Poland’s central bank, Narodowy Bank Polski, recently admitted to funding YouTube videos slandering cryptocurrencies. One of the funded videos saw Polish YouTuber Marcin Dubiel receive about 91,000 zloty (about $27,000) to produce anti-crypto content that gathered over 500,000 views.
The YouTube video was paid for by the country’s central bank in collaboration with the Polish Financial Supervision Authority, according to local news source money.pl. The goal was to portray cryptocurrencies in a negative light, and the promotion was never disclosed in the video.
The central bank’s campaign, according to money.pl, also saw videos get published on YouTube channel Planeta Faktów (Planet of Facts). The channel currently has over 1.5 million subscribers, while Dubiel’s channel is currently sitting at little over 900,000 subscribers.
The video Dubiel was paid to create can be seen below. It tells the story of a young investor who goes all in on cryptocurrencies, and loses everything he put into them. The video’s description contains the hashtag #uważajnakryptowaluty, which is a website created by the Polish central bank and the country’s Financial Supervision Authority to warn citizens against cryptocurrencies.
The video’s dramatic climax occurs when the young investor is unable to pay for a meal with cryptocurrency. His date then throws fiat money at him and storms out.
Poland’s central bank admitted it “carried out a campaign on the issue of virtual currencies on social media”. It didn’t, however, provide further information about said campaign. Anti-cryptocurrency videos found online don’t disclose they were paid for.
Legality of central bank’s campaign on cryptocurrencies questioned
According to Trust Nodes, the legality of the campaign is somewhat unclear, as in a democracy, it is illegal for state actors to engage in propaganda. Whether these videos can be classified as propaganda is unclear, although the biased perspective in them doesn’t build up a good case.
At the end of Dubiel’s video, for example, an evil mastermind who got him to invest in cryptocurrencies counts his earning in fiat. On Reddit, various users claimed they’d be surprised if central banks didn’t try to slander cryptocurrencies.
This isn’t the first setback cryptocurrencies had to endure this year. As covered by Core Media, social media giant Facebook banned all cryptocurrency-related ads, as part of its belief that “ads should be safe.”