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Episode #27: Bitcointopia, Where the Murder Rate is 100% / Interview: A Real XRP Fan

Ripple folks were pissed off that Jay called them bots. We found a real life Ripple fan to tell us why he loves XRP. (Thx, Kieran) Plus: Cansecoin.

COIN TALK is produced in partnership with Medium and hosted by Aaron Lammer and Jay Caspian Kang. Press “Listen to the story” above to play the episode. (You can also subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, download the MP3, or email us at

A full transcript of our interview with a reasonable Ripple fan (@KieranMLKelley) is here.


Robot: This episode of Coin Talk was taped Tuesday, May 22nd at 1 p.m. Eastern standard time. The Bitcoin price index was $8,214.00.

Jay Kang: Alright, ready?

Aaron Lammer: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jay Kang: Coin Talk. Aaron, we’re back in the Crypto Cave.

Aaron Lammer: Hey, I like your throw, there.

Jay Kang: Thank you. Thank you. I’ve been working on it. I didn’t know whether to go for like, the gravely serious NPR, you know, like, welcome to Coin Talk, or to just yell, but, I think yelling is better.

Aaron Lammer: I like you in more of like a Mike Francesa mode, just kinda like gravely, like, one and a half speed, just rocking.

Jay Kang: Oh, okay, so, like, you know, with the [inaudible 00:02:24] not doing too good this day.

Aaron Lammer: Ripple’s in the goddamn toilet.

Jay Kang: That’s Joe Pesci. That is not Mike Francesa. I don’t know how much you’ve … Mike Fracesa is much more slower and full with a bunch of like, uhhhh. He does a lot of that. Every time he’s searching for something, he goes, uhhhh. Yeah, let me check to see Bitcoin, uh, looks 8600, not bad, uhhh Ripple at $1.14. Anyway.

Aaron Lammer: I feel like we never talk about the price of Bitcoin on the show anymore.

Jay Kang: I know. It’s actually kinda nice. Aaron?

Aaron Lammer: Yes?

Jay Kang: We have been talking a lot recently about Bitcoin projects that are utopian in scope.

Aaron Lammer: Are there any other kind?

Jay Kang: Yeah, so, we have … Oh, yeah. There are ones that are like, here’s a utility token to pay your dental bills, right?

Aaron Lammer: Yeah.

Jay Kang: But, I think that since we’re not talking so much about the price, we’ve been talking a lot more about the more fun parts about crypto.

Aaron Lammer: Yeah, I agree with that.

Jay Kang: Last episode, we talked about … what was it called? Jaxx Land, or something like that?

Aaron Lammer: Decentral unity.

Jay Kang: Decentral unity, which is a Jaxx-based utopia that is trying to solve the-

Aaron Lammer: It’s not really like utopia. It’s more of like … what are those lines of products that people sell at parties at people’s houses?

Jay Kang: Avon?

Aaron Lammer: Avon. It’s like, Jaxx this, Jaxx that, Jaxx prepaid card, Jaxx academy-

Jay Kang: Jaxx everyhing.

Aaron Lammer: Jaxx Magic, The Gathering.

Jay Kang: But, somehow, Jaxx will solve the issue.

Aaron Lammer: Yeah. Somehow, through this line of products that it’s gonna solve the warring tribal factionalism.

Jay Kang: So, a couple of days ago, our friend, Neraj, sent a message to us in the group chat that we’re in and it was of a Yurt in what looked like, almost like the Mars landscape or something like that. It was a very desert landscape and we couldn’t tell what it was about, but it was a Twitter account called Bitcointopia and they said the first Bitcointopia domicile is up. Did you see this?

Aaron Lammer: I glanced at it. I admit, I did not go much deeper into it.

Jay Kang: Okay, so, I looked a little bit into what Bitcointopia is, and I have no idea if this is real or not, but it seems somewhat real …

Aaron Lammer: Yes.

Jay Kang: … in that, like, it might be 3% real.

Aaron Lammer: Yeah, that’s a lot.

Jay Kang: Yeah, it is really a lot. So, what it is is that, it is hundreds of thousands of acres, 500,000 acres, to be exact, in the middle of nowhere in Nevada, where like, I think probably the government actually owns the land.

Aaron Lammer: Literally before you even said that, I was like, he’s gonna either say Florida or Nevada.

Jay Kang: It’s a swamp in Florida.

Aaron Lammer: I got a great deal on 500,000 acres of prime Everglades swamp land.

Jay Kang: So, this thing, as far as I can tell, is a … He is trying to build a society based on Bitcoin that is a utopia.

Aaron Lammer: Yeah.

Jay Kang: Hence the term, Bitcointopia.

Aaron Lammer: Yeah.

Jay Kang: Now, I don’t know how familiar you are with like, biosphere type products or OTECs … Do you know what an OTEC is?

Aaron Lammer: I mean, I’m familiar with the Pauly Shore vehicle.

Jay Kang: Okay, so, like, an OTEC is like, an old idea from the 80s, which is that … I think it’s earlier than that, is that mankind will one day destroy the Earth and they’ll have to live on these floating pods-

Aaron Lammer: Oh, okay.

Jay Kang: That somehow can like, propagate one another, like two OTECs can make another OTEC and everybody eats spirulina. So, it seems kind of like that. It also had a sort of wild wall country vibe, where people are trying to build an actual society.

Aaron Lammer: This is kind of in the same cinematic universe as our specs greps of people traveling through post apocalyptic Europe to get to Zappo-

Jay Kang: Yeah, to build the cointopia.

Aaron Lammer: To get to … to turn the Bitcoin faucet back on and bloom the desert with sweet Bitcoin.

Jay Kang: Yeah, I have actually been thinking about that movie for a while, and I was like … because we have one big problem, which is, there is no reason in a post apocalyptic world why you would need Bitcoin, unless Bitcoin created like, the actual logic that you can build any type of utopia in society.

Aaron Lammer: People become savages, warring factional tribes, without the decentral currency to unite them all.

Jay Kang: Oh.

Aaron Lammer: So, a savior has to come and get the Bitcoin going again so people can organize themselves rationally and not fall into, I mean, you know the kind of thing we’re falling into right now.

Jay Kang: So, it would be like Mad Max, basically-

Aaron Lammer: Yes, yes.

Jay Kang: In that one tribe has decided that the only way to unite the tribes is to get the beautiful logic of Bitcoin, which is all buried in the Zappo.

Aaron Lammer: Yeah, it’s kinda like the … Isn’t Warriors kinda like that? Like, they’re gonna unite all the gangs at the beginning?

Jay Kang: I’ve never seen that movie.

Aaron Lammer: Really?

Jay Kang: Yeah, never.

Aaron Lammer: It’s a great movie.

Jay Kang: Every time someone makes like a warriors [crosstalk 00:06:55]

Aaron Lammer: I’m shocked that you haven’t seen it because Viceland, no shade on Viceland [inaudible 00:06:59] both you and my wife, but you may notice they don’t have that many shows, so they play the movie, The Warriors, I would say 17 times a week.

Jay Kang: It’s like Wings when we were children, remember?

Aaron Lammer: Wings.

Jay Kang: Wings would always be on.

Aaron Lammer: For me, that was because I didn’t have cable when I was a kid.

Jay Kang: Yeah, me neither.

Aaron Lammer: I only had UHF. They’d play The Streets of San Francisco all the time. It’s [crosstalk 00:07:25] It’s like Michael Douglas.

Jay Kang: Alright, so-

Aaron Lammer: Basically, all my ideas about crime are like, something that like a pimp did in a Streets of San Francisco episode in 1872.

Jay Kang: So, can I read to you what they say Bitcointopia is?

Aaron Lammer: Yes.

Jay Kang: Bitcointopia is an experiment in technology. They misspelled experiment, E-X-P-I-R-A-M-E-N-T. So, we’re on good footing here.

Aaron Lammer: Yes.

Jay Kang: Government and city development. To build an entire new kind of city in the natural and rural environment into an advanced technology hub built on AI automation, Bitcoin, and machines is a large task to accomplish.

Aaron Lammer: Yeah.

Jay Kang: Yeah. That’s not easy. Bitcointopia is leading the way by example on how humanity can build itself into the future by remembering yesterday and building tomorrow. Little vague.

Aaron Lammer: Yeah.

Jay Kang: The first thing you have to do is buy land with Bitcoin, pay for your home, or build it yourself, and bring your business to the city full of Bitcoin users and blockchain citizens.

Aaron Lammer: Kind of reminds me of Wild, Wild Country.

Jay Kang: Yeah, yeah, that’s what I mean. I mean, the footage is like a Yurt, you know, like in the middle of like a barren landscape before all the people in Wild, Wild Country built like an intricate, like an irrigation system.

Aaron Lammer: I know. I feel like this utopia is probably built on the former site of a fireworks stand or something.

Jay Kang: Alright, Aaron, you are a Bitcoin maximalist now, yes?

Aaron Lammer: Yes.

Jay Kang: As you have said many times on this show. Does this appeal to you at all? Because this is the end for you.

Aaron Lammer: I mean, this unites several things that I like, waste time on the internet with, Bitcoin, pre-fab desert housing and like, earth ships and that kinda thing I’m into. You remember that place, Arcosanti?

Jay Kang: No. What is that?

Aaron Lammer: It’s like, in Arizona. It’s like an experimental architecture commune religious kind of place. My friend Jessie went there for a while. I’ll say this, yes, Bitcointopia appeals to me. I find the desert setting more appealing than the sea steading.

Jay Kang: Yeah, I agree.

Aaron Lammer: There’s something about the sea steading where I’m like, man, I gotta like, live with all these dudes who only wanna talk about Bitcoin, and there’s like, no way to leave?

Jay Kang: Exactly.

Aaron Lammer: This sounds like a horror comedy.

Jay Kang: Yeah, no, no, that’s terrible. At least in the desert, you can go walk off in one direction and die.

Aaron Lammer: It’s like, would you like to live on a cruise ship with a bunch of people who are into overthrowing the government?

Jay Kang: Alright, so, you’re a mild yes on this then?

Aaron Lammer: I’m a tentative yes. I’d like to visit. I’d like to have a vacation home there.

Jay Kang: Alright, so here’s some … They get a little bit deeper, right?

Aaron Lammer: Yeah.

Jay Kang: So, they tell you about what this is gonna look like. Concrete grid sidewalks and roads. The city will get its shape from the concrete grids, the sidewalks, and the roads.

Aaron Lammer: Obviously.

Jay Kang: These lines in the sand will define the shape, skeleton, and the foundation of what Bitcointopia looks like. The first concrete foundations for homes and sidewalks-

Aaron Lammer: This sounds a little too detailed.

Jay Kang: Will bring Bitcointopia up from the sand. He’s like, we’re gonna lay some concrete.

Aaron Lammer: The houses will have foundations and roofs. If you need to start with instructions for laying out the grid, I think governance is gonna be a problem. I think there’s gonna be a lot of chefs in the kitchen. I’d like to see more of a like, Last Man On Earth, the sitcom scenario, where these people move into an existing community.

Aaron Lammer: I also don’t feel like, in my opinion, this could be contentious, but I don’t feel like the Bitcoin maximalist community and aesthetics, architecture, and like, enjoyable living really mix, you know? I’m not sure we should be trying to lay out a place you have to live based on Bitcoin principles.

Jay Kang: So, you’re out now?

Aaron Lammer: No, I’m in. I’m trying to-

Jay Kang: You’re out because they have concrete sidewalks?

Aaron Lammer: I’m trying to like, push their vision in a slightly more practical manner. Also, [crosstalk 00:11:38] do we really have to make this in Nevada desert? It’s a place of death. Nothing lives there.

Jay Kang: They have 500,000 acres. Where else are they gonna get 500,000 acres?

Aaron Lammer: Shouldn’t this be in like, Aspen or something like that?

Jay Kang: Alright, so then, they have a houses section and basically, like, what you’re talking about, where you go on and you can click on a different type of house that you wanna build on there and there’s every type of style you want. So, you can get like a Cape Cod style, you can get a modern house, mid century modern, whatever you want, and you can put it on your plot of land.

Aaron Lammer: Got it.

Jay Kang: Alright, so, we have the grid and we have the houses, right?

Aaron Lammer: Yeah.

Jay Kang: City center and government. Now, this is the most important part and I swear to God, this is the only thing that they have listed there. The city center will define and embody the spirit of Bitcointopia. It’s design will embrace classical masonry, modern glass aesthetics, and a touch of the wild west history.

Aaron Lammer: It seems like they’re going to too many things at once.

Jay Kang: What does this look like?

Aaron Lammer: Why not just go, all wild west with a-

Jay Kang: What does this look like? Classical masonry, modern glass aesthetics and a touch of the wild west? The government will be designed to function on AI automation and Bitcoin blockchain.

Aaron Lammer: AI government?

Jay Kang: AI automated and Bitcoin.

Aaron Lammer: How could it possibly go wrong?

Jay Kang: That’s it. So, Bitcointopia government is all AI.

Aaron Lammer: I will say that I can understand why the government of Bitcointopia might have to run on AI, because being on the city council of a Bitcoin maximalist town sounds like a form of like, exquisite torture.

Jay Kang: yeah, so, basically, this is actually embracing one of the ideals, I think, of the Austrian School of Economics and Bitcoin maximalism, which is that … this is actually something that Raj Rivera also ranted about, remember? When he was talking about how there shouldn’t be votes and democracy is bad. It’s the idea that there is no form of government that is correct, so why not just make it AI?

Aaron Lammer: I feel like moving to Bitcointopia is like a weird, intermediary step towards living on the moon.

Jay Kang: Yeah.

Aaron Lammer: Like, and, if there’s one thing that I think would like, unite cryptocurrency fans, it would be like a plan to all go live on the moon together.

Jay Kang: It’s gonna be a lot of dudes.

Aaron Lammer: Well, it kinda reminds me of how, like, you know how people who are really into preserving themselves after death, like cryptogenics people?

Jay Kang: Yeah.

Aaron Lammer: Is that how you say it?

Jay Kang: Cryogenics.

Aaron Lammer: Cryogenics. Jay, I think we just invented it. It’s not a eugenics thing. You know how people are into that. It’s like, even before the technology exists, they’re like, well, freeze my body. Maybe it’ll just like, be backwards compatible when it happens. I think some of these things like Bitcointopia or like booking tickets to the moon with Bitcoin, which is definitely coming, are these weird reverse lease mortgages on the future, and I think it’s an interesting divide in cryptocurrency between people who are like, I wanna be able to buy like a cup of coffee now with my Bitcoin.

Jay Kang: No one says that.

Aaron Lammer: No one says that, but that’s always like, a fake reason why Bitcoin won’t work.

Jay Kang: Yah.

Aaron Lammer: And then, the other side of that coin is like, here, we’re taking Bitcoin deposits now for houses on the moon. We don’t know how to build them. We don’t know that we ever will be able to build them. You’re probably gonna see no value in this other than it will allow you to engage in the most immersive fantasy of a Bitcoin maximalist future.

Jay Kang: Okay, so, let’s say that Bitcointopia has a a thousand of the most intense Bitcoin maximalists, right?

Aaron Lammer: Yeah.

Jay Kang: What is the murder rate in Bitcointopia?

Aaron Lammer: Well, I would assume there’s gonna be a lot of guns in Bitcointopia.

Jay Kang: Oh, yeah.

Aaron Lammer: So, I would expect there’s gonna be a lot of murder.

Jay Kang: I feel like it’s almost like a Battle Royale situation.

Aaron Lammer: I also think that if it happened, what brought it down wouldn’t be the Bitcoin, but the Bitcoiners.

Jay Kang: Oh, yeah.

Aaron Lammer: I think the Bitcoin element might work and maybe the economy might hum. I could kinda see like … you know how sometimes isolated communes get really good at producing one thing and become viable businesses?

Jay Kang: Yeah, like the Rajneeshees.

Aaron Lammer: Yeah, the Rajneeshees. There’s like one that makes hammocks, I think.

Jay Kang: Sure. Yeah.

Aaron Lammer: So, I could see that all working out, but what I expect will ultimately bring down Bitcointopia will be the polygamy or the rocket launchers or some other form of anarchism.

Jay Kang: The polygamy or the rocket launchers?

Aaron Lammer: It will be people pushing against the idea of rules

Jay Kang: Oh, yeah, there will be no rules.

Aaron Lammer: That do something. I do think people should have the humble audacity to question money, but once you have questioned and conquered money, if you don’t stop, the government will still stop you from doing something at Cointopia.

Jay Kang: Not here, because the fucking government is AI.

Aaron Lammer: Yeah, but, it’s still in America. I’m kinda surprised they wanna put Bitcointopia in America in the first place.

Jay Kang: I am also surprised about that. You would think that they would do it in some country that has no governance or will not actually try to govern them.

Aaron Lammer: The whole time I was reading Nick Bilton’s book about the Silk Road, and I’ve literally asked Nick Bilton about this one … he was on a Longform Podcast. I was like, if Ross Ulbricht had run the Silk Road from some Caribbean nation with a very, very bad extradition record, he might not be in jail at this point. The dumb, dumb part of this was doing this from a library in San Francisco.

Jay Kang: Yeah, like at Glen Park.

Aaron Lammer: Yeah. Because all the things that had to conspire to catch him, he had to be caught with his laptop open by American agent. It would been a big ask if he had been living in St. Kitts. yeah. I mean, maybe it still happens, but putting Bitcointopia in America, you are eventually gonna run into conflict with the laws of America. If it’s not the Bitcoin, it’s the rocket launcher.

Jay Kang: I feel like you have extrapolated this far out. I feel like they have like a Heaven’s Gate, Jim Jones situation way before the government gets involved in this. I would say the murder rate-

Aaron Lammer: Jim Jones was a government situation.

Jay Kang: I would say that the-

Aaron Lammer: They killed a congressman.

Jay Kang: That is true. I’m more saying that I think that the murder rate in Bitcointopia is somewhere close to 100%.

Aaron Lammer: I got one more for you before we go to these Ripple interviews. I feel that we’ve been doing a lot of kind of lighthearted, apocalyptic stuff on the show. I think this is what happens when we have sideways corn. There’s no gambling action to get on, so it just gets weird. But, have you followed Jose Canseco’s-

Jay Kang: How could I not? Yes, yes.

Aaron Lammer: Forays into cryptocurrencies?

Jay Kang: Yeah.

Aaron Lammer: So, Jose Canseco … I will give Jose Canseco the credit of saying, when he tweeted this, I didn’t know if it was real. I don’t think it’s real-

Jay Kang: I don’t think it’s real.

Aaron Lammer: But, it’s as real as many things that are regarded as real. So, he tweeted, Cansecoin is launched. If you are a good ICO lawyer, please get a hold of me. If that’s a joke, that’s a pretty funny roast on ICOs.

Jay Kang: I actually think it was a joke.

Aaron Lammer: Because, that is basically how most ICOs conduct themselves.

Jay Kang: Yeah. I will say this, that I think it was a troll, and it was kind of a genius troll because everyone shared this thing, you know?

Aaron Lammer: Okay, so he says, only Jose Canseco can issue cryptohugs, Cansecoins, and deliver e-hugs. One Cansecoin always equals one cryptohug. So, it’s basically like a stable coin for hugs.

Jay Kang: Yeah.

Aaron Lammer: There are a limited number of cryptohugs available and may run out at any time. Does a man showing a fake cryptocurrency about electronic hugs strike you as a lonely person?

Jay Kang: No, I think you and I could’ve easily made this exact same joke. So, if it is, it means that you and I are … We actually would’ve made a worse version of this joke. So, Jose Canseco, I don’t know. I mean, maybe, if that means you and I are lonely, then yes.

Aaron Lammer: Okay, so, I wanted to go back, because I remembered that he had been tweeting about Bitcoin before. I kinda wanted to trace the evolution of Jose Canseco’s views on crypto through his Twitter over time, which meant that I had to read back through his entire Twitter history.

Jay Kang: There are much worse Twitter accounts.

Aaron Lammer: So, starting with the Bitcoin, he says, look at the simplest slot machine in Vegas. That is what Bitcoin is structured on. Bitcoin is mathematically structured so a lot of people lose money and a small group will make a killing. Also, kind of right.

Jay Kang: Yeah, I’m in. Everything he said about Bitcoin I’m in on.

Aaron Lammer: And then, okay, he went on a tear in November 2017. I think both of these prophecies have come true. In 2018, blockchain will become mainstream knowledge understood by moron level and above. Kinda happening.

Jay Kang: Yeah.

Aaron Lammer: It is the end of the beginning for cryptocurrency. Bitcoin at 10,000 by New Year’s Eve.

Jay Kang: True.

Aaron Lammer: True. Came true.

Jay Kang: Almost to the day.

Aaron Lammer: Almost to the day. This is what I’m saying, so, I would say at this point, I’m hearing all of the Canseco calls.

Jay Kang: Do you remember all those people when we did the basement hit tapes who were like, analysts at Goldman Sachs and stuff, who would be like, I think Bitcoin will be at 8,000 by November of 2018 and you were like, what are you basing this on?

Aaron Lammer: Yeah.

Jay Kang: They just needed to ask Jose Canseco, apparently.

Aaron Lammer: Okay, so, these are the other Tweets that I found in the Jose Canseco history. Number one, TS Elliot always puts a big lump in my throat. Unexpected.

Jay Kang: Why would TS Elliot do that?

Aaron Lammer: Number two, play a round of golf with baseball legend Jose Canseco and football legend Jim McMahon, available Thursday, Sunday. Call Morgan at phone number for more information. So, you can just call a guy if you’re in Vegas and get a round of golf with Jose Canseco and Jim McMahon.

Jay Kang: I would maybe pay for that.

Aaron Lammer: How much, like, what is the maximum you would pay for that?

Jay Kang: Five hundred dollars.

Aaron Lammer: I kinda feel like it’s probably about five hundred bucks.

Jay Kang: Yeah, I’d do five hundred bucks.

Aaron Lammer: If you’re just putting a phone number straight onto Twitter, it’s not more than a thousand bucks.

Jay Kang: I would do five hundred bucks.

Aaron Lammer: Here are a couple more from the Jose Canseco archive. I wanted to thank Dave Kaval and the athletics family for welcoming me last season, but unfortunately, my contract will not be renewed due to Tweets I posted, which I take full responsibility for.

Jay Kang: That’s a Tweet that I am going to have to post at some point in the future.

Aaron Lammer: A, Kang asked, B, I was like, which Tweets?

Jay Kang: That really is … that Tweet really strikes close to home for me. Jose Canseco’s Twitter feed, I think, is good.

Aaron Lammer: I really enjoyed reading through it. It seems like his crypto calls have been like, pretty dead on. He does say in his bio, media appearances, bookings 818–903–5698. So, I say we give him a call and see if he wants to come on Coin Talk.

Jay Kang: I think that’s his real number, too.

Aaron Lammer: I think that’s at least a number of someone who can get him on the show.

Jay Kang: Let’s get him on Coin Talk.

Aaron Lammer: And, if you can play a round of golf with him for like, five hundred, I’m willing to do a paid placement. I’m willing to put a little of our cold hard earned cash and a paid conversation with Jose Canseco for twelve takes.

Jay Kang: I’ll pay for it. Maybe we can pay him in Ripple.

Aaron Lammer: Speaking of non-paid conversations, should we move on to my interview with a real live Ripple fan?

Jay Kang: Yeah, I wanna hear about this because you and I talked about this, which was that, we didn’t wanna just bag on Ripple fans.

Aaron Lammer: No. Along with the more body angry Ripplebots, when we posted that episode about Ripple, we heard from real people who were like, I’m not a bot, I really like Ripple. Fuck you guys. Or, they weren’t like, fuck you guys. They were nice about it.

Jay Kang: No, no, no, they were very nice about it, yeah.

Aaron Lammer: They were like, we have a great community. We love this community and we’d like to tell you what the Ripple community is really like and I think that’s fair. We’re not here to bag on anyone.

Jay Kang: Also, we could be wrong.

Aaron Lammer: Well, part of this, I think, is our curiosity about the Ripple community and how as one project became to be viewed so differently than other projects.

Jay Kang: Or even just stripped down. Like, what does it mean to be a fan of a coin, you know?

Aaron Lammer: So, here’s the interview.

Speaker 2: This episode of Coin Talk was taped Tuesday, May 22nd at 1 p.m. Eastern standard time. The Bitcoin price index was $8,214.00.

The official podcast of Bitcoin crashes. Hosted by @aaronlammer and @jaycaspiankang. Mailbag/contact:

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