Just when you think that the world can not get any weirder than it already is, the most absurd trend of the entire human history will pop up. We are not just talking about the fashion and makeup trends, but there is a Japanese website Valu that allows you to sell shares in yourself to raise money. It is like crowdfunding, but solely for personal gains, may it be business or freelance projects.
Pretty creative, right? There is only one flaw. The website does not stop the users from exploiting the stock buyers because anyone finding the loopholes will pile up on their gains by giving no output to the investors. Valu allows users to trade the tokens called “VA, ” and the same tokens can be exchanged with bitcoins. A popular Japanese YouTuber who goes by the name of Hikaru made use of his popularity to boost the price of his stocks and then sold them at insane profits.
Valu is a website for everyone where you can promote your stocks to get buyers to invest. Many people offer gifts in exchange as per their profession. It could be exclusive content like free physician checkups or a free makeover. Hikaru, however, had to go through zero troubles. All he did was announce to his 2.2 million YouTube subscribers that he was on the stock exchange website Valu. Another tweet on August 14 mentioned that he wanted to do something special and “move his Valu shares in one moment.”
You know what happens with the social media celebrities, or any celebrity in general? People pour their lives out to them. Hikaru’s shares on Valu shot skywards. Hikaru and his two friends who go by the names of Ikkun and Raphael did not waste a single day in cashing out by selling off their shares for 54,650,000 yen ($490,000) in bitcoin. That massive exchange crashed the value of VA tokens immediately.
Just after the cashout, Hikaru’s shares fell to the floor as the loving fans were in flames after this betrayal by their favorite artist. They accused the artist of planning the entire thing, just to exploit his fans. One such Valu user said,
“I was a fan of Hikaru so I bought his ‘Valu’ partly to support him and this is what happened. I want my money back.”
The artist and his fans claim that all they wanted to do was to create material for online videos. They had no intention of manipulating the market. Not-so-surprisingly, they made an insane amount of money through this.
Japan’s Financial Services Agency does not consider the VA tokens to be a financial product. The three artists were within the limits of the law, so there will be no legal consequences for them. According to them, they did not even forego the terms and conditions of the stock exchange platform.
Hikaru is not particularly concerned about the wrath his manipulative actions have brought to him, but his management has promised that they will compensate the users who invested. He adds that the purpose of the sellout was to gain attention. Don’t forget that he announced to quit YouTube earlier this month.
The internet went ballistic over Hikaru who exploited the platform and also criticized the makers of Valu for allowing such loopholes. The company has finally changed its trading rules and now allows stock sales limited to one-tenth of total shares that are issued per person per day. Users can not make more than 30 transactions in one day, and the price swings cannot go beyond 50% fall and 200% rise.
On second thought, why would anyone buy shares of another person just because he is famous? You are not donating a limb or an organ to your favorite celebrity. C’mon!