Crypto sleuth zachxbt, who broke the Sifu wonderland story earlier this year, has taken another tumble down the rabbit hole, this time exposing an NFT influencer and the pump and dump king who also moonlights as the leader of a crypto VC firm.
The most recent expose from zachxbt has focused on NFT influencer by the name of Morgan. On Tuesday, zachxbt leveled a series of accusations against Morgan, claiming she has been less than honest with her audience.
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First and foremost, zachxbt says that Morgan promoted a derivative NFT project, Jacked Ape Club, without disclosing to her followers that it was a paid promotion. Jacked Ape Club imploded shortly after its launch when two of its founders suddenly quit the project.
For her part in the scheme, Morgan has publicly apologized and offered to make her community whole again.
“I apologize for not disclosing the financial compensation attached to my promotion of [Jacked Ape Club],” she said. “Since last night I’ve been reaching out to reimburse anyone directly impacted. If anyone has questions they can request to speak on my spaces.”
While Morgan seeks to correct her error, zachxbt has been skeptical about her sincerity. He points to the fact that Morgan was earlier warned about Jacked Ape Club and its many red flags, and how she even went as far as to deny any self-interest in its promotion.
Jacked Ape Club aside, zachxbt points to a number of other instances in which Morgan promoted NFT projects without disclosing her personal financial interests.
He claims that Morgan lied about having never shilled NFT projects before, offering screen grabs and on-chain data as proof she previously promoted Women of Crypto without disclosure. Morgan later received 10 NFTs from the project and immediately flipped 8 of the NFTs for Ethereum.
This game looks rigged
Since 2021, zachxbt has exposed dozens of influencers engaging in highly questionable practices, and the case examples never stop coming.
On Wednesday, the investigator turned his attention to Ash WSB, an influencer with a sizable Twitter following of over 400,000 who also leads a trading-focused Telegram group. Zachxbt points to several examples of pumps and dumps dating back to 2021 which he insists were orchestrated by Ash WSB.
One high point of the investigation comes when zachxbt offers evidence that Ash WSB not only perpetuated pump and dump schemes on members of public groups, but also on the very users who paid had him for the privilege of joining his insider pump and dump channels.
In a final explosive detail, zachxbt connects Ash WSB to Everse Capital, a crypto VC firm with investments in major projects including Alien Worlds, Sienna Network, Polkadex, Star Atlas and many more. To support the claim, zachbxt offers a screen grab from an October 2021 blog which explicitly names Ash WSB as the leader of the VC firm.
The blog was written by Portal, a company that Everse Capital had invested in.
Although the screen grab offered by zachbxt clearly names Ash WSB and was posted on February 16, the blog as of February 17 no longer makes any mention of the influencer.
Fortunately, a web archive of the page still exists on web archiving site waybackmachine proving that a single sentence has been removed from the document in the last 24 hours. That sentence removed reads as follows:
“Everse Capital is a VC firm led by Cryptocurrency Influencer, popularly known as Ash WSB.”
A long sad story
Influencers and cryptocurrency have a long and complex history that dates back to the earliest days of the industry. Posts on the bitcointalk forum show that even as early as 2013 users were complaining about influencers promoting shitcoins and pump and dump schemes.
Influencers, advisors and celebrity endorsements went on to proliferate from 2016 onwards during the period dubbed ‘ICO mania’ and although crypto winter saw decreased influencer activity, the latest crypto bull run has enticed a fresh wave of shill influencers to inveigle their way into crypto.
Emerging crypto niches such as NFTs and new social platforms, such as TikTok and Twitch, now offer a raft of fresh profiteering opportunities for shill influencers with dollars in their eyes.
Earlier this month BeInCrypto covered the story of ‘Ice Poseidon’ aka Paul Denino, who unashamedly admitted to rug-pulling his own community after being confronted by a crypto investigator Coffeezilla. While the exact nature of the crime was unspectacular, the brazen nature with which Denino admitted he was only looking out for himself was at least refreshingly honest.
For the most part, dishonest influencers rarely become honest when caught.