Here’s a reminder never to buy tokens from websites that promote conspiracy theories.
Two days ago, the Washington Post published a story about the rise and fall of WorldNetDaily, a hate-filled, right-wing conspiracy website infamous for promoting the lie that former Barack Obama was not born in the United States. The Southern Poverty Law Center writes, “Fear-mongering is WND’s specialty.” In 2010, the site’s operator, Joseph Farah (whom the Post describes as “a former newspaperman with a dense, jet-black mustache and a cloak-and-dagger mystique”) said WND was on the brink of making $10 million a year in revenue. However, Farah’s enterprise spiraled into severe debt. Lately, he’s been asking for people to fund the site by buying a special kind of “bitcoin.”
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It’s a strange request, considering his employees reportedly aren’t getting paid, yet somehow Farah has crypto on hand to sell. In October 2018, he posted a rant (there’s no other way to describe it) on WND insisting that cryptocurrency is “the next big thing” (you can Google it if you really want to). He goes on like a doomsday informercial: “And I would like to introduce you into this new world with no risk or obligation. It would help me in my little battle for survival against the forces of evil.” For Farah, as he describes it, those forces are Google and Facebook.
After ample preamble, Farah finally gets to his proposition. Donors willing to put $100 toward WND will get one AML Bitcoin token (AML stands for anti-money laundering). What a deal, right?
Even if it did have a circulating supply, one AML bitcoin would be worth far less than Farah’s asking price—just a few cents.
Of course not. Though WND’s “superstore”—which sells “Apples to Apples, Bible Edition” and, curiously, a 3-D Coke can puzzle—says AML Bitcoin is trading on “major currency exchanges,” it’s clearly not. Sites like CoinGecko put its supply at zero, and Coinmarketcap doesn’t list it at all. Even if it did have a circulating supply, one AML Bitcoin would be worth far less than Farah’s asking price—just a few cents. AML Bitcoin’s website says the coin’s expected release is six months from now, but in the meantime, people are welcome to buy tokens they can later exchange one-for-one.
AML Bitcoin’s website is extraordinarily suspect, prominently featuring an extremely racist, disturbing “banned Super Bowl commercial” about North Korea being unable to hack the cryptocurrency. (It probably goes without saying, but it’s doubtful that “ad” ever reached any TV networks.) It gets more outlandish. There’s a section about how the NAC Foundation, the so-called “creator” of AML Bitcoin, is working on a reality TV show with Mike Odair (presumably referring to the producer of “Duck Dynasty”) about the company introducing crypto to Congress. The single NAC Foundation employee listed on LinkedIn is Benjamin Kratsch, who confusingly appears to be a real person who’s a gaming and esports consultant.
“AML has a lot going for it,” writes WND’s donations page. “Other cryptocurrencies have appreciated in value by more than 1,000 percent. Of course, there are no guarantees in this world, but, can it hurt to take advantage of this offer by making a contribution to WND?”
More accurately, it “couldn’t hurt” to do serious research before spending $100 on something that doesn’t even exist to fund a website that’s gained its reputation through repeatedly spreading lies. Based on the Washington Post story, at least the past decade of Farah’s career has been a scam, and this “offering” is no different.