The Ping Wallet Scam
What Happened to The Ping Wallet?
The Ping Wallet was one of the most anticipated Kickstarter wallets of its era. Funded back in 2013/2014 the wallet managed to successfully raise nearly $60K through 979 backers. The story of the Ping Wallet doesn’t have a happy ending as is common with so many of these Kickstarter Scams. There’s no doubt the Ping wallet was ahead of its time but was it too good to be true? Were there warning signs that the Ping Wallet would never become an actual wallet? Today we’re going to be talking about this elusive wallet, the story of its founder Alix Narcisse and where things might have gone wrong.
The Kickstarter Craze
Once upon a time, the word Kickstarter & wallets went hand in hand. It was around 2012 that it became a trend for wallets to crop up on the platform. One after another more and more wallets would achieve unbelievable success raising hundreds and thousands of dollars in funding. It wasn’t long before others started seeing the trend and weird fixation on wallets. The likes of fraudsters, and those looking to make a quick buck, jumped on the wallet hype train. Obviously, some of these people had questionable intentions and that led to the obvious range of scams you see on the platform. Today we’re going to be talking about one of these scams – The ‘Smart’ Ping Wallet.
What was the Ping Wallet?
The Ping Wallet was quite an innovative wallet for its time. It was an early example of both a metal minimalist wallet and a smart wallet that could connect with your smartphone and track your wallets’ whereabouts. The whole wallet is pretty attractive in design being a really clean aluminum body. The minimalist aesthetic was popular at this time and still is to this day, helping bolster the wallet’s popularity.
Along with its size, attractive design, and features, there was very little to criticize with the Ping Wallet. The smart features were where the wallet really shone. Supposedly with its own custom made app, the ping wallet could connect via Bluetooth to an Android or IOS (Apple) device allowing for its location to be tracked via GPS.
Smart wallets to this day have become very popular although they themselves seem to be the most prone to scams, with the likes of the Voterman smart wallet also being a scam (more info on that here).
The Story of Alix Narcisse
Alix Narcisse was the founder of the Ping Wallet. Little is known why and how the Ping Wallet failed but it’s ultimate demise, and scam, can all be traced back to Alix himself. Before launching the Ping Wallet on Kickstarter Alix founded OGT Mobile. OGT Mobile was an incredibly ambitious company that was once producing a tablet device, dubbed the Eros, that would have been the slimmest of its time (2011). That being said, the Tablet never made it to market (which seems to be a recurring theme) as explained by an article from Tech Crunch. From here OGT Mobile ceased to exist and Alix would move onto his next project.
This was of course the Ping Wallet known initially as the Link Wallet. Alix himself had himself a sizable time in the development of the Ping as is shown with the Ping’s promotional video. After the initial funding was successful Alix himself was still very active on the platform regularly updating backers. The last update said:
‘We want to express our deepest apology for all the miscommunication and delays. Due to the fact that 80% of our backers would like a refund, starting today December 22, 2014, to or before December 22, 2015 everyone would receive a full refund in form of a Visa Gift Card.’
This was the very last update made by the Ping Wallet team on December the 23rd 2014. From this point onwards backers never received this refund and are still waiting to this day. It doesn’t make it any better than the best they were going to offer anyway was a Visa Gift Card. This was the official end of The Ping Wallet as we know it.
Alix’s latest venture seems to be a company named ‘Zypt’. It took me a while to better understand what this company was but it seems to be a healthcare and fitness company with the promise to ‘revolutionize the entire health and fitness industry by eliminating the barriers between you, your health, and your doctor from virtually anywhere in the world’. As you’d expect this clearly didn’t happen as the company clearly no longer exists.
The Ping Wallet Legacy
Unlike other wallet scam stories like Voterman Smart Wallet, The Ping Wallet is dead and buried. This is both good and bad. At least Alix Narcisse is no longer scamming people out of their money. Yet trying to pursue him further for the money he stole becomes increasingly difficult and as more times passes the fewer people care. It’s still sickening to me that I have to resort to creating these scam articles.
Kickstarter needs to take a more active role in combating this sort of blatant fraud. The culprit’s of so many scams run free while they and Kickstarter both benefit from our trust. The only winners in these cases of big business and scammers alike. Things need to change. If anybody has any more information regarding the Ping Wallet or any lawsuits regarding action against Alix himself, I would love to hear from you. Please email us directly from our contact page here.