PonzMo: Venmo With a Ponzi Scheme

EDIT: Looks like a Ponzi scheme is a much more specific form of scam. I’m using “Ponzi” to refer generally to a bubble in which people are paid by greater fools. The equity implementation I just extrapolated from Bitcoin. Is there a name for this type of scheme?

I am at a “Comedy Hack Day” event with a bunch of programmers and comedians and shit. Blah blah blah. After a generally terrible experience of pitching ideas under stringent time pressure, I ended up with a bunch of big ideas and nothing to do, and also a lot of whiskey in my bloodstream.

My favorite idea was PonzMo: the Venmo with a Ponzi scheme!

Kids today are sending each other money all the time with Venmo, but while you’re sending money to your friends, you can also send some up the ranks of the Ponzi scheme. It’s cool and ediger than Venmo, because you’re buying into a Ponzi scheme, and like any Ponzi scheme the early adopters get better position. It’s legal because the scheme is open, and you’re constantly reminded of the Ponzi angle

The Ponzi pool will be paid for by both sign-up fees and fees with each order. Each person who pays for the Ponzi scheme gets a bit of equity, but so little that they increase the value of the shares of all the current owners. Let’s say you pay twice as much as your number of shares would be worth immediately before you join (so you’re paying for your own deflation of the pot, and then some).

Something like this

If t is the total value of the ponzi pool, s is the total number of shares, and p is the surcharge, then e, the number of shares awarded to the person for their payment, is:

p/t = 2e/s

e = sp/2t

You just split shares every time they get too small.


The creators get large shares for just creating it! Everyone else must buy in. So you can’t lose if you’re part of the original scheme.

The rest of the company doesn’t touch the Ponzi pool, it’s separate capital.

Everyone knows it’s cool to be in on things early, and the advantage in coolness is compounded by an actual financial advantage in getting in on it sooner.

We find one guy who’s really cool and we tell everyone that person uses Ponzmo.

The role of the tech team is to re-create the entire Venmo interface.