Alex Saunders, the popular crypto influencer behind Nuggets News, is facing a slew of claims he failed to repay crypto loans, along with allegations that funds invested in a new project had been redirected to a crypto exchange.
Saunders is one of the most highly regarded Australian crypto educators. He provides a paid service and he has 140,000 subscribers on YouTube.
Over recent days, crypto Twitter has been ablaze with allegations that Saunders has run out of capital. Numerous individuals including YouTuber Bitboy claim that Saunders personally owes them multiple Bitcoin each, prompting investigations from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) and the Australian Financial Review (AFR).
According to the AFR, Saunders received roughly $7 million from 100 or so investors seeking to back his forthcoming stablecoin project, Decentral Bank, after he promoted it to Nuggets News followers in April. The publication claims to have spoken more one dozen investors who backed the project, with each estimating to have put in roughly $50,000.
The AFR reported that investments to Saunders’ wallet appear to have quickly been moved onto popular crypto derivatives exchange, FTX. The exchange’s founder, Sam Bankman-Fried, has indicated the team is already investigating the allegations.
Cointelegraph has contacted Saunders to offer him the chance to respond to the allegations and will update this story if he replies.
— DeFi Ted (0xbakes) (@DeFi_Ted) July 26, 2021
Shot through the Heart
Saunders’ public fall from grace appears to have begun after he appeared on a live stream with the controversial HEX founder, Richard Heart, on July 19.
The pair’s exchange became heated after Saunders advanced data from crypto data aggregator Santiment to argue that HEX’s order books are thin, asserting its markets are unable to support meaningful selling pressure.
I just exposed $HEX on a live stream so thoroughly @RichardHeartWin cut the stream. This is the first time he has ever cut a video mid stream. Thanks to @santimentfeed for the great data that allowed me to expose this fraud. Watch here before he deletes: https://t.co/zM7IYjJg6g
— Alex Saunders (@AlexSaundersAU) July 18, 2021
After booting Saunders from the live stream, Heart took to Twitter sharing apparent screenshots from private conversations with Saunders, asserting that he had had “begged” him for a 50 BTC loan and attempted to solicit a “pre allocation” in a forthcoming token.
Heart’s post left Decentral Bank’s backers reportedly fearful of their investments and many sought refunds. The AFR claimed to have seen posts in a private Facebook group in which Saunders agreed to repay his investors although refunds are yet to be issued.
I’ve never shared a conversation publicly before, but I feel I have to here. @AlexSaundersAU. Alex begged me for a 50 BTC loan. Then tried to sell me a “pre allocation” in a…