Independent researcher Zachxbt has leaked a spreadsheet that claims to show how much it costs to hire prominent influencers to shill crypto.
The list, which allegedly came from a “marketing firm,” includes well-known names like Lindsay Lohan (8 million followers), hockey player Zach Boychuk (850,000), and British rapper Zuby (540,000). It also features lesser-known crypto influencers with followers hovering around 10,000 to 100,000.
Here’s how the business model is meant to work: crypto shill tweets can be purchased for a fee seemingly determined by the influencer’s follower count. Lohan’s eight million-strong audience means she can charge $25,000 for a single post, but prices for others can be as low as $200.
A retweet, on the other hand, is worth a lot less. The undisclosed marketing firm also offers an interesting deal — for $80,000, every name on the list will shill your crypto in a dedicated tweet. Added up, that’s a potential reach of over 19 million users.
While most accounts on the list are open about accepting paid promotion, others seem to avoid disclosing it’s an ad. Lohan, for example, has posted several times in an attempt to shill crypto without including ‘#ad’ or similar. It’s unclear if she did indeed receive money for her posts.
Vice has attempted to independently verify the spreadsheet — some influencers say the prices are accurate while others have provided the outlet with correct figures. Either way, the crypto community has taken a keen interest in Zachxbt’s leak.
Undisclosed crypto shills have made influencers serious bank
The list has raised questions among day traders about the trustworthiness of influencers they admire, while some see the spreadsheet as confirmation of what they already suspected. “Sadly many people in the space are doing promo, and very sadly some undisclosed,” one influencer from the list told Vice. GlazeCrypto, another person featured, told the outlet:
“I dont promote scam projects. I refused to promote those. I can easily know it bcz [because] my followers can determine that it is a scam project and I have to delete the Ad and refund it.”
Indeed, many influencers consider “do your own research” as an adequate disclaimer while they shill crypto. But while day traders are forced to come to their own conclusions, those with a loyal audience are getting richer.
Just last week, British YouTuber Ben Phillips was exposed for making $12 million in a pump and dump scheme. In numerous tweets and videos over the course of months, Phillips urged his millions of followers to hold their SafeMoon bags while strategically dumping his tokens.
Independent researcher CoffeeZilla uncovered that Phillips received ‘trillions’ of SafeMoon tokens as compensation for his marketing efforts — something the YouTuber failed to disclose to his audience.
Similarly, Kim Kardashian found herself treading hot water after promoting EthereumMAX to her 228 million followers.
The lack of accountability has left independent researchers like Zachxbt and CoffeeZilla to act as watchdogs in the space — until consistently enforced regulatory framework exists, day traders must unfortunately rely on their own judgement. Perhaps continued strong reactions from the public can help eventually make undisclosed promotions a taboo.
That said, resources do exist that can make it easier — for example, here’s a lengthy piece on what makes SafeMoon a Ponzi game.
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