Ben Armstrong, popularly known as Bitboy, was in the news yesterday, asking for donations for his legal battle against HIT Network. The request raised concern in the XRP community due to the whopping amount of assets held in the XRP wallet he shared.
The wallet holds the sum of 161 million XRP worth about $82.9 million. Many said it would be totally unacceptable if Bitboy possessed such a whopping amount of XRP and still asked for donations to fund his lawsuit.
Many expected Bitboy to openly deny such an allegation and he did as expected some hours after the misinformation went viral. Ripple CTO David Schwartz also threw his weight behind the crypto influencers in a post on X, calling the publication that broke the news complete nonsense.
Ben Armstrong (Bitboy) Clears the Air
In his post on X, Armstrong called this claim hilarious and proceeded to provide a detailed explanation of the situation.
Armstrong explained that his financial ties were with the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of HIT Network, Timothy Shedd Sr., and Celsius, the bankrupt crypto lending platform. HIT Network is the company Armstrong founded in 2018 and worked with until he was allegedly forced out by Timothy Shedd Sr. and the CEO, Timothy “TJ” Shedd Jr.
Armstrong claimed in his post that the CFO lost $3 million in crypto assets on Celsius. He argued that despite the mismanagement of funds, the HIT Network CEO refused to remove his father from the CFO position.
The crypto influencer further stated that Timothy Shedd Sr. was made CFO without any financial experience. He added that all the XRP owned by the company was locked up in Celsius. He closed his statement, saying, “They stole all my money.”
This is hilarious.
1. My CFO, Timothy Shedd, singlehandedly lost $3M in crypto on Celsius. And his son, TJ Shedd, the CEO, refused to fire him. TJ made his dad CFO in spite of having ZERO financial experience. All of our XRP was on Celsius.
2. They stole all my money. https://t.co/uCthpfrWYg
— Ben Armstrong (@BenArmstrongsX) September 22, 2023
David Schwartz Weighs In
Ripple’s Chief Technology Officer, David Schwartz, also weighed in on the allegation that Armstrong had 160 million XRP while seeking financial assistance.
Despite the occasional disagreements between the duo, Schwartz dismissed the publication that started the rumor as unreliable, emphasizing that the article was baseless. Ripple CTO wrote, “This article is complete nonsense.”
This article is complete nonsense.https://t.co/rPnHrjAnzj
— David "JoelKatz" Schwartz (@JoelKatz) September 22, 2023
Backlash from the Community
Several members of the XRP community expressed dissatisfaction with the publication, labeling it as poor content and clickbait.
One user pointed out that the author had overlooked a crucial aspect when analyzing the wallet provided by Armstrong for donations. The address was an exchange wallet, and the author had ignored the unique identifier of the wallet, known as the destination tag.
This means that the $82.9 million in XRP represents the balance of the exchange wallet, not Armstrong’s holdings. Another user pointed out that the wallet belonged to an exchange. He stated that if the wallet belonged to Armstrong, he would have more XRP than Schwartz.
One user provided a table listing the XRP Armstrong received. It showed that Armstrong’s XRP donation wallet had received only 1,034.641 XRP from 13 donors.