Meditations on a crypto Ponzi schemer
In this Coffeezilla interview, Trevon speaks as if Bitconnect was, at some point, not a doomed Ponzi scheme.
The overarching sentiment among many conmen is that a scam must lose money. As if, with scams, ‘you know it when you see it’. As if they aren’t created to prey on those who don’t.
The Bitconnect scheme was quite clear, as it’s the project itself which promises unrealistic, unsustainable returns. In a flipping of traditional MLM structure, it is the marketers like Trevon who actually attempt to distance themselves from the projects own aggressive claims. Downplaying his role by saying, ‘I was documenting the price’, it points out where he’s realized he’s obviously in the wrong, and where he’s better learned to ride the line.
Again, the most egregious claims were made by Bitconnect, so the burden of lying wasn’t even distributed to the marketers themselves. In an MLM structure, the task of misleading victims with false information is typically shifted to the individual, uncontracted salespeople towards the bottom. For legal reasons.
To summarize: Bitconnect, bearing the burden of being an obvious Ponzi scheme, was stopped by regulators.
Bitconnect was intentional from the start.
Seriously, at this late date, how dumb can you play?
To make it even more interesting, we get to hear his ‘matured’ crypto take on HEX — a fairly obvious scheme. That isn’t to say there’s no money to be made. He’s promoted this crypto numerous times in the past.
“Now,” Trevon says, “I stop talking about projects when they’ve already gone way up.”
The context is that he doesn’t want to instantly create a bunch of bag-holders. He sees the negative impact of PND crypto influencers, who sell directly to their audience before drilling the price. It’s a fast ‘scam’, creating instant pain. If he were to do this, he says he would feel like he is scamming people.
But in the long-term, perhaps his conscious truly is clear funneling others into scams. After all, you can’t “know” someone is going to exit-scam in the future. Even though all the pre-conditions are met, they’re focused on a conveniently biased narrative about a benevolent millionaire who really wants to help people.
This is an important point, one Trevon can’t claim to be naïve to having been through multiple cycles. He says it is up to the listeners to determine whether it is a scam, while providing a positive focus bias himself. In other words,
The sword of Do Your Own Research pairs well with the shield of This Is Not Financial Advice. Zilla hammers his point that content creators and crypto influencers’ jobs (responsibilities) are to accurately portray the risks of investments they promote.
The responsibility to inform is not just, ‘is it a scam right now’, as Trevon claims to understand it, but, ‘how likely is this to become a scam?”
Trevon does bring up one good point from the, “everything is a Ponzi” angle. Heart, who created HEX and owns most the supply, is already rich. And while, “the rich always want to get richer”, he points out that there was only a couple million dollars worth of ETH to take at the time.
It follows that he wouldn’t ruin his reputation/risk legal repercussion — not yet at least. In a space where 98% of projects wind up scams, or at least abandoned, this isn’t a bad idea to keep in mind.
Yet it is just one example of the many such unspoken layers involved in understanding these schemes. The project offers to lock up money for up to 15 years. It could be a long con, utilizing all sorts of tricks for favorable price action in order to draw in as much money as possible. It’s by far the most likely outcome, so perhaps spreading the word isn’t a good idea.
On the other hand, Zilla hasn’t been around long in the scene. We’d be done here, if not for one more characteristic of crypto. A slightly less responsible way of saying “what are you going to do about it?”
It’s going to happen anyway.
With that in mind… you would rather be in early than late. You’d rather not be in at all — but this takes experience/wisdom to realize that legit projects outperform.
So I don’t buy it. Neither should you.