journalism

You Can’t Make This Sh*t Up, Crypto Edition

There isn’t a lot that shocks me any more when it comes to cryptocurrency and non fungible tokens, but an email I got this weekend floored me. And before you write back and lecture me about the blockchain or send me your new white paper, please, please don’t. Pretty please. I don’t want to debate you and I’m not interested — just accept that I’m a Luddite who doesn’t get it and is missing out on the opportunity of a lifetime.

So back to the email. In my opinion a lot of people have been drinking the Kool Aid about the value of NFTs, but an invitation to have “an exclusive crypto NFT talk with Jim Jones?” I mean come on.

Further eroding my street cred, I didn’t know that he’s a pretty famous rapper. On the one hand, he was born two years before the Guyana massacre by the cult leader and there are a lot of people with that given name and surname combination. On the other hand, the rapper’s birth name is Joseph Guillermo Jones II and he even changed his stage name from “Jimmy Jones,” so it kind of seems like a conscious decision.

A company called ZapTheory teamed up with Jones to issue a cryptocurrency called $CapoCoin. Some details:

ZapTheory is the only Social Token platform in the world that has a livestreaming app (ZapLife) and a NFT Museum–a built-in marketplace where creators and their community can mint, sell, and buy NFTs, and even display their NFTs in a fun and interactive manner.

I’ll take their word for it. But the really surprising thing was that the company offered me $3,000 in $CapoCoin for doing the interview. Does this happen? Am I in the wrong type of journalism? In case anyone isn’t aware, Wall Street Journal reporters can’t even accept bus fare from an interview subject, or anyone else for that matter. Some of our competitors have looser rules, but that clearly crosses the line at any credible publication. Does a p.r. person not know that?

I’m going to give Devon Jefferson of HIPHOP-DX the benefit of the doubt and assume he just wrote the article below without financial inducement.

And if anyone took the company up on their offer, I’d recommend turning it into legal tender quickly or at least using your $CapoCoin to buy yourself something tangible like Jones’s latest album, “The Fraud Department.”

Columns · investing

All That Glitters Isn’t Goldman

If you were to hold a contest to design the most-enticing name for a company right now you couldn’t do much better than “RocketFuel Blockchain.” And if you were to pick a bank to associate with it now or really any other time than Goldman Sachs would top your list. But read the fine print before you buy shares in a company by that name written up by Goldman … a lot of people seem not to have bothered.

“Following the release on April 1 of a news release titled “Goldman Small Cap Research Publishes New Research Report on RocketFuel Blockchain, Inc.,” the penny stock surged by as much as 335% in four days. Several lines down is a notice that the research firm, which accepts payment for reports, “is not in any way affiliated with Goldman Sachs & Co.”

And the report’s subject, formerly known as B4MC Gold Mines Inc., and before that as Heavenly Hot Dogs Inc., doesn’t appear to have any revenue and maybe not even a product, based on litigation about a patent that expired. The report was written by an analyst who, while he appears not to have lit the world on fire at more-established firms, has an auspicious name: Rob Goldman.”