 million. Richard outright refuses to disclose who has control over that Ethereum address due to the legalities of securities laws. He claims that if their identity was released, it would impact the reception of HEX and complicate the project. Richard has been very clear to use specific language to distance the Hex token from other digital securities, stating that while Hex is “designed to only go up in price,” the reality is that it could all go to zero.
Twitter has been quick to condemn HEX as another scam like Bitconnect. The comparison is appropriate as Trevon James, the one-time Bitconnect supporter has begun endorsing HEX using his own referral code. This is no coincidence, as Richard has explained that he uses language to co-opt scammers’ audience. “We use similar language and similar tactics to successfully onboard users, and we do that to starve ponzis of their lifesblood”
Both the Bitcoin and Altcoin camps have weighed in on their distaste for Hex in the last several days.
Despite this negative attention, or perhaps because of it, Richart Heart has recently made many youtube videos, releasing eight of them in the past week. He has invited and brought on members of the crypto community to debate them on Hex’s values and its advantages over Bitcoin. The response has been mixed and Bitcoin maximalist, Giacomo Zucco, has already created a website spoofing the project, calling his fictional creation ”Zux Bux“.
Whether or not HEX turns out to be a scam or a way to stack sats, much can be learned from the way Richard has gone about marketing and promoting his project. His project is wildly popular with zero money spent on a marketing campaign, banner ads, emails, etc. I anticipate the next wave of ICO’s, if there ever is a resurgence, will take several pages from the HEX marketing playbook.
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