Poland’s Central Bank paid one of the country’s top YouTubers to make a video with no disclosure disparaging cryptocurrency in a “sensitization campaign.”
Governments around the world have begun taking sides as regulation regarding cryptocurrency becomes an ever-present topic of discussion. Many people who own cryptocurrency such as bitcoin have begun to suspect that central banks around the globe fear this movement, because users are trading local currency for digital ones, many with much success. In mid 2017, there were $100 billion dollars in cryptocurrency, and we’ve only seen values rise since. As of February 13, 2018, cryptocurrencies were worth $410 billion.
But conspiracy–shady, state-sponsored smear campaigns, all in the name of “the greater good,” e.g. control of the population–that’s the stuff of thriller movies, right? Surely, cryptocurrency does not pose such a threat that the world’s banks would waste time and resources to create advertisements and even recruit high-profile Youtubers in their country to make videos bashing it.
In an anti-crypto campaign wherein the Central Bank of Poland spent approximately $27,000, conspiracy is the name of the game. Beyond Facebook and Google ads, the authority also paid YouTubers to slam cryptocurrency in favor of fiat currency.
One facet of this campaign that has garnered substantial negative press is a video by Marcin Dubiel, one of Poland’s most popular YouTubers with nearly a million followers, which contained no disclaimer stating the video was sponsored which is against the platform’s terms of service.
The video–called “STRACIŁEM WSZYSTKIE PIENIĄDZE?!” which translates roughly to “I LOST ALL MY MONEY?!”–depicts a man who invests in a fictional cryptocurrency, buys a sports car, then attempts to buy his girlfriend dinner. Despite the fact that many companies, including major retailers, have begun accepting cryptocurrency payments, the restaurant in the video does not accept his crypto fortune for the expensive meal, so his girlfriend pays in fiat and storms away.
At the end of the video, Dubiel is left penniless while a maniacal investor revels in all the cash he now has thanks to Dubiel’s loss.
You can watch the video below (it’s in Polish).
The propaganda video has gained over half a million views.
According to Business Insider,
“The video is tagged under the hashtag #uważajnakryptowaluty, which translates as ‘Watch out for cryptocurrencies’ and is associated with a website set up by the NFB to warn of the dangers of investing in cryptocurrencies.”
Similarly, Planeta Faktów, a YouTuber with more than 1.5 million subscribers, created a state-sponsored video–although with disclosure–about the differences between cryptocurrency and “money.”
The National Bank of Poland has said that they have carried out a “sensitization campaign” about cryptocurrency, but little else.
The cryptocurrency community is in uproar about this slanderous and dirty attempt to give a bad name to crypto.