DAMAGE CONTROL: The Fallout From The Market Manipulation Allegations Dogging Twitter Influencers

Everyone has an opinion. And on this issue, that engulfed crypto twitter for more than 48 hours now, everyone has strong opinions. There has been direct damage to reputations, indirect damage via screenshots that allege wrongdoing, and collateral damage to unsuspecting individuals related to proximity alone.

What we’ve tried to do over the last 24 hours is talk to as many of the individuals involved as we can. Via phone, text, and DM. Some have engaged in meaningful dialogue, and some have refused to comment. All of it tells a story that is probably yet to be complete – but we are attempting to close as many loops as we can in this article.

ARTICLE IS RELEASED

CryptoMedicated (we will not use his real identity, even though as of this writing it is known) took to Medium and blew a hole in the perception of crypto twitter influencers more than 48 hours ago. Screenshots told a damning story in regards to executing a pump and dump of scale that included pooled funds, a small cap coin, exchanges, pumps, then dumps, then pumps again. All of it playing out in a Telegram channel.

Immediately the twitter post and article went ‘crypto viral’ and moved to the top of the page on Reddit’s bitcoin page. It was everywhere and the scrambling began. Several Twitter accounts were either deleted or went into hours of hiding. Some attempted damage control, others released statements, and even others threatened legal action.

In the fog of allegations of this sort, that can quickly soil and individual or organizations reputation, the rapid action often leads to mistakes that can’t be undone. Specifically, the first statements released by several parties ended up being poorly worded faux apologies or denials that were later walked back. Secondary apologies are then released, but more damage has already been done.

As CryptoMedicated continued his work to out what he believed to be abuses he faced intense scrutiny from several different parties. That part of the saga began to get weird. But we will come back to it later in this article.

CRYPTOGAT IS THE CENTRAL FIGURE

As far as the crypto twitter community is concerned, CryptoGat is currently persona non grata. As far as we can tell, publicly, he has yet to be endorsed post screenshot revelations. Instead of rehashing the screenshots, we’d rather just leave it at that for now.

His initial post claimed that he was without internet service for nearly 12 hours as he flew around Europe. He was roundly mocked for that initial response. He then penned a poorly worded apology that was also dismissed by most on twitter. The apology, in the first paragraph, stated that he was “astonished by the community’s response”. The sort of language that couldn’t be defended. He then went on to apologize and promise to do all he could to win back the trust of those that follow him.

Within minutes of that statement, he was fired/removed from his post as a TA expert for 21 Cryptos, the eponymous industry magazine. He was also removed as an advisor to a large ICO that goes by the name, RealFevr ICO, a gaming platform. The fallout was swift and seems to be warranted.

Later in the day, CryptoGat claimed to be hacked. Stating that his phone, computer, twitter account, but not his money, had been compromised. It was later noted that this was a strategy that could be used to deal with the ongoing scandal in a newly formed Discord group via the alleged offenders in this drama. In the past three days, CryptoGat has deleted more tweets than he has actually sent, and his account has essentially become a retweet machine.

WHAT ROLE DID BITCOIN BRAVADO PLAY?

Remember when we told you that we had spoken, or attempted to speak to every party in this story. We have spoken to leadership at Bitcoin Bravado and have received several items on background. They have asked us to keep those conversations off the record. But where do they fall in this embarrassing saga?

Yes, it is true that CryptoGat was aligned with Bitcoin Bravado. But how closely aligned? We have seen documents from the Bitcoin Bravado group that prove that CryptoGat was not part of their leadership, was not an owner of the LLC itself in any way, and not a stakeholder in the traditional sense. This is now undisputed based on the evidence that we have seen.

Crypto twitter has been abuzz regarding Bitcoin Bravado’s potential involvement in this scandal. Lumping the organization into a group that includes CryptoGat based solely on proximity alone.

It is akin to accusing UBS, a global banking giant, of being a serial market manipulator because two traders who worked there are charged and fined for manipulating the LIBOR markets. Did UBS, as an organization commit to a scheme that encouraged, nay demanded, that their traders manipulate the LIBOR markets? No. But yet since traders who are employed (aligned) with the firm are convicted of said crime, you will have sections of the industry decrying UBS as a ‘serial market manipulator’.

That is what this feels like at the moment. Was Bitcoin Bravado complicit in hatching and seeking to use multiple parties to execute a pump and dump? No, we do not believe so based on the evidence we have seen thus far. But to be clear, the important phrasing here is ‘thus far’. This remains a developing situation and our reporting may show us otherwise. But as of the writing of this article, Bitcoin Bravado got hit by several members who chose to take actions that have stained the brand. Not the other way around.