Crypto scammers, haters, and skeptics

Everybody loves to have an opinion about cryptocurrency and the blockchain. Unfortunately, a lot of those opinions are negative and uninformed, and some are based in fearmongering.

The crypto industry is an exciting place. There's a lot of brilliant people with great ideas and strong opinions. But like any field, it also attracts its share of scammers, frauds, and nay-sayers. We've collected some of our favorite (or least favorite, depending on how you look at it) examples here. We present this list as a resource for the community, a convenient collection of some of the worst scams and "expert" opinions that we've encountered in the past few years. This list is regularly updated and we welcome your submissions.

Craig Wright embarrassing himself

We decided to dedicate an entire section of this list to Craig Wright and all of the ridiculous claims he hasn’t been able to back up, the times he’s contradicted himself, the times he’s been caught out in lies, and his feuds with other people in the crypto space

This guy, though What did he do this time? Source
Craig Wright, June 2019 Forgot he “invented” Bitcoin! WATCH: Craig Wright briefly forgets he ‘invented’ Bitcoin (2019)
Craig Wright, September 2019 Literally blamed a hurricane for his problems. Craig Wright says Hurricane Dorian stops him from challenging that pesky Bitcoin court order worth billions (2019)
Craig Wright, August 2019 Was caught editing and backdating a paper (not for the first time). Craig Wright seemingly caught lying and falsifying documents yet again, says Peter McCormack (2019)
Craig Wright, August 2019 (again) Made numerous fraudulent and contradictory claims during court case.  Judge Rules Against Craig Wright, Criticizes Credibility in Court Decision (2019)
Craig Wright, May 2016 First started claiming he was Satoshi. Australian Craig Wright claims to be Bitcoin creator (2016)
Craig Wright, June 2019 Started suing people who disputed his claims of Satoshihood (a word I just created). Craig Wright says he invented bitcoin. Now he’s suing those who doubt him (2019)
Craig Wright, August 2019 (a busy month for him) More forged and backdated documents. Craig Wright Allegedly Forged Correspondences in Kleiman Case (2019)
Craig Wright, October 2019 Claimed "Either I'm Satoshi, or Satoshi plagiarized me." Craig Wright: Either I’m Satoshi Nakamoto, or He Plagiarized Me (2019)

Crooked crypto companies and “experts”

The crypto space is unfortunately plagued by scams and dishonest people. Here is a collection of some of the worst offenders, from our own research as well as from outside sources.

Offender Offense Source
ICO Rating Accepted payments for ratings without disclosing that they were paid; violated US securities laws. Filing by the SEC (2019)
CoinMarketCap Selling ad space to YoBit, a known scam who admitted to pump-and-dump tactics on their mailing list. On Yavin’s LinkedIn (2019)
Bitibu Disabled EURS withdrawals and went offline temporarily with no explanation. Bitibu disables EURS withdrawals, disappears with user funds (2019)
CoinTelegraph Selling ad space to Karatbars, a known Ponzi scam. CoinTelegraph runs ad for Karatbars Ponzi scheme! (2019)
Bitfinex Concerning code found in their LEO contract would allow contract owner to delete coins from any wallet. Scammy Abilities Found In The Bitfinex LEO ERC20 Contract Code (2019)
Venture Capital Hub @ Reuters Violating securities laws by promoting an STO (that was probably a scam as well). Venture Capital Hub @ Reuters enabling scams (2019)
Wirex Charged pre-sale customers double what IEO customers paid, and locked their tokens down. Wirex charges pre-sale customers DOUBLE! (2019)
WHEN Code in smart contract allows funds to be transferred to any wallet by contract owner, allowing theft of funds. WHEN Smart Contract Allows Theft Of Tokens (2019)
Fight To Fame Falsely claims Mike Tyson is involved despite a cease-and-desist, is my favorite scam for how ridiculous it is. Fight To Fame: another blockchain fraud (2019)
Chainstarter and 21 Million Two competing projects to create a movie or TV show about a shadowy crypto conspiracy. Can either be trusted? Can Chainstarter be trusted? (2019)
Changelly / ChangeNOW Accused by multiple users of withholding funds. Changelly and ChangeNOW controversy (2018)
IDACpro ICO scam which created a fake team by stealing images from people around the internet. IDACpro – SCAM ICO Project – Getting help from ICOBench (2018)
ICOholder After correctly spotting an ICO scam, they later reversed course, improved the scam’s rating, and promoted it! ICO rating site ICOholder caught red handed, willingly promoting SCAM ICO Tkeycoin (TCD) (2018)
ICObench Do you have all day? ICObench is well-known in the crypto industry for being a worthless measure of the quality of an ICO or an expert. How reliable are ICObench and their experts? (2018)
Telegram Users Although we generally love Telegram and have multiple chats there, we were disappointed by the hateful sticker packs we found (disturbing content warning). Anti-Semitic, Violent, and Bullying Activity Crawls into Crypto Community (2018)
Ran NeuNer Promoted an obvious scam on his television segment. Tech journalists and responsibility (2018)
Ubex The details of this token sale really didn’t add up. While we haven’t definitively rated Ubex as a scam, we did give their ICO a high risk rating. Ubex Token Sale seems foggy (2018)
Initiative Q Initiative Q is NOT a cryptocurrency. It has nothing to do with crypto. But people kept comparing it to crypto so we wrote about it anyway and we still think it’s a scam. Just not a crypto scam. Initiative Q is Going Viral. We Have Concerns. (2018)
OneCoin and Ruja Ignatova OneCoin is a clear Ponzi-style scheme that continues to draw people in despite the fact that Ignatova hasn't been seen or heard from since 2017. Mystery of the Disappearing Crypto Queen (2019)
Jorg Molt Claims to be a "co-founder" of Bitcoin in order to promote his education platform. Satoshi 'Nakamolto' Emerges With Great Hair and Questionable Claims (2019)

Anti-crypto statements from around the world

Everybody loves to have an opinion about cryptocurrency and the blockchain. Unfortunately, a lot of those opinions are negative and uninformed, and some are based in fearmongering. Here is a collection of some of the people who have spoken out against cryptocurrency, and what they’ve said. From journalists to financial advisors to world leaders, you'll find a wide cross-section of ignorant statements.

Author Quote Source
Paul Krugman “So let’s talk both about whether BitCoin is a bubble and whether it’s a good thing — in part to make sure that we don’t confuse these questions with each other.” Bitcoin is Evil (2013)
Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal “I just don’t believe in this bitcoin thing. I think it’s just going to implode one day. It’s Enron in the making.” Saudi Prince Al-Waleed: Bitcoin Is ‘Going to Implode’ (2017)
Leo Garnier “The rise of cryptocurrencies is a godsend for criminals.” The bad sides of cryptocurrencies (2017)
Brown Brothers Harriman “These are not currencies in any meaningful sense. To the extent that some retailers accept them is a bit of a novelty and marketing fluke.” The Case Against Bitcoin and Crypto-Currency (2017)
Jay Adkisson “What merchant wants to accept much of a currency that is like a Venezuelan bolivar that can go down in minutes?” The Cryptocurrency Paradox And Why Crypto Is Failing (2018)
Kai Stinchcombe “In fact, I would assert that there is no single person in existence who had a problem they wanted to solve, discovered that an available blockchain solution was the best way to solve it, and therefore became a blockchain enthusiast.” Blockchain is not only crappy technology but a bad vision for the future (2018)
Jason Bloomberg “We must make all cryptocurrency as we know it today illegal.” We Need To Shut Bitcoin And All Other Cryptocurrencies Down. Here's Why. (2018)
Tim Chen “With all the fraud and uncertainty surrounding cryptocurrencies, investors are flying practically blind.” Don't buy the hype: Why cryptocurrency is still a terrible investment (2018)
Erin Griffith “Silk Road and AlphaBay may be gone, but that hasn’t stopped fraudsters, gamblers, sex workers, and drug dealers from cashing in.” The Dark Side of the Crypto Revolution (2018)
Warren Buffett “In terms of cryptocurrencies, generally, I can say with almost certainty that they will come to a bad ending.” Warren Buffett says bitcoin is ‘probably rat poison squared’ (2018)
Charlie Munger “Suppose you could make a lot of money trading freshly harvested baby brains. Would you do it? To me, bitcoin is almost as bad.” Why The Old Guard Hates Bitcoin (2018)
Bill Gates "Right now, crypto-currencies are used for buying fentanyl and other drugs so it is a rare technology that has caused deaths in a fairly direct way.” Bill Gates says crypto-currencies cause deaths (2018)
Sean Williams “At the end of the day, investing in cryptocurrencies simply may not be worth the headaches they bring to the table.” 9 Reasons Investing in Cryptocurrencies Is a Bad Idea (2018)
Mr. Money Mustache “No, you should not invest in Bitcoin. The reason is that it’s not an investment. Just like gold, tulip bulbs, Beanie Babies, 1999 dotcoms without any hope of a product plan, “pre-construction pricing” Toronto condominiums you have no intent to occupy or rent out, and rare baseball cards are not investments.” Why Bitcoin is Stupid (2018)
Ajaypal Singh Banga “I think cryptocurrency is junk….The idea of an anonymized  currency produced by people who have to mine it, the value of which can fluctuate widely — that to me is not the way that any medium of exchange deserves to be considered as a medium of exchange.” Is Cryptocurrency “Junk”? (2018)
Carl Icahn “I don’t like the cryptocurrencies only because, maybe I don’t understand them. [...] How do you regulate them?” Carl Icahn: Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are ‘ridiculous’ — ‘I wouldn’t touch that stuff’ (2018)
Tanja Hester “We don’t buy Bitcoin or any cryptocurrency. And, frankly, if you give a damn about your own financial security, we don’t think you should either.” Why We Don’t Buy Bitcoin or Any Cryptocurrency — And You Shouldn’t Either (2018)
GlobalData Financial Services “In a purely cryptocurrency world, people would have no channels to influence their country’s money supply, which would undermine democracy.” The downsides of cryptocurrencies (2018)
Steven Mnuchin “Cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin have been exploited to support billions of dollars of illicit activity like cyber crime, tax evasion, extortion, ransomware, illicit drugs, and human trafficking." Bitcoin And Crypto Suddenly Branded A 'National Security Issue' (2019)
Warren Buffett (again) “Bitcoin has no unique value at all. It doesn’t produce anything. You can stare at it all day and no little bitcoins come out. It’s a delusion basically.” BILLIONAIRE WARREN BUFFETT REMAINS CLUELESS ABOUT BITCOIN, CALLS IT 'DELUSIONAL' (2019)
Donald Trump “I am not a fan of Bitcoin and other Cryptocurrencies, which are not money, and whose value is highly volatile and based on thin air.” Twitter (2019)
Joseph Stiglitz “I actually think we should shut down the cryptocurrencies.” Nobel Prize Economist Joseph Stiglitz: ‘I Actually Think We Should Shut Down Crypto’ (2019)
Mark Wiedman "I don’t quite get the point of a bitcoin ETF. If bitcoin is ever successful, I wouldn’t recommend it. But if it were [successful], why would you need an ETF to access it?" BLACKROCK'S ANTI-BITCOIN CEO LARRY FINK'S HEIR IS CRYPTO CRITIC MARK WIEDMAN (2019)
Erik Finman “Bitcoin is dead, it’s too fragmented, there’s tons of infighting I just don’t think it will last.” Bitcoin is pretty much dead, says teenage crypto phenom (2018)
Pablo Hernández de Cos “[Crypto] cannot replace money and is not a means of payment or common exchange.” Bank of Spain Warns Citizens Against Crypto, Given Lack of Local Regulations (2019)
Nicholas Weaver “My advice to anyone who says you should invest in cryptocurrencies [is] you should just kick them.” The Best Thing to Do With Crypto? “Burn It With Fire,” Says This Super Skeptic (2019)
Warren Buffett (yes, him again) “There’s been a lot of fraud connected with [Bitcoin]; there have been disappearances. So there has been a lot lost on it. The bitcoins haven’t produced anything." Crypto Twitter Reacts to Buffett's Recent Criticism of Bitcoin (2019)
Nouriel Roubini “Most Bitcoin/shitcoin investors are retail suckers who are clueless/financially illiterate.” BITCOIN BULLS AND BEARS WHO’S HOT, WHO’S NOT ON CRYPTO (Article 2019, quote 2018)
Bill Harris “Bitcoin is a scam. [...] In my opinion, it’s a colossal pump-and-dump scheme, the likes of which the world has never seen.” Bitcoin is the greatest scam in history (2018)
Charlie Munger (again) “It’s just disgusting. Bitcoin is noxious poison.” BITCOIN BULLS AND BEARS WHO’S HOT, WHO’S NOT ON CRYPTO (Article 2019, quote 2018)
Kevin O’ Leary “And where’s the long-term value? Just this idea that they’re going to cut the number of units in half. [...] Such a scam. Like that’s just totally BS.” “Bitcoin is here to stay” - Kevin O’Leary 2013 (2013 and 2019)
Anurag Agarwal “Cryptocurrency is a Ponzi scheme and it should be banned. This is the view of the IEPF (Investor Education and Protection Fund) authority and we want the government to take a stand on it. By not taking a decision, we are harming investors.” Anurag Agarwal: Crypto Should Be Banned (2019)
Peter Mallouk “What we’re going to see, most likely, is, we’re going to see cryptocurrencies collapse.” Don’t buy bitcoin, warns wealth manager: We’re likely ‘going to see cryptocurrencies collapse’ (2019)
Paul R. Brody “Widespread adoption of bitcoin could be very damaging to the global economy.” EY Executive Says Bitcoin Has No Practical Use in India (2019)
Ehud Barak “Blockchain itself is a mathematical technological concept and an interesting and important methodology. [...] Cryptocurrencies — bitcoin and all the others — that’s a Ponzi scheme.” BITCOIN IS A PONZI SCHEME, SAYS FORMER ISRAEL PRIME MINISTER EHUD BARAK (2018)
Jamie Dimon “If you were in Venezuela or Ecuador or North Korea or a bunch of parts like that, or if you were a drug dealer, a murderer, stuff like that, you are better off doing it in bitcoin than US dollars.” Bitcoin is a fraud that will blow up, says JP Morgan boss (2017)
Ardo Hansson “I think we will come back a few years from now and say how could we ever have gotten into this situation where we believed this kind of a fairy-tale story.” European Central Bank Policy Maker Calls Crypto ‘a Fairy-Tale Story’ (2019)
Benoit Coeure “Few remember that Satoshi [Nakamoto, the inventor of Bitcoin] embedded the genesis block with a Times headline from January 2009 about U.K. banks’ bailout. In more ways than one, Bitcoin is the evil spawn of the financial crisis.” European Central Bank Exec Calls Bitcoin the ‘Evil Spawn of the Financial Crisis' (2018)
Huw van Steenis “I’m not so worried about crytocurrencies. [...] They fail the basic tests of financial services.” CRYPTO IS WORTHLESS, FAILS BASIC FINANCIAL TESTS: BANK OF ENGLAND ADVISER (2019)
Jeff Schumaker “I do believe it will go to zero. I think it’s a great technology but I don’t believe it’s a currency. It’s not based on anything.” ‘Bitcoin will go to zero’: Davos talks up the future of blockchain tech (2019)
Uri Levine “The only use of that [blockchain technology] today is really bitcoin. Bitcoin is the coin of crime, and I don’t want to support that.” Bitcoin Is the ‘Coin of Crime,’ Says Waze Co-Founder Uri Levine (2019)
Jordan Belfort “There’s no fundamental value [with bitcoin], it’s all based on the next guy and the next guy.” ‘Wolf of Wall Street’ Jordan Belfort on bitcoin: ‘Get out if you don’t want to lose all of your money’ (2018)
Jean-Claude Trichet “The [crypto]currency itself is not real, with the characteristics that a currency must have.” Bitcoin is not real, and any purchase amounts to speculation, says ECB’s ex-chief as he pours cold water on cryptocurrency (2019)
Tendayi Kapfidze “It has no real utility in the world. They’ve been trying to create a utility for it for ten years now. It’s a solution in search of a problem and it still hasn’t found a problem to solve.” Bitcoin is a pyramid scheme, economist says (2020)

Instances of financial institution corruption

While all of the above are so focused on the dangers of cryptocurrency, the established traditional financial institutions get away with all manner of corruption and enabling of criminal enterprises. We’ve collected a few of the worst examples of that below.

Institution Misdeed Source
JP Morgan Chase and Deutsche Bank Worked with sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein even after employees raised concerns over his activities. Big Banks Enabled Jeffrey Epstein’s Sex Trafficking Crimes (2019)
Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Has banned crypto banking and is trying to keep crypto activity banned in India. RBI Defends Its Power Over Crypto in Indian Supreme Court (2019)
Volksbank Ruhr Mitte Forcefully closed bank account and then charged fees to transfer money out of it. TRUE STORY: We don’t own the money in our bank accounts (2019)
Nordea Bank Forbids employees from investing in bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies. Danish Courts Rule Nordea Bank Can Prevent Employees From Investing in Bitcoin (2019)

Do you know of a person, business, or institution who should be on this list? Let us know! Submit your suggestions here. We'll be updating this post regularly.