Episode #60: 🥩 LIVE on the 10th Anniversary of the Mining of the Genesis Block

Our first ever live show, in which we consider Satoshi as a literary figure

Coin Talk
Coin Talk
Jan 23 · 24 min read

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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 hi@cointalk.show)

Coin Talk did a live show alongside Tales from the Crypto for Iterative Capital’s party celebrating the 10th anniversary of Satoshi mining the Genesis Block.


Jay Kang: Hi.

Aaron Lammer: We host a podcast where we usually make fun of bitcoin, which seems slightly harder now with the assembled audience of people here.

Jay Kang: Yeah, we realize that this is our first real interaction with the bitcoin community. We’re feeling a little more nervous than we normally do.

Aaron Lammer: We usually aren’t even normally in the same room with each other. I usually don’t have to face you even when I make jokes.

Jay Kang: It’s a very interconnected world type of podcast where we don’t see each other for months.

Aaron Lammer: We both live in Brooklyn, but we tape primarily by Skype of out of laziness. Mostly also because there was a period where every time we would try to tape we would set it in advance and there would be a giant market move directly after we taped, so I feel like we’ve cut down our time a little bit through never seeing each other.

Jay Kang: Yeah, that’s true, that’s true.

Aaron Lammer: But now it feels a little awkward to be on a stage together.

Jay Kang: Yeah, yeah, I feel like I barely know you.

Aaron Lammer: I want to thank Iterative Capital for having us. It is the 10th anniversary of the mining of the Genesis block. I thought, if you would consent to join me, we could get back to one of our favorite topics, which is [Satoshi 00:02:15] as a literary figure.

Aaron Lammer: For people who haven’t heard this show before, we generally are interested in the cultural narrative of crypto more so than the technology. Is that fair to say?

Jay Kang: Yeah, mostly out of necessity.

Aaron Lammer: Yeah, we have no idea what we’re talking about.

Jay Kang: Aaron and I both went to liberal arts schools and we both work in journalism, although Aaron will deny it.

Aaron Lammer: I don’t actually work in journalism despite Jay’s allegations.

Jay Kang: I do work in journalism, so our lens through a lot of these things, which I’m sure that has frustrated you about the media quite a bit is never through the technology, but through the allure of the stories themselves. That’s why recently there’s been so many stories about people losing a lot of money because they’re interested in those types of narratives. We, as members of the fake news media, are also interested in that. So that’s what our podcast is generally about.

Aaron Lammer: As I was looking out at the sea of people I was wondering in this room who do you think got the most direct.

Jay Kang: I don’t know. That’s difficult to say. [inaudible 00:03:23].

Aaron Lammer: Since we both are from liberal arts colleges I feel like we should consider maybe more expansively the white paper and the mining of the genesis block, this whole era of history, as if it were the creation of a foundational text the way we talk … simply as text itself. What would be the way that we would pursue this as good liberal art studios?

Jay Kang: Something we talk about quite a bit is the idea of bitcoin as a religion. I’m sure you have all thought about it as well and where the white paper exists in that space, whether it is a foundational text like the Bible, or the Constitution and how people interact with it, or whether it’s an evolving text that people take little bits out of and say, “Well he was right here and maybe this is no longer relevant.” We felt like the best way to do this, to talk about it, would be to use a literary analysis almost of how the white paper exists. If you imagine yourself in what I imagined for you guys was a required English course that you took in college, that’s kind of what we’re trying to do here.

Aaron Lammer: There’s two ways to think about a text. You can either think about it purely as the words on the page, nothing outside and I think we could debate whether the block posts are cannon or not, the forum posts. They’re sort of quasi-cannon in my opinion. Then there’s another way to look at it which is what is the world that created this artist. What were the external forces coming to bear in January 2009 that created the unique historical moment that led to mining of this genesis?

Jay Kang: You see this in poetry quite a bit, if you study poetry.

Aaron Lammer: There’s no one here.

Jay Kang: Should we look at the words on the page themselves or should we try and consider the context that created what was made? I think that is actually a somewhat relevant debate within crypto itself. You have a whole fork debate around bitcoin cash which seems to be centered, at least from the words of the people who are doing it on this idea, one of them is what was Satoshi’s original vision. Another person says, “Well that is great and I respect that, but perhaps we should think about things in this sort of way.”

Jay Kang: The idea of the original text, I think, is actually … Whether you think of it as something that’s old and needs to be updated or whether you think of it as a completely flawless text I think it’s actually at a very core part of the crypto universe.

Aaron Lammer: I did a very, very cold reread of the white paper on the train coming here. I wanted to delay it as long as possible. The biggest visceral, oh that surprised me, is how the language of the white paper speaks of the technology industry of the peer-to-peer.. I think the Gnutella network is mentioned in it possibly, it may be in the footnote. I leave the groundwork for this different set of vocabulary, decentralization that comes after it, but none of that’s actually in the paper. It’s kind of like if you’re like, “Hey, you remember the Godfather, that’s a great movie.” You’re actually thinking of two scenes from the Godfather right now, unless you’ve seen it a bunch of times.

Jay Kang: You might be confusing it with Godfather II.

Aaron Lammer: Yes

Jay Kang: The scene I’m thinking of I think is from Godfather II.

Aaron Lammer: The other thing to think about would be what was happening in January 2009. If we were to try and get the cannon down to a single sentence we would probably take the bit of text that’s in the genesis block about the bank bail out. Expanding a little bigger, the white paper, expanding better than that, the block post.

Aaron Lammer: As this is happening there’s a great Wikipedia that’s just what was happening every month of human history. Here are some things that were happening in January 2009, Obama was about to get inaugurated, bank bailout, number one song in the country “Single Ladies” by Beyonce.

Jay Kang: That was probably number one for a while.

Aaron Lammer: This was the biggest surprise to me. We think of when the iPhone came out, but in my opinion, the iPhone era really starts with the app store because until you can load third party software on there, many of the future outcomes of the smart phone weren’t possible, only six months into the app store era at this point.

Jay Kang: What’s the relevance of that to you?

Aaron Lammer: Well I was thinking as I was on the train coming here, why did this work, why did this happen at the time it happened, not in the 90s when these other digital cash projects happened, not later when some of the stuff was a little more mature in terms of the technology in a phone. It was interesting to look back on how long it went from the mining in that genesis block to the point where you could actually keep a bitcoin while on your phone, legitimately, the app store allows that. It depends, I guess, whether you think bitcoin arrived early or late based on your expectations. But do you think that unique historical moment said anything about it?

Jay Kang: Sure. I think that the bank bailouts, he states it very clearly. I think that even within not just crypto culture, but any sort of economic culture that is trying to be in some way instructionary, the bank bailouts are the central event even with socialists who are not even Bernie supporters but even harder left like in America like people who want to do all … Like the bank bailouts are the central event. This happening right after that and him mentioning it I think had to be the biggest driver of this action.

Aaron Lammer: I’m going to be the devil. We generally force ourselves to disagree on this show. Is it possible that we are reading some of that into it in retrospect? What if the genesis block is simply mentioning what was on the cover of that day’s newspaper happens to be the bank mail. Do we have any definitive evidence in the text that this was intentional?

Jay Kang: Well no. There is a bit of evidence that was actually on the front page of the Times of London and a lot of other places was that the thing that was on the front page was that. I don’t know, it seems like it’s too big of a coincidence for me. If it had been something like an attack or any other thing like the Penguins win the Stanley Cup or something like that then I would be like, “This is probably not particularly relevant.”

Aaron Lammer: The Genesis block has penguins win the Stanley Cup? That is an alternate timeline that I would love in. It’s a Pittsburgh sports fan is such a [inaudible 00:10:49].

Jay Kang: No, that would have been quite illuminating, or we probably would know who he was at this point if he was a Pittsburgh Penguins fan that won the Stanley Cup.

Jay Kang: I don’t know, I think that’s definitely possible and my general take on our podcast is that most things that we try and derive out of coincidence and crypto including the market and news is generally not actually correlated at all. I’m surprised that I’m having to defend the idea that this means anything. I don’t know, I do think it means something.

Jay Kang: I think that if you read his semi-cannon block post and his messages with other people that I think that the banking system was interesting to him and it was something that did concern him quite deeply.

Aaron Lammer: One of my favorite things that I came upon while revisiting this era was that the first block’s mine and then there’s another block mine for six days. One of the possible explanations is you’ve been in this situation where you have an article that you’re about to publish. Jay writes for the New York Times and Vice News, and various places. You hit publish and you’re like, “No, crap. I have to do something.” Then you unpublish it and republish it then you go back to it and then you URL hash-

Jay Kang: My editor is a dic.

Aaron Lammer: URL hash is the old date and you’re like, “Oh, I’m going to have to … Oh fuck this, whatever. I’m just going to let it sit.” That’s possibly in play. We don’t even know exactly what day these things exactly happened. I like that explanation.

Jay Kang: What are some of the explanations out there for the reason why there was this gap in time between the six day gap in time?

Aaron Lammer: I have no idea. I did not do the full research to wrap my head around this. But I think that there is a real thing. We think about the movie of crypto sometimes so-

Jay Kang: I think half of our podcast is coming up crypto movies.

Aaron Lammer: In the Satoshi movie.

Jay Kang: Most of them are about bicointopia and murder.

Aaron Lammer: In the movie, the moment of the mining of the genesis block is like where the character takes their plans and makes them real. It’s kind of like crossing the bridge from one reality into another. You imagine big strings, swelling music there, but for people who have actually participated in open source software projects, must more likely it won’t happen like, “Oh crap, I did not double-check this. I need to go back.” We don’t know, this is possibly someone who has another life, a job, or whatever. There’s a lot of explanations why the initial rollout would have been slightly bumpy.

Jay Kang: Yeah, yeah, I would err on the side of saying those types of mistakes are much more compelling than … I think one of the estimations is that maybe he waited six days so that there would be news about the bank bailout so that he could seem like he was commenting on it.

Aaron Lammer: This is like-

Jay Kang: I read this theory.

Aaron Lammer: … which side is the conspiracy.

Jay Kang: I find that harder to believe than the idea that maybe he forgot to do something and then went back, or maybe he went on vacation or something.

Aaron Lammer: We know he was working on this starting in 2007, so it’s not like he got the idea from the bank bailout. This is in some ways the narrative merging rather than them mirroring each other.

Jay Kang: Yeah and this goes back to the text itself. If the white paper had been … The first sentences are about the problem with commerce on the web is that third parties have to mediate it. The first sentences are not that fiat currency is a huge problem and we should all return to the gold standard and stop eating vegetables, and go out and live in like a libertarian utopian in the middle of Nevada. If he would have done that then I would have felt more strongly about it, but the aims of the actual text itself when you read it there is a little bit harder to fit in that type of instructionary idea. Also, yeah, now that I think about it more it is the idea that 2008 was the bank bailouts were this seminal moment and led to all these different movements is something that journalists started writing about last year because it was the tenth anniversary, and we only think in round numbers. I don’t know if any of you work in media, but on the first day of the year people go back and they’re like what happened 25 years ago.

Aaron Lammer: Well I noticed the same thing on my reread about this whole idea of commerce. The idea of censorship is never in the white paper. It’s much more like it’s a big hassle. It’s almost like a pragmatic, credit cards suck, there has to be a better way kind of attitude rather than this grandiose libertarian thinking that comes in later. Interestingly, comparing that within the cannon or no cannon debate to the forum posts, the forum posts, I would say, are more on tilt. T

Jay Kang: Because he’s not posing as an academic in those, right?

Aaron Lammer: Right.

Jay Kang: He is much more in the hacker community there.

Aaron Lammer: Oh so you’re saying there’s like a code switching happening between the two?

Jay Kang: Yes, yes. I think this is totally just my own speculation, but I find that the least convincing part of the original white paper is that Satoshi was an academic even though it’s formatted as an academic paper. The main reasons for that that I … Many years ago I tried to find, like all journalists, I tried to find Satoshi. I actually went to Dorian Nakamotos’ house when all the other journalists … You like the videos, maybe you’ll see me standing there.

Jay Kang: During that time I talked to a lot of academics in the crypto space and they were very skeptical that he was an academic. It had everything to do with the actual formatting of the paper. It seemed like he was trying to make it look like an academic paper and that he had succeeded, but he had little tells that made it seem like he was trying to do it.

Aaron Lammer: Well the most unacademic thing about it is that he actually did it. A real academic would wait forever to publish.

Jay Kang: Five years of trying to raise funding.

Aaron Lammer: Yeah he would have his PhD like, “Hey, you should be working on bitcoin.”

Jay Kang: Yeah, how’s my bitcoin.

Aaron Lammer: That’s was academia is actually like.

Jay Kang: It is true.

Aaron Lammer: It’s not like a guy who actually starts it in his garage. That is why this is the seminal moment, it’s because it’s unexpected. When we write this character, this guy who wrote this very terse, I would say very well written document that laid out the life ideas of his work you expect most people to just then become a crank and then start mailing that to 1000s of people.

Jay Kang: That’s true and most academics would not be able to write it so clearly.

Aaron Lammer: It’s rare to be the Satoshi/Unibomber who acts on your ideas.

Jay Kang: Well the Unibomber was an academic.

Jay Kang: All right, so transitioning a little bit. We wanted to think about what was happening, this idea of what was happening then. We have a pet theory about what Satoshi was really made at.

Aaron Lammer: We do?

Jay Kang: Yeah, we do. You’ll remember it when I read this. I actually do think it’s useful to read the first part of it again. These are the opening, outside of the abstract.

Jay Kang: “Commerce on the internet has come to rely almost exclusively on financial institutions, serving as trusted third parties to process electronic payments. While the system works well enough for most transactions, it still suffers from the inherent weaknesses of the trust-based model. Completely nonreversible transactions are not really possible since financial institutions cannot avoid mediating disputes. The cost of mediation increases transaction costs limiting the minimal practical transaction size and cutting out the possibility for small casual transactions. There is a broader cost in the loss of ability to make nonreversible payments for nonreversible services.”

Jay Kang: The key to this one, I can’t believe you … We have this [We’ve talked about this.

Aaron Lammer: This is a topic near and dear to my heart. People that don’t know me know that I’ve been involved in numerous shady PayPal transactions, both in the Craigslist and Ebay capacity.

Jay Kang: I’ve never met anyone who has bought more stuff off Craigslist than Aaron.

Jay Kang: Our pet theory, which we hope you guys will respond to and tell us if you think we’re right or wrong was that this seems like somebody who was trying to make transactions on the internet and was very frustrated by them. If you think about what was happening in 2009, there’s a lot of people buying things on Ebay and using PayPal. So our theory, which we discussed on a show that one of us messed-

Aaron Lammer: We forgot to record.

Jay Kang: One of us messed up

Aaron Lammer: This is actually just our second attempt to have this exact conversation. Last time was just in total, total vacuum. I wasn’t even recording.

Jay Kang: Maybe Satoshi was mad about PayPal. But that’s if you believe that Dorian Nakamoto was Satoshi, for example. Perhaps he was trying to buy some model trains, that somebody ripped him off for the model trains and he was like, “I can’t reverse this. I can’t get my $18 back for this caboose that I just bought.” He’s like, “You know what I’m going to do, is I’m going to take all the…” I don’t actually believe Dorian Nakamoto is Satoshi … but “all this knowledge I took from DARPA and I’m going to create the peer-to-peer cash. I don’t know, I actually still find that theory somewhat compelling, because it’s been two months since then.

Aaron Lammer: Well there’s a very small, petty version of that and then there’s like a grandiose world changing. The petty version is I was involved in an Ebay deal gone bad. Where else are people transversing transactions so much? There’s a little bit in the credit card world, but in terms of being personally burnt, unless you’re running an e-commerce storefront yourself, you’re only getting burned if you’re buying things on Ebay in 2008, right?

Jay Kang: That was the part that we fixated on that I still find somewhat interesting. It’s like what in 2009 was he trying to reverse the transactions for? Was it maybe a flight or something like that, but then they would have just refunded his credit card.

Aaron Lammer: It’s more the inner personal, it deals where trust comes in. The more grandiose reading of our diagnosis that he has a grudge against Paypal this is our detective work full circle, is what was happening in 2009 was there was a generation of technology entrepreneurs who had come out of PayPal, who are extremely influential in Silicon Valley and we’re investing and a lot of it will become the next generation of startups. As someone who is working on extremely different takes on the same thing, potentially, you know how that feels when someone does something just like the thing you’re doing and then it becomes wildly successful?

Jay Kang: I’ve never done anything that … The other iteration became wildly successful.

Aaron Lammer: I think it’s like a story is all this startup technology that there’s always an there’s always someone … only if my vision had come through. It makes sense that the phone, that the portable device in everyone’s pocket would be what would break the monopoly of something like PayPal, which is very much a desktop piece of software.

Jay Kang: Okay.

Aaron Lammer: You’re not buying it?

Jay Kang: No, no. I am actually curious about something with the audience, which is how many of you still think the white paper is something that should be extremely influential in the way in which crypto goes forward, that people should reference it, and hold it to some esteem while making decisions?

Aaron Lammer: How many people in this room have emailed or text someone else the white paper?

Audience: What was the question?

Aaron Lammer: About 50% of the people have evangelized directly this document.

Jay Kang: It doesn’t have to be evangelized.

Aaron Lammer: How many people in this room have shared a religious text with another person? Okay, so spreading bitcoin is more socially acceptable at this point it seems then.

Jay Kang: That’s true. I think very much like Alabama or something would be different. I am curious though for somebody, it doesn’t matter who, who does think it’s influential, why do you think it should be influential in this space? You had your hand up, man in the scarf.

Audience: I’m a journaliste

Jay Kang: Oh okay.

Aaron Lammer: Bias. The most notable thing, on rereading it for me was how many things are not there, like how many mine fields it avoids. It’s almost like I agree with I don’t know if this person’s an academic, but it feels like someone who had participated in open source software projects before that had gone awry because people were overly prescriptive and overly dogmatic in the initial conception. It feels like a paper that someone cut a bunch of things out of because they were like, “Oh God, I know what this guy is going to say about this.” It omits, in some ways its most contentious issues are omitted and what’s left is not particularly arguable. I don’t think that if I were to challenge everyone in this room what’s the biggest schism two people would have in their reaction to this paper, there isn’t a lot of fault lines there.

Jay Kang: Do you think that helped it gain such widespread acceptance that it wasn’t about the things that people assume that it was about? I think it probably was, behind it, it probably was. But the fact that it was not explicitly about fiat currency, and the banking system and everything like that, do you think that helped onboard people who might have been turned off if it had started with, “My favorite economist is Ludwig von Mises,” or something like that.

Aaron Lammer: I worked in publishing early in my career and I felt like you could tell the book pitches from people who were too on tilt to write a book or the introductory letter was kind of ranting at you? That’s something you actually see a lot from academic persons, from people who don’t necessarily present their work to a wider audience. It seems like they’re having a weird argument with one guy at a different university. Then there are people who write more broadly who can address a less argumentative, basic premise. This feels likes someone who’s a veteran of a bunch of squabbling being like these are the things we don’t have to argue about. Now everyone else figure out everything else. I’m not going to intercede, this is an absent God, here’s the text.

Jay Kang: Yeah, but then he did spend time working on it. It’s not like he totally abstracted himself from it. I don’t know, I think that’s a very deep reading into what’s absent there. I think that is probably more likely that he went about what is the simplest way that I can explain this in eight pages without getting too much into the politics behind it and I think he succeeded in that. I think that when presenting a technical academic paper you don’t front load it with all the politics that you believe and you hope that they come out in the creation of the project. I don’t know, I think that maybe it’s not so far from what you’re saying, but I have a hard time believing he was consciously trying to avoid arguments that might happen. I don’t even know what those arguments would have been because I would think that most of the people who were working on this at the very beginning would have been aligned with those ideas.

Aaron Lammer: Well there’s a lot of attention paid in the early time to bad actors and what will happen in various 51% tax situations. It’s interesting because you’re sitting at home about to print the very first block and you’re thinking about what’s going to happen when some asshole comes and tries to fuck up my plans here.

Jay Kang: Aaron and I were very early. We have massive gambling problems and so we were early Augur adopters. When we talked about it that first thought we had was like could we get enough friends or enough breath to create a false outcome. I don’t know, I think it’s a very obvious thing to think about. That’s where our brains went first, which is [crosstalk 00:28:53]. Can we say that Trump didn’t win the election? Is there a way that we can say that the House split of the midterms was this if we get enough bad actors to work together.

Aaron Lammer: Well we already knew that it would be a crypto audience. What’s interesting to me is that it seems like this document is predicting a bunch of people who are going to try to chip away at it and to try to be bad actors in the system. It comes from a very fundamental, suspicious, paranoid standpoint that human nature is going to be to try to exploit the system, which is prescient because that is exactly what people do when there’s more than a few $10 — — at stake. There’s already been an audit and everything.

Jay Kang: That’s true. That is somewhat political because I think that if Satoshi was a Marxist then he wouldn’t be worried about the 51%. He wouldn’t say that it’s human nature to do a 51% attack. He would have said it’s human nature for everyone to act in good faith and all that.

Aaron Lammer: If you look at modern Marxist movements, there are now Marxist movements that are totally ignorant of the writings of Karl Marx.

Jay Kang: Are there?

Aaron Lammer: There are. There’s a whole insurgency in India-

Jay Kang: Oh yeah, that’s true, that’s true.

Aaron Lammer: … and rural areas that literally is unaware of the foundational texts of Marxism are not part of their cultural practice. Will we reach a point in bitcoin, if it succeeds, I think most grandiose level where we see a generation totally forget all of this stuff.

Jay Kang: Yeah, I think that it’s starting to happen right now. It probably started to happen when the first centralized projects came out and they didn’t even bother saying they were decentralized in some sort of random way that is like a game that they’re doing. I think within a couple years even just because the timeline is so fast, outside of Roger there and Craig, you don’t hear talk about Satoshi at all. You don’t really hear talk about decentralization. But the more I think Silicon Valley gets invested in this and the more that there are large corporations who are trying to make a centralized project, I think they’ll probably win the information [inaudible 00:31:21] easily. At the point where they go back to saying we should look at this text, I think that a lot of the politics won’t be apparent in it because now we read it, we have a certain expectation of it.

Jay Kang: I think in a few years they’ll read it and be like this is about peer-to-peer transactions that are nonreversible, why is this relevant to this massive thing that we’re building? I think they’ll probably pay lip service. It’s similar to we’re both NBA fans, it’s similar to NBA fans where some people are like George Mikan won three championship and he won’t MVPs but nobody really thinks that George Mikan was good. I think that the NBA era started with Shaq or something like that, so those are the things that are relevant to any type of comparison. I don’t know I think that’s probably already happening with crypto. I just don’t hear Satoshi being mentioned in any type of real crypto context outside of Twitter where people are just arguing.

Aaron Lammer: Do you remember when we had [crosstalk 00:32:23].

Jay Kang: Actually, do you hear it at all?

Aaron Lammer: Weil, something I remember, we did an episode where we got a bunch of Ripple fans angry at us, so we agreed to have one well-intentioned Ripple fan on the show-

Jay Kang: He was great.

Aaron Lammer: … to defend Ripple fans. We were asking about how he got so passionate about international bank transfers because it’s not a topic people usually get that passionate about. He was like, “Well I like the whole idea of cryptocurrencies, but I also thought it was a bit dodgy how there was this anonymous Satoshi guy. I kind of was more comfortable with a vision that cut that out of the story.” That seemed ridiculous to me at the time, but as a human inclination it kind of makes sense. We sanitize history in that way and the fact that there is this enduring mystery in something that there’s so much money at stake in, I think people ultimately will not want to linger on that idea.

Jay Kang: I go back and forth about this. Part of me thinks that is true and then the other part of me thinks that the mystery of it and the promise of something totally separate is still at the core of this and that most people who are invested heavily in it, or the types of people that it takes to drive a movement like this forwards, necessitate that belief. Then if you take that away, what is it, it’s tokens. Tokens are not interesting except for the people who are making a lot of money off of tokens. I don’t know, I think that it needs to have some central place still, maybe not the white paper itself, but the general ideas that’s right around the white paper, or else it’s just going to run out of gas. At some point, people will get bored. I’m sure a lot of people, given the market, are starting to be like, “I don’t know if I can do this anymore.” But if you believe in the ideas behind it then you’ll power on through it.

Aaron Lammer: I think we need people to remember history. I think we’re bad at remembering human history without these great people who come up with ideas. It’s how we think of startups and technology. We have to pair it up with a person. We still haven’t really in crypto come up with any meaningful, enduring characters other than Satoshi Nakamoto.

Jay Kang: I don’t know if that’s true, like the Winklevoss twins.

Aaron Lammer: Oh yeah like your grandkids are going to be like, “Tell me about the Winklevoss’.”

Jay Kang: I disagree with that. The one thing that crypto does have is a lot of characters.

Aaron Lammer: I think it has a lot of big personalities [crosstalk 00:35:18].

Jay Kang: It doesn’t have a lot of products.

Aaron Lammer: It doesn’t have a lot of] people who can stand outside their own time. Also-

Jay Kang: You don’t think that Vitalik is a big character? When Ethereum was at 12 cents or something like that I remember some guy from Berlin emailed me and he was like, “You should do a story on this guy Vitalik Buterin.” I was like, “I don’t know who that is.” But there were people who were interested in him back then. There are still people who are interested in him now. It seems like he is the character of it. How many people have covered that guy and written about him?

Aaron Lammer: I think that by remaining anonymous you stand outside of time in the same what that a movie star who dies young, like James Dean he’ll always be James Dean. There’s something about not facing the consequences and the indignities of continued public life and just being who you were at your best moment that I think it will be hard to top that. I think it’s going to be difficult for any person to embody so much of what crypto is, more so than Satoshi.

Jay Kang: We’ll finish on this because this is really the longest standing argument that Aaron and I had for like the year and a half or two years that we’ve been interested in crypto, which is that do you think it’s necessary for crypto to have big characters that drive the narrative of it and are evangelists of it, kind of like Antonopoulos or something like that, that will stand on a stage and tell people, or even Roger Ver in the early days of bitcoin showing people how to download a wallet. Are those evangelists necessary or do you think that the tech will take care of itself?

Aaron Lammer: You’re just going to open this up to the entire room?

Jay Kang: Yeah, I’m just curious. I’m an interactive person. Does-

Audience: I say in the short-term yes, in the long-term, no.

Jay Kang: In the long-term no. Do you feel satisfied with the people who are doing it right now in the short-term? It depends on the day.

Audience: You know John [inaudible 00:37:21].

Aaron Lammer: Cool. Well we do this show every week, just search for Coin Talk in the podcast app of your choice. Send us an email, let us know if you’re listening. We really appreciate it. This is our very first ever live show.

Jay Kang: This is my first floor in front of a bitcoin audience.

Aaron Lammer: Yeah, thank you for tolerating us and stick around for the next set.

Jay Kang: Thank you.

Written by

Coin Talk

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


About this PODCAST


Come ride the crypto rollercoaster with hosts Aaron Lammer and Jay Kang (and guests) as they laugh their way through the week in Bitcoin and beyond.

Come ride the crypto rollercoaster with hosts Aaron Lammer and Jay Kang (and guests) as they laugh their way through the week in Bitcoin and beyond.

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