“It's not like they've been paid once off to promote something—it's that they want to be the ones that are in control or have ownership or a large stake in this kind of extractive, grifty system of cryptocurrency,” Palmer said.
Cuban shrugged off Palmer’s comments, telling Decrypt via email that “everyone can say what they want. I’m still a huge fan of crypto.”
“The hard part is separating the speculation from the underlying value,” Cuban said. “Some people get caught up in the speculation side. I don’t.”
Back in January, Cuban said on “The Problem with Jon Stewart” podcast that he is heavily invested in cryptocurrency, with 80% of his portfolio in crypto-related projects outside of “Shark Tank.”
Cuban told Decrypt that since then, “It’s fallen for sure.” But he’s “slowed down” a lot of his other investment activity to focus on his pharmacy startup Cost Plus Drugs.
The billionaire entrepreneur is also into NFTs, having invested in several NFT startups over the last year, including marketplaces Nifty’s and SuperRare, the Ethereum-based game Axie Infinity, and NFT analytics firm CryptoSlam. NFTs are blockchain-based tokens that are used to prove ownership over digital assets. The market for NFT exploded over the last two years into a multi-billion dollar industry, though sales for these assets has slowed considerably in recent months.
Back in February, Cuban became embroiled in an NFT controversy when the @NFT Instagram account—managed by a company he’d invested in—was banned following allegations of posting paid content promoting NFT projects without disclosing the posts as advertisements.
Leverage Game Media had previously incorrectly listed Cuban as a founder and managed a number of different Instagram accounts. But its website was revised, removing Cuban from its list of founders after Cuban told Decrypt: “I’m an investor, I don’t operate the company.”
Palmer’s comments come as no surprise to those who have been following his podcast “Griftonomics,” where he critiques all things crypto.. He’s been a vocal crypto critic for a while now, claiming cryptocurrency is “an inherently right-wing, hyper-capitalistic technology” that preys on the “financially desperate and naive.”
After years of studying it, I believe that cryptocurrency is an inherently right-wing, hyper-capitalistic technology built primarily to amplify the wealth of its proponents through a combination of tax avoidance, diminished regulatory oversight and artificially enforced scarcity.
— Jackson Palmer (@ummjackson) July 14, 2021