In the wake of relentless drama and intrigue surrounding crypto, influencer Cody Ko has called out fellow celebrities for exploiting their fans to secure easy cash in ‘pump-and-dump’ schemes.
Dubbing it “the new influencer scam” and likening it to the rise (and fall) of NFTs, Cody Ko thinks celebrities are abusing their fame to make quick bucks off of crypto-hungry followers. No one wants to miss out on the next Bitcoin or Dogecoin, and that’s exactly what Ko believes influencers are preying on.
Past Elon Musk, whose prominence has shifted the tides of cryptocurrencies — especially Dogecoin — on numerous occasions, Ko believes others are “scamming” their audiences.
In an extensive YouTube video, the former Vine star, current YouTuber and all-around internet personality decided to lambast all social media figures engaged in suspicious crypto financial advice. And, above all else, he’s most concerned about those prefacing their recommendations with “not financial advice” disclaimers.
While Ko acknowledges the merits of crypto and has no qualms with Bitcoin or even the ‘anti-crypto,’ newly legitimized Dogecoin, he does have reservations.
To summarize his concerns, the YouTuber thinks that other influencers are promoting riskier currencies, knowing full well that they can afford the risks and make a quick buck in the process. This is “shady” behavior that he believes is ‘ripping off’ and “scamming” susceptible followers — who likely don’t have the same financial safety nets.
One example Ko uses is Barstool’s Dave Portnoy, who encouraged people to buy Safemoon while cautioning that he wasn’t technically giving financial advice. Ko doesn’t believe the “not financial advice” argument won’t stand up in court should the SEC (in his eyes, rightly) intervene.
And the point is reasonable. Cryptocurrencies present novel territory, as celebrities can instantly manipulate the market and boost value simply by using their platform to talk (or just meme) about their current crypto of choice.
In the Portnoy example, Safemoon immediately jumped in price after he essentially advertised it and told fans that he had pumped $40,000 into the cryptocurrency. Even if the Barstool founder didn’t believe in Safemoon’s actual longevity, he could easily buy a lot, talk about it a bunch, and then immediately sell for an enormous profit — all at the expense of followers who bought in and drove its value higher.
For Ko, this behavior by influencers is a misuse of their influence. He’s a fan of cryptocurrencies, but not of celebrities using crypto to exploit their fans.