Former FTX cryptocurrency exchange ambassadors in various African regions are now grappling with severe backlash and personal safety threats. These ambassadors, mainly students, were once part of a program aimed at expanding FTX’s presence in Africa, but they now face a grim situation.
FTX, led by Sam Bankman-Fried, launched an ambitious ambassador program targeting university students in Africa. These young individuals, enticed by the potential of the crypto world and the promise of financial success, worked to recruit friends and family onto the FTX platform.
Operating as “Brand Ambassadors” for about two years, they organized meetups and promotional events on campuses to spread the word about FTX. Their compensation came from a 30% share of transaction fees from referred users and performance-based monthly incentives.
However, many of these students lacked experience in crypto trading and were unaware of the financial risks involved. When FTX experienced a collapse last November, it wasn’t only the ambassadors’ funds that disappeared but also the savings of those they had brought into the platform.
The consequences were swift and severe. The once-revered ambassadors became targets of anger and threats. In Nigeria, especially in the rural eastern regions where FTX had sought expansion, the backlash was evident. Former ambassadors were held accountable for the lost funds and faced threats of violence from those who felt betrayed.
This situation highlights the precarious nature of crypto investments and the responsibilities placed on these young ambassadors. While FTX’s entry into the African market may have had good intentions, relying on inexperienced students for user acquisition has clearly backfired, leaving financial ruin and fear in its wake.
Now, the former ambassadors are left dealing with damaged reputations and some even fear for their lives. The once-lucrative world of crypto trading, which seemed full of hope and opportunity, has turned into a source of dread and despair for these individuals.
FTX has experienced significant growth in Africa, particularly in Nigerian universities and beyond. They had successfully engaged the tech-savvy youth demographic, driving cryptocurrency adoption and user volumes to new heights. The Brand Ambassadors played a pivotal role in this expansion, earning rewards for each new student they brought in.
However, this promising venture came to an abrupt end with FTX’s collapse. The ambassadors now bear the brunt of the community’s anger, illustrating the volatile nature of crypto investments and the risks of uninformed trading.
As the dust settles, the future of crypto ambassador programs in Africa remains uncertain. FTX’s ambassadors’ experience has left a mark, leading to scepticism and distrust among the student population. Other exchanges with similar programs in the region will face increased scrutiny as the consequences of FTX’s downfall continue to resonate across the continent.
In the end, the tale of FTX’s ambassadors in Africa serves as a cautionary story, highlighting the risks associated with crypto investments and the heavy burden borne by those who aspired to bring about a digital financial revolution.