The Arrival of the Blockchain Expert (updated)
The Austrian Julian HOSP (or Dr. Julian HOSP as he likes to call himself) has certainly shaped the ICO developments in the crypto-scene since 2017. He did so by contributing his extensive experience and network from the MLM sector he acquired as team leader of the Austrian LYONESS system, an MLM scheme with global reach and a questionable reputation. See here and here for more details.
HOSP’s starting point in his crypto-career was the successful TenX ICO. Since then he tours the Crypto Summits worldwide promoting and telling the people how to set up a successful company like TenX and how to do a successful ICO like TenX. Based on a hint we received from a whistleblower Fintelegram started to investigate.
Founded in Singapore in June 2015 by the Austrian fellow Toby HOENISCH as OneBit and renamed TenX in March 2017, the startup raised 245,834 ETH from some 4,000 investors within just a few minutes in its ICO in June 2017. This was equivalent to almost US$ 80 million at the time. The successful ICO made a major contribution to the genesis of the ICO hype and created the “HOSP brand” suddenly known in the crypto-scene.
Already during and before the ICO, some red flags were raised with the aggressive marketing approach used by TenX. Moreover, some people pointed to the misleading information included in the white paper and published on the Website. This included the listing of Vitalik BUTERIN as TenX Investor (read here Trustnodes article and the Reddit threats). Trustnode already criticised the “zero transaction” or “zero foreign exchange” fees approach of the TenX business model as being more or less a marketing gag.
Probably that is the correct term what Julian HOSP is actually doing resp. was doing his whole life: Aggressive marketing!
Julian Hosp, OneBit and TenX with Lyoness
On his website, www.julianhosp.com Dr. Julian HOSP sells himself as “the blockchain expert”. He regularly appears as such at ICO events, in TV shows and videos. Dr. Julian HOSP knows how to present himself. As a motivational trainer, he is incredibly talented. Moreover, he has the “political” ability to present complex facts in simple explanations.
BUT maybe HOSP´s simple explanations are sometimes just a bit too simple:
As evidently, Julian HOSP was never one of the founders of OneBit but joined the team in 2017 shortly before the ICO. In a Facebook posting in November 2016 Julian HOSP writes about the company OneBit “founded by a blockchain expert“, he had invited to one of his events. Neither from the wording nor from the post’s message one could possibly conclude that HOSP was a co-founder of this company.
On May 7, 2017, he interviewed the OneBit founder Toby HOENISCH in his Krypto Show Podcast and it was not mentioned that HOSP is (supposed to be) one of the co-founders of OneBit (renamed TenX). On the contrary, HOSP showed himself uninformed about OneBit, Blockchain, or Cryptocurrency. Moreover, back then OneBit founder HOENISCH talks about a seed funding round for OneBit. ICO was not even mentioned back then. Surprisingly, the ICO was closed a few weeks after the interview in June 2017. Nevertheless, in his Quora profile, HOSP bills himself as OneBit co-founder.
and sometimes evidently he thinks there would be no simple explanation, therefore he just conceals his past for some important information:
The Forgotten MLM Experience with LYONESS
Julian HOSP has an extensive past as MLM leader with the Austrian LYONESS scheme which perfectly corresponds to his talents. Before entering the blockchain space, HOSP worked for 5 years for this “digital loyalty program” but never uncovered details. On the contrary, he deleted all evidence connected with these years.
In fact, he was or is one of the key figures in the Austrian LYONESS MLM-scheme, which in some countries is classified as a Pyramid or a Ponzi scheme. Just recently, Swiss and Norwegian courts ruled that LYONESS is to be regarded as a Ponzi scheme. LYONESS is indeed confronted with criminal charges and legal disputes time and again and must constantly defend itself against authorities and annoying investors. In Austria, LYONESS and its founder Hubert FREIDL are also accused of violation of capital market laws. Respective criminal proceedings are still ongoing.
Evidently, Julian HOSP worked for the LYONESS scheme between 2011 and 2016 acting as team leader for the Asian market. According to his own account in an old CV (download here) he has developed a group of more than 25,000 LYONESS members, who earned him a 6-digit annual income as so-called Level 5 manager. HOSP is, therefore, a big fan of network marketing and MLM systems as he openly admits. These years as MLM Team Leader at LYONESS are concealed by HOSP in his public presentations as for example here in his otherwise very detailed account of his life.
Julian HOSP has left his mark on the LYONESS scheme. That’s in his nature, I guess. His lecture “Get Rich in Network Marketing” (files deleted but directory still online) or his instructions on setting up “Elevator Pitch” appointments (can be found here) are considered legendary. In his instructions, Julian elaborates that the truth has no priority, but only the goal of acquiring money and people. He obviously was/is a pretty aggressive sales guy. On LinkedIn, you can find in old postings some contributions from HOSP about MLM and network marketing.
HOSP has used all available online channels between 2011 and 2016 to promote himself and his MLM idea. Here, for example, his instructions on Quora which are worth reading and here are some of his thoughts about MLM he shared on Quora:
I have to admit I am very prejudiced when it comes to network marketing.
I worked in a company for 5 years, and “retired” with a 6-figure income a year now. So when I say I am prejudiced, you can see why. However, here are some points I want to point out:
- I have never seen a business with a higher ROI.
- I have never seen a business where I faced more adversity.
A Revised Past
Interestingly, when joining the TenX venture and the blockchain scene, Julian HOSP systematically deleted his past with LYONESS. Neither in his profile on LinkedIn nor on most of his many pages you can find references to his many years of successful work for LYONESS. He deleted the videos from his YouTube channel LYONESS & LYCONET JULIAN HOSP as well as the channel itself.
Upon our request, high-ranking LYONESS managers (Level 6 and Level 7) confirmed that Julian HOSP was successfully working for the MLM-scheme. However, the reasons for his departure and/or his change to TenX (?) were not be disclosed. It’s treated like a company secret. However, “off the records” we learned that LYONESS and/or its people (the network) provided friendly support for the crypto-venture.
We have had access to some criminal files surrounding LYONESS. They also included a list of the main leaders of the MLM scheme with Julian HOSP included (see picture left).
OneBit, TenX and LYONESS
In any case, it is considered a fact by these LYONESS people that HOSP has harnessed his LYONESS network with more than 25,000 members for the purposes of the TenX ICO. That’s fine. Anybody would have done that with HOSP‘s background, right?
This would also be an explanation for the unexpected success of the TenX ICO in addition to the above stated “aggressive marketing methods” used anyway. The startups and its founder Toby HOENISCH hadn’t talked about an ICO a few weeks before it was conducted. Up to the ICO of TenX Julian HOSP had not been noticed in the international blockchain scene. He wasn’t regarded as a person of interest to the blockchain guys and his breakthrough definitely came with TenX. On the other hand, it seems that the company owes its ICO success to Julian HOSP‘s past as MLM manager at LYONESS.
Since WaveCrest was banned from the VISA network in early 2018, TenX has lost the core of its business model as a payment services provider- the crypto debit card. The TenX thus shares another fate with LYONESS – MasterCard has also forbidden the use of a LYONESS MasterCard in 2016. Julian HOSP had experience with these credit and debit cards from his work for LYONESS when he joined TenX.
After VISA has banned WaveCrest and thus a large part of the crypto scene from its network and the use of its debit card, the TenX business model is being adopted. According to the new announcements, the TenX system is actually to be understood as a cash-back and blockchain-based loyalty program. Thus a TenX card would actually also be a sort of a cash back card comparable to the LYONESS card but on the blockchain. In the various forums and on Reddit this has already struck some TenX observers. That, per se, is nothing negative either.
The Problem of Being a Public Figure
Julian HOSP describes himself on Facebook as a “public figure”, a public person who openly communicates his professional and private activities to a global audience. Hence, the public figure has to be open to public criticism. As a public person, Julian HOSP has obtained many advantages for himself and his TenX and has made a lot of money with it.
Around 4,000 investors have provided money not only in the TenX ICO. Julian HOSP also earns good money with his lectures, speeches, and events. He deserves that, too. And, as he candidly reports in the video above, he is apparently still receiving the 6-digit checks from LYONESS as a passive leader. Loyalty pays off.
In any case, the CV of 32-year-old Julian HOSP is not complete and obviously adjusted for a few essential details that cover half of his professional life. Also, a consequent elimination of his traces of activity for LYONESS is noticeable. In this context, one would be tempted to speak in Trump’s diction of “Fake CV” and “Alternative Facts”.
Even a benevolent observer asks himself the question of “why”. Are the many legal problems and complaints the LYONESS system is facing the reason that prompted Dr. HOSP to delete his “LYONESS past”? Someone who pushes himself into the public like Julian HOSP, someone who consistently fights against rip-offs in the crypto-scene, cannot afford such a dishonest approach. This has to strain credibility. How can a person who works as a motivational trainer and preaches to his followers and customers to believe in themselves and their projects, how can such a person simply delete 5 years of his own work unexplained?
In view of the facts listed, we can justifiably hypothesize that the MLM system LYONESS and/or some of its members could be behind TenX. Undoubtedly Julian HOSP was (or is) a high-ranking LYONESS leader with 25,000 MLM investors in his downline according to his CV.
The TenX ICO
The TenX ICO did not allow for any vesting period neither for the founders nor for the investors of the pre-sold 100.000 Ether, so it did not really come as a surprise to some guys that when the tokens were approved with the first exchange (Bittrex) the price skyrocketed to roughly $70 and then came crashing down to $1. This exactly looks like a rip-off profile executed by the book.
For the past twelve months TenX has been struggling to get a banking license, the issue here is that as long as the regulatory quality of the token issued is not finally worked out (in our opinion, the PAY token for sure qualifies as security token) it can be doubted that a financial market authority will grant a banking license to TenX.
At least there is one good thing about all these forgotten and misleading information about the founders and the supposed investors during the ICO: In case the TenX business model does not work out, the Token Investors have a good chance to regain their investments either from the company or from Julian HOSP, at least HOSP seems to be quite an affluent defendant.