After a difficult year for the cryptocurrency industry, filled with bankruptcies and failed crypto companies, American podcast host Joe Rogan and popular YouTuber Stephen Findeisen, a.k.a. Coffeezilla, discussed the phenomenon of celebrities endorsing crypto scams, either knowingly or unknowingly.
Specifically, Coffeezilla noted that a lot of celebrities supported the collapsed crypto exchange FTX and its founder Sam Bankman-Fried due to the enormous “social proof” that “overwhelms your alarm bells,” as he told Rogan during his Joe Rogan Experience podcast streamed on March 7.
According to the YouTuber, this included a combination of things:
“First of all, it’s this guy who drives a Toyota, so you go like, ‘well, why does he need to scam me if he’s driving a Toyota?’ Then it’s like, ‘okay, Tom Brady backs him, Tom Brady’s got to have some guys who are looking into this,’ and then it’s like, ‘well, BlackRock backed him, BlackRock definitely has some guys who looked into it,’ right? And Sequoia Capital said he might be one of the first trillionaires, (…) they think he’s such a genius.”
As Findeisen further explained, comparing the situation with Bernie Madoff, “a lot of these people backed Sam with the highest endorsements, and if you’re just an average person, you’re thinking, ‘well, how much more due diligence can I do than all these other guys?’ All these other guys buy into him, and then they themselves are also looking at each other. (…) So you kind of think you’re swimming safely with other savvy investors, and that’s what ultimately gets you to buy in.”
Problem of accountability
Meanwhile, Coffeezilla and Rogan also discussed American media personality and wrestler Logan Paul and the allegations of him scamming the investors in the crypto project Cryptozoo, to which Paul threatened to sue Findeisen. Although the wrestler apologized and promised to refund the investors, Coffeezilla said it had been ‘radio silence’ ever since.
“What I’m ultimately looking for is some accountability from these guys. They’re happy to make money (…) from these different projects they’re spinning up, but the second accountability is asked for, you can’t reach them.”
As a reminder, the YouTuber investigates online scams and has previously exposed Celsius ex-CEO Alex Mashinsky dumping CEL tokens across crypto wallets, as well as unearthing an alleged plot by non-fungible token (NFT) scammers who could have potentially made $20 million in a dubious project, and drawing attention to SBF accidentally describing a Ponzi scheme months before the widely publicized crash.
Watch the video below: