“How I became a MILLIONAIRE in 90 days! ” This kind of teaser-titled video abounds on YouTube – and the more this type of content is viewed by a user, the more it is recommended to them. Youtuber Coffeezilla, real name Stephen Findeisen, is a “inveterate skeptic”. He thus dissects the tricks of “self-proclaimed financial geniuses” hidden behind their screens who promise to make a fortune with cryptocurrencies, tell it New Yorker.
These videos that Stephen denounces explain, for example, the “way to passive salarythem “secret habits” the rich, or “Millionaire Mindset”. All within easy reach… and wallet.
Understand who benefits from the mess
At 28, Stephen Findeisen already has several investigations to his credit. Last summer, when bitcoin’s value was skyrocketing and everyone was talking about NFTs, Coffeezilla spent months investigating the behind the scenes of Save the Kids, a vaguely charitable cryptocurrency project promoted by influencers. affiliated with the hugely popular FaZe Clan, an esports collective based in Los Angeles.
Save the Kids mysteriously collapsed, much to the chagrin of those who had invested money in the project, the magazine recalls. On YouTube, Findeisen thus traces the exchanges of funds between the various virtual purses thanks to more or less confidential documents (on the blockchain, all transactions are accessible), to go back to an influencer apparently accustomed to this kind of project promotion sniffing the scam. He has since been fired by the esports collective.
It was at this time that Coffeezilla found the online success that enabled him to make a living from his work on YouTube. His channel now has more than 1 million subscribers.
While the journalist from New Yorker meets the youtubeur, he is about to broadcast a new investigation that dissects the dizzying rise – then the fall – of the SafeMoon crypto token. “Findeisen made it their mission to understand what happened, if there were any illegal operations and who benefited,” explains the american title.
The twenty-something confronts the influencers he denounces, and who do everything to minimize their actions: “They all see themselves not as the worst guys, but maybe the fifth worst,” he laments.
American interest “for hucksters who sell false hopes” it’s nothing new. As a teenager, Stephen Findeisen became aware that his mother, who had cancer, was “spreading pixie dust”, as he relates to the New York magazine. He will also make a video on these scammers who take advantage of cancer patients. At university, the student sees his friends falling for a marketing company that promises them “financial independence” thanks to a “business offer”, with a lot of magazine subscriptions Success that the structure distributes to them. Despite the four copies owned by his roommates, “none makes a fortune”, realizes Stephen: “Something is wrong.”
On leaving school, alongside a job in real estate, Stephen Findeisen uses his free time to produce videos that “demystify” for example, corporate jargon. By dint of seeing content promoting cryptocurrencies, he becomes interested in the subject and discovers that people – far from being isolated cases – are losing hundreds of thousands of dollars because of gurus “crooks” finance.
For its videos dealing with a virtual and abstract world to be intelligible, Coffeezilla works with a graphic designer, specifies the New Yorker. He thus expresses himself in the middle of a cinematographic universe with a futuristic, postapocalyptic setting.
As fervent a critic as he is, Stephen Findeisen is not completely opposed to cryptocurrencies on principle, he owns bitcoins himself. For him, it is urgent to question how to “to evolve [cette technologie] in a positive way” :
“A little more along the lines of that future that cryptocurrency proponents say they want to create.”