What if you read some nice articles? Polished and professional reports, that provided good information about Ripple XRP’s and other cryptocurrencies, but you just wanted to verify that the website was reliable?
What if the blogs on this particular site only linked to a few sources?
What if the website then added more sources, after you questioned their integrity? That the links they originally posted no longer recycled you to their older stories?
What would you think?
What if the website in question only listed a single author’s name, but hinted that other experts contributed to the blogs? Wouldn’t you want to see the names of those experts — as authors of those particular blogs?
What if the website reported that it was related to other companies, owned by billionaires who wanted to raise taxes? Who supported the socialist policies of the left, in America?
Would this bother you?
Recently, I drilled down into pymnts.com for more details. I wanted to know where their website was located. Trust, but verify, right?
This article, about one of my favorite cryptocurrencies, got me started. Well, some say it’s not really a crypto and that’s just fine. This is not about Ripple, exactly. It’s more about trust.
Pymnts.com blasts out articles (blogs). Minute by minute. A deluge of fun. One after the other. All about payments and matters financial. And about Ripple.
I made a comment about pymnts.com on Reddit. Not always a good thing to do. Now, we all know that Reddit is not the front page of the internet. It’s full of nonsense and good stuff. You need to pull your own weeds. At the same time, you will often find hints of things. Hints that hit the real news hours or days later, or never.
And you will get down-voted on Reddit for asking controversial questions – especially questions about pymnts.com. Such as, why is the website so secret? Why do they use a privacy service? And why the negative Reddit reaction?
I suspect that pymnts.com employees surf Reddit like there’s no tomorrow. In any event, when your questions are down-voted, your questions can be obscured from view. So, I asked myself why anyone would want to down-vote my concerns about pymnts.com on Reddit? On a public website? Bad press?
I no longer feel that pymnts.com is a click-bait organization. They don’t appear to have advertisements, so at most, they are just data mining the readers. Fine.
But, who owns pymnts.com and who registered the website?
I drilled down, but I did not use the pymnts.com website at first. I mean, anyone can write glowing reviews about themselves. I like to go to the disinterested parties first. See what they report. What’s the bad? What’s the BBB?
I used Google, Whois, BBB and Scamadviser. After all, when I drill down on Ripple.com, I can find all the goods. So, you’d think that an organization like pymnts.com wouldn’t make their details private. I mean other news sites don’t.
So, I look for any complaints about a website, before I trust their “news.” See if they are public or if they choose to hide their details. Meaning, do they broadcast their address, phone number and email address? Because even if a site has bad reviews, if they are public, at least you can verify them, right? You can state that “yes, the Whois record matches the public record and that matches the state corporate records and so on.” You can be reasonably sure that you are reading your preferred news slant from a favored organization.
Not so with pymnts.com. They are a bit…shall we say, “shy.” And privacy is great, unless there are other political winds blowing. Say, Warren Buffet winds. Political and/or subtle propaganda-like winds…from leftist field?
The first indication that a website has an agenda, is when they do not list their address, phone number or email address. They use a privacy service. They make it difficult for you to find them. The alleged reason for this is to protect them from spam, potential identity theft, fraud and so on. After all, we all know that when we list our information on the internet, that big scary world can now…God forbid…see our stuff. Then every scammer spams you, wackos call you on the phone and your good name gets used on strange websites. It’s a difficult price to pay, but as a journalist, as a reporter of news, as a lister of facts, sometimes you need to take that step. The good guys don’t wear masks, but pymnts.com does.
Still, a site can build a reputation. They can report all sides of the issues and even repeatedly link back to their own blogs, as sources. So long as they occasionally throw in a good source now and again, one that can be verified, then sites like pymnts.com are the golden children, right? Even if they do not give credit to their writers. I mean, Mr. or Mrs. Pymnts.com sure does write a lot. Is he a robot? Or is she many? Warm-blooded humans who are not getting recognized, publicly, for their good work?
And don’t read the pymnts.com job reviews here. Apparently, they have work-life balance issues, but these reviews might be old. They might all have lied too.
Back on the pymnts.com website, the first thing I noticed was that, unlike many websites their “About” link was grayed out and tiny. The idea here, is that you will overlook it. Or — that, the owner is not proud of the about-ness. Tell me different.
Okay, dump those titillating conspiracy theories. There is no way on earth that a billionaire is financing the fight against cryptocurrencies, using obscured websites, to slowly and quietly turn the tide of crypto-free-thinkers back toward the cesspool of fiat currency failures. No way, right?
But following the pymnts.com “about” link, you end up at a description page. The page advises that they are “#1,” but as usual, no source is cited. It’s like saying you make the World’s Finest Soda for Buffet. Great, I get it. I’m #1 too, just ask my dog. I my #1 was appointed too!
But here’s the fun part. The twisted birth. Let us follow the pregnancy, shall we? This is according to pymnts.com, of course.
Pymnts.com is brought to you by What’s Next Media and Analytics, LLC. (formerly known as 1st in Media)
The CEO of What’s Next is Karen Webster, who is, we are advised, a globally recognized authority in payments and commerce and a widely quoted author. Webster has assembled a team of leading economists, data analytic experts, management consultants, and journalists to provide cutting edge analysis.
In 2009, What’s Next was partly founded/owned by Market Platform Dynamics, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway and an investor and advisor to clients who want to envision and execute effective multi-sided platform (“matchmaker”) strategies.
Did I mention Market Platform Dynamics‘ listed CEO? Karen Webster.
What’s Next is also partially owned by Continental Advisors LLC., an investment advisor that funds new ventures in payments and commerce.
Business Wire, a wholly owned subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway handles global market/commercial news and disclosure distribution, and is the exclusive press release service for pymnts.com.
What you just read is a bit convoluted. I apologize. But I didn’t do it.
The upshot is that Warren Buffet has skin in this game. And Buffet does not like Bitcoin. There are articles like this all over the net. Does he like Ripple XRP? Hard to say. He seems to see a bad ending for cryptocurrencies in general. But are XRP’s really a type of cryptocurrency? And is Buffet attempting to insure the “bad ending?”
Back to pymnts.com. Now, we can’t confirm ownership of pymnts.com through Whois or Scamadviser or even where its website is located – since the website uses perfectprivacy.com to privatize its information.
The fact that Buffet’s company, Berkshire Hathaway, owns some interest in Market Platform Dynamics, which then partially owns What’s Next Media and Analytics, LLC., which brings us pymnts.com, should be enough to satisfy the curious, right? Not.
We can google CEO Karen Webster all day long and even What’s Next Media and Analytics, LLC. We can see on Bizapedia.com that the LLC is a foreign one filed in 2016. So, is pymnts.com a foreign based website? I’d like to know the country. I’m just curious that way. A bio on pymnts.com just doesn’t cut it for me. Linkedin is a start. And I’m sure Karen is fabulous. I just have issues with the political philosophy of one particular billionaire she might know.
We can use the Businesswire.com website to search for references to pymnts.com and we can see, via Whois, that unlike pymnts.com, the website location (the United States) and many other details. Their “about” link gives you a world of information. And you can double-check Business Wire on Whois.com.
So, why is pymnts.com – the website – using a privacy service? Inquiring minds want to know.
Now to perfectprivacy.com. The site chosen by pymnts.com, to host their website. Think like a billionaire philanthropist. Think like a politician. Various internet searches will lead you to articles like this one. It appears that Hillary Clinton also liked perfectprivacy.com. “Hillary Clinton paid to hide the identity of the people running her private email server, Breitbart News has learned.” That was two years ago, from Brietbart. Interesting.
According to the Brietbart article, perfectprivacy.com is owned by Network solutions…which is owned by Web.com. Both organizations have had their share of complaints. And pymnts.com uses them?
Who else uses perfectprivacy.com for website privacy? Continental Advisors LLC. Remember them? They partly own pymnts.com along with Market Platform Dynamics.
Oh, and the perfect privacy folks also hide their own owner’s identity and website location. Go figure.
At any rate, a lot interesting stuff seems to swirl around perfectprivacy.com. Here’s one issue presented by Cisco in 2015, about PayPal phishing. Consumers Union reported student loan scams in 2016. And the list goes on.
I’m not saying that perfectprivacy.com is a scam site. Not at all. Just that scammers and politicians make for good company.
Ditch pymnts.com until they have the guts to come clean and stop using website privacy services, that criminals are apparently using.
But, when it comes right down to it, I really don’t care if Warren Buffet influences the pymnts.com blog, even if he a is left-leaning, increase-the-taxes, socialist. I don’t care if the pymnts.com website is private or that there are no author names. Pymnts.com is free to publish and hint that Ripple XRP’s may perish from this earth and that SWIFT will rule with inflationary fiats until the universe ends.
What I do care about is an organization like pymnts.com that won’t publicize their website and website owner information. That we, as readers, can then judge if the information presented is coming from journalists we trust.
If we can connect the dots (the presented information) that we can then find on the pymnts.com website, to the dots on Whois or Scamadviser, easily, then pymnts.com could be more clearly judged. If we can’t know the names of all the experts that contribute to pymnts.com “news,” I ask why? Won’t this lack of transparency cast doubt upon the reporting? You bet. Unless you are a trusting soul.
Until then, my suggestion is to use a web service you trust and one that does not publish news from the private recesses of privileged anonymity. And, a site, that does not use its own blog as a reference – repeatedly. That’s bad form, if you want to be credible — and taken seriously.
The old guard must step aside, that the new guard may finance the future.
Bitcoin is about trust.
Is pymnts.com about trust?