Influential Aussie Crypto Personality Remains Silent on Alleged Scam

A Twitter storm has erupted with Australian cryptocurrency influencer Alex Saunders at its centre, other investors alleging they’ve been “scammed” to help fund a possibly fictitious stablecoin project.

After leveraging the funds, believed to run to “eight figures”, with American derivatives exchange FTX, Saunders is said to have “lost the lot”.

“It’s clear a lot of people have been scammed,” tweeted victim Ben Armstrong, aka @Bitboy_Crypto. “I’ve been holding this back but now I think it’s necessary for people to know the truth.”

Alex asked me for a 5 bitcoin [BTC] loan back in early March [the BTC price reached its peak for that month at $9,160.39 on March 7]. I gave it to him as a friend. Big mistake.

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Ben Armstrong, aka Bitboy_Crypto

Another Twitter user, Richard Heart (@R.Heart), recounted a similar tale of woe, his involving 50 bitcoin (worth approximately A$2.5 million). “Alex begged me for a 50 BTC loan,” Heart tweeted, “then tried to sell me a ‘pre-allocation’ in a token. Then tried to sell me on just giving him money to talk.”

Recently, they were doing a live stream discussing Heart’s crypto project, called HEX, and Heart cut Saunders off the call abruptly after the latter claimed to have “exposed $HEX as a fraud“.

“This Is Now Over Eight Figures of Fraud”

Saunders, who has been curiously silent on social media for some weeks despite his previously high public profile, is the founder and CEO of crypto media channel Nugget’s News. He describes himself in his Twitter profile as “a post-GFC investor in Bitcoin and Ethereum”, and claims to have been involved in “crypto, finance and economics education since 2012”.

On July 23, Twitter user @DeFi_Ted voiced what some of Saunders’ alleged victims were thinking:

Another Twitter user, JP (@JP_Technology), in a slightly more tongue-in-cheek tweet, suggested Saunders’ disappearance from the public sphere might be just the “tip of the iceberg”, hinting at a broader industry-wide issue.

Crypto News has tried to make contact with Saunders to get his comments, but he has thus far remained silent.

Ironically, Saunders has in the past been quick to blow the whistle on other scams affecting the crypto community. He reportedly lost thousands of dollars to a fake Uniswap mobile application hosted on the Google Play store last November.

And earlier this year, Saunders called Gold Coast-based retail-targeted cryptocurrency Qoin “a massive scam” and urged people to get their money out before it collapses”. Qoin’s membership of Blockchain Australia was terminated amid the claims.

After a reported A$26 million lost in Australia crypto scams in 2020 alone, the crypto community is urged to stay vigilant and be aware of the current crypto scams going around.

Phil Stafford
Author

Phil Stafford

Phil is a long-standing Australian journalist with specialised experience in business, finance, travel and popular culture.

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