Whatever your political beliefs are, it’s unlikely that that you’d disagree that mainstream media news is already polluted with fake news stories about Russia, as well as fake news stories originating from Russia.
This used to be one annoyance factor that the cryptocurrency world did not have to worry about. These past few days, however, one obviously fake story from Russia about Russia spread like wildfire.
This time, it had nothing to do with government agencies, secret service-led propaganda and the usual conspiracies. It all originated from a twitter account of a person by the name of Vladislav Ginko.
Ginko, who started the year with 1165 followers is hardly a popular influencer. The follower count has now doubled, mostly due to a single tweet and the viral spread of fake news that followed.
Ginko does claim to work at the state-funded Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration. His tweet only contained a personal opinion so the person behind it is not to blame, but what followed exceeded everyone’s expectations.
Hilariously, Ginko can be seen retweeting obvious scams on twitter, such as this tweet below:
This, however, did not discourage clickbait publications like The Bitcoinist, TheBitcoinMag and even British tabloid The Telegraph from posting a story with only him as a misquoted source. Popular Zero Hedge contributors also recommended trades based on it.
The chronological order of the events is as follows: Daily HODL picked up the tweet, the Bitcoinist followed, and a large portion of the most popular crypto-related youtube channels, twitter accounts, and online publications joined in as well, doing their part in spreading the sensationalist article.
Those who have followed cryptocurrencies last year will probably recall similar rumours circulating around the time when Maxim Oreshkin, Russian Minister of Economic Development was photographed wearing Universa attire on top of his suit.
At the time of writing, ICO-funded Universa has a market cap of less than $10,000,000, barely reaching top 250 status in terms of market capitalisation.
As for the fake news story, the obviously unreliable source didn’t prevent the story from reaching practically anyone who follows cryptocurrencies closely. And while the slightest use of common sense would lead investors to investigate and find the dubious source, and the markets didn’t really react the claims, it does show how simple it is to create a fake-news hysteria in crypto.