The cryptocurrency industry has had its fair share of scandals. However, with its adoption into mainstream markets, it was projected by some sectors that its controversy days are finally over and it can now enjoy a scandal-free path to success.
But it seems far from it.
In a bizarre turn of events, it is being reported that Poland’s central bank allegedly paid YouTubers to instigate a smear campaign against cryptocurrencies.
The reported amount that was spent on this alleged smear campaign is said to be around $27,000, and part of it was distributed amongst influential YouTubers to create negative videos that would help paint cryptocurrencies in a negative light.
Details about the events
As reported by Business Insider Poland, an individual leaked a letter by the Narodowy Bank Polski (NBP) outlining its expenses against an amount of 91,000 zloty (around $27,000). The expenses were showed as marketing funds utilized on platforms such as Google, Facebook, and Gamellon, which is a YouTube partner network.
It was then alleged that the revenue spent for YouTubers was to create anti-cryptocurrency material to influence public’s perspective through propaganda advertisements in the form of YouTube videos.
One such example of these videos was provided as a single video by popular Polish YouTuber, Marcin Dubiel.
I lost my money
In December 2017, Dubiel had created and posted a satirical video that showed him investing all of his funds into a pseudo cryptocurrency by the name of “Dubielcoin,” hoping to get rich quickly.
He does get rich, only to see all the speculative value of the Dubielcoin drop to nothing, to the point where he loses all of his original funds.
Due to Dubiel’s stature and popularity, the video was watched by over half a million viewers within a few days of its release.
What makes the video’s connection to NBP obvious and rather blatant in bad taste is that it was posted with the hashtag “#uważajnakryptowaluty,” that roughly means “Watch out for cryptocurrencies.”
The same hashtag was utilized by the website that NBP had set up to issue investor warnings for cryptocurrencies and the dangers of investing one’s funds into this financial asset.
However, Dubiel’s video was not the only one that was created under that hashtag or which was against cryptocurrencies. Several other popular channels used the same practice to create content that directly targeted cryptocurrencies and used the same hashtag of “#uważajnakryptowaluty.”
That connection and the letter which was leaked sparked up a controversy, originating from the idea that NBP had allegedly paid YouTubers to execute a smear campaign against digital currencies that come nowhere near the power and influence of the central bank of a stable country.
The news was received intensely by almost all segments of financial markets, and the cryptocurrency community itself expressed its disappointment in NBP.
While the criticism keeps flowing in especially from the cryptocurrency community, the NBP has not yet released any comments on the incident.