This past week has been a tumultuous one on Twitter. I came back from distributing water filters in the Dominican Republic to a feed full of people calling other people’s actions fraudulent. My own actions were even called suspect by a Twitter user until I posted pictures of my passport entry and exit stamps for last week, my airline boarding pass, and photos some of the filters we had distributed that included GPS coordinates and date/time stamps on them. Instead of coming home and celebrating a successful week that is due in part to the XRP Community, I have watched as a few individuals have attempted to tear apart the good that is being accomplished.
The Ground Rules
In this paper I am only going to address the issues that deal specifically with charity work. Anything else is superfluous and only presents itself to attempt to bring about negativity that does not deal specifically with the issue of charitable donations.
Additionally, I am going to do my best not to call out specific people, unless it is pertinent to the facts of the conversation. This is not meant to be a “hit piece” or an opportunity to sling mud at others. Instead, I am going to present the facts and the truth as I have them. I have spent several days combing through tweets, DMs, emails, videos, XRP tip bot records, and phone calls to come to the conclusions that I am about to present. I am human, so I could have missed a key detail. If I have, I ask that you bring it to my attention so we can have a civil discussion. I have no interest in a war of words or attempting to engage Twitter personalities.
There will also be a few times I ask that you look at a scenario with a critical-thinking mindset and ask yourself what a “reasonable person” would conclude from what is presented. My hope, my prayer, is for all of us to look at the situation before us with appropriate perspective.
Finally, in full transparency, I am a member of the Good Souls Group (GSG) which King Blue founded. I represent a charitable cause, helping to provide water filters to people in need in 3rd world countries. However, my membership in this group did not sway my perspective on the outcome of this paper. Instead, I was prepared to walk away, as you will see, if someone could present to me the evidence that King Blue was being accused of.
Let’s get started…
Twitter has been awash with accusations that @kingblue_XRP (King Blue or KB) and @CKJCryptonews (CKJ) (both Twitter handles) were attempting to defraud @StJude (St. Jude) from donations made during a “superchat” event on YouTube. King Blue and CKJ teamed up to do a YouTube event that was designed to be a fundraising event for St. Jude. Understand, this has not been a one-time event. Rather, CKJ has used his platform to help St. Jude’s on multiple occasions. However, there were some mistakes that happened along the way to the donations made via CKJ’s YouTube channel for St. Jude.
Allegation #1 – CKJ was trying to keep those donations for himself.
CKJ has come out and addressed this issue publicly. He has admitted that he was not as careful as he should have been with his record keeping regarding these donations. Evidently, similar issues have arisen with give aways, etc., on his channel and he brought in someone to help keep records of who won what in a give away.
I also spoke with CKJ. He explained that he did the shows with the intent to raise money for St. Jude’s. He also explained that he did not have a procedure in place to record and control the donations that had been made during those shows. He further explained that he receives a check from YouTube once per month for the money given to him during a show. He stated, and it is also widely known, that YouTube keeps a 30% cut of all money given to a YouTube user via a “superchat.” CKJ stated that due to the volume of content he creates he forgot about the money raised for St. Jude via the “superchat” by the time he received the money for it. However, as has been made public, once CKJ was made aware of the discrepancy, he resolved it. See the tweet below by one of the community members who helped bring this matter to a resolution:
Allegation #2 – King Blue was attempting to defraud St. Jude by saying that CKJ did not need to send the donations made during the “superchat” to St. Jude.
I was contacted via DM Friday morning, June 7, by a member of the XRP Community about these accusations being made against King Blue. This person told me that he had expressed a “public opinion” about King Blue (which I later found out was in the form of a video) but that he still supported the GSG charities. I responded that I had not seen anything publicly yet but appreciate his efforts to help the GSG charities.
Soon after, I watched the video that was produced which caused me to ask a lot of questions. I was concerned about whether the accusations being made were true. If so, as tough as it would have been, I would have had to distance myself from King Blue. Here is the content of the DM I sent after I watched the video:
I just watched your video…you say a lot in it and I’d like your perspective about why you feel KB is being fraudulent with the donations from CKJ? I want to know if there is something I dont (sic) know about that has been said “behind closed doors,” or if the word fraudulent is being used out of context. Fraudulent is a very serious allegation and one that I must take seriously. Yet, there is a very legal definition for fraud and fraudulent activities.
If there is something that you know about that makes KBs actions with CKJ fraudulent, I really need to know…
I appreciate your willingness to respond and look forward to hearing back from you!
I sent the following messages within a few minutes of the above message:
And please know (name removed) that I am in no way trying to say so-and-so is right and so-and-so is wrong…I just want to know if I do not have the whole picture.
I may challenge you on some things, and I pray you’re okay with that…my challenge doesnt (sic) mean you’re wrong, it’s just to get the whole puzzle.
I appreciate you reaching out to me today…that means a lot to me, too. Especially during this time.
I received a response that caused me some concern. The reply states:
I called him about a week ago about this whole superchat ordeal. I was appalled by CKJ’s actions and must admit I am the one that started this. Not necessarily intentionally, (name removed) was in the same group chat as me and I vented my concerns to a few people. He questioned more about it and I told him. I’ve brought this up to king blue 2 times. He not only brushed it off as no big deal, he said that ckj deserved the funds for his helpm (sic) while I commend what was done in raising funds for an honorable charity, kb wanted it hush hush because he didn’t want a deal out of it.
The comment about King Blue brushing off the missing donations caused me some alarm initially, however, the comment about it being “hush hush” was not in character for how I have heard King Blue speak. I asked for any screenshots this person might have of this conversation to which he replied that it was a phone conversation not in text/DM format. He sent a screenshot of his phone records with, presumably, King Blue. Here is that screenshot:
King Blue was able to verify this screenshot with one from his phone, too.
The claim was that the individual I was speaking with called KB “about a week ago” regarding the superchat donations. The phone records show a call the night of June 3rd, about 5 days prior that could coincide with the “about a week ago” comment. Since I have not been able to speak with this individual more, I asked King Blue about the conversation and if he spoke about the superchats with this individual during the call that night.
King Blue explained to me that he first found out about the missing superchat donations on Sunday night, June 2, from yet another member of the community. This person had found out about the missing superchat donations and was attempting to use those missing donations against King Blue if King Blue did not come out in support of some other information sent to King Blue in a DM by this individual.
King Blue explained the above conversation during the phone call on the night of June 3rd. King Blue explained June 3rd was the first time that he and this individual has spoken about the superchat donations. The next morning, Tuesday, June 4, King Blue and other members of the community were able to do an audit of the promised donations and come to the resolution found in the tweet pictured above.
However, the individual I was DMing with told me that he had “brought this up to king blue 2 times.” Monday, June 3rd could potentially be one of those times. Though, based on conversations I have had, it was King Blue who brought the information to light, not the other way around (this could be splitting hairs a little). Therefore, I have to ask, when was the other occasion? There is not another phone call that was made between this individual and King Blue before April 4. And the individual stated there were no other DM’s/text messages to support this claim.
Critical thinking question: If April 4 is when he brought this up the first time, why would he have done nothing again until June 3, two months later?
I have also seen the text message shown from May 20 and those sent before May 20 between King Blue and this individual. There was nothing mentioned about missing superchat donations.
Critical thinking question: Where is the other conversation that transpired between King Blue and this individual about the superchat donations? If it was not on or around June 3, why was there a delay in bringing this information forward?
This community member and I had some more discussions regarding the superchat issue and KB’s involvement, which I will get to more later. However, the last question I asked him brought me back to these conversations he said he had with KB about the superchat donations “about a week ago.” In the last message I sent to him I asked:
Sorry, I got sidetracked…when did you and KB talk on the phone about this stuff with CKJ…I’m still working on my timeline of events.
This last message was sent on Friday and I have received no response since. Therefore, I cannot verify his part of the phone conversation or if there are other texts/DMs that exist, despite being told they do not.
According to what this person said in his DMs and the phone records he provided as evidence to support what he is saying is true, there should have been a record of a phone conversation or text/DM that took place between the missed call and text messages of May 20 and the phone call the night of June 3, but somewhere close to June 3.
Critical thinking question: What would a “reasonable” person conclude from the evidence presented and the lack of clarification regarding when a conversation took place between this individual and KB regarding the CKJ superchat donations? This person has been active on Twitter since Friday. This is not to say this person is a “bad” person in any way…far from it. However, I cannot corroborate the allegations made any further here with the lack of additional evidence.
I asked this person in our conversation why he felt “KB wasn’t worried about getting those (superchat) donations, if that is what was said to you? Why do you think he would be okay with CKJ keeping that money.”
The response was, “Because he TOLD me that CKJ deserves that money…” He went on to explain that the only reason he came out publicly against King Blue was because he “wanted those funds to go to where ckj said they would go.” Of course, according to the screenshot above, XRP was sent to St. Jude’s tipbot account on Tuesday, June 4, for those superchat donations, three days prior to the public release of his video against King Blue and our DM conversation. The issue had already been settled…the money was where it was supposed to be, but the allegations continued. I had to ask myself if there might possibly be something more than just donations involved.
In our conversation this person kept claiming that King Blue kept “turning a blind eye,” stating that some people are not “100% genuine,” that he hopes King Blue “finds the light in his life and that he can live with what he has done” but that he would continue to “directly support the charities. They deserve it,” and that “there are more seeing this than you think…” This last comment caused me to have a lot of other questions regarding “who” was seeing “what” was being said? My DMs? If so, why, I thought to myself?
With these allegations about King Blue saying that CKJ could keep the donations I had to ask King Blue himself. King Blue and I spoke via DM and via phone conversation. King Blue stated he never said anything of the sort. Of course, I have not been able to corroborate that conversation between King Blue and the individual I was speaking with, so I have to believe that the conversation did not happen and that nothing was said via DM/text to the same because nothing has been produced that could prove otherwise.
I also asked CKJ a similar question via a phone conversation he and I had: Did King Blue ever tell you that you did not need to send in donations you received for St. Jude from any show/superchat you did, or did he insinuate that you should keep the money for any reason? CKJ’s response: “No.”
Critical thinking question: If King Blue had told or insinuated that CKJ should keep the St. Jude donations for any reason, instead of sending them in to St. Jude, wouldn’t CKJ have said, “Whoa, wait a minute, King Blue told me to keep those,” instead of going through the whole fiasco of attempting to do an audit and accounting of what was owed?
Critical thinking moment: One of the strongest arguments out there is that those of us who have worked with KB know he is completely absorbed by his work for St. Jude. It is his passion in life and his driving force. He has fought to build trust at every turn. Why would this man, who lives and breaths St. Jude, casually say in a conversation that he did not care that CKJ had not transferred the money given to St. Jude?
Based on the evidence that has been presented to me and the lack of further clarification about conversations that were alleged to have happened, I cannot agree with the allegation that King Blue attempted to “defraud” St. Jude of any money that was donated through any shows produced by CKJ. Additionally, once an audit was done, CKJ immediately sent the funds that he was supposed to have sent, as he rightly should have done. Now, we can talk about the mistakes at that were made, but none of this lives up to the allegation that either King Blue or CKJ attempted to commit a fraud.
Mistakes and Accountability
Looking at this scenario, there were a lot of mistakes made by many people. Some of these mistakes are being addressed, specifically by the GSG, so they are not repeated.
So that you know the context from which I am basing my comments on, I have a bachelor’s in business and accounting and my first master’s degree is in accounting. I am not a CPA (certified public accountant) nor am I a practicing accountant. However, I have used my education to help me in various positions as a business owner and manager, especially in a manner consistent with forensic accounting.
A simple Google search will show that if a company’s internal control procedures are not where they should be then their auditor will lay out what controls should be changed and why. When a lack of control over financial accountability is realized, but the company does not have the resources to fix the control, they should disclose that as a risk. Their lack of accounting controls could result in something slipping “through the cracks” which would have to be fixed in the future and could cause financial harm to the company and its stakeholders.
No one knew that King Blue attempting to raise funds via a CKJ superchat stream would result in donations not being made to St. Jude. However, based on documents I have received, there are donations that have been promised to St. Jude and other charities by YouTube shows that have not been made. Why? Do I think that YouTuber’s are all attempting to defraud St. Jude or any other charity? No, I don’t. There is a lack of internal controls.
Mistake #1 – No charitable donation should be made to anyone except to the charity/charity representative or to the @GoodXrp charity splitter (more below). YouTubers have put themselves in a situation where they now need to go back and audit what they have said and the promises they have made regarding charities. Listen to your words carefully because in many instances there were no time limits placed on the donations that were promised. Remember, the donations are not to a person (ie: King Blue), rather, to a charity (St. Jude). Additionally, YouTube keeps 30% of the funds donated via their platform…this is crazy! There are other, less expensive ways, for charitable organizations to receive fiat donations.
Mistake #2 – No follow-up. Again, if a YouTube show promised to send funds to a charity, they, and only they, are responsible for following through with that donation. The problem we have seen was due to a lack of internal controls that ensured a proper recording of 1) the show date, 2) the amount of donations made, 3) the date the funds were paid to the show producer, 4) the date the funds were forwarded to the charity in question.
Mistake #3 – Acting as if the charity sponsor is responsible for the follow up. King Blue’s sole goal is to raise money for St. Jude. If I make a promise to send money to St. Jude, I am the one who should be held accountable for ensuring that donation gets to St. Jude, not King Blue. If I do not follow through with my promise, King Blue is not a fraud. If I forget to send my donation, I am not a fraud.
Response: The GSG is working to implement new controls to keep this from becoming an issue again. As a member of the GSG, I want the group and the charity champions to feel free to go into the community and continue to do the good that we have been doing so we can achieve our goals. Once this response is finalized, the GSG will put out an official statement. Needless-to-say, I believe the following should be part of the new controls:
1 – No funds should ever be sent to someone “in the middle” like a YouTube personality or otherwise.
2 – Any funds donated should be donated directly to the charitable cause’s tipbot account using the Twitter tipbot function, the tipbot app, the charity’s tipbot wallet address, other publicly known wallet address used by the charity that has been verified as such, or to the @GoodXrp tipbot account.
3 – Everyone should follow through with their own promises. If you promise to make a donation to a charity, do it. If you forget, okay. We are all human. However, if someone points it out that you made a mistake, then be the honest person you want everyone to know you are and make it right. What more can we all ask for?
More About King Blue
About a year ago, King Blue began raising XRP for St. Jude. At the time, there was a lot of speculation about his intents and whether he was attempting to scam the XRP community in the process. King Blue was very transparent with the community, even posting conversations he was having with senior leadership at St. Jude. Even I had questions in the beginning. However, he has been my inspiration for starting to raise money for water filters. Without his leadership, and insistence on transparency, I do not believe we would have accomplished all we have for St. Jude, for clean water, and for the other charities in the GSG. That said, I want to reiterate some of the controls that King Blue insisted be put in place for his St. Jude fundraising efforts. To be sure, I emailed @wietsewind to verify these facts and to ensure they are in place:
#1 – The St. Jude Twitter handle belongs to St. Jude, not King Blue.
#2 – Only St. Jude has access to the XRP in their TipBot account, not King Blue. They have Wietse Wind’s contact information when the time is right for them to cash out their XRP.
#3 – St. Jude must contact Wietse Wind in order to transfer their XRP to a confirmed XRPL account. They cannot use the tipbot website for withdrawal since the amount of XRP in the account to be withdrawn far exceeds the withdrawal limits.
#4 – If something happens to Wietse Wind, there is an alternative plan in place to release the XRP that has been donated to St. Jude when that time comes.
Please notice, none of this includes King Blue having access to these XRP. Once the XRP is donated to St. Jude’s Twitter account it is done. King Blue is truly a Charity Champion for all the work he has done for St. Jude!
The GSG TipBot Splitter
I have seen questions the last few days surrounding the tipbot splitter used to forward tips to the GSG charities. Please let me make some explanations and provide some answers:
1 – The GSG had a “splitter account” where donations could be made to one account that would be “split” among the six GSG charities.
2 – The code for this account was written by a member of the community who was, at the time, a member of the GSG.
3 – This individual was found to be doing some activities that they were not fully authorized to do. The activity itself is not important, it was the lack of responsibility and accountability that became the issue. When pressed, this individual refused to accept responsibility for their actions by offering an apology. Instead, there were only heated debates and he said/she said arguments that did nothing to solve the problem. Ultimately, this became an issue of integrity in accountability.
4 – The code for the splitter had never been fully given to the GSG.
5 – It began to appear that the GSG not owning the code for the original charity splitter was placing an untenable risk on the GSG.
6 – Wietse Wind was contacted and made aware of the problems. He could do nothing until the individual stopped forwarding XRP to the charities.
7 – Once donations stopped being forwarded, Wietse Wind was made aware and put a “lock” on the tipbot account, not allowing it to receive any further donations.
8 – New code was written by members of the GSG for a new splitter. In no way did we want it to appear we were trying to “steal” someone’s code, especially since they had not turned that code over to us fully. New code was the only way to proceed.
9 – The new GSG splitter is held by the GSG and is working as it is intended to. You can view the open source code here: https://github.com/GSG-KingBlue/xrpcharities-bot
10 – No XRP were “lost” in this transition.
The individual who wrote the code for the original tipbot splitter stopped communicating with the GSG. The GSG spent many hours attempting to contact this person due to statements that had been made that caused us concern for their health and well being. During this time, I reached out to this individual via DM. Those DM’s abruptly stopped and I have not heard from that individual since.
Nothing was done that would attempt to be a cover up with the GSG charity donations. Rather, every decision made by the GSG was done so out of compassion for the individual who developed the original charity splitter and to protect donations the XRP community wanted to make to the charities through the old charity splitter. The GSG response to these events was not a scam or fraud. What was attempted with the old account could have been.
On a positive note, the new @GoodXrp charity splitter is very safe and is a great way to send a single donation to all six GSG charities. When you send a donation via Twitter or the TipBot app to @GoodXrp, it automatically divides that tip evenly amongst the six charities. Try it out and see how easy it is to donate once while making an impact in six difference ways!
I hope everything I have laid out here today helps show the transparency that King Blue has always said he would provide to the XRP Community regarding his efforts for St. Jude. King Blue does not, and has not ever, had control over any funds that were donated to St. Jude, either through the tipbot or through superchats. Therefore, he could not have been perpetrating the fraud he has been accused of. At the same time, many mistakes were made regarding donations received via superchats. And those errors, specifically by CKJ, have been identified and corrected. That’s what should have happened in the first place.
The allegation that King Blue said to keep things “hush hush” about allowing CKJ to keep donations intended for St. Jude does not pass muster. The evidence does not support it and neither does the language used. King Blue has always advocated for transparency, not backroom secrets to be kept quiet. Additionally, when the errors were found about donations, they should have been taken straight to the person responsible for making the donation: CKJ. Yes, let King Blue know that the issue has been brought up, but the decision on where the money was to go, if the allegations made above are true, was never King Blue’s to make. The money was to go to St. Jude, not CKJ. And the only person who could correct that was CKJ.
Again, there are other shows who have made promises of donations to St. Jude and other charities where proof is available that those donations did not happen. Be a person, a leader, of integrity, and ensure you are in the right. When we point our finger at someone for doing something wrong, we have three fingers pointed back at ourselves. None of us are perfect, but we must always strive to do what is right, especially when a wrong we have committed has been pointed out. Saying that, if you find out someone has done something “wrong” give them an opportunity to fix it…maybe even two opportunities before calling them out as a fraud. We all make mistakes, but mistakes do not rise to the level of fraudulent activity in all cases.
For those who feel you have “helped” St. Jude by your actions these past several days, I fear you have hurt more than helped. In total, we are talking about a few hundred dollars. No amount of money should be taken for granted. However, with the sullied reputation regarding what King Blue has been trying to do for St. Jude, how much money do you think HAS NOT and WILL NOT be donated because of the way all these accusations have been handled. I fear we have lost far more than the few hundred dollars that was promised from this superchat. Have we done more harm than good because of the way this has been handled?
If you still feel that fraudulent activity occurred I encourage you to report it to the appropriate authorities which include your state consumer protections office or the Federal Trade Commission.
Finally, I want to let the XRP Community know that I stand, unequivocally, behind King Blue and his actions with St. Jude. Maybe I’m wrong for doing that. If so, you are going to have to prove to me why he is guilty of the allegations brought against him. Not just a he said/she said argument, show me proof. I have used what I have to prove to you why I believe he has done nothing wrong, nothing other than attempt to preserve the reputation he has attempted to build over the last year, NOT for himself, but for the children of St. Jude. The standard here is set high…and it was set by King Blue.