Not financial advice: Three words crypto execs love to abuse
People on cryptocurrency Twitter are overjoyed at the prospect of helping you, and are quick to offer life, diet, entrepreneurial, and other advice; but never financial.
It’s a common-held belief that adding three simple words to the end of anything will absolve you of legal repercussions — despite digital asset lawyers warning that adding “not financial advice” on its own is “pretty useless.”
FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried, Binance chief Changpeng Zhao (CZ), and crypto investor Anthony Pompliano have all apparently missed the memo that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) went after celebrities like Kim Kardashian and Floyd Mayweather for crypto promotion, despite including the disclaimer.
Red flags aside, I sometimes feel as though I could use greater direction in my life. That’s why I’ve turned to the brilliant minds on crypto Twitter to advise me — but definitely not about my finances.
The FTX crew
Infamous FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried has repeatedly tried to offer his crypto insight… which definitely isn’t advice.
“Hey guys,” he wrote on Twitter two years ago. “We may not be able to say this forever and I feel like we didn’t really get it out of our system and will regret that later so… to be clear…. this is alt szn.” The post was followed up with a reply by Bankman-Fried, disclaiming he wasn’t giving financial advice.
“Alts might go away at any moment. So might we all. Life is fleeting,” he existentially warned.
NOT FINANCIAL ADVICE.— SBF (@SBF_FTX) September 30, 2020
NOT ALTERNATIVE ADVICE.
ALTS MIGHT GO AWAY AT ANY MOMENT.
SO MIGHT WE ALL. LIFE IS FLEETING.
Read more: The many lies of Sam Bankman-Fried
Bankman-Fried also made sure to frequently let people know when he purchased his own FTX Token (FTT) — though again, this was never meant to be advice on how you should act.
Former chief of Bankman-Fried’s crypto trading outfit Alameda Research, Sam Trabucco, is believed to be currently going fast over the water. In the past, he’s seized opportunities to share what is definitely not advice, like when he warned his followers about other crypto traders.
Increasingly seeing crypto trading-types express delta opinions about, e.g., the S&P 500.— Sam Trabucco (@AlamedaTrabucco) October 14, 2022
My advice: be *super* skeptical of virtually anyone who claims to have edge delta-trading the S&P 500, very few of the world's best traders believe they have any edge doing so.
“Increasingly seeing crypto trading-types express delta opinions about, e.g., the S&P 500. My advice: be super skeptical of virtually anyone who claims to have edge delta-trading the S&P 500, very few of the world’s best traders believe they have any edge doing so.”
If you can find anything financial in that advice then you’re more astute than I am.
Changpeng Zhao of Binance
CZ has a ton of insight into various things and wants to share them with you, but don’t let them influence your actions because it’s absolutely not advice. Some vague aspirational tweets by CZ include when he told people “Don’t be late.” This, of course, is merely an appeal to the value of punctuality.
Though, other “live, laugh, love” rival-worthy phrases seem a touch more financial. Just this weekend, CZ wrote: “In bull markets, adopt risk management. Don’t FOMO. Don’t put all your investments in one single coin.”
In bull markets, adopt risk management.— CZ 🔶 Binance (@cz_binance) January 21, 2023
Don't put all your investments in one single coin.
(Not financial advice)
Read more: The deep ties between Binance, Bitzlato, and darknet market Hydra
I’m grateful that CZ has told me how to change my posture in different markets, but I still struggle to identify what type of market it is. Luckily, CZ was there to save me again when he said: “Maximum greed happens at top. Maximum fear happens at bottom.”
CZ also uses his platform to puncture popular narratives for crypto assets, pointing out that “#bitcoin is such a bad store of value. It keeps going up, with some fluctuations at times.”
Remember:— CZ 🔶 Binance (@cz_binance) December 17, 2022
Maximum greed happens at top.
Maximum fear happens at bottom.
Not financial advice. Just stating a fact.
BitBoy and Anthony Pompliano get in on the fun
Other crypto executives are also keen to ensure their followers are protected from the cruel vagaries of this market, which I assume is why the CTO of Tether, Paolo Ardoino, made his followers aware that “#bitcoin price up with low volumes. Be careful.”
Ben Armstrong, who calls himself BitBoy and who likes to threaten lawsuits, also likes to offer advice that isn’t financial — or that’s financial insight but not advice? Regardless, he wants to make sure that you “DO NOT MISS THE OPPORTUNITY BECAUSE YOU ARE WAITING ON A NUMBER.”
“Dollar cost average if you have to,” he continued. “Not taking profits at the top and not accumulating crypto near the bottom are the two things you will kick yourself for more than anything else.”
Armstrong also wants you to know that “the government thinks you are stupid. That’s why our financial system is archaic. They think people can’t make decisions with their money without being told what to do by someone who has a finance degree.”
The government thinks you are stupid. That's why our financial system is archaic.— Ben Armstrong (@Bitboy_Crypto) February 2, 2022
They think people can't make decisions with their money without being told what to do by someone who has a finance degree.
"Not financial advice" to appease the overlords.
Read more: BitBoy’s unhinged video rant really does encapsulate crypto
Crypto investor Anthony Pompliano went out of his way to let investors in on his bitcoin thoughts, tweeting: “Bitcoin’s last 12 months: Price: +1,000% Sharpe: 5.18 90 day correlation: 0.21 Bitcoin is an asymmetric, non-correlated asset that reduces the overall risk of your portfolio.”
“Not financial advice,” he added, “but the real risk is in having zero exposure.”
Actual financial advice?
Ran Neuner, chief exec at fund manager Onchain Capital and host of Crypto Banter, has taken a rather riskier tack. In sage nuggets like “Buy Bitcoin,” he explicitly states that he’s providing his followers with financial advice. Though really, he said in a separate post, he doesn’t care what you’re buying, as long as you’re exchanging that fiat for crypto.
“Just Buy,” he tweeted in February 2021. “Doesn’t matter what… just buy. This is financial advice.”
When the mood strikes, however, Neuner seems to certainly care which crypto you’re buying. “Buy $AIOZ now, this is financial advice,” he wrote in April 2021. Curiously, a month before he shilled AIOZ his business saw the token as an exciting opportunity to reduce its exposure.
Buy $AIOZ now, this is financial advice. pic.twitter.com/swJNRFsccf— Ran Neuner (@cryptomanran) April 2, 2021
According to crypto sleuth ZachXBT, Crypto Banter proceeded to dump more than $20,000 worth of AIOZ less than a day after Neuner’s financial advice to buy the token. Within 24 hours after that, Crypto Banter dumped again, this time to the tune of $31,200.
Turns out, admitting you’re giving financial advice doesn’t mean you’re very good at it. Since Neuner shilled AIOZ to his followers, its value has plummeted by more than 98%.
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