Influencers are still hawking cryptocurrency and scammy altcoins to take advantage of their gullible fans.
By now, you may have seen a typical crypto giveaway on social media platforms like Twitter, TikTok, and Instagram from some of your favorite internet celebrities. It’s a fairly common marketing tactic among altcoins — give away some free coins to a lucky winner and bring some attention to the crypto they’re promoting.
But are even the giveaways shady?
Most cryptocurrency transactions are public record thanks to the blockchain. The blockchain logs transactions between crypto wallets, which is where people generally store their cryptocurrency holdings, sort of like an online bank account.
But, this is where things gets murky. One person can have multiple wallet addresses. Also, an individual’s identity is not tied to a wallet address either, that is unless the person has shared their wallet address publicly.
A recent follow-up investigation spearheaded by two popular YouTubers looked into a former FaZe Clan member who was kicked out of the group due to his involvement with cryptocurrency.
And what they found seems to point to, well, yes, even the crypto giveaways promoting these coins may be scams.
His name is just “Kay” now.
On July 1, the popular esports organization FaZe Clan kicked Frazier Kay, formerly known as FaZe Kay out of the group. In addition, it also suspended three other members – Jarvis, Nikan, and Teeqo – as well.
And, as Mashable can now confirm, Jordan Galen, a senior talent manager at FaZe Clan has recently separated from the organization as well.
Why? The influencers were all working as “ambassadors” for an alternative cryptocurrency called “Save the Kids” token which turned out to be a pump and dump scam. Mashable reported on the altcoin and the influencers’ involvement in promoting the scam last month.
After FaZe Clan members promoted the Save the Kids token to their fans, there was a massive selloff among initial investors. Shortly after, it was announced that the founders of the altcoin had disappeared with the funding, thus rendering Save the Kids and all of the investments from fans as worthless. The entirety of Save the Kids, billed as cryptocurrency meant to raise money for children, was a scam.
The whole situation with Save the Kids caught the eye of YouTubers Coffeezilla and Mutahar Anas of the channel SomeOrdinaryGamers.
“The name of the charity token drew me in,” Anas told Mashable in a statement. “I couldn’t shake a token that was called ‘SaveTheKids’ and had a bad feeling. Usually these currencies are mostly memes and aren’t picked up on my radar. When I saw this announced, I was immediately keeping tabs to see how this story would play out.”
Pushing crypto schemes was bound to result in some real consequences for online influencers. However, it’s undeniable that the work these two YouTubers did, diving deeper into the involvement of each member of FaZe Clan, resulted in the gaming organization’s decisions on who to suspend and who to let go.
In a video released on Coffeezilla’s channel, the YouTubers alleged that Kay specifically had involvement in the Save the Kids token well before the altcoin was even in development. In a subsequent YouTube upload, Coffeezilla revealed that Kay’s legal team threatened legal action over his video.
Kay’s fake giveaways?
In a video posted last week on his SomeOrdinaryGamers channel, Mutahar Anas dove into the blockchain to view transactions in order to track the movement of the altcoin from wallet to wallet.
Anas was able to find a since-deleted tweet from Kay which included his wallet address. The wallet had transactions involving Save the Kids token as well as other altcoins Kay had hosted giveaways for, such as Eclipse token, SafeGalaxy, and Titscoin.
Due to how the blockchain works, every single transaction, including the wallet addresses, involving these cryptocurrencies are publicly logged.
Using the dates on the giveaway tweets and matching blockchain transactions for each altcoin, Anas alleges that the same wallets won multiple giveaways. In fact, some wallets appear to have won every single one of Kay’s giveaway that Anas investigated.
Simply put, it would be nearly impossible for the same few individuals to legitimately win every giveaway run by the same person.
A screencap of some of Kay’s since-deleted crypto giveaway tweets.
Credit: Someordinarygamers / youtube
Furthermore, some of the wallet addresses that won giveaways appear to have been involved in transactions with other giveaway winners. Separate addresses appear on a whitelist of approved Save the Kids pre-sale buyers that was provided to Anas by an anonymous source. Again, this would be an outlandish set of coincidences if these few wallets legitimately won these giveaways.
“The correlations of all these transactions is just too coincidental since some participated in the Save the Kids scheme and also received tokens on the dates of all three mentioned giveaways,” Anas said in an email to Mashable.
Anas was hoping to hear from Kay, even calling for an explanation in his video. According to Anas, “Frazier has not answered the allegations of giveaway fraud.”
Kay has, however, released a video statement of his own.
“Please, please, please, do not believe what you’re hearing online,” says a teary-eyed Kay in his statement.
Kay claims his legal team has uncovered “significant evidence which confirms that a dishonest person abused his trust with me to scam everybody.”
Mashable has reached out to Kay multiple times for more information and a comment but has not yet heard back.
However, Kay isn’t the only person from FaZe that seems to be wrapped up in this mess. Jordan Galen, a former senior talent manager for FaZe Clan also comes up in Anas’ investigation. In the video, Anas discovers that Galen appears to have played a role in landing these influencer deals with cryptocurrency founders. Anas claims that he spoke to an altcoin creator who had dealt with Galen when he had attempted to cut a deal to have FaZe Clan members promote his crypto. This particular deal ended up falling through and did not move forward.
Anas tells Mashable that Galen “strongly denied” any allegations of “giveaway fraud.” These transactions that Anas discovered were, according to Galen, “commissions” for putting the various deals together.
“I have my own reservations believing that without hard proof,” Anas tells me. “Honestly, the holders could be anyone. What is important is ‘some’ of these accounts receiving tokens on numerous giveaway timings like I’ve shown also participating in ‘Save The Kids.'”
Mashable can confirm that Jordan Galen is no longer working at FaZe Clan.
In addition, Galen’s own LinkedIn account was recently updated to show his time with FaZe Clan ended in July 2021 after nearly three years with the organization.
Mashable reached out to Galen for comment but has not yet heard back.
Debunking the claims would be easy
A few weeks ago, Mashable first reported on a failed influencer deal between FaZe Banks, the founder of the popular esports organization FaZe Clan, and an alternative cryptocurrency called BankSocial.
As part of the deal, Banks was to promote the altcoin via a Twitter giveaway. The contest was simple: retweet, like and follow the BankSocial Twitter account, and you can win $10,000.
Not long after Banks’ promotion of the token, BankSocial prices tanked. The influencer deleted his tweets shortly after, which caused many to speculate if there was even a winner.
According to BankSocial, there was a real winner. The giveaway winner even publicly backed Banks’ claim on Twitter and said he received his winnings from the giveaway. It would be very easy for Kay to do what Banks did and prove the giveaways were legitimate. He has not yet done this.
This isn’t the end of Anas’ crypto investigations either. The YouTuber tells me he is currently looking into other crypto influencer schemes. But, as for the situation he uncovered with Kay’s giveaways and Save the Kids, he tells me “it’s just odd and requires an incredible explanation.”
And if Kay happens to come through with an explanation as to how the same wallets won all his cryptocurrency giveaways, then one has to ask:
Why are they wasting time with shitcoins when they should be playing the lottery?