Category: SG Budget Babe

ICO Analysis: Is Sentinel Chain worth investing in?


The latest crypto project aiming to provide financial services to the world’s unbanked and underbanked.
One of the latest hyped crypto projects is Sentinel Chain, which is a Singapore-based ICO due to open their public crowdsale next month. There’s presently a lot of interest as Sentinel Chain is a partner of Vechain, which is arguably the #1 supply-chain crypto right now.

If Sentinel Chain is successful, they’ll help play a crucial role in reducing the world’s income inequality and lead rural farmers to greater economic prosperity. How do they intend to achieve this? Read on to find out!

Disclaimer: I’m heavily vested in Vechain. This is my personal take (together with my friend, Tim) on the upcoming Sentinel Chain ICO and should not be miscontrued as financial advice. Please do your own due diligence before investing in anything, especially in high-risk assets like cryptocurrencies.

What is the problem Sentinel Chain is trying to solve?

Financial lending and credit is generally based on collateral. When you borrow from a bank or financial institution, they will assess your financial standing by looking at your income earnings, assets owned (stocks, property, insurance) and other factors before granting you a loan. However, a large portion of the world does not have access to such financial services because they do not have such collateral.

70% of the world’s global food production is sourced from small-scale agricultural farmers, but these same farmers are concurrently among the largest population segment globally who live on less than USD 2 a day. They may own land and valuable livestock, but are generally denied of financial credit and borrowings for their operations and scaling because their assets are generally classified as “dead capital” in the financial economy.

Most financial providers can only accept the livestock as a collateral for loan if the livestock is insured. However, insurance companies today are mostly unable to offer livestock insurance at affordable premiums because there is no “tamper-proof” identification systems to guarantee the identity and ownership of the livestock.

The Solution

Livestock will be tagged with a physically tamper-proof identity tag (through a single-use RFID chip which cannot be removed without being destroyed) and the identity data will be stored on the blockchain where it is digitally-immutable (i.e. pretty much impossible to alter the data). Together with the time-series transaction ledger, this “digital passport” will prevent fraud, and allow insurers to assess the data to verify these assets for insuring. They’ll be able to check on the blockchain if that livestock has already been pledged as well, providing a trail of credit history.

Once the livestock is insured, the banks and financial lending institutions can now accept it as collateral to grant loans to these farmers. What was previously “dead capital” can now be monetized thanks to the Sentinel Chain blockchain ecosystem and partnerships.

The CrossPay app is an Android mobile wallet that will provide the unbanked with quick access to their balances and allow for quick transactions. The blockchain will be deployed locally at the grassroots level, and the cryptocurrency to be used in the system is called the Local CrossPay Token (LTC), which will be pegged to the value of the country’s native currency. LTC will thus not be exposed to the volatilty of the cryptocurrency markets.

Partnerships

 

How impressive is the team behind Sentinel Chain?

The team spearheading Sentinel Chain have strong credentials and I’ll highlight a few prominent individuals:

Roy Lai, Founder
Has over 20 years of experience in IT and finance. Was previously responsible for leading the successful implementation of FAST (yes, that same inter-bank FAST transfers that we now use on a regular basis!) connecting 14 banks in Singapore.

Chia Hock Lai, Council Member
The founding president of the Singapore Fintech Association.

Anson Zeall, Council Member
Chairman of ACCESS, Singapore’s Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Industry Association. Is also an instructor of the fintech and blockchain workshop for the Asian Development Bank and other banks in SEA.

Zann Kwan, Council Member
Previously Vice-President of GIC, and her team brought in Singapore’s first public bitcoin machine.

David Lee, Senior Advisor
The famed SMU professor who promoted Bitcoin years before it gained mainstream media traction.

Bo Shen, Senior Advisor
The Founding Partner of VC firm Fenbushi Capital, which Ethereum’s co-founder Vitalik Buterin was formerly a part of.

It is not every day I come across a crypto project with a team as impressive as this one, and given their extensive experience and connections in the financial space, that could give them a huge advantage in securing the partnerships needed to make this project a success.

What’s the value of the SENC token?

The utility of the SENC tokens are:

        Used by insurance companies to purchase LCT to store and access livestock data within the CrossPay blockchain

        Used by local financing companies to purchase LCT to pay for publishing the collateralized loan agreements to the local CrossPay blockchain

        Be held in escrow via smart contracts to minimise counter-party lending risk, so that if the local financing company defaults, then the escrowed SENC will be released to the overseas financing company to be liquidated for funds and loan repayment

        Fundraising for local community projects through peer-to-peer crowdfunding platforms, including for humanitarian aid, disaster relief, and more.

        To purchase LCT for e-payments on the CrossPay mobile app


Achievements thus far

One of their most promising milestones that stood out to me is their partnership with CloudWell in Bangladesh, which offers financial solutions to the dairy farmers, herdsmen and milkmen there. Given that over 80% of households in Bangladesh own livestock, there is a compelling and immediate use case for Sentinel Chain’s solution and B2B marketplace. It seems like they’ll be working with Green Delta Insurance (which was founded in 1985) to tokenize these farmers livestock first and get them insured as the first step to opening up access to financial services.

I managed to find secondary data sources confirming the various partnerships and pilots that were Sentinel Chain claims in their whitepaper.

CrossPay was deployed as a pilot trial with local dormitory operator TS Group last quarter (Q4 2017) at a supermarket, where migrant workers were able to make e-payments. I asked the Sentinel Chain team for the results of this pilot and was told that they’ll publish it much later, so this impacted my confidence in the project somewhat as it would have been better if we already had those results to assess.

I found a photo of Roy Lai with the VeChain team as well at their office:

 

My Q&A with Founder Roy Lai

Since most of these agricultural farmers will be out in the rural areas and are already poor without Internet access or smartphones, how will they be included in this solution?

Upon discussion with my friend Tim, we realised that there is a crucial misunderstanding of the markets here. For instance, Sentinel Chain’s target market in Myanmar already has 4G networks available, and the costs of a smartphone is about $30.

Why partner with a China insurer and a Southeast Asian bank? Why not partner with insurers who can cater to the unbanked and underbanked here in Southeast Asia first?
Roy Lai: Because there isn’t many. To access an affordable microinsurance service is not easy. It requires a large scale of members in order to diversify the risk. The China mutual insurance (Zhongtopia) has a 10 million customer base that pays 7 rmb premium and insured for 300,000 rmb.

Me: Will Zhongtopia be able to insure livestock of countries outside of China then, or is your partnership with them only for the China markets for now? If it’s only for China, when will the tentative pilot and roll-out be for livestock in rural China?

Roy Lai: The partnership is to explore mutual insurance outside China – not livestocks.

Why was CrossPay’s first pilot test run on migrant workers in Singapore, instead of an agricultural pilot in either Bangladesh or Vietnam to provide an indication to investors who can then evaluate the project’s potential success in the future when rolled out on a greater scale?

Roy Lai:  CrossPay’s pilot for Singapore utilises only the payment function which is only a part of the CrossPay’s functionality. The strategic value in doing it in a Singapore foreign worker’s dormitory is that as the hub of Asia it has workers from all parts of Asia, and is easier to solve the user experience problem simultaneously across different nationalities without going through country by country.
Is the technology for the tamper-proof RFID tags already ready? Who will be manufacturing and providing these tags? Who will bear the costs of these RFID chips and be responsible for implanting it into the livestock?

Roy Lai: Yes. We have an extensive R&D partnership with another Singapore company to design the tag for blockchain use. The costs of these RFID chips are born by the insurance and loan companies. We work with partners that has extensive agent network on the ground to manage the last mile deployments. We will not be able to share the name of the Singapore company designing and manufacturing the RFID chips without NDA.

You can also check out their Livestock RFID Tag Demo using CrossPay here:

Will there be a limit to the number of LCT tokens issued in each local country? How will the team differentiate between LCT tokens for the Bangladesh market vs. the Thailand markets, for instance?

Roy Lai: LCT tokens issued in each local country has no limit but a conversion between SENC and LCT is required. LCT tokens for different market are derived from USD exchange rate for the fiat vs the USD exchange rate for SENC token.

How will Sentinel Chain decide how many to issue (i.e. the number of LCT tokens then per country?) Any metric or guideline would be helpful.

Roy Lai: Not without NDA.

Has Sentinel Chain secured any government agreements or discussions to roll this out for their country’s agricultural population thus far?

Roy Lai: Further news to be announced. The aim is to announce before the ICO crowdsale closes.

I understand that a partnership agreement was signed with CloudWell, and the same article written by Anne mentioned Green Delta as the local insurance partner. Can you clarify if Green Delta has officially agreed to partner and insure the Bangladeshi livestock that will be placed on Sentinel Chain’s blockchain, or are they merely a partner of CloudWell that you were referencing?

Roy Lai: This is a tripartite partnership with Cloudwell providing the last mile support, Green Delta as the livestock insurance provider and InfoCorp providing the CrossPay network.

Future Use Cases

Rather than solely monetizing dead capital to allow for financial inclusion of the unbanked, SENC also seeks to develop the following use cases. One of them which we were highly supportive of was the use of SENC for community projects. The users that SENC targets are the very same exact individuals who are disadvantaged in their access to basic infrastructure such as electricity, roads or clean water. Through the SENC Blockchain, third party not-for-profit organisations may purchase SENC as a medium of exchange for LCT to finance social inclusion activities such as building of infrastructure, to sending donations and offering financial aid through fundraising platforms which Sentinel Chain is looking to develop in future.


 TLDR Conclusion
I’ve also separately met up with another staff working on Sentinel Chain (Jackie), and asked about the project. After this in-depth review, it is safe to say that I’ll be putting some ETH into this.
If you’ve any further thoughts on Sentinel Chain to add on, I’ll love to hear them!
P.S. This is NOT a sponsored article. The full research was conducted together with my good friend in crypto, Timothy Ng Wen Jun. Thanks for all your help!
With love,
Budget Babe 

SG Budget Babe on Budget 2018

If you were wondering whether that girl you saw on TV yesterday night was me, yes it was!Channel News Asia (CNA) had kindly invited me to be part of their Ask the Finance Minister 2018 show, where they gathered 5 Singaporeans from different walks …

Review: Standard Chartered’s Unlimited Cashback Credit Card

How do you choose the best credit card for your lifestyle? Everyone has different spending habits, so the best credit card for you might not necessarily be the most suitable for me. As such, personalization is key.

With the growing popularity of cashback credit cards, many banks and card companies are now releasing extremely competitive cards. But with more choices come more headache as well, especially when each card comes with different cashback limits and spending requirements across various categories.

If you’re looking for a cashback card with no caps and no hassled spending requirements, there are only 2 credit cards in the Singapore market which meet this criteria – Standard Chartered’s Unlimited Cashback and the American Express True Cashback.
How do they stack up among each other?
There’s little difference in the benefits between both, except that the AMEX card may not be as readily accepted by some merchants.
For those of you who still haven’t read the Cashback Guidebook 2018, here’s a quick breakdown of how they compare against one another:

SCB Unlimited Cashback AMEX True Cashback
Cashback rate 1.50% 1.50%
Max. cashback cap None None
Min. annual income $30,000 $30,000
Minimum spend (monthly) None None
Best for Fuss-free Fuss-free
Dining (weekend) 1.50% 1.50%
Dining (weekday) 1.50% 1.50%
Entertainment (weekend) 1.50% 1.50%
Entertainment (weekday) 1.50% 1.50%
Online shopping 1.50% 1.50%
Petrol Savings 1.50% 1.50%
Groceries 1.50% 1.50%
Toiletries 1.50% 1.50%
Transport 1.50% 1.50%
Telco 1.50% 1.50%
Hospital bills
Utilities

STANDARD CHARTERED UNLIMITED CASHBACK

Macintosh HD:private:var:folders:1d:h_675h291c9d8nk0x8y7jt3r0000gn:T:TemporaryItems:download.jpg


No cashback cap. No minimum spend.


There are only 2 credit cards in the market which do not have a cap on their maximum cashback, and the Standard Chartered Unlimited Cashback Card is one of them.


The 1.5% cashback rate is flat across all categories, so you don’t have to wreck your brains figuring out what or when to swipe your card in order to get a decent cashback rate.
If you’re too busy (or lazy) to be fussed about cashback limits and requirements on the different spending habits, this is a good card for those preferring something with no requirements and caps.

For those keen to get this, I’ve partnered with SingSaver for an exclusive gift of $100 Takashimaya vouchers on top of the bank’s welcome gift when you’ve successfully applied for the card. This promo is valid for BOTH new and existing customers!

With love,
Budget Babe

P.S. This is a post in collaboration with SingSaver, but all opinions are my own. I’ve also been promoting this card since 2017, together with the other cashback cards recommended in the Cashback Guidebook I published to kickstart 2018 with. Go have a read if you haven’t already!

How do you value crypto?

One of the most common questions I get from readers (and skeptics) is how to value cryptocurrencies.

Traditional concepts and ratios like Price-to-Earnings, Free Cash Flow and Net Profit don’t quite apply to cryptocurrencies, especially a large number of crypto projects still are in development and aren’t ready for mass adoption in the real world yet.

So what’s a crypto investor supposed to do?


We need to first understand that the crypto markets are still in their infancy. Unlike stocks (which have been around for a much longer time), there is still no universally accepted metric on how to value a crypto coin right now.

When Benjamin Graham introduced the concept of Margin of Safety, it took a few years before investors started accepting it and it became more widely used as a measurement to evaluating undervalued stocks. Similarly, we’re still years away from such valuation metrics for crypto.
Contrast this to the rise of Internet stocks and companies back in the past as well – when companies like Amazon, Facebook and Google first broke on the scene, no one really knew how to conduct financial valuations on them either. Facebook and Google assets weren’t physical, and Amazon was losing money and in the red for up till 2009. But we all know how their share prices have performed ever since.

Let’s use Amazon as an example.

  • If you had used the traditional Price-to-Earning metric to value Amazon, you would have been alarmed at its negative P/E given Amazon’s $5.78 million losses in 1996
  • Amazon returned no dividends to investors, nor did it do share buybacks

What would you have done? Probably stayed far away from this investment, because traditional valuation metrics were screaming red flags.

But today, with more Internet companies on the scene, we’ve become more familiar with growth investing and come up with other ways to value Internet companies at. Google’s IPO in 2004 seems ridiculous when you consider the fact that it was asking for $23 billion when its prior revenue was only $1.5 billion, and it had no physical assets to speak of. Facebook had a rocky start to its IPO and how do you even measure the financial value of a “like”, anyway? P/E ratios obviously didn’t work for Facebook; it was barely making money out of its billion users until Facebook ads became a norm and revenue started pouring in.

You could have waited until then to invest, but wouldn’t your returns have been infinitely more rewarding and explosive if you had bought Facebook right after listing, when valuations were still murky and uncertain?

Today, we know how to use cost-per-click (CPC) and click-through-rate (CPC) in our projections of future earnings when valuing Internet companies, but did we know that before when the Internet was still in its infancy? 

Even now, such valuations are more of an art than a science. Therefore similarly, we cannot expect to apply traditional knowledge and valuation models to crypto. They just don’t work. My friend Aaron from Mr Stingy, also raised a very good point that the model you use will probably fall flat as well if the rest of the world isn’t using it too.

But for those who insist on a numerical way to quantify exactly how much a coin is worth, there are still ways to be found. Let me illustrate with 2 examples.


Disclaimer: The below portion is purely for educational purposes, and is not a recommendation to buy any of the cryptocurrencies mentioned.

Kucoin Shares (KCS)
There are coins which can serve as a source of passive income (i.e. dividend-like investments). An example is KCS, which share a portion of its revenue from transaction fees earned through trades conducted on their exchange with its investors. There will also be buying demand for KCS as it offers discounts of up to 30% on trading fees. Hence, as Kucoin grows in popularity as an exchange, the value of KCS tokens will also go up. You could try to quantify how much it is worth by running daily trade transaction numbers, fees collected from trading, KCS buybacks, and more.

Someone even created a website for you to estimate how much your KCS tokens are worth.

Source: https://kucoinshares.com/

As more people use Kucoin, more trading fees will be collected, therefore the size of the payouts will increase over time. And because your dividends are paid in the form of alt coins, there is also a possibility that you’ll be earning as their prices go up as well.

Assuming Kucoin grows to become the top 10 exchanges and handles slightly under $1 billion of daily trade volume, we could estimate:

$0.0007 per day x 365 days x 10 (growth in trading volume) x 4 (conservative estimate of growth of coins) = $10.22

If you hold 1000 KCS, that should give you $10,220 in passive income every year. Not too bad considering how 1000 KCS costs less than USD 6000 to purchase right now. Unfortunately, the Kucoin Shares scheme has been discontinued since last month.

OmiseGo (OMG)
Another example is OmiseGo. I previously shared a financial valuation model on my Facebook page where it examines various scenario, including the price of OMG tokens if it charges X% of transaction fees assuming that it is successful in taking over Y% of the e-commerce or remittance market. The spreadsheet was created by Nodar Janashia and shared online.

Even so, that doesn’t mean this standard of valuing OMG tokens will be accepted by everyone. If your assumptions are way off, then your price estimations will also be problematic.

Source: Nodar Janashia
TLDR? 
In a nutshell, if you’re looking for a universal method to value crypto tokens, there’s none. Do not believe any investment course provider who claim that they can teach you a “reliable” method to put a price on the value of a coin, because there’s no such standard in the global crypto markets.

Trying to put a price on what a particular crypto is worth is both an art and a science today. And I’ll be the first to admit I don’t always have all the answers – neither does anyone else. In fact, I don’t usually quantify my crypto as much as I do for my stocks; instead, I look at qualitative metrics to assess if a crypto is worth my investment.

You’ve seen how I tore down Ripple (XRP) tokens previously because they failed to pass my qualitative criteria. You’ve also seen me do the same for LegitCoin and Bitconnect here.

I’ll next share on crypto projects that DO make the cut for me, so stay tuned.

Just like how the Internet changed our lives forever, I think we’re seeing the same with blockchain technology. And this is going to be one hell of a ride!

With love,
Budget Babe

Crypto – From a sea of red to a sea of green within a single day

How’s everyone doing? If you were freaking out over the dip the past few days (especially this afternoon), I hope you read my previous post dispelling all the FUD and remained calm despite the markets selling off.

If you haven’t already seen it, head over to read how I made 178% on a trade while the rest of the crypto markets were tanking (seriously, 1 out of the top 100 coins!) and why I believe this FUD will soon be behind us once people realise the truth about all the misreporting.

For those of you on Patreon, I posted earlier today about what coin I bought during the dip and why I felt comfortable buying it even though everyone else was freaking out.

Did I sell anything today while there was blood on the streets, and everyone was panic-selling? Yeah, all I sold was DGD – because it exceeded the fair value I attributed to it.

I didn’t manage to get a screenshot of this same list this afternoon, but see this video for how it was a sea of red then.

Did I buy anything today? Definitely yes – these dips are when I buy in bulk. Compare with how the stuff on my to-buy list looks like now:

Full disclosure: The above photo only shows my top picks in my watchlist. Obviously I don’t have enough money to spread myself out across so many coins, neither did I buy all of them today. 

As long as you follow these golden rules, you’ll be fine during the crashes:

  • Invest with only money you can afford to lose
  • Do your due diligence and avoid shitcoins
  • Don’t chase the pumps if you’re investing


With love,
Budget Babe

178% gains in a month while the crypto markets crashed

Crypto markets are crashing, but click here and watch this video carefully:

Notice how there’s only ONE coin in the top 100 cryptocurrencies which is green? Yup, that’s mine. In fact, in between taking that video and writing this post, DGD has gone up from 25% to 40% 60% now.

How much did I make on this trade? For sake of simplicity, let’s just assume I bought 5 DGD coins.

Then:

  • 1 eth = USD 660 (my buy price)
  • 1 DGD = 0.2 eth
  • Cost for 5 DGD = USD 660 
Today:
  • 1 DGD = 0.4 eth
  • 1 eth = USD 920
  • Total for 5 DGD = 2 eth = USD 1,840
That’s a 178% gain in just 2 months.
But you know what? I’m not going to cash out. In fact, I’m reinvesting it back into the crypto markets. Call me crazy if you will, but I’m buying the dip.


The entire market is bleeding but my portfolio is still green (thank god!). I would attribute it to both luck and skill – by not buying shitcoins (like Ripple *cough* read my take on XRP here and here).

Ouch.

Those who bought on 4 Jan 2018 and held till now:

4-Jan-2018

2-Feb-2018

Gain / Loss

DGD

USD 170

USD 350

+105%

XRP

USD 2.20

USD 0.78

-65%

Still think crypto is purely speculation or…luck?

With love,
Budget Babe

Don’t trust mainstream media for crypto news

Do not trust the mainstream media when it comes to news in the crypto universe, because most of them can’t even get their facts right.

Previously, we’ve seen how mainstream media outlets screwed up when they reported that South Korea was banning cryptocurrency. The FUD news spread like wildfire, when in fact South Korea has no such intention.

A lot of the news have either proven to be completely false, or was blown out of proportion. If you’re worried, I’ll try to clarify all the FUD here one by one.

1. India government bans Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies

Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said this during yesterday’s Budget session in parliament:

“Distributed Ledger System on the Blockchain technology allows organisation of any change of records or transactions without the need of any intermediaries. The Government does not consider Cryptocurrencies as Legal Tender or Coin and will take all measures to eliminate the use of these Crypto Assets in Financing Illegitimate Activities or a Part of the Payment System. The Government will explore use of Blockchain technology proactively for assuring in Digital Economy.”

All he did was to merely reiterate India’s stance that they will take measures to prevent illicit activities funded by the use of cryptocurrencies. This concern is valid and similar to what many other countries around the world has publicly announced. However, note how mainstream media blew this out of proportion by covering it as an outright ban:

See the screencaps below. Image credits belong to the respective sites.


2. South Korea government bans Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies


Earlier this month, mainstream media reported that South Korea was banning Bitcoin and crypto. Their Finance Minister Kim Dong-yeon then stepped out to clarify that the government had no intention to ban or suppress the cryptocurrency market, and that their immediate task was to regulate exchanges by allowing only real-name bank accounts to be used for crypto trading. This rule is to prevent bitcoin and other crypto from being used for money laundering and other crimes – exactly the same as what India is looking into.


3. Japanese exchange CoinCheck was hacked, more than $500 million stolen

Yes, hackers did managed to steal $500 million worth of NEM (another crypto), but note how mainstream media blew the whole saga out of proportion, which then triggered panic selling in the markets. But not all the media outlets who reported this hack actually bothered to continue part 2 of the story – that CoinCheck was refunding investors who had lost money in the hack.

Why just spread bad news and not the good news? I’ll leave you to ponder on that question yourself.

4. US regulators subpoena crypto exchange Bitfinex amidst crackdown into Tether 


Another round of panic selling was triggered, no thanks to Bloomberg’s report that originally stated Bitfinex was recently sent a subpoena. Bloomberg later edited their article to clarify that the subpoena was sent in December.


5. Crypto markets have been artificially inflated by the printing of tether (USDT). Once it crashes, it will wipe out anywhere from 10% to 80% of the crypto market.

The total value of tether stands at approximately 2 billion, which is just 4% of the total crypto market cap at time of writing. To say it’ll bring the crypto markets down by 80% is just a gross exaggeration.

6. Facebook banning ads on Bitcoin and ICOs.

Why get worried when this is a move that should be applauded? There has been a growing number of scam ICOs and fake crypto investment websites that have been advertising on Facebook, which has honestly been riling a lot of investors in the community. In my view, Facebook is doing the right thing by saving their users from falling for such scams. Out of sight, out of mind!

I don’t know about you, but my crypto portfolio is still very much in the green (although my profits are dropping together with the entire market). In fact, I’m buying even more crypto during all these dips. But no, don’t ask me what I’m buying (you’ll have to subscribe to my Patreon to get insider tips on that!)


If you’re scared, then perhaps the crypto markets aren’t for you. But while everyone is selling, I’m instead shopping to buy more. What about you?

With love,
Budget Babe

Here’s how a crypto ponzi scheme looks like

Breaking news: This is probably the only time you’ll ever see Budget Babe promote and invest into a Ponzi Scheme. The horror!!!!!!!!So I just came across one of the most impressive and smartest crypto projects I’ve ever seen. In fact, the entire scheme…

What will it take to get influencers to be honest about sponsored posts?

Did 4 separate local influencers suddenly wake up this week and decided they wanted to post a (glowing) review of Lancome’s Ultra Wear Foundation, or did they conveniently decided they’ll sneak an ad on us without disclosing that they were sponsored?

I would have (almost…or not) believed it was an organic review and they genuinely all just happened to want to rave about how amazing Lancome’s foundation is. That is, until you see how glaringly similar all the messages are:

  • The Ultra Wear Foundation by Lancome
  • Matte / like a second skin / flawless
  • Provides a link to Lancome’s page for followers to claim a free sample to try

(Note: I do not own any credits for any of the photos below. All screenshots taken from the named Instagram profiles.)


As a consumer on Instagram, I absolutely HATE being lied to. And when someone try to pass off a sponsored review as an organic opinion of their own, that’s definitely lying as I see it.


Whether or not this was a paid post or they were sponsored in kind (with the product), I’m sure we can all agree that the hashtags #sp #sponsored or #ad should have been clearly stated here. 


Now, an influencer posting a sponsored review doesn’t necessarily mean they are lying about their thoughts towards the product or service. But the way I see it, an influencer posting a sponsored review without disclosing that a sponsored affiliation exists is clearly demonstrating their lack of integrity and ethics.

But what if they weren’t paid in cash to do so? Well, I’ll quote the ASAS here on what defines a sponsored relationship:

The last time I called out something similar, some influencers went back to sneakily add in the sponsored disclosure hashtag while remaining completely silent (read the UOB Krisflyer expose here). Let’s see if the same happens this time. 


What’s so difficult about disclosing sponsored relationships? Or are people afraid that their followers won’t trust them anymore if they know the review was sponsored? -.-

We need to insist on higher standards in influencer marketing, and it is up to you and me to change it. If you’re an influencer yourself, start by being open and honest with your readers. If you’re a reader or follower, call out your favourite influencers when they fail to disclose sponsorships. Because you know, maybe they really did happen to just…forget.

With love,
Budget Babe