In the past few weeks, a report started circulating called “Crypto’s Wirecard – The ChainLink Fraud” from a relatively unheard of source, Zeus Capital. The company pushed hard to get the circulation of their report, including emailing and pitching it to news sources, including The Daily Chain.
The report never really garnered much attention, nor gathered much traction in the media as there appeared to be a number of unsubstantiated claims and accusations. However, the push from Zeus Capital did not relent, and it soon came out that they were happy to pay people to push their findings.
Zeus Capital was also seen to be paying for Twitter ads to promote the anti Chainlink report and were calling on people to join them in a class-action lawsuit against CEO Sergey Nazarov. However, their drive got a little more underhanded when they started messaging popular crypto influencers.
According to a screenshot posted to Twitter by ‘The Wolf of All Streets’ Scott Melker on July 29, Zeus Capital allegedly reached out to him asking them if he’d be willing to post an analysis of Chainlink (LINK) to social media “for a fee.”
The Daily Chain reached out to Melker to ask his thoughts on this FUD campaign that looked to be rooted in ulterior motives.
A mass campaign
Melker was not the only one to receive the same DM, but he explains how he handled the situation
“I received the same DM that everyone else did. I had no idea what it was, and respond to every DM that I receive. I politely told them that I had already tweeted a LINK chart the day before, something I do on a regular basis,” he told The Daily Chain
“Hours later the news came out that they were attempting to pay people for bearish LINK charts, but they never mentioned in their initial message that they expected a chart with a particular bias. I blocked them the moment that I heard what was happening, and shared my DMs publicly. Sadly, some anonymous accounts that often target me made baseless accusations, solely based on the fact that I had posted a LINK chart, even though it was clearly the day before. “
“Once that news spread, my efforts to clarify were effectively useless – fake news spreads fast, and most people who saw the false accusation never saw my tweet clearing it up.”
This tactic from Zeus Capital is one that is never viewed in a positive light, regardless of the sector — but unfortunately, the paying for negative press is nothing new.
“Paying individuals to spread negative news is disgusting and dangerous. It is a disgraceful act and one that should criticized and condemned,” Melker added.
Melker also adds that he does not have a problem with promoting projects for a fee, but with the caveat that it need to be transparent and true.
“Boosting projects using influencers is a different topic. I think it’s totally appropriate and positive if the influencer discloses the relationship and is honest with their community. If someone is getting paid to transparently promote something that they actually believe in, it seems like a logical win/win. If they are promoting a scam and doing so secretly, that should also be condemned,” he said.
‘Par for the course’
Melker also adds that this kind of tactic is indeed damaging for the cryptocurrency space, but it is “par for the course.” Luckily, however, the report never really saw the light of day, and is probably already forgotten
“It is damaging, but is also par for the course in cryptocurrency, and beyond. I think this will be forgotten – it probably already has.”