Martin Lewis take on Initiative Q

Hi all,

I know that the Monzo forum has blocked Initiative Q links and I can’t say I blame them, it got completely out of hand.

But, as someone who always listens when Martin Lewis talks, I thought I would share his current view on it. I wouldn’t say it was groundbreaking per se, but worth a read:

"Wouldn’t it be wonderful if Initiative Q delivered and people make a fortune just by signing up for free? Don’t hold your breath though, the truth is fortunes for early adopters are very unlikely to happen, in fact, it is unlikely anyone signing up will make any money.

"The claims that it will have $20 trillion in transactions a year seem more far-fetched than me winning the next Rear of the Year contest (though neither are impossible).

"It’s also worth noting that it markets urgency to get people to sign up, with the amount of Qs you can gain dropping on the website. This and other marketing tricks effectively gamify the sign-up, with the refer-a-friend system playing on people’s fears of missing out – a little gimmicky for something purporting to be a potential major financial player.

"My assessment isn’t based on a great, detailed understanding of the underlying economic mechanics behind the system – after all, the Initiative Q website seems to spend more time on what’s wrong with other systems such as Bitcoin than what’s right with it. Just the simple rational that most things set up like this don’t hit the critical mass of people needed to make it financially viable, and if something sounds too good to be true, it usually is.

"Yet that isn’t necessarily a reason for not bothering. After all, the ‘should I give someone my name and email address’ bar is one set very low. So if you want to take a punt, do it. Yet if you are in future asked for more details, such as address or date of birth, then the bar has risen, so don’t just think ‘they’ve already got my email, so I’ll do it’. And if you are ever asked to risk money on it, then it becomes a high jump.

**"In fact, why not sign up with a secondary email address, rather than your main one? That way you will first know anything has come from Initiative Q and if it did e up being a spam generator – and the people interested in this would be lucrative for marketers – it isn’t sending it to your main email."

Full link here:


Seems a very fair assessment. Unlikely to come to anything. Unlikely to cause any damage as it stands. Beware later creep on exposure of details

I always thought it as a pyramid scheme. I signed up, yes, but I still feel its a pyramid scheme because of how you have to recruit more people under you to “succeed” and they have to too.

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Indeed, if feels very much reminiscent of pyramid schemes

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Slightly off topic, but is this a Monzo card in disguise on Money Saving Expert’s front page?