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Epik can't pay any of its users right now (1 Viewing)

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6uBnoK8V-epik-masterbucks-backlash.jpg


The far-right hosting platform Epik can’t pay any of its users right now​


For several weeks, users on NamePros, an online community for domain name investors, have been up in arms about their inability to withdraw funds from Masterbucks. Masterbucks is a payment platform operated by Epik, the controversial domain name provider and web host whose customers include social media sites like Parler and Gab as well as far-right forum TheDonald. Epik’s new CEO Brian Royce says he has big aspirations for the company and wants to see it become a competitor to PayPal and CashApp. But with only two months on the job, it’s been a rocky start.

The earliest post complaining of withdrawal troubles dates back to Sept. 8, just six days after Royce’s appointment to CEO was announced. The real avalanche of complaints started with a post on Sept, 20.

“It happened on 23 Aug 2022 and this matter lasted almost one month without any process,” the user wrote. “Masterbucks.com declined my fund withdrawal and disabled the button of fund withdrawal….What is wrong with Epik.com?”


Read more: Epik's Masterbucks is a massive cluster f*ck as far-right web host blocks withdrawals, freezes users' funds
 

silentg

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NamePros has a long thread:
Some have
5 figures balance
6 figures

List of investors waiting for payment is growing.
 

Esdiel

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Is all money earned from Epik's marketplace/landers, including Nameliquidate, held in masterbucks before being released to their clients? Or is masterbucks optional and their escrow is something separate? Is another separate account needed for masterbucks? The article doesn't quite clarify either:

In that same podcast, Royce was asked about escrow funds and whether they were kept separate from operational funds at Epik. Royce said that when he took over as CEO of Epik, “there was kind of a lot of commingling and the separation of operations wasn’t there.”

An escrow account is an account that is designed to hold funds temporarily in safekeeping for a client. Commingling escrow funds and operational funds not only poses regulatory problems but potentially liquidity problems if too many clients try to withdraw funds at the same time.

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Royce told Daily Dot he didn’t want to comment on the accounting practices of the past leadership under Monster, who is now serving in a non-executive function as chairman of the board. When asked directly about the statements regarding commingled funds, he responded obliquely.

“To be very clear on that, anyone that did business through Masterbucks will be paid in turn,” Royce said. “Any transactions that happened once I took the reins, those are all sacrosanct and I can speak to those very carefully and say there’s no problems with those. But previous transactions before I took over this position, we’re still figuring those out. I’ve got to be honest.”
 

silentg

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rlm

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All their products are accessed using one login called Federated Identity
1668137502952.png


If you make a sale or get a refund:
It goes into your masterbucks account. Money is converted as masterbucks. From there you can request the payout.



There's a long thread on NamePros
alert - The fund can't be withdrawal from Epik.com via Masterbucks wallet

Here's a review by a domain investor who has been trying to get his funds out:
Epik.com is rated "Average" with 3.3 / 5 on Trustpilot

1668137618267.png
whoa, that's pretty effed up. I can't imagine what Epik would have to do now to ever get my business.
 

MapleDots

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It's plain and simple, they don't have the cash to pay out. The income stream has fallen because of it and the house of cards is coming down.

He probably spent more money than he had.
 

Nafti

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It’s kind of worrisome when you think about it. I have a few of my top .ca’s at Epik. Maybe it’s time to transfer them out.
 

rlm

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It’s kind of worrisome when you think about it. I have a few of my top .ca’s at Epik. Maybe it’s time to transfer them out.
No time like the present!
 

Esdiel

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It's plain and simple, they don't have the cash to pay out. The income stream had fallen because of it and the house of cards is coming down.

He simply spent more money than he had.

The fact they were "commingling" escrow funds with operational funds is very concerning and probably explains why they're now charging stupid high fees to withdraw your funds. It would appear they need to charge those "fees" in order to pay the next guy and to stay afloat. If that's the actually the case, they have a pretty serious problem(s) on their hands.
 

jaydub

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mikeyboy

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It’s kind of worrisome when you think about it. I have a few of my top .ca’s at Epik. Maybe it’s time to transfer them out.
Transfer them out! I tried doing a bunch of renewals. Transaction failed but I was charged. I've yet to be refunded. This happened Nov 4th

*Just noticed I was actually given an instore credit, Nov 9th
 
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MapleDots

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*Just noticed I was actually given an instore credit, Nov 9th

Yes, they are good with credits, anything does does not involve giving back the money.

I don't think there is any malice there, I honestly think the growth for Epik was too fast and there is an issue with cash at the moment. They have bought out a lot of companies and have a lot of staff and all that costs money.

Personally I hope they sort it out, I don't like the idea of the domaining space losing another registrar and I was hoping to have an alternative to paypal.

I will be watching all this unfold very closely and I am hoping it works out for the best.

All that said, I would not risk my high value domains or a high value transaction there at the moment.
 

Esdiel

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Massive data breach aside, epik probably got sidelined with massive legal and accounting bills trying to bring their operations within the regulatory guidelines they failed to initially follow. And that’s costing them an unforeseen fortune, yet still their own fault. Plus escrow funds should have never been dipped into in the first place and doesn’t happen by mistake.
 

MapleDots

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He says he will edit the review if he gets a response, so here is the text in a screen shot.

Screenshot - 2022-11-24T154524.063.png



Here is the complete text...​


Epik.com & Masterbucks.com towards bankruptcy


Here's Luigi from DomainEmpire (no need to hide my identity) and this's a 100% genuine and verifiable review unfortunately.
I admit we worked quite well with Rob Monster (Masterbucks/Epik CEO till last Sep 2022) for the latest years. We had 4 diff. accounts at Masterbucks where we were collecting funds generated from multiple domain sales closed through the Epik.com escrow service.
All funds were deposited to our Masterbucks balances.
No problem with withdrawals until few months ago but Rob offered us a 6% yearly interest over our deposits (paid in the measure of 0.50% at the beginning of each month) so we've a total balance of roughly $1.5M (yes, you're reading correctly and we've screenshots to proof this).
Most of our funds have been converted in Bitcoins some months back but at the end of Ocober they've fraudolently (and with no previous notice) reconverted anything to USD and moved the balance of 3 of these accounts to the correspoding Epik accounts.

Masterbucks.com has been 'under maintenance' for few weeks so they gained time to move elsewhere all their customer funds (I guess anything may have been converted to crypto but we'll soon start a legal investigation to make light over the real facts).
Once back online, we see no real improvement made exception for a 2.5% withdrawal fee + an additional fee applied to any requested wire.
Note this was just a strategy to discourage most of their customers to withdraw funds but it didn't work considering anyone tried to recover their own cash so they've just surprised us all by just ignoring such refund requests :)

It's all important to note withdrawals were previously free (considering they were already earning through their escrow service fee) so they added it with no previous announcement.

Before this event, we tried to withdraw $50k with no luck considering the request was cancelled few days later and all funds moved to Epik.
After that we got an email inviting us to reinvest our funds in Epik services/domain purchases with no option to withdraw them.

We've emailed Rob multiple times trying to reach an amicable compromise before making the whole story public, this's honestly the first time we post a negative review about someone and it's something we don't really like to do ...
Lots of promises but nothing happened.

Brian Royce (the new CEO) agreed to schedule a call with our paralegal for last Friday 11/18 after that his assistant called to reschedule to Monday 11/21 but nobody called and he disappeared by ignoring the further reminder we send him by email.

Rob Monster (previous CEO) is now chairman at Epik and here's something fun.
If you email him now, you getting an autoresponse inviting to contact Brian for any Epik related issue but ... now you know the whole story :)

We've enough resources and motivations to sue this company and to make the whole story public being in the position to proof that Rob Monster deceived and frauded us despite the fact we trusted his company more than our own bank !

We've warned all our customers/partners and contacts to stay away from Masterbucks/Epik now becomed high risk companies near to bankruptcy.

In view of all recent facts, Epik will soon loose the Icann accreditation and all domains will be assigned to another registrar.

We're ready to edit our review if someone from Epik will call our paralegal to clarify this matter and to refund our balance under all 4 accounts with no real intention to damage their reputation if an agreement should be reached.

Date of experience: November 23, 2022


Thank you @silentg
 
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