A Postmortem and Warning


Max Keiser is an economic guru who hosts the Keiser Report which exposes financial scandals. He’s against bully bankers and crony capitalists and wants the little guy to get ahead. He’s also a bitcoin early adopter and a cryptocurrency entrepreneur. Common working people abused by rigged financial systems watch his show and trust his advice. Let’s look specifically at the success of his cryptocurrency leadership in helping his devoted audience.


Keiser launched Maxcoin in 2014, made outrageous promises about its ecosystem and price, then bailed on it with zero explanation. After publicly announcing his commitment to a $20 million market cap, tweeting very bullish buy signals and thus influencing his fans to invest, Keiser went dark on Maxcoin and eventually claimed it was his wife Stacy’s idea. The coin tanked but the former Wallstreet Keiser undoubtedly made some cash.

A 20 bagger. Let that sink in. The price was $.03 at the time, making a 20 bagger $.60. Maxcoin is presently $0.001. If you believed Mad Max, you’d be down 97% on your investment.

Maxcoin should have been a sign to stay away from Keiser’s further crypto advice. But according to Keiser from the MCXNOW chat log, Maxcoin was just the warm-up: “Don’t play the game, play the players.”

StartCOIN and StartJOIN

Keiser launched StartCOIN in June of 2014 as crowfunding currency for his crowdfunding platform StartJOIN. The coin was 50 percent premined with the intention of rewarding those who pledged on StartJOIN. Mike Murphy launched the biggest project to date, and on the strength of its success, Keiser raised significant capital via a few equity rounds on Simon Dixon’s Bank to the Future.

Except that Murphy’s project was a total flop and was never fully delivered. He ran two more bullion projects, leaving many pledgers without their reward. Murphy disappeared in May of 2015 just prior to Maxcoin’s biggest and last pump. There were many calls for StartJOIN to give an account of what happened and to intervene. But the response was mostly silence until Executive Director Karl Gray announced on an obscure periscope episode that they had tried to reach Murphy without success and that it’s time to move on. (This is the Karl Gray who shilled Maxcoin as the most undervalued asset on the planet. More here.)

It’s difficult to move on and put faith in StartJOIN when it lacks a single successful, marquee project and when its alleged flagship project was a disaster. Many projects were successfully funded, but none have been clear wins for the community and the platform has been largely used as a means of gaming free coins.

Another StartJOIN train wreck was the ANX Debit Card project. The project promised pledgers 25k StartCOIN but what they received on the cards was fiat at a time when the price of StartCOIN was curiously climbing. Even Murphy expressed criticism, suggesting a crony capitalist deal between StartJOIN and ANX.

Keiser responded by playing the hero-victim and labeling as ingrate complainers those who gave their hard-earned money to support his platform: “No good deed goes unpunished.” He used the identical response a year earlier when some criticized his backing away from the Maxcoin goals.

There are many other StartCOIN related fails/frauds like the Prypto cards, the epic StartChat, and the notorious mining backed securities project, and a hack of V1. Join StartCOIN Uncensored on Telegram to hear these stories and to corroborate everything in this article. But the most recent is the launch of the vaunted StartJOIN V2.

StartJOIN V2

Due to many failed projects, many disconcerted users, and the departure of co-founder Jamie Scott, version one of the StartJOIN platform had officially gone to shit. There was nothing to hype and scam ideas were running thin. So the team announced they would revamp and relaunch this platform, this time including multi-currency pledging and a focus on mobile usage in the developing world.

Expecting to see V2 in the early months of 2016 when nothing was being delivered but a new nav bar, many began to suspect more fuckery. Keiser had recently assisted Peter Frank (the latest “successful” project owner to disappear) to copy Chris Ellis’s bitcoin node project for StartCOIN, and to quell the pesky v2 questions, he said this was V2.

from Keiser's deleted Telegram account

Due to some odd code in Frank’s nodes and the lack of substantial v2 news, the Telegram criticism intensified. Keiser’s response was two-fold: 1) call the community fudders, and 2) hype and pump StartCOIN.

This was patent, publicly verified bullshit. It was Keiser who literally ran from Telegram, becoming inactive for several months and eventually deleting his account. Before bailing, Keiser claimed toxic community members were encouraging others to download malicious code when in fact a member had offered a patch to fix Peter’s nodes. StartCOIN implemented the fix and never thanked the member, an established bitcoin developer.

Losing the support of the community, Keiser would not allow a serious crisis to be wasted: He began his bullish tweeting saying that StartCOIN was Doge on steroids and that it would reach $1 in 2016! See here for more $1 tweets and to track its progress.

The price pumped but the BTTF project never materialized and V2 wasn’t delivered, so the price fully retracted. Meanwhile, Gray had said V2 would be ready in April. After the pump, he changed it to June and announced beta testers would be selected to comb the site for bugs and offer feedback. June came and went and the new launch date was changed to October.

October 31 arrived and nothing insanely cool happened. Gray pushed the launch to Nov 9, 2016. Think about that for a moment. The day chosen to launch a new product/service is the morning after the most critical and scrutinized US election in over half a century. How is it possible for a company to gain attention on the day where everyone is focused on the new President-elect? Though Gray would hype the launch, this could be nothing but an omen for a debacle.

And a debacle it was. The site was launched with several very basic and visual bugs that any 3rd grader could have caught. No beta tester noticed these? Was Peter full of shit? And the biggest ass-chapper of all: V2 was launched with NO CURRENCY PLEDGING FUNCTIONALITY! No bitcoin, no StartCOIN, no nothing. A crowdfunding platform with no ability to crowdfund, no ability to “get STARTed.” Seriously.

The price of StartCOIN had pumped and dumped just before the launch, and StartJOIN sent out a newsletter with a picture of a bear and said they were working on “hiccups.” The next newsletter asked the community to serve as the beta testers that apparently never existed earlier. Following the horrible launch, Gray’s attitude was predictably shameless: he popped in Telegram to brag about his trades, and later shared an optimistic StartJOIN tweet.


Calling the Top

But guess what happened just before the V2 launch? Keiser called the top of the buy-the-rumor sell-the-news pump. 

Is it a coincidence that Keiser’s only StartCOIN tweet in months was at the top of the pump? Yes, but unlikely. He also called the top during the $1 hype pump and has a history of using bullish language while whales are exiting their positions. 

Actually, the bears made out well. Those slaughtered were struggling wage-slaves who enjoy the Keiser Report, trust Max, and naturally reacted to his buy signals. In the end, no investor was forced to buy and no legal fraud was committed. Such is also the case for a desperate man who needs transportation and buys an overpriced lemon from a persuasive used car salesman.

Thinking of Investing?

Beware of the track record of those who manage StartCOIN Holdings, StartJOIN’s parent company. Here’s the asset list SCH used to pitch their second equity round.

  1. Never happened. Pure hype to sell equity.
  2. Doesn’t work. Some have lost coins on the apps. One guy has 200k stuck. From consultant Jordan Fish:
  3. $187k scam project for the wallet of crony Matt Harms. Clone of Telegram. Doesn’t even have StartCOIN integration. A true piece of shit.
  4. Never delivered as promised. Gray claims to have the sole ATM locked away. Interesting strategy.
  5. About 24m coins now. The premine is not used to develop the coin, has been used to dump on the community, and is now being used to fund V2 development despite all the money SCH received from equity rounds. 2 million from the premine on V1 were hacked and stolen.
  6. The only possible winner. Max and Simon got a free position – possibly the main reason for SCH’s existence.
  7. Lame YouTube videos to hype all the failed garbage above. No videos since December, 2015.
  8. V1 hacked after severely gamed for a year. V2 nonfunctional. It’s supposed to revolutionize crowdfunding, though. QE for the people.

If you’re interested in StartCOIN or some other future project from Keiser or Gray, you’ve been warned. StartCOIN is now under $.01 per coin with three weeks to go before the end of 2016, the year Kesier predicted a $1 price. Gray predicted StartCOIN would have the highest alt market cap by June of 2017, but the price is down 87 percent after this bullish article in which he argues why he’s buying. StartJOIN’s most loyal supporters have left the community and  those who barely remain share the sentiments reflected in this recent comment on the inoperable V2.

Having spent two years participating in and observing the community, the opinion of the overwhelming majority of SCH shareholders, StartJOINers, and StartCOINers is that the SCH leadership have engaged in the same system rigging, crony capitalist, banker bully tactics that Max has made a career criticizing on TV. It’s difficult to argue that StartJOIN and StarCOIN are not simply profit toys for the SCH elite.

Be careful to avoid Pepe’s fate.

Being a stockbroker is not that much different from being a comedian. You’re telling stories to people, going through a lot of stories quite rapidly and you are essentially getting people not to laugh but to say: Give me 1,000 shares. To get to that moment, you use the same techniques as a comedian: pacing, word-choice, empathy. – Max Keiser, former stockbroker