Will Bee Crypto be Worth Anything

The mobile phone app Bee Network, which presents itself as a game, allegedly already has seven million users. But despite many positive reviews, it is better to keep your hands off it.

"Among Us", "Mario Kart Tour", "Pokémon Go": such games are usually found in Apple's charts of the most popular free mobile games. Right now, however, an unusual piece of software is at the top of the hit list. The Bee Network app, which according to the App Store is a "phone-based asset", i.e. an investment opportunity on the smartphone, greets us from first place.

"Completely free, no battery or data drain", the app description promises, Bee is a "new digital currency". Every day it only takes one click to earn the so-called Bees, it says, via "auto-mining". Mining" or "prospecting" is the term commonly used to describe the process of creating digital currency.

In many positive user comments, Bee Network in the App Store is sometimes compared to Bitcoin, and there is also talk of a "gamer currency". The picture is similar in Google's Play Store, where the app is ranked in the top ten of the "top games" and in the subcategory "educational games": Here, too, many reviewers seem surprisingly optimistic that Bee could become the next big thing.

There are many reasons for scepticism

But is this enthusiasm to be trusted? And should Bee really be downloaded onto smartphones?

There is a lot to suggest that the answer to both questions is no.

It starts with the fact that the app's creators probably like to operate in secret:

On the app's website, not a single name of a responsible person is mentioned. Even the company behind the project is not mentioned. Bee Network mentions an e-mail address as a contact option, but so far no response has been received to a SPIEGEL enquiry. The app's terms of use sound as if the project originated in Hong Kong.

In general, Bee Network seems to have little interest in exchanging information with users. An official Telegram group has 47,000 members, but users are not allowed to write in it. On platforms like Twitter and Instagram, Bee Network also prefers to post success stories rather than answer user questions.

Meanwhile, in its privacy statement, Bee Network grants itself the right to share personal data "with third parties", without clarifying which companies exactly are involved.

In general, Bee Network seems to have little interest in exchanging information with users. An official Telegram group has 47,000 members, but users are not allowed to write in it. On platforms like Twitter and Instagram, Bee Network also prefers to post success stories rather than answer user questions.

Anyone who wants to use Bee Network usually needs an invitation. With this invitation, there are three ways to log in on iOS: You can log in via Facebook or your Apple ID, or you can use your phone number. Later, as Bee Network outlines on its website, further data may be requested as part of identity checks.

Once in the app, you land on an overview page called "Balance". There you can see how many bees, i.e. units of currency, you supposedly now own. There is also a green button with a bee that you should press every 24 hours so that more bees fly to you.

Users should attract more users

That's it, almost. More than a game, the whole thing has to do with network marketing. Bee Network wants the app users to attract other users. The inviter is offered the prospect of more revenue from automatic prospecting, and those who are invited receive a Bee as a gift for registering. Bee Network would prefer to access the iPhone address book for inviting users, but it is better not to allow the app this access. On Android, the app is also interested in the user's contacts, location and memory, according to Google's permissions overview.

Users should attract more users

The approach that users who recruit others get more Bees themselves explains the many positive reviews in the App Store and Play Store, as well as numerous mentions of the app in social networks. Users ramble on about how great Bee Network is, but always mention their invitation code at the end of their posts. Bee Network's "whitepaper" explicitly states, "So the key to earning more Bees is prospecting and recruiting new members."

There is little to suggest that Bees will have any value outside the app itself in the foreseeable future. On its website, Bee Network does claim that users will be rewarded for "active participation in the game", "and that will bring you real-life income". However, the self-proclaimed digital currency is not listed on any cryptocurrency exchange. And when Bee Network mentions companies like Rakuten and Coinbase on its website, it is pure name-dropping.

In an FAQ on the website, it says that according to current plans, Bee will be tradable on cryptocurrency exchanges in the third quarter of 2022. However, whether this step will actually be taken depends "on player growth and community dynamics". So it is very possible that users of the app are simply wasting their time and giving data like their phone number into the hands of an unknown provider without benefit.

What Apple says about the app

On Wednesday, SPIEGEL asked Apple why the company lists Bee Network as a game in the App Store. The company responded by saying that in the case of possible violations of Store guidelines, it first talks to developers to identify and fix problems. "In this case of the affected app, Apple is already in contact with the developers and it appears that no mining is taking place on the device." Mining on the iPhone, that is, calculating digital currency using the device, would be a violation of Apple's policies on cryptocurrencies.

But Apple's rules also say: "Cryptocurrency apps may not offer currency for completing tasks, such as downloading other apps, encouraging other users to download, posting on social networks, and so on." Is Bee Network perhaps also staging itself as a game so as not to violate that rule for cryptocurrency apps with its invitation codes?

Is it now "a scam"?

Bee Network itself claims to already have seven million users on board. According to an overview within the app, over one million of them come from the UK. 228,000 users are said to be registered at the moment.

It is also worth noting that in the FAQ on its website, the app itself raises the question of whether Bee Network is "a scam" - an approach that serious providers would hardly need. The answer to this question emphasises above all that Bee Network acquired the domain Bee.com for a lot of money, that it does not accept direct payments from players and that it has already gained numerous users within a few weeks. These are not very convincing arguments.

Bee Network also states that the blockchain theory is well proven and refers to the "white paper". However, it says nothing about Bee Network currently using blockchain technology at all. So Bee Network seems to be good at one thing above all: Dazzling users who dream of a second Bitcoin and making them their marketing helpers. It's better to keep your hands off such an app.

In the meantime, Google has also responded to a SPIEGEL enquiry about the app. A spokesperson for the company says that they have checked the app and "could not find any violation of our Play guidelines".

About the author

Hi there, my name is Zalman Weinberg. I'm enthusiast with over 7 years of experience in cryptocurrencies and blockchain. Professional Trader providing Blockchain solutions to Startups and Enterprises. Expert in all cryptocurrency exchange APIs (BitMEX, Bittrex, Binance, Bitfinex, Kraken, Poloniex, Gdax etc.). I have also worked with multiple Forex broker APIs.

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