There is a new group of influencers and they want to make you money Financial influencers, mostly self-taught, share trading tips and advice, and some are cashing in

New investors considering entering the digital asset space want to know where to put their money. Enter the influencer.

The TikTok social media video platform has no shortage of cryptocurrency and investment content. A quick search for “crypto” on the TikTok app reveals tens of thousands of videos, most of which are captioned with some variation of “what I’m trading now” or “5 things to know about the crypto market today”.

The videos are short, eye-catching, and most importantly, easy to follow. The creators casually address their followers, as if talking to friends over a cocktail.

“Hey guys,” said TikTok creator Morgan Marshall in a recent video, which she filmed from the front seat of her car. “If you’re new to trading and don’t know what you’re doing, this is probably a good video to watch.”

Desperate to learn; Happy to help

Patrick Kim, a creator of TikTok crypto-education who started trading in 2017, launched his TikTok account in April. He gives advice on how to get started in space and what to look out for. It now has nearly 95,000 subscribers.

“The majority of viewers ask questions about where to buy, how to buy, what parts to buy,” Kim said. “Very few people ask about the technical side. Most people are just trying to hit the jackpot and get rich quick after seeing the prices and returns soar.

Callum Carver, a UK-based TikTok creator with nearly 200,000 followers, said people are desperate to learn and he is happy to help.

“I like teaching people the basics of how to get in from scratch, because that’s what I did, basically,” he said. “I was very lucky because I was able to learn from my dad, so I almost want to be that person for others. People can watch a video and see a tutorial of me setting up an account, learning how to invest and what it means.

Carver and Kim, both self-taught cryptocurrency investors, are part of a new and growing group of financial and crypto influencers, the majority of whom post video content on YouTube and TikTok.

However, TikTok recently announced a ban on sponsored content promoting financial services and cryptocurrency investments, as reported by the Financial Times. The app will tackle paid content that prompts viewers to invest in certain products or parts. It’s a decision that’s been a long time coming, Kim and Carver said.

“It’s really not surprising at all,” Kim said. “I was getting messages daily asking me to promote all those worthless sh-tcoins. I know there are some influencers who definitely took advantage and took the money and recommended these pieces to a lot of their followers, it just wasn’t my style.

A “sh-tcoin” that appears frequently on the app is the Australian Safe Shepard coin, known as the ASS coin.

A recent TikTok video made by user Alex Goa promoting the coin shows a man showing the money he earned on the coin to his alleged girlfriend. The video is captioned with the hashtags “ASScoinchallenge” and “TikTokinvestor”.

It’s not clear if the video, which has over 344,000 views, was a paid post, but its message is clear: Make money with the ASS coin.

An example of a TikTok post promoting cryptocurrency trading.

Educate but not advise

Carver, who is paid by the TikTok Creators Fund, which pays creators based on views and followers, is careful about how he speaks to his followers.

“I always make sure people know this is only my opinion,” Carver said. “All it takes is for someone to post a video talking about how much money they made with that coin, and people would listen, because for some reason on TikTok, as soon as someone ‘one sees an idea that could potentially make money, they’ll go all-in on it.

It’s important to educate but not to advise, Kim agreed, or to deal with the reaction of followers.

“Personally, I don’t like to recommend specific parts, even when the market is up,” Kim said. “It will probably be a lose / lose situation for me if I do this, because even if the coin goes up, there are probably other coins that go up even more.”

74% of cryptocurrency investors are between 25 and 44 years old, according to an April survey from the Gemini crypto exchange. 80% of TikTokers are under 34 and around a quarter of users are between 25 and 44, according to data released earlier this year.

“There are surprisingly a good number of older people than I expected on TikTok, middle aged, maybe in their 40s,” Kim said. “But it’s just based on the profile picture, I guess it might not be them. But there are a good number of commentators who appear to be over 20.”

No shortage of options

However, there is no shortage of options for new crypto investors when it comes to educational content. Patrick Hubbard, a trader, bought his first digital assets in April after his neighbors started asking him questions about the crypto market.

“It’s always been a hobby, investing, so I’ve always read and studied the stock market and so on,” Hubbard said. “I had friends who started asking me about crypto with all the hype around dogecoin and all of that between January and April, and I really didn’t know much about it.”

Hubbard became a Voyager exchange user after reading about Bitcoin and watching a few YouTube videos. He also found some useful podcasts and hopes to read Saifedean Ammous’ The Bitcoin Standard soon.

Thanks to his training, Hubbard knows what to look for in investment advice. However, not all crypto investors are so diligent. US regulators and now TikTok are mobilizing to protect new traders.

As the industry progresses, they will not be alone. Senator Elizabeth Warren has given the Securities and Exchange Commission a July 28 deadline to publish a cryptocurrency policy that protects investors.

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