Everyone who knows me is aware that I am not one to start fights, to defame someone or anything of the sort. I believe above all that kindness can go a long way. However, I cannot in the name of peace justify not doing my absolute best to put this message out there. Hopefully the information on this post will give everyone enough references to make the right choice.
Some History and a small Disclaimer
I was one of those users that found the platform because of Jerry Banfield. In this sense I'm grateful that he made enough noise so that I could find Steem relatively early in my crypto venture. Its exactly because of this fact, that I used to defend Jerry in the very beginning. I always assumed innocence, lack of proper communication skills and an overall quirkiness to his way of interacting with other people.
Because I felt grateful to participate of Steem, I was always too quick to turn a blind eye. Meaning, that even though some things were obviously shady, like the $50 account creation service, I would easily believe the story behind that ridiculous fumble.
But, lets start from the top...
Why is Jerry Hated so much?
I used to ask myself that very question all the time. It made absolutely no sense to me. He was someone promoting Steem, onboarding users to the platform indirectly, making videos about Steem with an enthusiasm that was probably unmatched by any other youtuber.
As a matter of fact Jerry would tell people in his videos to sell all their crypto and buy into Steem. As much as that might be a bold thing to say, It also meant, at least to me, that everyone participating of Steem(holding bags) would be grateful to Jerry for being the biggest promoter outside of Steem. (Promoting Steem inside Steem is silly)
Very vocal Steemians constantly attacked jerry, and this made it hard for me to be objective. Maybe, the idea that a good guy was being wrongfully accused was obfuscating my objective pragmatism.
And then, it started to make sense...
I decided to do some research on Jerry and find out if there was something I did not know about him, something I needed to know to get the whole picture. I found out that before coming to Steem he was kicked and Banned from Udemy and later on the Dash community.
Without me having to explain any details regarding those interesting expulsions from two different platforms, two different communities, It becomes obvious that assuming that Jerry has always done right by the people he claims to care about, does not really compute.
Ask yourself these Questions?
If Jerry was making Udemy money, if he was a top selling author for Udemy: Why Would Udemy work against their own best interest? If Jerry was making them money hand and foot, Why would they cut him off?
The following is an excerpt from a key piece of information regarding that unusual decision, as told by someone who is currently participating of Udemy.
When Udemy hit the 10m user mark things changed. they no longer needed to leverage the power of get rich quick schemes for growth. The networking effect was well in play and the snowball was rolling.
Udemy banned all get rich quick courses, kicked jerry off the site with a thanks very much for all the users, although shit quality, it ranked us well and aided in the growth.
What about Dash? Why would Dash reject Jerry too? - I dug into these questions as well, and found out that he was never kicked out per say. He might claim he was to some people, but this was not the case.
What happened with Dash is that Jerry's proposals did not get accepted by the community. In very much the same way that he comes up with proposals for Steem, like the Peer to Peer project and the Steemfest 2.5. Jerry had some ideas regarding Dash Budget Proposals, and since they did not pass muster, he felt compelled to retaliate and attack the integrity of the Community.
In other words, he decided to attack, to FUD the one thing he was supposed to help, because he was not getting his way. He sold his masternode at this time too.
How is that for some context and history?
Get rich Quick Schemes is the name of his Game
Now Jerry's profile started to make a lot more sense, the whole point was not to work for the betterment of the communities he was participating in, the plan was for him to make a ton of money first, and if that helps others, well that is fine, but that's never been the focus.
With this new contextual lens the videos on youtube made a lot more sense. When he talked about being so bullish on Steem, and the "hacks" and the "tricks" he was both appealing to the hot words, and riding high on his dopamine train. There are quite a few videos on how to beat the system,with all the dodgy language you will expect.
I realize we might disagree on this very aspect, but I happen to think that teaching people how to game the system, how to squeeze every last penny of you VP, being that the focus of the lesson is pretty dodgy. Instead of teaching people how to interact, how to grow within the communities, he chooses to dangle the carrot on the stick and appeal to greed and the fear of missing out. It's a shit tactic in my opinion, but I digress.
All of the sudden the accusations from good natured witnesses like @drakos made a lot more sense to me. There was no way Jerry did not know he was not acting in an honest manner, he just thought he could get away with it, and that is a giant difference.
I call this the "Banfield Effect"
It's when you basically commit harakiri by acting dishonestly, get caught and then immediately backpedal using the "I didn't know any better card" aided by prayers and family pictures.
In none canonical order, here are some of the remarkable Harakiri moments.
Soon after launching his witness campaign, Jerry started to send a lot of steem to whales and dolphins so he could get their support. All the information is on the blockchain for anyone to see, this is not hearsay by all means.
Some would call this corruption, and I'm one of them. But of course, he said he was sorry and he stopped. He did not know it would be frowned upon for some reason.
Selling Free Information & Lying about Earnings
When Jerry was caught doing this he of course removed the course he was selling. Let me be perfectly clear about what happened here. Jerry was helped by other Witnesses, he gathered all the information needed to run a witness server from free sources, including other people, and then put it on his website for sale for $180 bucks, telling everyone that they could be witnesses too.
You can look at these videos yourself. He would tell people pay me $180 dollars for this course, and you will be able to make $295 dollars per day mining Steem.
A job he did not clearly understand pretty much at all, but regardless decided to sell for a steep price.
Steem Account Creation
So here is another scenario were Jerry thought he could swoop in, save the day and make tons of money. Most of us who participate of this platform are aware that Steemit Inc at times takes weeks to approve accounts. This bottle neck was a golden opportunity, so Jerry decided to start his own service.
For the modest sum of $50 he would give you an account worth (at the time) less than $10 dollars. It was a great deal, you did not have to wait of course, and that is why the whole thing was justified. But just like his previous mishaps he all of the sudden found out this was not right. He was claiming he was the only other option out there. A big OOPS!
He wrote a post apologizing, telling all the witnesses who called him out, he did not know.
@ats-david who is a Steemian Witness that does not mince his words, had a few things to say about this.
As you can see, there was some obvious inconsistencies in his apology. Jerry both knew, and also did not know. He had to come clean and tell everyone a very ugly (in my opinion) truth. Jerry was not writing his own posts. In other words, Jerry had hired someone to do the work for him, thus he was ignorant of the information the posts contained.
Steemfest 2.5 then renamed Steemsummer
This one was pretty epic. Basically, Jerry did not talk to @roelandp about this at all, and he decided he would run his own version of SteemFest 2.5, use Steem and Steemians to help him fund it. His original post has been edited of course, but the comment section basically illustrates all the reasons as to why this was such a fumble.
This is another classic case of "oops, I didn't know that I could not steal your idea". Because, we've all done it, right?
Please note, he was not going to do this for free or anything of the sort. The event was going to be a paid event, a way for him to make money. I only clarify because someone told me otherwise once, and I had to point out his declared intention to sell tickets.
I think this was the first time I've ever seen @anomadsoul flag anyone. He is one of the kindest dudes on this platform, so this seemed out of character for him.
His 21k Steem Prediction
This post was the one that broke the camels back for me. After watching his video, I removed my witness vote from Jerry and had to painfully admit, that as much as I may dislike @berniesander's choice of words, he had been right all along.
This is basically Jerry's version of Carlos Mattos. The viral video of him screaming Bitconnect was the only thing going through my head as I watched this video. It was propaganda, wishful thinking and a video that without a doubt hurt the legitimacy of Steem.
You might not know this, and I would not blame you, but Steem is constantly being attacked by FUDers as a scam. They call it a PONZI, because of how the initial system was setup, otherwise called ninja mining. I won't go into that subject to deeply, but I will simply say, that how steem began is not what it currently is. The people who have joined, the people that have built communities and projects are a testament to that.
However, we can't fail to see how these types of videos, made to bait people with unrealistic promises hurt our platform. Cheerleading from a podium of unrealistic ignorance is not going to help us in the slightest.
Why am I making this post today?
Because I care, because I really do. And Jerry's newest Harakiri cannot go uncontested. I can't be silent about this, not anymore.
I know that even though I'm making this post, and I'm going to talk to everyone I can about how the math of his idea is skewed, and how he is basically making a power grab, there will be some that will ignore the warning signs and start sending him STEEM. That fact won't stop me from trying. If I get some flags for this, so be it, I'll take them and move on with my life.
Let's start from the beginning....
SMT's are a Promise, not a current reality
I'm not trying to attack Steemit Inc, but the truth is that nothing in life is guaranteed. I could die tomorrow simply by eating a pizza. So to make plans on top of the promise of "SMT's are coming soon" is naive to say the least.
What I'm trying to say is that the possibility that Jerry Coin never exists is out there. There is absolutely no guarantee that it will ever happen. If you can't accept this fact, then we can't have a rational discussion on the subject.
You are giving him the keys to a tank
By people sending Jerry liquid Steem you are effectively helping to create a whale that does not have to care about absolutely anything anyone has to say about him. I think we need to learn from the recent history and come to grips with the fact that if he feels justified, he will act in his own self interest without taking into account anyone else.
So, having jerry become a megawhale is basically giving him the political weight of @blocktrades without any of the ethics we would all like to see from someone with that much stake. Imagine if @blocktrades goes rouge and starts upvoting a wife, because F it... This would be a ranchorelaxo on steroids.
You are also allowing him to control more of the witness allocation pool. He could effectively vote for himself and keep himself in the top 20 if he becomes a megawhale. Who is going to stop him? Who can stop him? Do you see the problem with this?
You are not getting anything special
I don't know if the post was written poorly intentionally, but because of Jerry's history I happen to think it just might. When you first read it, it seems to imply you are going to be getting 10X your investment everyday. This of course made very little sense to me, but after reading some of his replies to the questions on his post I finally understood what he meant.
If you send Jerry 1000 Steem Power he promises to vote you back with 10k Steem Power once a day. Please not he does not specify VP when he does so, he just says he will vote you back with 10K Steem Power once a day. Now, here is how this gets really interesting. You could vote for yourself 10 times, and basically achieve the same result. You might have to vote for yourself 11 times, maybe, but it would basically be the same and you would not have to send Jerry a penny.
Now, he does promise the disguised self-upvote(because that's what it is) to be forever. If you do the math, it would take more than a 1.3 years for you to recover your investment meanwhile you are not exposed to the valuation of Steem.
To summarize, you are out the money, you have a "promise", because that it's all it is at this moment, and you won't be exposed to the increase of valuation of Steem. But, he will.
There is no smart contract to protect you
There is absolutely no way Jerry can be forced to fulfill the end of the bargain. He could easily stop upvoting you, and there would not be a damn thing anyone could do to make him do it. If you naively think that Steemit Inc, or @ned would step in to protect those who got scammed, if such a thing would happen, you might not be aware of Zeartul a top 30 witness who got away with thousands of stolen Steem claiming he was hacked.
I remember @neoxian doing his absolute best to help the victims, but don't be fooled. @neoxian is not Steemit Inc, and he had no obligation to do anything. He just did it our of the goodness of his heart and that is how he got my witness vote.
So, to make this absolutely clear, you have absolutely no protections, none.
We are all adults
I can't tell you what to do. You will read the evidence I've presented, read the comments of trusted people on this platform and make up your mind. However, do not say you were not warned. The chances of this working are so slim I'm flabbergasted by the fact that I'm seeing people jumping aboard the titanic feeling invincible.
@tcpolymath added some notable remarks to the conversation
I'm willing to accept the repercussions of my actions. Honestly, this was too much for me to just stand around and do nothing. If this information helps 5% of his would be "clients" walk away from the disaster, I would feel like It was worth spending all day writing this.
Much love to you all...
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