How to hype crypto-influencers without revealing their financial ties

Some of the projects Mr. Armstrong promoted were small, experimental cryptocurrencies that eventually ran into problems. In these cases, he said, he also saw himself as a victim.

“They go after the novice crypto-influencer who has just become popular and is trying to figure out what they should and should not do,” he said. “It’s hard to go from 12,000 subscribers to a million in a year and make all the right decisions.”

Mr. Paul became famous as a video blogger and occasional actor; YouTube once reprimanded him for posting footage of a body he found in a Japanese forest. Over the years, he has transformed his internet fame into an eclectic range of entrepreneurial activities, including a range of energy drinks.

Mr. Paul became interested in crypto last year when the NFT market began to explode. In a recent interview, he admitted that he still learned to navigate the crypto market even though he was trying to make money on the technology. “I’m a person with extreme ideas, not really an executor,” he said.

Mr. Paul participated in some of the initial brainstorming sessions for the Dink Doink project. But the business was eventually run by one of his roommates, Jake Broido, who gave Mr. Paul 2.5% of the tokens originally issued.

In a Tweeter Last June, Mr Paul called it one of the “dumbest and most ridiculous” cryptocurrencies he had come across, and circulated a video of a cartoon character singing lyrics that are sexually explicit. “That’s why I’m totally for it,” he added. He also appeared in a shocking video on Telegram in which he praised Dink Doink as perhaps his favorite crypto investment.

The campaign was a flop, and Mr. Paul was teased by YouTube critics. The price of Dink Doink soared well below one cent before falling even more in value over the summer. Mr. Paul said he never sold his tokens or earned on the project. But he said he regretted promoting the play without revealing his financial commitment. “I certainly have not acted as responsibly as I should have done,” he said.

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