The BBC has pulled a documentary focused on a 20-year-old crypto trader who supposedly turned $50 into an $8 million fortune last year.
The doco was titled “The Crypto Millionaire” and followed the story of Birmingham-based Hanad Hassan, who claims to have made a return of around 16,000,000% in one year from trading unspecified crypto assets.
The story was set to be broadcast this week and explored how Hassan had started to give back to the community following his newfound wealth, however, the show was canned after the Guardian reported on Thursday that it had raised concerns with the BBC’s research:
“The Guardian asked the BBC if it was confident in his claimed financial returns and questioned why the program’s promotional material did not mention that Hassan’s cryptocurrency Orfano was abruptly shut down in October, with many unhappy investors claiming they were left out of pocket as a result.”
“The BBC swiftly said it had withdrawn the show but did not make any further comment on its editorial checks,” wrote The Guardian’s media editor Jim Waterson.
In a now-deleted promotional story for the documentary on the BBC’s website (that can still be found via web.archive.org), it reported that Hassan had initially turned $50 into $1 million in Q1 2021, before going on to co-found his own “special cryptocurrency” that donates all of its profits to charity.
It is unclear how Hassan made the remaining $7 million of the reported $8 million figure, as the BBC did not specify the details behind his “net worth” and how he generated the money between Q1 and Q4 2021.
According to Coinmarketcap, Hasan’s ORFANO token was released on April 2, 2021, and had a 6% tax on all transactions using the asset. Out of the tax generated from the token, 2% of it was allocated to a wallet address for charity donations. There is no listed price history for the token, however, the BBC reported that OFRANO donated $200,000 to charity last year from its profits.
Looking at posts from the r/Orfano community on social media platform Reddit, it appears that the project went cold around September before closing down in October suggesting that ORFANO lasted only around five or six months. Numerous users in the subreddit alleged that the project may have been illegitimate, although that's a fairly common claim made by community members whenever projects end unsuccessfully.
In a message to the community that was reposted on Reddit, Hassan and co-founder Ahmed wrote:
“Things haven’t gone the way we had planned and after careful consideration, we have decided that we will [be] stopping the continuing of the project. The team has put in every effort to maintain and grow the token but we don’t see any progress and a way to bring Orfano x back to the good days.”