In an effort to reduce the amount of people investing in digital coins, Poland’s central bank is paying YouTube stars to start a smear campaign to discount cryptocurrency.
Business Insider is reporting that The Narodowy Bank Polski (which translates to National Bank Of Poland, or NBP) spent around $27,000 on the digital marking campaign. This included ads and sponsored content across Google and Facebook, hoping to reach as many people as possible.
Of course, the question you should be asking is who they recruited to be in on this campaign? Polish gaming network Gamellon, represented by creator Marcin Dubiel, was tapped — as he has over 940,000 subscribers.
Dubeil posted a sketch entitled “I Lost All My Money?!” late last year, showing a character go broke after investing all his money in cryptocurrency. The video is not technically marked as sponsored, according to Tube Filter, but does contain a hashtag that translates to ‘watch out for cryptocurrencies’ — the slogan for NBP. It is not known how much Dubiel was paid for the video.
You can watch the video here. The bad news is that, unless you happen to speak Polish, you probably won’t understand anything they’re saying.
The campaign has received a lot of backlash in the crypto community (obviously). Mate Greenspan, a senior market analyst at trading platform eToro, said via Business Insider: “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 influences and not disclose payments, that’s just low down and dirty.”
NBP is sticking to their guns, however. “The result of this campaign is that people who were interested in investing in cryptocurrencies either refrain from these actions (which could bring them substantial losses) or are fully aware when they take them and consciously accept the associated risk,” a NBP spokesperson told CNBC. “NBP decided to conduct the campaign via digital and traditional media.
[NBP is] not opposed to the development of blockchain technology and its application, but the use of this technology in financial markets must be as safe and tested as in the case of other technologies.”