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Crazes for Making Money on the Internet - The Lesson of the Storm

Crazes for Making Money on the Internet - The Lesson of the Storm

Get Paid To Auto surf services were once a popular option for people to make money on the internet quickly. During the year 2005, the number of surf for cash programs increased dramatically. The golden age of getting paid to surf programs has come to an end, and the next big money-making Internet fad is almost certain to be just around the corner.

Auto surfing had its beginnings as a way of promoting products on the Internet. A surfing website would require you to register with them and, in exchange for seeing websites belonging to other members, you would gain credits that would allow you to have your own website seen by other users. It was really unnecessary to keep an eye on the sites: as long as they continued to load, you would continue to earn credits even if you left the computer to make coffee or feed the dog.

Studio Traffic, the largest and longest-running get-paid-to-auto surf service, was started in late 2003 and has been in operation ever since. Additionally, in addition to auto surfing to promote your website, Studio Traffic provided you with the option to upgrade your membership, which would permit you to earn 1 percent of the upgrade charge every day for a whole year. You would receive 1 percent for each day that you browsed at least 100 websites, and you would be paid at the end of each month if you met the requirements.

The quick success of Studio Traffic inspired other entrepreneurs to launch similar get-paid to surf websites, which became immensely popular as a result of the rapid expansion of Studio Traffic. By the end of 2004, there were around 40 get paid to surf programs in operation. The majority of these programs provided users a daily return of 1 percent, although there were a few sites that paid 2 percent and even as much as 5 percent to subscribers.

Then a firm named 12 Daily Pro opened its doors, promising investors a hitherto unheard-of 12 percent daily return on investment. Nothing could have predicted that 12 Daily would survive for much more than a few weeks. However, the publication did endure and continued to thrive throughout the years. Because of the popularity of 12 Daily Pro, many individuals have turned to auto surfing only for the purpose of generating money. By the middle of 2005, virtually any surfers were interested in advertising on auto surf for cash websites; all they wanted was to get compensated for their time. Due to Daily's success, it was quite simple for new businesses to persuade investors that they could generate excessively large profits. By the beginning of 2006, there was over 370 auto surf for cash schemes available, with the majority of them promising a daily return of more than 2 percent. There were firms promising outlandish returns of 24 percent and even 55 percent, according to some estimates.

A payment processing business named Stormpay destroyed 12 Daily Pro in February 2006, thereby ending the auto surf for cash craze. The event became known as "the storm" and was widely reported. The specifics of the storm have already been thoroughly recorded, so I will not go into them here. According to the broad strokes, Stormpay required that surf for cash firms transfer all of their funds to Stormpay immediately and utilize Stormpay as their only payment processor. As soon as they received all of the money, Stormpay shut down all of the accounts, preventing any of the surf firms from accessing their accounts to pay their employees and members. Then Stormpay (after receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars in transaction fees) filed a complaint with the SEC, claiming that the auto surf for cash firms was in violation of SEC rules and regulations. When it comes to the hurricane, there are more questions than answers. Some of the most often asked questions are: "Was Stormpay secretly insolvent and manufactured this mess to conceal the fact?" and "Was Stormpay secretly bankrupt and produced this mess to conceal the fact?" Furthermore, "If the auto surf firms were engaging in criminal activity, why would Stormpay insist on assuming complete control over all their transactions rather than distancing itself from them?" Even today, the most often asked question is, "What happened to all the millions of cash Stormpay stole from surfers?" Stormpay is no longer a valid payment processor with the Financial Conduct Authority.

A small number of trustworthy surf for cash businesses survived the hurricane, but they had to work very hard to stay afloat. At the same time, new get-paid-to browse websites were being launched on a weekly basis and being shut down on an equally frequent basis. Some of these businesses collapsed as a result of bad management, but many others were obvious frauds perpetrated by unscrupulous business owners who took as much money as they could in a short period of time before disappearing.

It was simple to make money on the Internet by just surfing for it at the time. A certain amount of danger was inherent in surfing for money: a return on your investment was never guaranteed, and there were a handful of fraudsters operating questionable surf spots, but in the end, it was human greed that put the sector out of business. If people had been a little less greedy and a little more cautious in their investments, the cash would not have been diverted away from the more sustainable 1 percent and 2 percent paying auto surfs, 12 Daily Pro would not have achieved such phenomenal success, Stormpay would not have been able to steal millions of dollars from surfers, and surfing for cash would still be a minor segment of Internet advertising.

Is it likely that people will remember "the storm" and apply caution when the next quick money mania comes into view? It seems unlikely that the answer will alter until there has been a significant shift in human nature, and hordes of frantic ex-surfers will be paddling out to meet it.

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