‘Independent’ Stock Market Researcher Fundstrat Shills Paid Crypto ‘Report’

So-called 'independent' stock market researcher Fundstrat has promoted an eyebrow-raising report on controversial crypto project IOTA.
Published:
January 18, 2020 8:00 PM UTC
  • Stock market research firm Fundstrat published a bullish 71-page report promoting the IOTA cryptocurrency to its clients.
  • Something doesn’t add up when you compare this to a public disclosure found on its retail portal.
  • The IOTA project already has a shifty reputation, and Fundstrat isn’t doing itself any favors.

The stock market research firm founded by notorious bitcoin price prediction “expert” Tom Lee has been spotted promoting the controversial IOTA cryptocurrency project to its clients.

As first noted by independent crypto researcher Hasu, the Fundstrat report was commissioned and paid for by IOTA Foundation co-founder Dominik Schiener himself.

Source: Twitter

The disclosure appears on page 71, conveniently tucked away from clear view:

Dominik Schiener is both the Co-Chairman of the Board of Directors for the IOTA Foundation and Co-Founder of the IOTA Foundation. Dominik Schiener has commissioned/paid for this specific research project and has permission to distribute.

Fundstrat’s Sketchy Disclosure Details

Even worse is this shortened version of the research, which appears on fsInsight, Fundstrat’s retail investor portal.

Fundstrat does not disclose who paid for the report and even goes so far as to claim the following in the “Disclosures” section:

FS Insight does not know of, or have reason to know of any material conflicts of interest.

Fundstrat claims there is no conflict of interest. | Source: fsInsight

It’s a Slippery Slope

Despite Tom Lee’s frequent appearances on CNBC, Fundstrat’s credibility has already taken some justifiable hits.

After all, Lee has a long history of making bold bitcoin price predictions that never seem to come true.

Source: Twitter

And now his firm is promoting a questionable project to his own private clients. IOTA has a controversial reputation in crypto. And that’s putting it mildly.

Former Kraken programmer Andreas Brekken published in-depth research that concluded: “IOTA: Cannot be used for IoT. Loss of funds may occur.”

That’s certainly been true for investors:

IOTA investors have suffered enormous losses. Will Fundstrat’s paid report shift the tide? | Source: TradingView

Maybe Fundstrat’s “report” will shift the tide.

The whole debacle reminds me of former Bitconnect promoter Trevon James, who supposedly landed himself in hot water with the FBI. To pass his days, James now promotes other equally-scammy coins like HEX, which is “designed for 10,000x returns.”

Once a scammer, always a scammer, as they say. Or in this case: once a shill, always a shill.

Either way, Fundstrat isn’t doing its reputation any favors. If there’s money on the table, it seems clear the firm is willing to take a break from its “independent” research.

Disclaimer: The opinions in this article do not represent investment or trading advice from CCN.com

This article was edited by Josiah Wilmoth for CCN.com. If you see a breach of our Code of Ethics or Rights and Duties of the Editor, or find a factual, spelling, or grammar error, please contact us and we will look at it as soon as possible.

Last modified: January 22, 2020 11:38 PM UTC

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Ryan Smith @trendz

Ryan hails from sunny South Africa. He is fascinated with the broken financial system that threatens to destabilize global markets. He has a keen interest in the history and evolution of money and is always trying to understand the bigger economic picture. When not meticulously looking over the charts, he can be found planning his next road trip or running the trails in his the local nature reserve. Twitter LinkedIn