YouTubers come to Poland’s rescue in cryptocurrency clampdown


If you haven’t heard of “Dubielcoins,” don’t worry. You haven’t missed the latest madness in initial coin offerings.

The imaginary means of payment features in a video by a popular Polish YouTuber as part of the central bank’s unorthodox efforts to help raise awareness of the risks posed by virtual currencies.

The NBP last year paid 88,519 zloty ($26,200) to Gamellon Sp. z o.o., a company representing local video makers, as part of its “Beware of Cryptocurrencies” campaign, it said in an email. The bank has also set up a special website to inform about the risks.

In one instance, YouTuber Marcin Dubiel, who has more than 900,000 subscribers, posted a five-minute movie in December entitled “Have I lost all my money?!.” The film depicts Dubiel, a Gamellon client, investing in “Dubielcoins.” Unpleasant surprises follow when he can’t use the currency to pay for a dinner with his girlfriend or to buy a yacht. He loses it all in the end and is reduced to collecting coins from an empty fountain.

The central bank campaign is part of Poland’s efforts to tighten its regulatory grip over the field. The definition of a virtual currency will be introduced in the country’s law once parliament approves a new bill aimed at countering money laundering. According to the proposal, cryptocurrency exchanges will be obliged to report suspicious transactions to the Finance Ministry.