Analysis | The lights are off for Crypto’s Laser-Eyed Grifters.

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There are not many silver coins in cryptocurrency. People lose money, often without capacity. But one welcome victim is one of the worst brand managers in financial history, the “influencers” of toxic media, the poisonous advertisers. The next step is to focus on consumer protection in the digital investment age.

The simple label of a pair of laser eyes – the brightness badge that led to Bitcoin $ 100,000 and above – adorned the statues of congressional women, billionaires, sports stars, and stage and file crypto fans. .

The lasers are not shining brightly after the recent attack in Cryptoland, some are completely dark, perhaps in an effort to control the damage to the reputation. The Winklewos twins are now engaged in a cover band called Mars Crossroads, promoting their next career. Elon Musk insists he never told anyone to buy it. And celebrities who once praised their unmistakable tokens have now downloaded them.

Real changes are coming down to the speculative food chain, as the fuel viral economic narratives are fading and the crypto business between young and unsuspecting consumers is getting richer than the rest.

The business model of influencers is to take dollars instead of promoting virtual cash. At one time, YouTubers was offered $ 30,000 to promote cryptocurrencies. But as the exchange rate dwindles and start-up costs disappear, those dollars are drying up. Coinbase Global Inc., with a market capitalization of over $ 12 billion. In fact, it has reduced associated transaction fees, Business Insider said. Influencers who earned $ 40 for each new forum registration months ago are now given $ 2 to $ 3.

Celebrities such as Matt Damon and Larry David got into trouble by advertising, but at least their relationship was clear. Not all social media individuals are scammers. But the project, which has little to do with the products it promotes – such as YouTube’s Logan Paul, told the New York Times in May that the work of Token Dink Doink, who is encouraging 23 million followers, is “clearly wrong” – and is undermining public trust.

And the ignorance of some Crypto Shills is verifying their supporters – who is tired of the constant claim that ‘inflation’ is anything but – more controlled intervention and voluntary attacks on Tick Talk and other social media. The platforms are not far off. Some reality TV star accounts have been shut down, with Snapchat blocking jazz and Laurent Korea last year.

This is not about censorship, it is about transparency. Jackson Palmer, co-founder of Dogecoin, has an umbrella term that describes our world. He said the implementation of crypto shows a network of “purchased influencers”. According to a study conducted by the Netherlands Financial Supervisor on 150 Influencers with more than 1 million followers, a small fraction – around 1% – is not receiving funding from related projects. Most are not specified.

It is clear that the authorities have a role to play in cleaning up the mess. Advertising overseers in the United Kingdom and France have done much to stem the tide of deceptive advertising. Kim Kardashian and Floyd Mayweather Ethereum Max were both charged in January with promoting digital currency. Mayweather In 2018, she was fined by the US Securities and Exchange Commission for displaying coins without disclosing her financial needs, and last year she was warned by the UK Financial Conduct Authority about a fake digital counterfeit created a month ago by her supporters. By unknown developers.

But there is an urgent need for more financial and digital literacy. Young people are overwhelmed by debt at an early age and feel the pressure. Wealth is also accumulated by luck – by being born of the right generation or the right family or by supporting the right sign – not by virtue. That helps explain why those who are struggling to repay why buy-now-pay-later loans have prospered and why so many people follow and listen to influencers.

There is a role for parents and educators here, and perhaps a few apps with protection methods that allow for a small fee for testing. And regulators need to be able to fight fires.

Now, people with laser eyes in their profile photos unknowingly slap a clear health warning on their content. If you see those two red dots, wipe them out.

More from this author and others in Bloomberg.

Crypto is not big enough to fail even with the help of FTX: Lionel Laurent.

• The next big thing in AI is ‘false’ data data Parmi Olson

Bitcoin could serve many masters in the war in Ukraine: Tim Kulpan.

This column does not necessarily reflect the views of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.

Lionel Laurent, a Bloomberg commentator, covers digital currencies, the European Union and France. He was previously a reporter for Reuters and Forbes.

More stories like this can be found at bloomberg.com/opinion

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