The parent of Hit Network, which controls the “BitBoy Crypto" brand, has cut ties with its public face, Ben Armstrong, citing issues surrounding substance abuse and financial damage to employees.
In an Aug. 28 announcement on YouTube and social media channels, a spokesperson said the company had reached its decision following efforts to assist Armstrong “during his relapse into substance abuse,” expressing regret for the end of the business relationship. The firm claimed Armstrong had inflicted “emotional, physical and financial damage” on Hit employees and others in the space.
Yesterday, BJ Investment Holdings, the parent company of Hit network, took decisive legal action in removing Ben Armstrong from the company, and specifically the Bitboy Crypto brand. https://t.co/e0kYLKUZ4r— Bitboy Crypto (@Bitboy_Crypto) August 28, 2023
The announcement did not elaborate on any incidents that may have led to the end of the business relationship. Armstrong denied the allegations on X, posting what he claimed was a report of negative drug test results on Aug. 29 and describing the move by Hit Network as an attempted coup:
"In the end, we will win. You can’t steal someone’s company they built on their identity and win."
The crypto YouTuber had been involved in a class-action lawsuit in which investors claimed Armstrong and other influencers allegedly promoted FTX without revealing compensation from the exchange. Amid the lawsuit, court filings suggested Armstrong issued threats against lawyers representing the plaintiffs and openly mocked a federal judge’s authority by not appearing in court as ordered. The case was stayed on June 16.
Using his platform with more than 1 million followers on X (formerly Twitter) and YouTube subscribers, Armstrong insulted high-profile figures, including European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde and United States Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Gary Gensler. In August 2022, he filed a defamation suit against YouTuber Erling Mengshoel Jr., also known as "Atozy," but dropped the case after Mengshoel Jr. raised more than $200,000 for his defense.
Many X and YouTube users reacted with support for Armstrong following the Aug. 28 announcement, expressing concern with the future of the "BitBoy Crypto” brand without its most recognizable face. Armstrong launched his YouTube channel in February 2018, and as of August 2023, the BitBoy Crypto brand had a total social reach of more than 3.3 million followers.
I remember when I first got into crypto... I was still trading on coinbase, I listened to bitboy tell me what coins to buy, and my charts were so full of indicators I could hardly see the candlesticks.— lastbloc (@lastbloc) August 28, 2023
It's crazy how fast things can change in three days.
It’s unclear if Armstrong’s previous legal entanglements may have contributed to the company cutting ties with him. Many authorities worldwide have been targeting crypto influencers for promoting allegedly fraudulent projects following the collapse of FTX.
Update (Aug. 30 at 3:17 PM UTC): This article has been updated to include a response from Ben Armstrong.