A portmanteau of Ponzi scheme and economics. A term commonly used to describe crypto asset investment schemes which are is-negative-sum investments which exist to enrich a pool of insiders, much like a Ponzi scheme, and yet rely on techno-obscurantism or crackpot economics to obfuscate or distract from the internal payout structure of the scheme.

See also DeFi, pyramid scheme, Ponzi scheme, predatory inclusion, and multilevel marketing scheme.


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  2. Stolfi, Jorge. n.d. ‘Bitcoin Is a Ponzi’. Accessed 19 March 2022. https://ic.unicamp.br/~stolfi/bitcoin/2020-12-31-bitcoin-ponzi.html.
  3. Sohale Andrus Mortazvi. n.d. ‘Cryptocurrency Is a Giant Ponzi Scheme’. Jacobin. Accessed 20 March 2022. https://jacobinmag.com/2022/01/cryptocurrency-scam-blockchain-bitcoin-economy-decentralization.
  4. ‘Why Bitcoin Is Worse than a Madoff-Style Ponzi Scheme | Financial Times’. n.d. Accessed 20 March 2022. https://www.ft.com/content/83a14261-598d-4601-87fc-5dde528b33d0.
  5. ‘Bitcoin Pyramid Schemes Wreak Havoc on Brazil’s “New Egypt”’. 2022. AP NEWS. 22 January 2022. https://apnews.com/article/cryptocurrency-technology-business-brazil-bitcoin-2dc801e5e3aa477ce7983d84dc8a64bb.
  6. Shri T Rabi Sankar. n.d. ‘Cryptocurrencies – An Assessment’. Reserve Bank of India. Accessed 2 March 2022. https://rbi.org.in/Scripts/BS_SpeechesView.aspx?Id=1196.
  7. Bartoletti, Massimo, Salvatore Carta, Tiziana Cimoli, and Roberto Saia. 2020. ‘Dissecting Ponzi Schemes on Ethereum: Identification, Analysis, and Impact’. Future Generation Computer Systems 102: 259–77.
  8. Corradi, Fiammetta, and Philipp Höfner. 2018. ‘The Disenchantment of Bitcoin: Unveiling the Myth of a Digital Currency’. International Review of Sociology 28 (1): 193–207. https://doi.org/10.1080/03906701.2018.1430067.
  9. Moore, Tyler, Jie Han, and Richard Clayton. 2012. ‘The Postmodern Ponzi Scheme: Empirical Analysis of High-Yield Investment Programs’. In Financial Cryptography and Data Security, edited by Angelos D. Keromytis, 7397:41–56. Lecture Notes in Computer Science. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer Berlin Heidelberg. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-32946-3_4.