When Joseph Farah said that WorldNetDaily had been saved through reader donations and that he was "working with a non-profit foundation through which we can more efficiently produce the kind of content that makes WND unique," we figured he was hooking up with the likes of the Farah-founded Western Journalism Center and doing something like the Daily Caller does in having its reporters actually employed by a nonprofit while the ostensibly for-profit WND benefits from all their work.
Farah hasn't revealed anything, but he is taking another direction in the funding front: investing in cryptocurrency.
WND announced in a March 14 article that donors to WND would be given bitcoin -- not actual bitcoin, mind you, the one that hit a bubble late last year and is still trading for thousands of dollars each, but something called AML Bitcoin, which clains to have "patented anti-theft and anti-hacking technology," whatever that means. Farah does his best to try and sell it by baselessly suggesting that AML Bitcoin will appreciate in value just like actual bitcoin:
“While no one has an ability to predict digital-currency prices, which seem to soar daily, it is very likely that the AML Bitcoin, the world’s only patent-pending digital currency with anti-terrorism and anti-theft features, will be worth more in a week, a month, a year from now than it is today,” said Farah. “Original bitcoin was worth 8 cents 10 years ago – today it is valued at almost $10,000!”
Farah just wants to be clear that WND is not selling these Bitcoin tokens.
“We are offering them to donors as a premium for their donations to WND, to ensure that we can continue to do our bold work and carry out our mission – bringing you the truth without fear of favor. It’s a gift – a way of saying thank-you, no strings attached.”
For a $100 donation to WND, contributors will receive 10 AML Bitcoin tokens. How much is that worth? The introductory price is expected to be $1.25 each, but the value is unlimited, depending on the demand of the marketplace. Sale prices fluctuate with some Bitcoin products exceeding thousands of dollars per unit. For a $250 donation to WND, contributors will get 25 AML Bitcoin tokens. For a $500 donation, they get 50 AML Bitcoins – and so on.
“Because we are so grateful for the donations we received from our subscribers in January and February, we just want to give back,” said Farah. “Remember, we are in the battle of our lives to preserve the free press in a hostile environment controlled by a new class of Cyber Overlords who would like to bring about our extinction and the demise of all independent media.”
Wait, AML Bitcoin hasn't actually been introduced yet? That means Farah is giving away something that doesn't actually exist. It's something that's purely speculative at this point.
Farah has not explain exactly what kind of deal he made with the purveyors of the thus-far-nonexistent AML Bitcoin, the NAC Foundation, to get his grubby littlehands on enough AML Bitcoin IOUs to give away to donors. But AML Bitcoin is running a serious hype machine to promote its actual release -- and, thus, hopefully build up the coin's value. It all feels like a pump-and-dump penny stock.
Now, cryptocurrency is a very complicated business for investors, and there are more than 1,000 types of cryptocurrencies, of which AML Bitcoin is but one. And Farah has given no indication that he knows what he's doing in signing on to this giveaway to donors other than being a hype man for the issuers. This should raise plenty of red flags.
In a March 24 email letter, Farah seems to admit he's desperate enough to try this:
Is that what you’re thinking – that my offer is just too good to be true?
It almost is too good to be true. When I thought of this idea, it occurred to me that people might not believe it. After all, who in their right mind is giving away cybercurrency these days?
But trust me, it makes sense.
Here’s the way it works. I’ve invested in cybercurrency at an opening price – let’s just say $1. I could hold on to that stash and watch the money accumulate over time. But I don’t have time. I need to invest in WND and in saving the independent media in 2018, to enable us to do everything possible to fight the Deep State and save the country from making a grave political mistake it will regret. I need financial resources now – or there is no tomorrow.
So, I’m hoping we can both win: You send me $100 today and I’ll send you 10 AML Bitcoin tokens. I get the money I need today, and, if I’m right, you’ll do very well holding on to that cybercurrency, based on past experience.
In other words, it's a total gamble.
Farah is so devoted to being a hype man for AML Bitcoin that's he peddling one of their lies. In a March 23 email letter, Farah writes about "AML Bitcoin’s swaggering attitude that got the company’s big commercial debut on the Super Bowl banned by politically correct NBC and the NFL."
But as Buzzfeed details, the claim that AML Bitcoin's ad was "banned" is bogus because the company never actually bought any Super Bowl airtime and NBC never reviews content unless money actually changes hands.But AML Bitcoin got lots of publicity off the hoax, so that was apparently considered a success.
Buzzfeed also details other ways AML Bitcoin is putting hype before ethical business practices:
"The problem is that the company has the word 'bitcoin' in it, and it has nothing to do with bitcoin," Brito said, adding that AML Bitcoin's marketing plays off the misconception that bitcoin is unsafe and illegal, which it is not. "It's not good for bitcoin, which is a very serious, very legitimate, open-source project. And if Jack Abramoff is involved, it's not good."
AML Bitcoin's ICO lasts for another nine days, and it could stand to raise millions of dollars if people believe their advertising and claims to create a "borderless, secure, identity based digital currency." If you believe AML Bitcoin can do it, you can buy the company's tokens in bitcoin, the supposedly dangerous cryptocurrency that it's trying to displace.
WND, it so happens, published a book by Abramoff, so that may be the connection between the two companies. Still, it's not a good sign.
This whole venture reeks of desperation and scamminess. Buyer beware.