Kuetzal Scam - What Happened, Updates, and the Lessons Learned

Kuetzal was a Peer-to-Peer lending platform that I tried out in late 2019, and that went down in January 2020. It is now highly suspected to have been a complete scam from the beginning. Rather than simply deleting this article, I wanted to use it to explain what happened, what are the latest updates for the legal action against the platform, but also share what lessons I learned from the whole event.

What Happened with Kuetzal

Kuetzal was a Peer-to-Peer lending platform proposing high-yielding projects, that came with a buyback guarantee. In this sense, it was very similar to Envestio, another platform that ended up being a scam. I started to invest personally on the platform in 2019, with 200 Euros to initially try out the platform. I did that after hearing a lot about the platform from my audience, and as many people were already investing on it I wanted to try it for myself and see if it was a platform I could recommend. 

I published an early review of the platform (more about that later in the article), stating that after a few months of investing everything seems to be ok, but I needed more time to make a definitive opinion. One of the biggest negative sign that I saw after publishing this review is that I emailed their marketing people as well as their CEO after publishing the review, and I heard nothing back. Usually platforms are very eager to learn about reviews being published and to share them, so this was quite strange.

On the 12th of January, they sent an email announcing the shutdown of the platform, stating that it was due to the pressure from investors wanting to withdraw money, and that their bank started an AML check, freezing all their bank accounts. However they said the website will stay up, and that all the money will end up being given back to investors. The website of the platform is now inaccessible, and they went silent on all social media channels, truly making me believe it was a scam from the start.

I tried to contact them without any success. After waiting 2 days as I always do, I degraded my review of the platform on my site, as well as pulled any video I had on Youtube about the platform.

In terms of numbers, I lost around 200 Euros on Kuetzal (my initial deposit plus some interests), and I am still really sorry for those of you who lost money on the platform.

Current Updates

I also wanted to use this article to give you a summary about what is currently going on with the platform. As I mentioned before, the platform website is now inaccessible and all their team members went silent, so I do truly believe it was a pure scam and the platform will never open again.

However, there is an ongoing investigation by the Estonian police after many investors reported Kuetzal to the authorities. I will update this section whenever I hear more about that. 

What I recommend is follow this Telegram thread to see the latest discussions & updates about the platform: https://t.me/KuetzalDiscussion

Lessons Learned

On my side, I recognise that this event showed me that there was a flaw of the way I review platforms, and want to take actions to avoid this happening again in the future. First, I'll change my review process to be much more strict about platforms I feature on my blog. I usually posted my initial review about a platform after 3 months investing on it, and I will now double that and wait 6 months before talking about a new platform, to have more data from my own investments to show in the review.

For the review itself, I will also spend more time checking the background of not only the platform, but also key people that are currently running it, as well as the projects available on the platform, and track that over time. I also will put more numbers inside my reviews coming from the TrackInvest project, to include what results other people have with the platform.

Finally, I will also publish an article on my website as well a Youtube video to explain step-by-step how I review platforms, to provide full transparency on the process. I will post the link to this article here as soon as it is published.

I hope that this will help you take better investment decisions in the future, and of course I would love to hear what you think about it!