Crypto YouTuber Sues Fellow Influencer Who Dubbed Him ‘Shady Dirtbag’

Ben Armstrong, known as BitBoy, says Atozy — real name Erling Mengshoel — hurt his reputation, damaged his business relations and caused him severe anxiety

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Ben Armstrong; Source: Hit Network, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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key takeaways

  • In a video last year, Atozy called BitBoy a “shady dirtbag” who shouldn’t be offering financial advice
  • BitBoy has previously been called out over getting paid for scam cryptocurrency promotions

Ben Armstrong, a YouTube influencer who goes by the name ‘BitBoy Crypto,’ sued a fellow social media personality over defamatory claims that he scammed his audience by promoting an offbeat cryptocurrency.

In the lawsuit, reported by Law360 on Monday, Armstrong alleged that the influencer Erling Mengshoel negatively impacted his business relations after releasing a November 2021 video that scorns BitBoy for promoting scams and pumping micro-cap coins to fans.

Mengshoel — who goes by ‘Atozy’ on YouTube — says in the video that BitBoy has “been known for being a shady dirtbag who milks his audience for a quick buck rather than giving them genuine advice.” 

He also claims Armstrong isn’t someone who should be offering financial advice because “you don’t know whether he’s trying to enrich you or himself,” and calls him out for talking up a washout cryptocurrency called Pamp.

That hasn’t sat well with Armstrong. He mentioned Atozy’s public dissing in his complaint, protesting against the use of phrases “shady dirtbag” and “dirtbag YouTuber.” Atozy’s video led viewers to believe Armstrong was paid by fraudsters to sell cryptocurrency to “suckers” willing to buy it, the complaint added.

Mengshoel also told viewers in the video that regulators were likely to probe such promotions, saying “it’s basically inevitable the SEC is going to get involved because dirtbags like this cannot resist the urge to take that quick buck and just milk their audience for some extra money.”

Armstrong alleges in his complaint that Atozy’s “attack piece” significantly impacted his business as the number of his followers reduced, damaged his reputation and caused him severe anxiety. He said he fears being “perceived as a felon, a fraud, and untrustworthy in business or in general.”

His lawsuit seeks general, compensatory and special damages for defamation, intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress, tortious interference with business and violations of Georgia’s Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act and Fair Business Practice Act. 

BitBoy snubbed as hypeman by other commentators

Atozy isn’t the only one criticizing BitBoy’s cryptocurrency promotions. A widely-followed Twitter user ZachXBT once shared a pamphlet showing the influencer’s rates for reviews, livestream mentions, YouTube interviews and website articles. 

A “dedicated review” was priced at $35,000, a screenshot of a media kit he shared with a potential client showed.

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MYX Network and DistX, both of which have made no gains since 2020, are among the dubious cryptocurrency tokens he’s promoted, according to ZachXBT. Armstrong once labeled a video on DistX “my most trusted coin,” but later went on to revise the title.

Separately, the YouTuber was recently described as an “untrained investment adviser” in a Washington Post report that highlighted his bad-mouthing of bankrupt lender Celsius after initially encouraging investors to deposit their money with the firm. 

He told The Post that he doesn’t personally own cryptocurrencies, and that the chief financial officer of BitBoy — a media enterprise with 70 employees — handles all crypto transactions for the firm in case of potential conflicts.

Armstrong’s lawyers from Krevolin & Horst didn’t return Blockworks’ request for comment by press time. It isn’t clear who is representing Mengshoel.


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