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CryptoGat (Ivan S.) Caught In A Pump-And-Dump Scandal Part 1

Welcome to Part 1 of 2 with CryptoGat (Ivan S.)

Recently we interviewed CryptoGat (Ivan S.) on Crypto Clothesline.  Here’s the story of a young man, who’s 23 years old, with a huge social media following, who made a lot of people a lot of money, and who recently had a fall from grace after being found part of a cryptocurrency market manipulation (pump and dump) scheme.

We are speaking also with a number of experts and enthusiasts in their fields on certain key issues and questions that came up during this informative and eye-opening interview with CryptoGat.

How many of you made silly decisions in your lives and had to ride through a barrage of bullsh*t until the bad-arse moments passed?

I groan to think about mine.

How many of you have let people down and paid in feelings of guilt, remorse, shame, and maybe even humiliation?  Public humiliation? Yep. Tick.

Chatting with CryptoGat (Ivan S.) was hugely informative.  He’s a guy who got ‘into crypto’ big time in April 2017.

He started researching and self-teaching as much as he could – diving down the proverbial crypto-rabbit-hole as he found there was not a lot of reliable and relevant information on the net at that time.  Then he started sharing his findings, research and opinions online: tips, preferences and education in general became the free-flowing and costless currency exchanged with his followers.

They started out as a small group, then with the exponential crypto-adoption from FOMO-crazed newbies in the field in November/ December 2017, CryptoGat’s Twitter following alone grew to over 70,000…

CryptoGat apparently helped a lot of people make a lot of money.

He had become a ‘public figure’, an ‘influencer’, a person to follow and glean insights and information from, for free.

Being part of literally hundreds of online forums and groups, some where he joined of his own volition, others where he was simply ‘added’, he became involved, yet not necessarily fully conscious of, a LOT of online conversations.

One of these groups was a pump-and-dump type arrangement that he concedes he chose to be part of.

Although the planned action in the group was never actually carried out, once the facts hit the airwaves that GryptoGat was part of the said conversation: he found his reputation in smithereens; attracted the passionate ire of some of his followers including public hate attacks and death threats; was majorly hacked, with his private personal information held to ransom in exchange for his personal cryptocurrency portfolio; lost a chain-reaction of work contracts and sustained grave fears for the safety of himself, his family and loved ones.

CryptoGat, makes it super clear that although he deeply regrets this choice, that at no time did he make people, his followers, pay for the information he provided.  It was always and only their responsibility to do their own due diligence and research (DYOR) into each and every offering he spoke of.

It would seem this ‘trustless’ blockchain system on which cryptocurrencies are built, is actually still very much based on trust in terms of people carrying out favoured trades – on taking in others’ opinions and relying heavily on others’ research to influence your very own buying decisions.

I’m certainly guilty of that.

The clever women in our school yard who (re-)introduced me to crypto back in June, 2017, are amazing researchers and I was keenly one of their most avid and grateful followers.  Nobody ever made any promises and we all bought in to what we chose to, on our own backs, taking full responsibility for our choices as adults…

Imagine though having that responsibility 10,000 x fold!  Imagine having 70,000 voices echoing your every gesture, your every buying choice… and blaming you when things went shit-faced.

And you’re 23 years old.

We acknowledge that CryptoGat had due responsibility as a trusted public figure to present information that would not harm the community who relied on him, but in reality, that very self-same community needs to pull up its proverbial socks and take on personal responsibility for blindly following someone else’s advice, in a market which is famous for its volatility, spikes and hikes, and sheer newness.

In reality there are no experts yet in this field.

There are some serious enthusiasts but when after 12 months’ ‘in’ you’re considered an oldie (ie. “…you bought Bitcoin 12 months ago when it was worth $3,000?!”), you gotta wonder at people’s stupidity to unquestioningly follow where an online figure leads you.

A host of questions come out of this interview:

1. Are famous people allowed to make mistakes? If so, to what degree do we, the public, hold them responsible for our decisions to follow them and get guiled into a scam?

2. If someone is providing all of their information freely, that is, at no cost to a sea of followers, at which point is that person to be held responsible for their followers’ losses or potential losses?

3. Where does personal responsibility begin and end in cryptocurrency, and, (let’s face it), life in general?

4. How old are the people in these groups? Early – late 20s? How much life experience have they had?  And yet we’re following them naively?  They may understand how to buy and sell, and manipulate markets, but would you trust someone still on their P plates with your life savings?  Really?

People screw up. Important thing is to own your mistakes and be a wiser human for it.

“He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone…”

– Jesus

Listen to the full podcast with CryptoGat (Ivan S.) here

By Abheeti Kathryn Pass

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