Some of the projects Mr. Armstrong promoted were small-scale, experimental crypto ventures that eventually ran into problems. In those cases, he said, he also considered himself a victim.
“They are chasing the budding crypto influencer who has just become popular and trying to figure out what to do and what not to do,” he said. “It’s hard to go from 12,000 followers to a million in one year and make the right decisions.”
Expand your cryptocurrency vocabulary
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Bitcoins. A Bitcoin is a digital token that can be sent electronically from one user to another, anywhere in the world. Bitcoin is also the name of the payment network on which this form of digital currency is stored and moved.
blockchain. A blockchain is a jointly maintained database that stores digital information in a reliable manner. The original blockchain was the database where all Bitcoin transactions were stored, but non-currency based companies and governments are also trying to use blockchain technology to store their data.
Coinbase. Coinbase, the first major cryptocurrency company to list its shares on a US exchange, is a platform that allows people and businesses to buy and sell various digital currencies, including Bitcoin, at transaction fees.
web3. The name “web3” is what some technologists call the idea of a new kind of internet service built with blockchain-based tokens, replacing centralized business platforms with open protocols and decentralized community-run networks.
DAOs. A decentralized autonomous organization, or DAO, is an organizational structure built with blockchain technology often described as a crypto cooperative. DAOs share a common goal, such as investing in start-ups, managing a stablecoin, or buying NFTs.
Mr. Paul rose to fame as a video blogger and occasional actor; YouTube once reprimanded him for publishing images of a corpse he found in a Japanese forest. Over the years, he has turned his internet fame into an eclectic array of entrepreneurial activities, including a range of energy drinks.
Mr. Paul became interested in crypto last year when the market for NFTs started to boom. In a recent interview, he acknowledged that he was still learning how to navigate the crypto market, even as he tried to capitalize on the technology. “I’m a person with extreme ideas, not really an achiever,” he said.
Mr. Paul was involved in part of the initial brainstorming for the Dink Doink project. But the venture was eventually led by one of his roommates, Jake Broido, who gave Mr. Paul 2.5 percent of the tokens initially issued.
In a tweet last June, Mr. Paul called it one of the “stupidest, most ridiculous” cryptocurrencies he’d come across, circulating a video of a cartoon character singing sexually explicit lyrics. “That’s why I’m all in,” he added. He also appeared in a shaky camera video on Telegram praising Dink Doink as possibly his favorite crypto investment.
The campaign was a flop and Paul was pilloried by YouTube critics. The price of Dink Doink fluctuated well below a cent, before falling in value even further in the summer. Mr. Paul said he never sold his tokens or benefited from the project. But he said he regretted promoting the currency without disclosing his financial interest. “I definitely didn’t act as responsibly as I should have,” he said.