Cryptocurrency shills, meet anti-cryptocurrency shills. Paid trolls may be the new reality in the 2018 cryptoverse, as the Central Bank of Poland has reportedly been outed as paying thousands of dollars to popular Polish YouTubers to bash the viability of cryptocurrencies.
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Early Salvo in the PR War
Banks aren’t stupid: in the face of the rise of cryptocurrencies, their slowness to innovate over the past several decades has made them susceptible to extreme disruption in the here and now.
Bitsonline covered yesterday how nations like Australia and the United States are moving to new banking infrastructure that would level the playing field by allowing for near instantaneous bank transfers with 24/7 convenience.
That’s one way to go about countering the fiery upstart cryptocurrency community. Another? Surreptitiously launching a propaganda campaign through YouTube.
Such a scenario is what the space has on its hands now, as the Central Bank of Poland and the Polish Financial Supervision Authority have reportedly paid popular Polish YouTubers the equivalent of thousands of dollars to do “attack ad” style videos on cryptocurrencies.
It’s not a surprising development, to be sure. But many enthusiasts in the ecosystem will feel an ugly corner has been turned.
YouTubers Didn’t Disclose Collaboration
The Central Bank of Poland has since stated that it did, in fact, engage in a “campaign on the issue of virtual currencies in social media.”
So far, YouTube channels like those belonging to Marcin Dubiel and Planeta Faktów — both of which have over 1 million subscribers respectively — are said to have been involved in the campaign without initially disclosing it.
Dubiel, for instance, was reportedly paid in the ballpark of $30,000 USD to produce video content slamming cryptocurrencies as illegitimate, scammy, and prone to making investors lose all their money.
To this end, it’s clear Poland’s top financial authorities don’t want their citizens to make up their own minds about cryptocurrencies — an apparent testament to the disruptive potential of distributed ledger innovations.
What’s your take? Do you think paying for such YouTube content is unethical? Sound off in the comments below.
Images via Bloomberg, Central Banking