Zachxbt, an anonymous crypto researcher and self-proclaimed “on-chain sleuth,” has published an extensive list of crypto influencers and how much they allegedly charge to “shill” crypto projects on Twitter. The list, which was published on April 18th, 2021, features over 100 influencers with a wide range of follower counts.
A shill is defined as “a person who secretly works to promote or sell something,” and in the context of Twitter, a shill tweet is defined as a paid promotion.
The list, published on Twitter, includes influencers such as John McAfee, pump and dump group leader “PumpKing,” and Blockfolio CEO Edward Moncada. It also lists the fees these individuals allegedly charge for a single tweet about a crypto project.
Zachxbt confirmed in an interview with motherboard that the list came from a source within a “marketing firm” but did not disclose the company’s name. Motherboard verified the accuracy of some of the prices on the list while other influencers claimed that the leaked rates were inaccurate.
According to the published list, Lindsay Lohan, an American entertainer charges as much as USD 25,000 for shilling a crypto project and another USD 20,000 for a single retweet.
A shill tweet from Flippening, a podcast about cryptocurrency investing, would cost an advertiser USD 20,000. The creator of Litecoin (LTC), Charlie Lee, is also on the list with a price tag of USD 15,000 for a tweet about a project.
Others on the list, some who specifically say they “shill” crypto projects or call themselves “crypto promoters” or “crypto influencers,” charge from a few hundred dollars to several thousand for a “shill tweet” or a retweet.
According to Zachxbt, “Not everyone on the list does undisclosed shills but the vast majority of names I see on there do,”. There were lots of interesting discoveries from the leaked list regarding the methods in which influencers promote crypto projects to their followers.
For example, Lohan promoted a crypto project called MetaNetflix in February. She shared a message that read, “Check out MetaNetflix they have an announcement to make today!” without disclosing to her followers if this was a promotion. Shortly after this message, the coin fell to zero. Lohan ‘s message caused many people to invest in the project, only to lose all of their money.
Other influencers on the list include crypto YouTubers Trevon James and Crypt0, as well as Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin. It’s not clear if any of these influencers have promoted projects without disclosing their reason for doing so.
Just recently, Selena Roy appeared to promote a new NFT project called VINCI without disclosing to her followers if it was an advertisement. Selena claimed the project had “100x potential” and asked her over 60,000 followers to join the Vinci NFT presale. Selena Roy, whose Twitter bio reads “DYOR” (Do Your Own Research) and claims she has been in crypto since 2018, told Motherboard that the price on the list “has nothing to do with reality.”
Some of the larger influencers in the space, such as former Bitconnect promoter Craig Grant and Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin, have also been involved in promoting questionable projects.