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Thousands Tune in to Fake Apple Crypto Scheme on YouTube: Report

As many as 70,000 people tuned in to watch a phony live stream purporting to be about Apple's metaverse and crypto plans.

2 min read
Tech stocks like Apple and Bitcoin are rising in unison. IMAGE: Shutterstock

Tens of thousands of crypto fans tuned in to watch someone live stream an old interview with Apple CEO Tim Cook, according to a report from The Verge

Promising phoniness from the get-go, the first and most obvious giveaway was the rather flat title: "Apple Event Live. Ceo of Apple Tim Cook: Apple & Metaverse in 2022.” The Bitcoin and Ethereum logos, as well as the “URGENT NEWS” bar at the bottom, were also strong indicators.

The interview footage itself was reappropriated from a CNN Money interview with Tim Cook from 2018; the cable news channel’s logo was obscured by the text “Apple Crypto Event 2022,” but more surprising than that, the stream appears to have been a minor hit while it was live. 

The range of viewers that tuned in over the course of the stream went from 16,000 to 70,000, according to The Verge, despite the stream’s obvious and ham-fisted chicanery. 

Those brave enough to click through into the channel’s YouTube profile (“Apple LIVE”) were greeted with an URL that had nothing to do with Apple, suggesting an honest YouTube account may have been hijacked by crypto scammers. 

Following the links in the video’s description led viewers to a dubious crypto site. 

The video was removed shortly after it appeared for allegedly violating YouTube’s terms of service. 

Apple and crypto

The crypto scammers who streamed the old footage were likely piggybacking off the hype generated by Apple’s iPhone 14 announcement.  The California-based tech firm has been tight-lipped about blockchain so far. 

In response to the emerging crypto industry in 2018, Cook said Apple would not be producing its own money and even added that he doesn’t believe in decentralized money, period. “A currency should stay in the hands of countries,” he said in an interview. 

At the end of last year, Cook appeared to have partially embraced cryptocurrencies and confirmed that he personally owns some and considers it “reasonable to own it as part of a diversified portfolio.”

In spite of Cook’s softening stance on crypto, Apple ostensibly has no plans to utilize crypto or blockchain technology at present.

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