Daily Briefing: Inexhaustible Outrage

A social media astrologer-turned-crypto trader has drawn heat for being on Celsius' payroll.

Daily Briefing: Inexhaustible Outrage
Image: Maren Altman/mobygeek.com

Key Takeaways

  • Social media trader Maren Altman has drawn criticism for accepting payments from Celsius leading up to its bankruptcy.
  • Many on crypto Twitter have called foul, but evidence of wrongdoing is scant.
  • The incident will likely blow over, but hints at pent-up anger among the community.

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It wouldn’t be a normal day in crypto without some righteous indignation on Twitter. This time, the community’s ire is focused on bankrupt crypto lender Celsius and the social media influencer who had the misfortune of working with them.

Dealing With the Devil

Maren Altman, who’s made a name for herself by incorporating astrology into her trading strategies, was recently outed as a recipient of payment of services from Celsius less than two months before it infamously paused withdrawals in June. The services Altman provided were fairly straightforward—she provided mid-roll YouTube ads for Celsius along with some TikTok content. In exchange for two months’ work, she’d be paid $15,000 per month. No big deal.

Not so fast. As many have pointed out, the timing of these payouts doesn’t look that great for anyone. By late May, the entire crypto market had taken a turn for the worse in the wake of the Terra fiasco, and more than a few companies were facing liquidity crises. Celsius execs, for their part, were apparently bracing for challenging times by cashing out millions in the month before the company froze withdrawals.

Now that the company is undergoing bankruptcy proceedings, virtually everything that ever happened at Celsius will likely be laid bare in the public record. Whatever shenanigans Mashinksy & Co. got up to behind closed doors will soon enough be out in the open as well. But that doesn’t change the fact that many people (especially those who lost money) are angry now, and they have focused their rage on an Internet astrologer.

Some are claiming that there are clear signs that Altman was benefiting from some kind of insider relationship with the company. Self-appointed crypto sleuth ZachXBT has questioned her straightforwardness about her contractual relationships with the company, but rather than entertaining what she had to say for herself, he chose to
respond like a juvenile troll. Much of Crypto Twitter is equally outraged, even if it’s not sure why.

Obviously, I don’t know the details of Maren Altman’s working relationship with Celsius. Still, if the implication is that she was somehow an “insider” with knowledge of the company’s books, I’d say there’s more chance of meeting a snowman in hell than that being the case. As far as I can tell, she was paid to do some ads, so she did. Then they paid her for it, and even if that is more than they can say about the rest of the people they owe money to, there’s certainly nothing scandalous about paying a contractor per the terms of your deal.

Disclosure: At the time of writing, the author of this piece owned several cryptocurrencies and was a member of a class-action lawsuit against Celsius Network LLC.

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