17 days ago
I have been thinking a lot over the weekend and there are a few things that I want to address. This entire FTX situation absolutely sucks. There is no other way to put it. Real people have been harmed by bad actors.
I have read every single critique and complaint that has been tweeted to me. I hear you. I see what you are saying. I may not be responding, but I’ve spent hours reading everything. Feedback is a gift, so thank you.
In order to address the critiques, I think context can be helpful. I have numerous companies that I run, including a media company that produces a podcast, daily email, YouTube videos, etc. Majority of the revenue comes from advertising.
We have worked with nearly 50 advertising partners over the last half decade. Our goal is to always work with good people who have built something that customers value and solves a real problem.
In recent years, we were offered a lot of money to advertise various businesses or products that we didn’t believe in. We turned them down. Actually, we turn down many more advertisers than we accept. Instead, we created a framework for evaluating advertisers.
The basic framework revolved around two ideas: (1) Do I use the product and/or think it solves a real problem? (2) Is the business regulated by legitimate organizations? When it comes to FTX US, they checked both of these boxes.
Like many others, I never thought FTX leadership team could potentially be misleading governments, auditors, regulators, or other oversight organizations. It appears I was wrong.
This brings me to one of the critiques that people have shared. Why no apology? To apologize would imply that I did something wrong. I don't believe that to be the case. We did an advertising deal with a US-based, regulated exchange. Key word is regulated.
I've seen people say that I, and many others, were "shilling" FTX US. Here is the definition of shilling from Urban Dictionary. This is not what we do. If we get paid by an advertiser, I tell the audience clearly. In fact, people usually complain the ad reads are too long. t.co/JhsrSMHpla
Additionally, I never promoted the FTX token, nor did I have some secret upside in their success. The US-based, regulated exchange bought an ad and we told the audience that it was paid for by the company. I also happened to be a user of the product.
This brings me to the various critiques and complaints about BlockFi. The company has been clear that they paused withdrawals due to uncertainty surrounding the FTX situation.
BlockFi is not a scam as far as I know. You give them some of your bitcoin, they lend it out, and they pay you yield. It is written on their website. There are plenty of complaints about the product, but fraudulently lending customer funds doesn't appear to be one.
I have been an investor and user in BlockFi for years and openly discussed it on the podcast and in ad reads. I haven't been on the board of directors for ~ 18 months. After speaking with the BlockFi team ~ 6 months ago, we agreed to end their advertising contract early.
This FTX situation is horrible. Bad actors decided to do irresponsible and harmful things and now many people are having to live with the consequences. I don't know what is going to happen. I hate that we have to all go through this. But we will be stronger because of it.
My promise to all of you is that I hear you. I have been one of the loudest public proponents of bitcoin over the years. My conviction has never changed.
I know many of you are mad, upset, hurt, and confused. I am sorry. Unfortunately I don't have more information on what to do. I have bitcoin locked on platforms as well. This sucks. There is no hiding that.
The only thing I know to do is to continue doing what I have been doing for years: I will continue to spread the word about bitcoin. I will continue to educate as many people as possible. I will continue to do my small, unique part in pushing us all forward.
Every few weeks we hold 2-3 hour long session on self-custody. There have been thousands of people who have attended since we started doing it last year. Moving forward we will make these more public and try to do our part to educate people on the various options available.
I don't have all the answers. I am not perfect. Your feedback is helpful. Although it is hard to hear at times, I appreciate it. As someone told me, I "heavily advertised my wins." Now I am heavily advertising my losses. Bitcoin humbles us all. Wish you nothing but the best 🙏🏼
One last thing...the spam and bots is still out of control.