Poland central bank has been accused of being responsible for an online smear campaign against cryptocurrencies.
Business Insider Poland reports that the Narodowy Bank Polski (NFB) spent around 91,000 zloty (£19,430; $27,300) on Google, Facebook and other websites, in a subversive smear campaign aimed directly at attacking the legitimacy of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, etc.
It is also noted that NFB also paid prominent YouTube network Gamellon to run anti-cryptocurrency videos without disclosing the fact that the videos were technically sponsored content.
Gamellon is a YouTube Partner Network “focused on supporting YouTube gaming creators”.
Their aim is to “help creators develop a sustainable YouTube GameNation.” Cross-promotion and collaboration, copyright protection and exclusive deals are all part of the package offered by the network.
The latter category includes deals such as the secretive slander campaign funded by NFB.
Macin Dubiel, one of Poland’s most prominent YouTubers working with Gamellon, published a video titled “STRACIŁEM WSZYSTKIE PIENIĄDZE?!” which translates as “I LOST ALL MY MONEY?!”
This video is a satire as it largely pokes fun at less-than-legitimate alternative cryptocurrencies (altcoins). They are most of the time little more than pump-and-dump schemes. Dubiel uses a fake cryptocurrency called Dubielcoin which has enormous returns but then is left holding the bag while he loses everything.
The video has had more than 500,000 views at the time of this writing.
The issue here does not lie on the fact that satirical videos were posted, but it becomes an issue when the content is not disclosed, especially is the content is directly aimed at harming the reputation of digital currencies and the blockchain industry.
Reports say that the NFB paid Dubiel to make the satirical video against cryptocurrency, despite the fact that the video was not labeled as such, making the video less satirical and more slanderous.
Mati Greenspan, a senior market analyst at trading platform eToro noted that: “It’s one thing to spread FUD (fear, uncertainty, and doubt) or talk it down if it’s bothering you, I can respect that. But to start a smear campaign using social influencers and not disclose the payments, that’s just low down and dirty.”
The video also carried the hashtag #uważajnakryptowaluty, which translates as “Watch out for cryptocurrencies.”
Business Insider noted that the hashtag “is associated with a website set up by the NFB to warn of the dangers of investing in cryptocurrencies.”
Money.pl has also reported that the NFB is, at the very least, aware of its wrongdoings. A letter dated February 9th indicates that the central bank “carried out a campaign on the issue of virtual currencies in social media” — even though the NFB has yet to actually comment on the matter.
Are you surprised to hear that a prominent central bank has been orchestrating a smear campaign against the cryptocurrency market? Do you think this merely illustrates the growing level of fear traditional financial institutions have regarding digital currencies? Let us know in the c