Reality Check w/ Ben Swann Powered by SmartCash UPDATED


This is an updated version of the Reality Check proposal. After having several conversations with members of the Smarthive, I believe that an EXCLUSIVE Reality Check sponsorship makes a lot of sense. This updated proposal is still for 6 months but the amount of content is dramatically increased as a result of the sponsorship becoming exclusive. In addition, we have worked with our production team and have been able to shave an additional $30k off the total cost of the project:

We propose that just as SmartCash is helping to create disruption in the financial world, it also helps to create major disruption in the media world by becoming the exclusive sponsor of “Reality Check w/ Ben Swann.” In order to fit into the SmartCash budget, we are proposing an exclusive sponsorship of Reality Check. SmartCash will be branded and tied to what is one of the most successful news segments in the world. Our hope is to establish and sustain a long-term partnership, and we would be honored to be an ambassador of SmartCash.

Reality Check with Ben Swann is a news and information segment that paved the way in covering stories mainstream media misrepresented or simply deceived the public about in the United States and around the world. In 2016, Reality Check with Ben Swann had 110 Million video views on Facebook and outperformed media giants such as VICE News.

From February to May of 2018 Reality Check with Ben Swann was sponsored by DASH Digital Cash and during that time Reality Check segments garnered over 20 Million views. In addition, our brand partnership with DASH has introduced DASH as a brand to millions of new and potential crypto users.

Deliverables and Funding Breakdown

Reality Check Sponsorship.
◦ SmartCash will be the a sponsor of Reality Check for the duration of this sponsorship.
◦ Estimated 5M video views, 40M social impressions. The estimated video views and impressions do not include views and impressions gained through advertising. Videos will be uploaded to Facebook, YouTube, DTube, LBRY, Amazon Prime, Roku, embedded on Steemit and News Websites. Episode teasers will be posted to Instagram and Twitter. These will be in video or image format.

Sponsorship includes:

◦    SmartCash name and logo as part of the animated open for each episode including a verbal announcer who says “Reality Check w/ Ben Swann Powered by SmartCash.

    Lower third bug. “Ben Swann’s Reality Check Powered By SmartCash” and will be seen on all platforms listed above and more as we expand our network.
    Dedicated Smartcash Bug on the opposite side of the screen which states “powered by SmartCash throughout the episode. 

◦    Link in the description of the Youtube, DTube, and LBRY if available 
◦    This will be a non-exclusive sponsorship and will cover one Reality Check per week; Every Tuesday unless the date lands on a US holiday. Then Reality Check’s marketing department will decide what day to release that Reality Check on. 
◦    Videos will cover topical US and World issues and will be 2 to 5 minutes long. 
◦    A total of 44 episodes will be sponsored.   At our current average of 600,000 views per video, we project over 26 million SmartCash branded views of Reality Check 

Ben Swann at 3 Crypto/Blockchain events. Ben Swann and team go to one, US based, blockchain conference a month (3 total) to promote SmartCash. Live stream on Facebook and Instagram with SmartCash logo on the screen. Social promotion before and after the event. The events have not been picked yet, and we would love the SmartCash community’s feedback on where in the US you would like us to go.

Ben is already scheduled to speak this July at FreedomFest in Las Vegas. Freedomfest is the “world’s largest gathering of free minds and is independent, non-partisan and not associated with any think tank”. This event includes speakers such as Judge Andrew Napolitano, John Stossel, Peter Schiff and many others.

Mention SmartCash. Ben and team, while being interviewed by other press, will mention SmartCash as an example of the decentralized financial system needed to create and promote independent media.

Sponsor Spotlight.

Every other Sunday Ben and his team will release a “Sponsor Spotlight on SmartCash.” These segments are a powerful way to create adoption of SmartCash. While the branding associated with the Reality Check segments will allow for brand recognition for SmartCash with our audience, these Sponsor Spotlight segments will give an in-depth view of SmartCash to our audience and explain why SmartCash is a vibrant and useful crypto ecosystem. The Sponsor Spotlights have received hundreds of thousands of views. This proposal includes 12 Sponsor Spotlight episodes. We project over 1,500,000 SmartCash sponsor spotlight views.

In total, we project over 30,000,000 video views of SmartCash branded content over a 6 month period.

Release Dates for Reality Check:

August: 7, 9, 14, 16, 21, 23, 28, 30, September: 4, 6, 11, 13, 18, 20, 25, 27, October: 2, 4, 9, 11, 16, 18, 23, 25, 30 November 1, 3, 6, 8, 13, 15, 29 December 4, 6, 11, 13, 18, January 10, 15, 17, 22, 24, 29, 31

Release Dates for Sponsor Spotlight:

August: 12, 26 September: 9, 23, October: 7, 21 November: 4, 18 December: 2, 16, January: 13, 27
Investment: $356,000 paid out over 6 months

Payment Dates:
Aug. 1st, 2018- $59,334.00
Sept. 1st, 2018- $59,334.00
Oct. 1st, 2018- $59,334.00
Nov 1st, 2018- $59,334.00
Dec 1st, 2018 $59,334.00
Jan 1st, 2019 $59,334.00

We will provide a monthly KPI report. The KPI report will include banner impressions, video plays and reach.

Budgeted Costs Monthly:

$15,000 Researchers, writers, producers, executive producer, social managers, online producer

$12,000 Production Crew (Audio operator, Director, Videographers, Engineers, Video Editors, Video Animator)

$3,000 Graphic Designers

$6,000 Legal/Insurance

$23,000 Marketing budget

About Ben Swann

I have 20 years of experience in journalism, behind and in front of the camera. I became drawn to covering under-reported issues and events early on in my career, particularly during my time covering the drug war in Mexico when I realized that the war on drugs was being misrepresented and most mainstream media had no interest in upholding their commitment to sharing the truth with the public. I’ve received three Emmy awards and two Edward R. Murrow awards, as well as several AP awards from my time in Texas and New Mexico and Georgia.

I am not new to the cryptocurrency community. I’ve been discussing Bitcoin since 2013, longer and more thoroughly than most journalists in the media, in my own reporting as well as during my appearance at the Texas Bitcoin Conference in 2014. My experience stands in contrast to the majority of mainstream media, which is scrambling to catch up on coverage largely because cryptocurrency has become so accessible and attractive that they can no longer ignore it. However, the majority of media corporations fail to objectively and accurately report on this industry.

Benefit to SmartCash

We have the ability to bring SmartCash to a vastly larger audience than ever before. From February to March of 2018 we had a similar sponsorship agreement with Dash Digital Cash. Without question we brought an enormous amount of attention to the Dash DAO with many media organizations and individuals now aware of the concept of a DAO treasury when they had not been in the past. In addition, we introduced DASH as a brand to millions of freedom and liberty minded individuals. Further, the addition of the Dash Spotlight in the final month of our sponsorship gave our viewers an intimate look at DASH and its benefits not only in terms of a financial option, but also as a way to expanding disruption and freedom throughout the world.

In addition, Reality Check episodes dive into subjects that are embraced and heavily recirculated by an enormous and diverse crowd. This crowd comes from widely varying political, social and geographic backgrounds and they range from individuals who have spent a great deal of their own time on research to individuals who are learning about these subjects for the first time, and the subject of cryptocurrency is no exception. The promotion of SmartCash will fit seamlessly with our reporting: while our audience is diverse, it shares a common passion for disruption in the media as well as a mindset that embraces disruptive technologies like cryptocurrency.

We have the advantage of both a huge audience and existing experience in speaking to the public about cryptocurrency. Using the same footprint that has helped Reality Check and Truth In Media episodes reach hundreds of millions of viewers, we will be able to integrate SmartCash and crypto within our videos as well as bring those topics to live events at a more intimate level with the public. Our audience is comprised of millions of free thinkers and many people who either have or want to adopt cryptocurrency. Many of those individuals know very little about alternative currencies. Our Sponsor Spotlight provides important brand building information for those viewers.

I have been honored over the past 4 months to act as an ambassador for Dash and to introduce the power of Dash Digital Cash to so many people. I now look forward to moving forward as a brand ambassador for SmartCash and introducing millions of people worldwide to the SmartCash community and economy.


I just got here but I would love to see ben back up and crushing it


Did dash stop sponsoring you? if so why?


This proposal is currently open for voting and will still be for the next 9 days.

This proposal ask for $356 004, which is 4 797 936 Smarts.

As funding projects does not only gives someone the possibility to realize it, but also gives voting power, it is important that as much people as possible take part in the vote.


The more I look into the proposal, the more it looks fishy.

We’re going to pay a lot of money for a few hundred youtube views…

Also, check out how it ended after Ben got funded by Dash:


I got the same impression, just moving on to his next pay day. what hes offering for that kind of money doesnt seem to fit the bill, at least to me. lots of Dash people were upset about how it all went down. We should be using the hive funds in a better way. for 350k, we could do a much better marketing approach.


What worries me is that big bag holders support the proposal…


I spent some time reading through the threads and got the sense that a lot of the problem came from the in fighting in the Dash community and possibly lack of support on their end also. Lot’s of accusations and not a lot of proof. It may be that Ben Swann needs this to go as well as we do. If things do not work out well this time, it is going to be harder for him to get funding from another project. I bailed on Dash for SmartCash a while back because I love the positivity and all the small projects happening around the world. I do see a need for the project to get more exposure in the media also.

I have no idea if SmartCash will get fair value from the proposal if it passes. However, if it does pass, I think we should consider it as an opportunity to show that SmartCash can be a supportive partner to higher profile people. We might be able to attract other talented people and turn it into a win win situation regardless.


I can’t know if SmartCash will get fair value from the proposal - only the future will tell - but there are too many issues for me.

For instance:

-Ben expects 30,000,000 video views of SmartCash. Really??? I did not find any Dash video that would have more that 3 000 views. So yeah…

-The fact that he started with Dash, went to try with Pivx and is coming to SmartCash now makes me think he’s just looking for a way to make quick money. I’m not comfortable with the idea that someone whose sincere interest for SmartCash is doubtful will end up with such a huge voting power, that only founders would be able to outvote him.

-Ben Swann may be high profile in the US, but nobody knows him in the rest of the world. Most of those who will take the time to look him up will think he’s a controversial person, not a star whose support would benefit SmartCash. For that reason alone $350 000 appears to be way too much.

-For such a proposal, I’d expect rights and duties to be specified in a contract. There might be one, but we don’t know it.

-Also, just think what could be done with $350 000 in developing countries.

We do need more publicity, that’s for sure, but I would have preferred Ben to propose a smaller project first.

Some of the projects are made just for stealing funds

I really appreciate your thoughtful response. You make some good points that need to be considered. I would love to see some response to them.


(reposted from Discord)


I guess Ben Swann was answering to comments on Discord. Good to see at least some response, but apart from the Wikipedia page being wrong or imprecise (who takes what’s on wikipedia for granted anyway?), we did not learn anything.

As a matter of principle, I am wary of anyone claiming being popular among “independent and free minded individuals”, or being “truth” oriented. What Ben says here roughly means this: “if you are an independent and free minded, truth oriented individual, you must like me”. No. That’s a very poor and suspicious rhetoric. And that’s not how things work. It’s not about what you claim about yourself, but about what you really are and what you really do. In other words your way of being, your actions and your work.

I don’t know Ben Swann. I was against the proposal, it passed, I’m fine with it, because that’s how voting works. The first milestone is in August and I hope that the content will good and that the promises will be kept.


You are absolutely right @Karl, though this seems to be a late reply, but I must be honest with the big gurus in the smartcash community, "they rally behind unnecessary projects, that do not have immediate or long term direct benefits to smartcash. Apart from people viewing smartcash to be the sponsor for Ben, what other direct benefit does it cropped to smartcash. Brilliant ideas are suffering deficiency of indecision, that warrant them absolute failure in passing, and we are here talking about more than a half million smart sponsorship to such a mild thought idea? Come on!! Let us be real to ourselves.


I see a lot of criticisms about Ben being an official sponsor, being a waste of resources, well you guys couldn’t be more wrong. The only reason I’m even in this forum is because of Benn Swann. I never even heard of smart cash until I saw one of Benn’s videos and saw Smart cash as a sponsor, because of this I definitely have an interest in this crypto currency and I’m sure their are thousands of other people who now have an interest in this project because of Ben.