Logan Paul is making headlines again. Unfortunately for him and his fans, it is not for good reasons. The YouTube personality has been involved in several controversies over the years that have caused many people to question his judgment. From sharing images of an apparent suicide victim in a Japanese forest to accusations of fight-rigging, Paul has survived more criticism than most YouTubers could.
Unfortunately for Paul, this could be coming to an end as allegations of a crypto scam pile up at what could be the worst possible time. Stephen Findeisen (known as Coffeezilla) recently uploaded a video resulting from a 1-year investigation into Paul’s crypto game. The verdict? The game is no more than a scam led by one of the world’s biggest YouTubers.
Who Is Coffeezilla?
The latest YouTube drama started in late December when prolific YouTuber Coffezilla uploaded a video titled “Ending Logan Paul’s Biggest Scam”. In the video, Findeisen claimed that Paul’s blockchain NFT game “CryptoZoo” was no more than a rug-pull scam. While such claims are not unusual in the world of crypto games, Findeisen is not known for making such accusations lightly.
After having been targeted as a potential recruit for a multilevel-marketing company by a friend, Findeisen has held a special grudge against scammers. After graduating from Texas A. & M. with a Chemical Engineering degree, he would decide to channel this disdain for scammers by creating YouTube videos helping other people identify and expose scams. This is how one of the biggest scam investigation channels on YouTube would come to be.
Since then, Findeisen’s channel has amassed over 2.35 million followers on YouTube and an equally impressive following on social media, eventually becoming his full-time job. Findesein has made a name for himself by confronting what he claims are “gurus”, scam-endorsers, and shady personalities. The list includes names like entrepreneur Dan Lok, influencer Frazier Kay, YouTuber/SafeMoon’s marketing team member Ben Phillips, and even Sam Bankman-Fried before his run-ins with the law.
Two YouTube Stars Collide
Now, in a video published back on December 23, Findeisen shook the world of YouTube after uploading the first video on his investigation of Logan Paul’s crypto game “CryptoZoo”. According to Findesein, Paul would have lied regarding the number of people working on the project and his commitment to the project. Other claims include Paul granting early access to the game’s cryptocurrency to those close to him and not paying his team.
In his videos, Findeisen interviewed several investors, developers, and people associated with Paul’s game. Of these, none would be more relevant to the case than Zach Kelling (originally referred to in the video as “Z developer”. In the past, Paul had claimed that Kelling fled with the game’s source code to Switzerland, asking for $1 million to return it. Findeisen tracked Kelling and interviewed him, giving him a chance to share his side of the story.
According to Kelling, he did indeed take the source code away from Paul but it was for completely different reasons. In the interview, the developer states that Paul had not paid a single dollar of what was promised, which in turn prevented Kelling from paying his team or making up for the resources he invested. The fact that Kelling refused to deliver a product he hadn’t been paid for makes sense to most people, especially when other developers confirmed the absence of payment by Paul.
The allegations and evidence of shady practices continue to pile up through the 3-part series. Logan Paul himself didn’t react to the video during the first days after it was uploaded despite being aware of its existence that same day. Eventually, Paul would address Coffeezilla’s allegation through a video of his own, calling it “Sharp but deeply unethical, dangerously misleading, and illegal.”
Logan Paul’s Response
In his response, Paul also announced that he would be taking legal action against Findeisen after advising him to save money for a lawyer. The warning, however, sounds more like an attempt to silence Findeisen through a SLAPP (strategic lawsuit against public participation) suit. Given Findeisen’s line of work, sources, and research, Paul’s lawyer would need to prove that actual malice was involved, which seems unlikely.
While Paul’s response was a reason for many of his fans to rejoice, some of the concessions made by the star are sure to impact him negatively in the long term. In the video and Tweets that followed, Paul admitted that he was “too trusting”, hired “con men”, failed to respond to Findeisen when he reached out, allowed other team members to take advantage and steal money, and much more… All before announcing the game is still coming. Perseverance or folly?
The YouTube community was quick to react, with some of the top comments to Paul’s response reading “I’ve never seen a person explain in depth how they hired a bunch of criminals as a way to go at someone who reported it before”, “Just because others are guilty doesn’t make you innocent. I’ve never seen someone so allergic to accountability”, and “Take this as a lesson in how NOT to handle a crisis situation.” Streamers like Ludwig, who has over 1.6 million followers on Twitter and 3.91 on Youtube, shared the sentiment via their social media.
massively disappointed by logan paul and his ad hominem riddled video
I know my take is small beans in the grand scheme of things but it does reinforce the idea that you should enjoy creator's content at an arms length
you never know who's a decent person
— ludwig (@LudwigAhgren) January 4, 2023
For a year in which crypto projects and investors have suffered greatly due to a cult of personality, Paul Logan’s response to the controversy is bad news. Not only is quite reminiscent in some ways of what we already saw with Sam Bankman Fried but it also is certain to further hurt entrepreneurs looking to do things right.