Mycelium – Wallets, Smart Cards and a Crowd-sale Fiasco

One of the earliest Bitcoin wallets, Mycelium has grown into what some call an entire “crypto ecosystem” over the years. Its evolution led it down a handful of dead ends, but overall, as far as its core service is concerned, the operation is still going strong these days.

What elements make up the “mycelium ecosystem”?

The most prominent element of the Mycelium suite is the mobile wallet they offer, which is often described as “the Default Bitcoin Wallet.” It is touted that it has the most downloads, stars and comments at the Google Playstore and in the Appstore, and indeed, hundreds of thousands of people use it. While the wallet feature has always been useful to everyone, the operator recently decided to expand the services that it offers to fiat money users as well. In fact, Mycelium are looking to turn their wallet into a sort of Fintech hub, with services branching out into several verticals, including but not limited to: social interaction, personal finance and value administration.

The next big Mycelium wallet update is set to usher in a series of new features, the most prominent of which is the addition of a fiat money service, which is also blockchain-based, pushing the technology past the crypto realm.

Remittance handling solutions, debit cards, investment portfolios and hedging, Escrow-enabled business transactions and crypto-asset creation are apparently also being added to the Mycelium package. While the plans are indeed ambitious, some of them do indeed seem overreaching, especially in light of the fact that Mycelium already have a crypto asset creation fiasco to look back on.

The crowd-sale initiative we’re talking about is of course the 2016 spring initiative, which saw the operator sell shares of its business to users. The token sale did end up collecting a lot of money, and some users did indeed spend tons of bicoins on it, in the end: to no avail. The whole thing just sort of faded away, leaving investors high and dry. Some now claim that the sale was little more than a donation drive on the part of the organizer. While some are surprised that the fiasco didn’t result in bigger community upheaval, there have indeed been accounts of class action lawsuits launched against Mycelium.

According to others, while the token was indeed legitimate, the company itself is finding it impossible to set up proper revenue streams, which makes the acquired tokens quite use- and valueless.

The Mycelium wallet itself seems to work well though and a few user complaints available in the Google Playstore comment section cast aside, the community seems to love it.

Swish, which is still hailed as a part of the Mycelium “ecosystem”, is apparently another fiasco which the operation has already written off. Swish was supposed to allow users to pay for food with Bitcoin through QR codes scanned off restaurant billboards, among other things. Swish does not seem to be online anymore, and the page dedicated to the service at the Mycelium site, is missing as well.

There’s a great deal of focus on third-party integrations at Mycelium, although users have recently experienced some problems in this regard too. Overall, lately, the staff behind the operations seems to have become overwhelmed with chores and they’re apparently not on top of the situation.

Mycelium Gear is a Bitcoin payment-accepting solution, primarily aimed at businesses. Ready-made widgets can be added to users’ websites, and new widgets can even be created through the widget wizard offered by Mycelium. Multi-currency pricing and easy CMS integration are touted among the main benefits of the Mycelium Gear widgets.

Mycelium’s Smart Card is a blockchain-compatible card, through which users can send and receive payments. The Mycelium cards are in essence tiny computers, featuring their own power source, CPU and display. These cards do not send actual cryptocurrency as payment: instead, they use digital tokens, which – like fiat currency – are backed by the promise of an issuing institution. We have to admit though that all this does sound a little too bloated and cumbersome to be practical.

Mycelium Entropy is a small USB device, which can be used as Bitcoin cold storage, and as a way to create paper wallets. All one needs to do to print out a paper wallet, is to insert the USB drive into a printer and to press the print button.

Should I Trust Mycelium?

While Mycelium’s wallet is a trusted and popular service indeed, there is no doubt that their crowd-sale was a massive disaster, which ended up fleecing some “investors.” In regards to trust, you should probably heed the signals sent out by the community and stick with the services others trust and consider useful.

Red Flags and Question Marks

While there are user complaints posted even in the comment section of the Mycelium wallet app at the Google Playstore, these seem focused on minor problems and some of them have indeed been sorted out by the Mycelium Staff. The above mentioned crowd-sale effort seems like a pretty underhanded move though. It has to be noted even in this regard, that those who purchased a share of the operation through the scheme, have really gotten what they had paid for. The only problem is that what they paid for doesn’t seem to be worth anything at the moment.

Mycelium Review Conclusion

Mycelium is a sort of a mixed bag on the trust front: they have useful, popular and reputable services, and they have a couple of red flags in their portfolio too. According to some, the operation has simply overextended, bringing about the token sale meltdown. Many users out there say they’re abandoning the wallet too, on account of the scammy nature of the crowdsale. It looks like currently the operation has entered a sort of decline, defined by poor support, and waning user interest.

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1 Comment

  1. Alisson

    Scam … we’re simply using the API of the Mycelium to receive payments from our users, and we had a serious Problem.

    The user paid $1000 for a service, the API reported that paid, activate bo system, but where was the $1000?

    Nobody knows, on our portfolio registered does not appear. 2 days already I’ve forwarded 6 emails and no answer. Not to mention that the bitcoin is in Fall and lost more than 10% of value if we responded and sent. Don’t rely on the API and in the wallet of the mycelium, already had other uncomfortable and doesn’t work properly.

    Without support.

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