The history of financial pyramids totals not one century. It is precisely not known when first projects started appearing in which size of debts to participants was more than real opportunities of a system, but the history knows some large projects which initiated an era of "air" interest.
British John Lowe was the first known pyramid-builder. He organized a pyramid at the level of a state at the beginning of the 18th century in France. In those days France competed to England in all fields of activity, including economy. At the end of the 17th century in England the first bank was created which started printing unsecured currency and exchange it for real metallic currency which during that time people had. Such scheme promoted that the economy of England was nominally enriched, and France needed to take steps not to lag behind. For this purpose a financier John Lowe was invited; he moved from England to Paris as his idea was not demanded. Having received full carte blanche from French regent he created bank which organizers were many influential people of France. The bank started issuing tickets which were pumped in economy. On tickets there was an inscription which said that they can be exchanged for real metals at any time, but was not true. The nominal salary of French was raised, and, it seems, everything went well, but in 1720, a duke Burbonsky, according to eyewitnesses, exchanged all the tickets for metallic currency which took away to his castle by three carriages. These rumors were spread very quickly, and in some months Frenchmans broke branches of the bank to sell quickly depreciating tickets. At that time John Lowe hid in fortress and later ran from the country.
This event caused series of others, but less large-scale swindles. As a rule swindlers of Modern times organized pyramids through sale of shares of different companies, thus manually speculating with a course (hello Russian MMM). Such swindles were, as a rule, created in the territory of colonies as in colonies the legislative base was weaker, than in the countries colonialists.
In process of humanity development also financial instruments were improved which made business activity more convenient. Therefore, field size for swindles increased. A new era of pyramid-building is closely connected with a name of Charles Ponzi - Italian financier who in 1919 loaned $200, opened office, got 2 chairs and a table, and registered a company, having become its first and only one worker. Ponzi was engaged in sale of coupons, and promised buyers 50% of profit in 45 days. If the investor sold the coupon in 90 days, he was given an extra charge in 100%, in such a way in 3 months it was possible to earn 150%. Thus, unlike Russian pyramids of 90th, Ponzi actively promoted his activity, communicating with potential investors, giving interview, and explaining all subtleties of the business. At the beginning of 1920 30 people worked for Ponzi, Ponzi at work did not appear while remaining the owner of business. He bought smart housing for 35.000 dollars with 22 rooms which was in rich banking quarter.
Crash came out of the blue. The person who borrowed to Charles $200 for business opening, filed a lawsuit against the debtor for the reason that Ponzi is obliged to share a half of the profit. When investigation began, accounts of firm were frozen, and it meant inevitable death for a financial pyramid. Audit inspection showed all frauds which are carried out by the company, and investors having crowded near office demanding return of the money.
After this swindle all financial pyramids in common people began to call "scheme of Ponzi".
The period of 90th in the territory of CIS goes a separate milestone in the history of HYIP. Those days in new economy appeared a huge quantity of big and small pyramids as this activity was not regulated by anybody (and in certain cases even was encouraged). But from all swindles the most large-scale was well-known MMM, with the main office in Moscow. Tickets of this pyramid grew rates of 100% a month, and MMM itself worked for half a year. During this time the system collected 15 million investors, and the cost of tickets grew by 127 times.
The phenomenon of this pyramid is surprising as among hundreds of others, Mavrodi could collect such large number of followers, and then successfully started new MMM in 2011. Thus all knew that this is a pyramid, but any way took their chances to earn fabulous money.
The history of HYIP industry proceeds, and eventually, new technologies allow creating even more sophisticated ways of depriving of money from people. But along with it also grows the intelligence of investors who carefully study all available options for investment.