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Sketchy promoter of Massive Adoption event calls the whole thing off

Jacob Kostecki says he will pay everyone back, but it will take 6 months

Much to nobody’s surprise, Jacob Kostecki, a relative unknown in the crypto world until now, has called off his Massive Adoption event. The bitcoin conference was to be held at the University of Memphis’ FedEx Institute of Technology on Feb. 27-28. 

In a 600-word missive that appeared on the event’s website Friday, Kostecki blamed cash flow problems and lower than anticipated ticket and sponsorship sales for the cancellation. 

“My excitement and naivete, coupled with limited experience in putting on large events, added to the difficulties,” he said, adding that he would pay people back…eventually. 

Earlier this week, after details emerged about Kostecki’s dubious past, speakers, attendees, and promoters began pulling out of the event. There were also complaints that refunds Kostecki promised months ago—when he changed the originally scheduled date of the event from November 7-8 to the end of February—were never received. 

Tweets that surfaced from the past of Kostecki’s own brother calling him a scammer did not help the cause. “My pregnant wife and I have multiple visits from the cops because of him and he caused me to lose work, not to mention the money he owes me. My tank of loyalty is empty.” Jedrek Kostecki tweeted in December. Jacob admitted to Modern Consensus that Jedrek was indeed his brother. 

Jacob Kostecki, who was apparently planning the event single handedly—he said at one point, he hoped for 2,000 attendees—complained of exhaustion. In alluding to “an attendee who re-posted articles about negative instances in my life,” he also pointed the finger again to Rob McNealy, a bitcoin podcaster and event planner, for bringing up details of his past alleged scams, convictions, and trouble with the law.

“I do not blame anyone but myself for this, but it did cause partially-justified FUD that sent the event into a tailspin.” he said. 

Refunds

Kostecki promised refunds, but said he doesn’t have the money now. Ultimately, he said he would pull from his own personal reserves.

“I understand you’re angry. I will be refunding everyone out of personal funds earned as I return to the consulting work I did prior to focusing 100% of my energy on Massive Adoption,” he wrote.  

He said he would refund tickets and “packages” in the order they were paid. “The oldest purchases will be refunded first. It will take 30 days for the first refunds to be processed, so I will post the first names no later than February 29.” He expects the entire process to take six months.  

Apparently, Kostecki sold package deals for plane tickets, lodging, and parties for around $300-$400. (Most roundtrip airfares within the U.S. cost more than that alone.)

“Too good to be true? $400 for flight, hotel and ticket without even knowing where I’m flying in from[?], Mike in Space tweeted with a screenshot of a direct message from Kostecki pitching the offer. 

Student non-charity

As for #satsforstudents, his “charity,” Kostecki said he is keeping the funds raised for that and putting it toward a “student focused event.” At one point, he claimed to have raised $25,000 from people sending in their crypto via addresses he posted on Twitter.  

Previously, when we asked him if the event was a registered charity, he did not respond. Now he is claiming that it is not a charity. “It wasn’t being raised for a charity,” he said in a tweet earlier today. 

In his unfortunate pattern of stringing people along, Kostecki said if he was not able to produce the student event by April 31 (sic), refunds would begin May 1-5. Presumably, that would be a long drawn out affair that would take six months as well. We’re not holding our breath. (While we’ll give him Feb. 29 above—it is a leap year—don’t hold your breath for anything scheduled for the 31st day of a 30-day month.)

The rest of the letter was filled with more profuse apologies and the usual promises to “work tirelessly” to “make the situation right.” 

Amy Castor has more than 20 years' experience in journalism. Her work on crypto and blockchain has appeared in consumer and trade publications throughout the U.S., including CoinDesk, Forbes, Bitcoin Magazine, and The Block.

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