Crypto Promoters Charge $105,000 per Tweet about ICOs

Crypto business is not only lucrative for investors and miners. Some people have earned a fortune in cryptocurrencies by merely talking and writing about them on social media.

One of the people whose interest in the initial coin offerings turned into a profitable business is Paul Angus. Angus is an engineer, but as a hobby, he talks on YouTube about the latest ICOs.

His audience is quite substantial. He has over 8,000 subscribers taking in his every word.

The Rise of Crypto Bounty Campaigners

The 43-year-old Scotsman earns money by taking part in what is called cryptocurrency “bounty campaigns,” where social media influencers earn money to promote ICOs by the entrepreneurs behind the offerings.

You might already know of some of the other crypto “bounty hunters.” For instance, John McAfee, the anti-virus software pioneer who has been in this business for quite a while, stirred the Internet in March, when he said that he earns $105,000 per tweet on ICOs.

These people are getting even more attention now that Internet giants such as Google, Facebook and Twitter are banning cryptocurrency advertisements.

The rapid increase in the number of crypto bounty campaigns is one of the reasons why ICOs are raising record amounts of money these days, regardless of the bans.

Legal Implications

Although those who do it argue that the campaigning is a cheap method of building a brand, critics believe there’s a threat of it becoming vulnerable to deception and hype. In some countries, where ICOs are treated as stocks and bonds, these campaigners even risk legal consequences by acting as unregistered broker-dealers.

“Once it becomes clear that financial outcomes can be manipulated not just by trading but creating perceptions through social media, regulators will take a very hard stance,” explains Lex Sokolin, Global Director of Fintech Strategy at Autonomous Research in London.

McAfee has already become a victim of strict regulations in the field.

He told his 820,000 followers on Twitter that he is facing threats from the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and therefore has decided to cease his work with ICOs and will no longer be promoting them online.

In November 2017, the SEC issued a warning that celebrity promoters of ICOs usually don’t have the expertise to make sure that the investments they endorse are appropriate. In the words of SEC Chairman Jay Clayton, this is especially hazardous as many ICOs are bypassing registration requirements and the market is probably filled with frauds.

The US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has also warned the public against basing their crypto purchasing decisions on tips they find on social media.

Regardless of the possible legal implications, the bounty campaigns and the ICOs continue to flourish. So far in 2018 alone, the ICOs have collected over $11,6 billion for blockchain-related startups, which is about three times more in comparison to the record amount raised in 2017.

Around 18 percent of crypto-related chatter on Reddit, Twitter and Bitcointalk forum, the largest forum on all things related to Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, originate from crypto bounty campaigns. This is an incredible leap in comparison with about six percent in January 2018.

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