National Bank of Poland Admits To Funding Anti-Cryptocurrency Campaign

News | February 19, 2018 By:

The National Bank of Poland (NBP), the country’s central bank, has reportedly admitted to paying for social media campaigns that attacked cryptocurrencies.

According to a Polish business news website, the central bank spent 91,000 zloty ($27,100) on the campaigns, with the money going to Google, Facebook, and a Polish YouTube partner network called Gamellon.

One example of the tactic is an effort by Marcin Dubiel, a Polish Youtube prankster who has over 900,000 subscribers. He issued a video with the title “I LOST ALL MONEY?!” It has attracted over half-a-million views since its initial publication in early December 2017. It portrays cryptocurrencies as a way to get rich quick, only to find out he had no money to pay for a date at a restaurant and was generally left penniless due to cryptocurrency investments.

The central bank campaign also had videos published on the Planeta Faktów (Planet of Facts) YouTube channel, which has over 1.5 million subscribers. Planeta Faktów produced a video titled “10 differences between money and cryptocurrency that you need to know.”

The central bank’s anti-cryptocurrency campaign is thought to be illegal under Polish law, which prohibits state actors or contractors from engaging in propaganda directed at their own citizens.

The government of Poland has been warning banks and citizens about investing in cryptocurrency due to its high volatility and fraud. Last month, The NBP rolled out a website dedicated to issuing warnings about cryptocurrencies. Divided into several sections, the website cautions investors about the perceived dangers of non-fiat financial instruments.

According to the website, “Cryptocurrency is a digital representation of a contractual value among its users which is not issued and guaranteed by any central bank in the world. It is used as an imitation of money if the two sides of the transaction agree with each other. However, it is not a currency.”

Earlier this month, the Polish Council of Ministers said it has drafted a law for cryptocurrency regulation. The drafted legislation has been created to bring cryptocurrencies in line with anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financial guidelines.