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Episode #8: Interview with “Nocoiner” tech journalist Adrian Chen
Adrian Chen wrote the first article about the darknet marketplace Silk Road and Bitcoin, causing the price to go from $10 to $14. He has never owned any Bitcoin and has no regrets (mostly)
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 or read the transcript below. (You can also subscribe on Apple Podcasts, download the MP3, or email us at email@example.com)
Adrian talks about:
- How he managed to figure into the origin story of both Bitcoin and Dogecoin without owning any coins himself
- His investigation into Satoshi Nakamoto’s identity
- The misperception that Bitcoin is anonymous
- Whether crypto has scrambled Jay’s brain
Plus, Aaron shills his bags HARD.
Show Notes (68 minutes)
- 7:30 Bitgrail hacked
- 7:33 Nano (XRB)
- 14:03 “The Underground Website Where You Can Buy Any Drug Imaginable” (Adrian Chen, Gawker 2011)
- 17:33 BitcoinTalk forum
- 24:41 @AdamBack / Wei Dai
- 25:16 @JiaTolentino
- 28:28 @NickSzabo4
- 31:42 Bitmex
- 45:02 Tor
- 48:30 “Suspected AlphaBay founder dies in Bangkok jail after shutdown of online black market” (Washington Post, July 2017)
- 55:01 Bail Bloc
- 56:29 The New Inquiry
- 1:04:53 Dogecoin (DOGE)
- 1:05:36 Catbreading
Aaron Lammer: We’re gonna start defining some of the terms we’re using on the show. So Jay, what’s a nocoiner?
Jay Kang: A nocoiner is someone who has no coins
Aaron Lammer: Yeah, who’s like, aggressively has no coins.
Jay Kang: Adrian you’re looking very tan.
Adrian Chen: Thank you. I’m honored to be in the crypto cave. I can’t believe you guys were able to fit not one but two Lambos in here.
Aaron Lammer: Yeah. His and hers you know? Adrian, you’re an OG to the OGs. You are a part of the Bitcoin story.
Adrian Chen: I am.
Aaron Lammer: Okay, so I actually kind of have only heard this story secondhand, so I’m actually going to be really hearing it for the first time. So, when did you first encounter Bitcoin?
Adrian Chen: I think I first encountered it … I was writing a lot about Anonymous, the hacktivist collective, and they started soliciting donations through Bitcoin. I’m pretty sure that a tweet from an Anonymous account was the first time I’d ever heard of Bitcoin.
Aaron Lammer: Interesting. And what were you doing with yourself at the time that you were following Anonymous closely?
Adrian Chen: I was working as a night and weekend editor at Gawker and covering a lot of hacker stuff and weird internet things.
Aaron Lammer: Where did this knowledge lead you?
Adrian Chen: Where did the knowledge lead me to? You mean in terms of Bitcoin? .
Aaron Lammer: Yeah.
Jay Kang: Why did you not buy Bitcoin when it was [inaudible 00:01:28].
Aaron Lammer: Pipe down, Jay.
Adrian Chen: We’ll get to that.
Jay Kang: Nocoiner.
Adrian Chen: So the way it happened was I just heard about Bitcoin through that tweet, and I visited the Bitcoin forums, which where …
Aaron Lammer: BitcoinTalk.
Adrian Chen: BitcoinTalk at the time, yeah. And I was just browsing the forums. There was pretty much no other outside writing about Bitcoin at the time. I think there might have been one small blog post by some dude just explaining what it is, but the only information was on BitcoinTalk, so I was reading tons of forum posts about it, trying to understand what it was, and the biggest topic I think with the most threads and the most comments was Silk Road, and it was just this epic debate basically about is this good for Bitcoin, is it bad, is it real, is it not, and I was just really interested in that topic ’cause I was like, “Is this real?”
Aaron Lammer: When you first encountered Bitcoin and there’s basically no writing about it online, did you understand what it was?
Adrian Chen: No, it was like really hard to understand. It was-
Jay Kang: Why didn’t you read the white paper, Adrian? Could’ve solved that problem immediately.
Adrian Chen: I did read the white paper.
Jay Kang: You should’ve seen the elegance of Bitcoin, and you could’ve invested early.
Adrian Chen: It really seemed like the most complicated thing on earth. It was just like what are you … you can’t even understand where to start with it. I was just like, “So, it’s a currency, but it’s decentralized and there’s all this math involved.” So it just seemed like one of the most complicated things you could imagine.
Jay Kang: So that research on Silk Road basically led you to be the first person who ever interviewed the Dread Pirate Roberts, right? This is something I actually … You and I are close friends, and we talk a lot, but I have actually never asked you this question. How did you first get in touch with him?
Adrian Chen: So I was on the Bitcoin forum, and someone posted the Tor address, and at that point Tor was also very obscure. It’s so funny looking back on it just thinking about how weird and incomprehensible it seemed at the time, but I downloaded Tor, which was actually very easy, and then went there, and I think I just looked on the forums on the Silk Road.
Adrian Chen: Basically the main thing that I learned from reported on all this stuff is that forums are where the action happens. That’s the street of the internet, and so I would always just go to the forum of whatever thing I was researching, and he was just very active on there …
Aaron Lammer: Someone’s going to write a book about the history of BitcoinTalk, which I think is all still there. You can kind of trace the entire history of Bitcoin through that forum.
Adrian Chen: Right, yeah. And I got really obsessed with the guy who started it thinking he might be Satoshi or whatever.
Aaron Lammer: With Silk Road? Oh with BitcoinTalk.
Adrian Chen: BitcoinTalk, yeah.
Aaron Lammer: All right, so did you DM him or something?
Adrian Chen: Yeah, he was just on there, and I DMed him on the forum, and I’m trying to remember what happened … Yeah, he got back to me really quick, and I was like, “Can I interview you?” He said, “Sure.” And I just sent him a bunch of questions and he answered them. I don’t have the answers anymore because I think my account got erased at some point, but he was very open about it. He gave me these very long detailed answers, and then a couple days later he DMed me and was like, “Can you hold off on publishing the article?” Because he kinda knew this was going to get a lot of attention, and he was like, “We’re not ready for the security and the attention. Can you hold off?” And I was like, “No, sorry.”
Adrian Chen: If I was talking to somebody who made an app or something I’d be like, “Okay, yeah, let’s work on this.” But I’m not really looking to aid and abet this guy, so I just published it.
Aaron Lammer: So you trawled the darker corners of the internet pretty regularly, professionally I would say. Did you know that this story was something that was gonna get a big reaction and lead somewhere, or was this just another day in the life of a trawler of strange forums?
Adrian Chen: Yeah, I don’t know. I think when you produce so much content as I was at Gawker, you just lose total sight of what’s going to be big or not, what’s going to be important or not. Everything just becomes can I get a story out. I thought it would be a pretty big story because it was a scoop. Anything new usually will be more-
Aaron Lammer: Do you remember what the price of Bitcoin at this time was?
Jay Kang: Oh, I know. I know this answer.
Adrian Chen: I think it’s like on the Wikipedia page.
Aaron Lammer: It was $10.
Jay Kang: $10, and then after your story came out it jumped to $14, so Adrian I think that one thing we should say for people who are new to the podcast might not know, Adrian, is that Adrian contributed to a 40% jump in the price in Bitcoin while being a nocoiner.
Aaron Lammer: Yeah. Put that on your LinkedIn.
Adrian Chen: And I wrote a really shit-eating post after being like, “You’re welcome, Bitcoin.”
Aaron Lammer: Yeah, exactly.
Jay Kang: Can you write about Bitcoin again right now, ’cause …
Aaron Lammer: Did you consider buying any Bitcoin at this time?
Adrian Chen: No because everything I was reading about it, everything I learned about it, it just seemed like a token to buy drugs on the Silk Road.
Aaron Lammer: So, I think a lot of people.
Jay Kang: Well that’s what it was at the time.
Aaron Lammer: Yeah, yeah. That was an accurate read. But while that was being built out, some of the infrastructure that would allow for the present day at Bitcoin was also … At that point if you had wanted to … let’s say you had wanted to buy Bitcoin and buy something on Silk Road, if that was a component of this story. Do you remember how most of these people were getting Bitcoin? LocalBitcoin maybe?
Adrian Chen: I don’t really remember how. I think that was the other thing, it seemed very complicated to buy it.
Aaron Lammer: So for people listening, my understanding of LocalBitcoin, at least how it works now and I think it worked then, was basically you could get linked up Craigslist style with someone who had some Bitcoin, and they’d come to your house or you’d meet at a Mickey D’s parking lot, and you’d give them some cash, and they would transfer you some Bitcoin.
Jay Kang: Yeah, like this is how Aaron bought his Nintendo Switch that no longer works.
Aaron Lammer: No, I got it working.
Jay Kang: Oh, you got it working again. I remember that text conversation where you’re like, “I got a Nintendo Switch, but I had to buy it off Craigslist, and it was super shady.” I was like, “Why didn’t you just buy a Nintendo switch?”
Aaron Lammer: It was a funny experience ’cause I’ve never been in a drug house, but that was the closest I’ve ever been to being in a drug house was just this house. It was just an empty apartment in Harlem that was totally full of Nintendo Switches.
Jay Kang: Yeah, my friend bought Magna-Tiles for his kid that way, too. He said it was one of the shadiest exchanges that he had ever done, and he had to buy them off a … Adrian I have a question, which is that you and I have known each other, I think now for eight years or something like that … eight or nine years, which is a long time, but as long as I’ve known you, you’ve been searching for Satoshi Nakamoto, and I would say that I don’t know anyone who has searched harder for him than you. So how did that start? How did you first start thinking, “I need to figure out who this guy was.” I think at some point you said, you were almost betting me that you could do it, but this was a long, long time ago before it seemed … I think right now it seems impossible, but …
Adrian Chen: Yeah, I mean everything I do is kinda half-assed, so when I say I’m really looking hard, I’ll spend like five hours a day-
Jay Kang: You’re looking hard in the way that O.J. is looking for the real killers.
Adrian Chen: Yeah, every once in a while I’ll just get bored and spend five hours clicking through BitcoinTalk to be like, “Is it this guy?”
Aaron Lammer: I wanna pause you there ’cause I think that’s fascinating. You have a perspective on very early Bitcoin that we and the other 10 million other people who’ve gotten into Bitcoin since-
Jay Kang: He listens to this show.
Aaron Lammer: … can’t get, which is what was the prevailing thought at the time about who Satoshi Nakamoto was and why he was staying anonymous, et cetera?
Adrian Chen: I think there was just the commonly put out early Bitcoin programmers. I think Hal Finney was a very early guy that people were saying I think the guy who created the BitcoinTalk Forum. There would always be these threads that would come up, and they would get shouted down usually by the people … “He wanted to be anonymous for a reason.”
Aaron Lammer: Was it a prevailing thought that one of the people who was sort of active in the community was probably Satoshi or was it already belief that Satoshi had disappeared down the well forever?
Adrian Chen: I think there was a sense that he was still around because it was just a year or so after-
Aaron Lammer: Some people were still emailing with him maybe? Or had he already gone cold at that point?
Adrian Chen: I think he had gone cold. I think when I was doing it he probably sent an email to somebody within the past six months. Basically what had happened was he had signed off of the Bitcoin forum saying he was moving on to other things, and people were just like … I think a lot of people thought he would come back, too. It was only a year or so. So the mystery of him to me seemed a lot more solvable then.
Aaron Lammer: How did you approach trying to figure out who he was?
Adrian Chen: I started emailing everybody who ever had contact with him. So I talked to Wei Dai who had a lot of interesting stuff. Adam Back.
Jay Kang: Andresen. Gavin Andresen, or …
Adrian Chen: Yeah, he just would … He wasn’t very helpful, but the other guys were pretty forthcoming, like Wei Dai even sent me some emails that he had exchanged that weren’t public and stuff.
Aaron Lammer: Through this whole process you never thought to get like a few Bitcoin?
Adrian Chen: My biggest regret about that story is that I didn’t actually go through and buy the Bitcoin and buy the drugs or try to buy something on Silk Road.
Jay Kang: Jia did that, right? Jia [Tolentino 00:12:02]?
Aaron Lammer: Yeah.
Adrian Chen: Yeah, I mean it would’ve been a better story, and also I probably would’ve had Bitcoin, and I would’ve been too lazy to sell it, so I probably would’ve made a lot of money. So, I think … No, I honestly didn’t think about it because I didn’t want to be part of that world; it was incredibly unappealing to me. All the people involved in it were just these cryptoanarchist nerds who I disagree with politically. I didn’t see it going very high, so as soon as I put it out it went up to $17 or whatever. I think eventually it reach 30 or 50, and it was this kind of hype in this small world, and then it crashed back down to …
Jay Kang: $3
Adrian Chen: Or 3, so yeah. It was like after that I was like, “Oh, it’s done.” That’s what it is.
Jay Kang: That’s how we feel right now.
Aaron Lammer: Well we’re gonna pop it back up with having Adrian on the show.
Jay Kang: Yeah.
Adrian Chen: Right, right.
Aaron Lammer: Everyone knows that the bull market starts when-
Jay Kang: When Adrian Chen talks about Bitcoin.
Aaron Lammer: … Adrian Chen comes on a podcast to talk about Bitcoin.
Adrian Chen: When I pooh-pooh it. So, yeah, do I have moments where I’m like, “Damn, I wish I had a lot of money from Bitcoin.” Yes. But I also go through the alternate timeline where I had invested in Bitcoin, and it’s just like I would’ve been a different person.
Aaron Lammer: Yeah, you’d be dead in a Macau casino now or something. No, I’m sorry, that would be Jay.
Jay Kang: You’d be living in Leverland or wherever Romania, and you’d have five maids and nobody could talk to you anymore, and it’d be very, very dark.
Adrian Chen: I definitely would not be like a successful long-form journalist. I would’ve started a podcast, you know, and …
Jay Kang: YouTube channel.
Aaron Lammer: Yeah.
Adrian Chen: Livestreamer. I would be like a kind of woke Bitcoin gaming Livestreamer.
Aaron Lammer: I kind of like this timeline. I’m curious who I am in this timeline.
Jay Kang: Knowing you, I think that you would’ve gotten into Ethereum, and I think you would’ve become one of these weird, Swedish Ethereum dudes. And you’d go around demanding payment for articles and smart contracts and things like that.
Aaron Lammer: Okay, so you started asking these guys … I know you talked to Satoshi. What can you tell me? What was their attitude at that point about people who were trying to figure out who Satoshi was? Adam Back is probably the most publicly identified predecessor for Satoshi. The person whose work Satoshi was most closely basing Bitcoin on.
Adrian Chen: He was very open. He just told me what he knew. He filled me in on the relationship between his work and Satoshi’s. He was friendly. Wei Dai was very friendly. He actually corrected me on some of the timeline that I was talking to him about, and then there were other people who just wouldn’t respond.
Aaron Lammer: Did you talk to Nick Szabo at all?
Adrian Chen: I talked to Nick Szabo-
Jay Kang: Szabo being like one of the front-runners in the Satoshi betting odds.
Adrian Chen: I talked-
Aaron Lammer: Jay has given great odds to Nick Szabo on this show, by the way, and is handicapping Nick Szabo. Constantly a strong contender. I think he’s probably acting purely on inside information from you, so [crosstalk 00:15:25].
Jay Kang: No, no, no. Szabo and Finney are the two betting favorites, right?
Adrian Chen: Szabo was pretty open with me. I emailed with him, and he just said he didn’t know who it was. He kind of was like we emailed. The one thing that made me not think it was him was that there was some email between him and Satoshi. Obviously that could be faked.
Aaron Lammer: That seems like … yeah. It doesn’t seem like something he would do. I don’t know him, but that’s a whole other step.
Adrian Chen: Yeah, so that’s the main reason why I didn’t think it was him. I think I … I don’t know who eventually I came … I think at the end I was just like, “I have no idea. It could be any of these people. It could be none of them.” There just wasn’t enough to go on. It was just like a total ghost, basically.
Aaron Lammer: Do you think Satoshi will ever be revealed at this juncture?
Adrian Chen: It’s hard for me to imagine that he won’t eventually. I just can’t imagine that such a huge mystery would never be solved, especially because he had so much money and so many people are looking for him. A few people must know who it is, so I foresee, at the worst case scenario like 50 years down the road when Bitcoin has crumbled and this is all just like a fever dream of-
Jay Kang: Hey. Come on. Aaron and I have kids.
Adrian Chen: … people will look back, and then there will be a Wired oral history on whatever VR goggle that they’re delivering it on-
Aaron Lammer: You think Wired is gonna last longer than Bitcoin.
Jay Kang: That’s the most bullish assessment of the publishing industry and media that I have ever seen.
Aaron Lammer: I will take the under on that bet.
Jay Kang: Shout out to … Look, we apologize to people who work at Wired, but I don’t think that anyone thinks that any magazine will be around in 50 years.
Aaron Lammer: I’m not sure journalism is even going to outlast Bitcoin.
Adrian Chen: My question if for you guys though, how do you short Bitcoin.
Jay Kang: You dick! Well you’re too late on that.
Aaron Lammer: I don’t think you can officially be a nocoiner if you’re a shorter. You’ll move into the hater camp, but-
Jay Kang: Yeah ’cause you can only short it by getting more Bitcoin. I mean you can short it in the futures market, but the best way to short it probably-
Aaron Lammer: The original futures you would have one Bitcoin for shorting Bitcoin, so that would’ve been a difficult .
Jay Kang: You would no longer be a nocoiner.
Aaron Lammer: But there’s a few ways you can short it. I think BitMEX is probably the most popular one, right?
Jay Kang: Yeah, the most easily accessible one.
Aaron Lammer: This is a good time to mention this show never has investment advice, whether it’s shorting, bull, whatever. Don’t listen to Adrian’s advice. Look at him.
Jay Kang: Yeah, he’s a nocoiner who couldn’t bother that $10. You can short it by going to BitMEX, which is a site that you can’t sign in through the United States, but what you can do is you can VPN through Estonia or whatever, and you can send Bitcoin to that account, and then you can short all sorts of things, but the way you get paid out for the short is through more Bitcoin, or you can go to any number of places like CME or CBOE or even E-Trade at this point, and you can bet Bitcoin futures, and you can bet the short side of Bitcoin futures, but those contracts are really expensive right now. It’s kinda difficult for retail buyers to get in and do it.
Jay Kang: I don’t know. It’s pretty hard to short Bitcoin. You’d probably do better shorting media companies. How do I short Wired Magazine?
Adrian Chen: I just ask because I’m very interested in the psychological phenomenon of being invested in Bitcoin. Like I see what it did to your brain. I’ve seen like-
Aaron Lammer: Can you describe what you think Bitcoin has done to Jay?
Adrian Chen: I think it has just made his mood completely tied to this number on his screen.
Aaron Lammer: It’s made him erratic.
Jay Kang: More erratic than before.
Adrian Chen: I basically never know which Jay I’m gonna get when I talk to him. It’s almost like, you know you think about a drug addict or something. You’re like, “Is he high? Is he like not?”
Aaron Lammer: Yeah. The thing is I’ve actually known Jay the best under the influence of Bitcoin, so I don’t know what he used to be like before he got scrambled.
Jay Kang: I used to be totally calm. I never trolled anyone on Twitter. I was never mad at anybody.
Adrian Chen: It’s definitely brought out your trollishness. I do think that has heightened that.
Aaron Lammer: Jay was definitely a troll before Bitcoin.
Jay Kang: I was always a troll, but I will say that I think I’ve become a better troll since Bitcoin, so it has improved me as a human being because I think that Bitcoin shit posting is very, very good, and I feel like my shit posting has gotten better.
Aaron Lammer: So to answer your question about futures as I understand it, I don’t know the whole history, it’s always existed as kind of a niche. Like if you know how to use the internet you can go on BitMEX, and it’s shady, and it’s using a default GUI, and then around December of 2017, real Wall Street shorting came in. There were some people, not including Jay … Jay does not believe this … that think some of the recent losses Bitcoin have taken are the result of people trying to push the market down to have their shorts pay out.
Aaron Lammer: So we’re really only a couple months into the period of real Wall Street investors being able to short Bitcoin, and during that period Bitcoin has gone down a considerable amount.
Adrian Chen: Wow, so now’s the time to get in. I guess I should look into this.
Aaron Lammer: Adrian’s got shorting FOMO. He’s like, “I don’t want to miss it again!”
Adrian Chen: Can we start a podcast called Shorting Bitcoin Talk? Where I just troll you guys and troll the Bitcoin community.
Jay Kang: That would be great. You’ll have a great few weeks I think coming up.
Aaron Lammer: So what you brought up was Satoshi brings up a topic that I want to talk about a little bit more on the show and maybe you can talk with us about, which is I think one of the biggest misconceptions about Bitcoin is that it’s anonymous, and your story about Satoshi illustrates one of the ways in which it’s not anonymous. So, when you have Bitcoin, you have a wallet, and that wallet has an address, and what’s not really well known I feel like by people who are outside of Bitcoin and even some people probably within Bitcoin is that you can peer into any wallet and see what’s in there.
Aaron Lammer: So there’s a wallet that has the original coins that Satoshi mined before Bitcoin was even launched, and we know that none of those coins have ever moved because we’d be able to see if they moved. This is sort of the marker. If Satoshi ever comes back, my thought is that the first thing that will happen is we’ll see those coins move. Was that something people were already looking at at that time, the pre-mined coins?
Aaron Lammer: For people listening, I’m trying to keep it semi-basic here, which is mining is the process by which you solve complex cryptographical proofs and get a reward in coins, and you also beam out the ledger, and that way before Satoshi ever told people about Bitcoin or people outside of his circle at least, he mined over a million coins. So even though there are 21 million total coins that are gonna be minable, a million of those plus, I think it’s something like 1.1 million are just sitting in a wallet and have never moved, and that’s a confirmation of several interesting things in the story. One of which is that Satoshi has not come back and is not actively moving those coins. Another one is that whoever made this is someone who at one point, I’m not sure if Satoshi would’ve been the richest man in the world based on that and is not validating his lottery ticket to claim being the richest man in the world, which is-
Adrian Chen: So amazing.
Aaron Lammer: … the most notable detail. When we consider all of the people who could be Satoshi, we have to consider that they are leaving the largest fortune in world history in a Bitcoin wallet.
Adrian Chen: Right. To me, at this point that is the most interesting part of the whole Bitcoin story is just, what, billions of dollars that is sitting there. El Dorado’s gold, but we know it’s there.
Aaron Lammer: Yeah. And we can all see it. It’s like there’s a webcam pointed at it, and it’s like is someone ever gonna go grab any of this gold?
Adrian Chen: Right, and also it’s this kind of, I don’t know people don’t really talk about it in the Bitcoin community. To me it’s like this weird, I don’t know, collective … there’s like an agreement where we’re just gonna ignore the fact that the most Bitcoin is owned by somebody we don’t know. We don’t know what they’re doing with it. That has always been so fascinating to me just from a conceptual point.
Aaron Lammer: Well it’s a strong contrast. I don’t know how closely you followed these altcoins that have come out, but many of the altcoins are pre-mined. Like Ripple is pre-mined. So, they’re basically just starting with a bunch of coins, which means that the people who create these currencies are rich from day one. Even if the coin goes up to a few cents, based on the number on coins, you could conceivably cash out and be rich before you’ve done anything.
Aaron Lammer: That couldn’t be more different than the story of Satoshi who created the most valuable coin and as far as we know has not taken the lion’s share of that value back out from his own wallet. Or her own wallet.
Adrian Chen: Yeah, but to go back to your question, when I was looking into it, I don’t think there was this very comprehensible map. There wasn’t really a comprehensible map of the network like there is today.
Aaron Lammer: Interesting.
Adrian Chen: So, I remember like-
Aaron Lammer: Yeah, there wasn’t a tool you could just be like, “What’s in my wallet right now?” Which you can do now.
Adrian Chen: Right, and I remember people talking about how you could look into a wallet, how it wasn’t anonymous, but for me, an outsider, and also I think for the people inside of it, it wasn’t completely clear how you would do that; how you would verify. So there was more of a mystery around it, and I remember at some point, like two or three years down the road, somebody was like, “This is the Satoshi wallet.” It was framed as like a new discovery almost.
Aaron Lammer: Beyond sort of the ethical ideas about what Satoshi not touching that money means, the fact that Bitcoin is played with the cards up, that you can basically peer into anyone’s wallet, to me, has always struck me as one of the strangest and most problematic points about where people want Bitcoin to go.
Jay Kang: Yeah, remember when I sent you a link for Jihan Wu’s Bitcoin cash fault?
Aaron Lammer: Yeah! I mean, it’s less anonymous than anything. It’s the most un-anonymous way you can design the system.
Jay Kang: Like I know you. I see you at least once a week, and I have no idea … There’s not one of your accounts that-
Aaron Lammer: Stop peering into my Bitcoin wallet, Jay.
Jay Kang: Yeah. It’s actually radically transparent because you can show exactly how much Bitcoin that is, and a lot of the trackers have immediate conversion rates. So, yeah, it’s just the least anonymous form of money right now I would say.
Adrian Chen: It’s weird how that has changed, that perception, ’cause definitely when I was writing about it, it was all about it being anonymous, untraceable …
Aaron Lammer: Yeah, you can just buy some hairon from Silk Road. No one’s ever gonna know, man.
Adrian Chen: I honestly think that one of the things about Bitcoin that’s interesting is that it does illustrate just how malleable technology is and how what we perceive of it to be just changes, right? Like there’s always the debate. Is it decentralized; is it centralized? Is it anonymous; is it transparent? It all hinges around these axes that are just changing, and to say any one thing about it really you’re just cementing yourself in this one moment of time when three years down the line, I’m sure if it’s still around, you’re gonna look around and be like, “Oh, it’s totally different.”
Adrian Chen: And it’s not because the tech is changing.
Jay Kang: Exactly.
Aaron Lammer: No, it’s because people are changing. I mean, the community is a big part of it and the perceptions of the community and the way it’s regulated and all these non-Bitcoin factors.
Jay Kang: And I think people for a while were a little bit head up their ass in terms of the anonymity question because I just remember I also was interested in Silk Road after the arrest, after DPR got arrested. I got assigned a magazine piece, which I ended up not being able to do because of Wired. This is like a very anti-Wired podcast by the way.
Adrian Chen: Got scooped.
Aaron Lammer: Come on Nick. Come on the show [crosstalk 00:28:33].
Jay Kang: The guys who were writing for wired locked up their sources, which was the smart thing to do-
Adrian Chen: That happened to me, too.
Jay Kang: I don’t begrudge them at all, but when I was looking into it, and I downloaded Tor just like you did, I went on some of the drug forums. I didn’t buy any drugs, but I was just curious and doing reporting, FBI, and then I talked to the guy-
Aaron Lammer: I bought some Bitcoins but I didn’t huff none of them!
Jay Kang: But you know, I think I talked to the Tor Foundation people for like three hours, and I read the FBI criminal complaint and all that stuff, and it seemed like the explanation that the FBI was saying as to how they found all these different people that they pulled into this dragnet were pretty speechless, and look, I don’t have any proof for this. This might sound conspiratorial, and certainly I think if I had finished the article I would’ve had a better idea of it, but it was kinda like, “Yo, Tor or Bitcoin, one of these two things, is not as anonymous as you guys think it is because you didn’t … they didn’t all find your fucking Gmail address on some forum far, far in the past.”
Jay Kang: So it did seem like there was this collective delusion at the time that these things were completely anonymous, and so you would ask somebody who was into it, which I did a couple times … I don’t know, I’m sure you had a similar experience, but you would ask somebody who was into it, and they’d, “Oh, it’s absolutely anonymous.” It’s like well how do you know? And then they would just give an answer that was essentially just fluff, and they were like, “Of course it’s anonymous, it can’t be hacked.” And then you’re like, “Well how do you know that?” And then there would never be an explanation.
Jay Kang: Now that we look at it you’re like, “Holy shit, of course probably the FBI figured out that it wasn’t that anonymous.” Right? What do you think Adrian?
Adrian Chen: How did they find him? I don’t know I guess having followed it-
Jay Kang: More just like do you feel at the time … Yeah, yeah, yeah. Do you think that it was that anonymous back then?
Adrian Chen: I think that if you didn’t have any information about the person then it was anonymous. Just like nobody was able to find Satoshi but we can all look at his coins. I think the thing that happened was that they were just sloppy. I don’t really think that there was any serious technical thing that they did. I think that these people were all just sloppy with their Opsec like everybody is.
Aaron Lammer: The official story is that the DPR posted on some-
Jay Kang: The DPR one I believe, but the rest of the people pulled in the dragnet. I agree, but like-
Adrian Chen: But these guys were just emailing to each other, and they were friends offline. There was a period where I was just talking to a bunch of people who were kind of DPR acolytes ’cause I was also trying to do something about it, and they were just super open once you got in the inner circle. It was just like a gang or drug dealing ring in the real world, I think. They weren’t very fearful.
Aaron Lammer: Yeah, I have sort of … When I heard about Silk Road at the time, I think I read your article actually. I’m curious about this kind of stuff, and if you had asked me what’s notable about this, Tor seemed like the technology that was going to come to define the world. If you had asked me what’s notable about this, I would’ve been like, “Tor, online drug marketplace, dot dot dot dot dot, some Bitcoin thing.” Bitcoin didn’t actually seem that central to the story, and the idea of Tor was that it would anonymize your web traffic.
Aaron Lammer: It seems like a much easier way to trace people is through the movement of money. I mean, that’s how the FBI would handle this in a non-Bitcoin situation is follow the flow of money. The money is going to lead you to the people. So, my question is, this is for both of you actually, we’ve talked on this show about the elegant design of Bitcoin. Adrian you can just giggle now if you want to. But that there is this interplay-
Jay Kang: Right on cue.
Aaron Lammer: … the mining and the difficulty algorithm and coins being released over time and the halving. All of these things create a system that for any flaws it has has at least worked thus far to some extent, and it seems like if you’re gonna go to the trouble of creating such an elegant system, you would create some form of anonymity within it. Do you think that Satoshi or whoever Satoshi is that designed Bitcoin intentionally made it transparent that way, or was that just an oversight?
Jay Kang: No, I think it was an oversight. In all of the original literature about Bitcoin it talks about peer to peer anonymous anonymity, right? Not that it can’t be traced, but that it can’t be controlled, and I don’t think that they thought that this sort of radical transparency was a feature of it. I don’t know.
Adrian Chen: Yeah, I don’t know. It seemed like there was a trade off made between the transparency of the exchanges and the wallets and the fundamental decentralized nature of it, and they were basically like, “Okay, we gotta make it decentralized, so we can’t make it anonymous.” Right? Because it’s all about these mutual verifications and stuff. I don’t know. It would be interesting to talk to these super cryptoscientists to see would it even be possible to do something where it was anonymous. I mean isn’t that what Monero is?
Jay Kang: So it’s-
Aaron Lammer: Okay, wow. Amazing. Adrian throws me the Frisbee right back. Jay never throws me the Frisbee back in that way.
Jay Kang: I never throw him the Frisbee back to Monero, I’m like oh my God.
Aaron Lammer: I’ll tell the story of when I got into crypto. My BitcoinTalk moment was I was already starting to get interested. I think I had maybe $400 worth of Bitcoin at the time or something, and the DPR was caught, Silk Road was shutdown, and it was replaced by a site called AlphaBay. I don’t know if you … Did you continue following the darknet marketplaces?
Adrian Chen: I remember it, yeah.
Aaron Lammer: Yeah, so the founder of AlphaBay was caught in Thailand, and I believe he had a villa, two Lambos, which are the two Lambos which are now sitting in the crypto cave.
Adrian Chen: Oh, okay.
Jay Kang: We bought them on Ebay.
Aaron Lammer: Yeah, we picked those up cheap in a [Pure 00:35:06] Monero transaction.
Adrian Chen: Was the Hello Kitty paint job original?
Aaron Lammer: Actually Jay put that on.
Aaron Lammer: So he was called this stuff, and he hung himself in a Thai prison. There is something a little-
Adrian Chen: Dark.
Jay Kang: Dark.
Aaron Lammer: It’s gonna-
Jay Kang: Sad, sick world.
Aaron Lammer: As usual I’m gonna see the opportunity within this darkness. I do wanna go to … There is something weird and suspicious about what’s happened to all of these guys who are running in darknet marketplaces. I do find it slightly strange that DPR was ordering hits very quickly. Like he went from like in two months started ordering assassinations, but-
Adrian Chen: That’s the weirdest part of that story.
Jay Kang: That is the weirdest part.
Aaron Lammer: That’s the weirdest part, and that’s the part [crosstalk 00:35:50] if there was one part, as a journalist, I’d be like, “Wait, can we figure out, like, is there anyone else who’s not from the FBI who can corroborate that?”
Adrian Chen: Yeah, seriously.
Jay Kang: Have any of you read Bilton’s book about it?
Aaron Lammer: I have, yeah. Check out my interview in the long form podcast with Nick Bilton about his book on Silk Road.
Jay Kang: Is it pretty definitive definitive that he did that?
Aaron Lammer: Yeah, the evidence is pretty definitive that there are messages within the Silk Road messaging system that the FBI has revealed that are him ordering hits, but do with that what you will as journalists.
Adrian Chen: Yeah. Honestly-
Aaron Lammer: I find that strange because I feel like the story of DPR, if it was just like he was running a darknet marketplace, there would be a lot more people who would be free DPR-ing, and the fact that he was running a darknet marketplace and also ordered a bunch of murders makes it kinda like, “No, that was a bad guy.”
Adrian Chen: Yeah, once you follow some of these, especially like, I don’t know why it seems to be more prevalent with cyber crime. They just tack on all these lurid details that you can’t verify or whatever because it’s all this behind this expertise of like, “Oh, we tracked this and that.” So, that just stuck out to me as like-
Aaron Lammer: I will say also-
Jay Kang: If you had that one amazing detail remember that the FBI agent basically DPR wanted proof that they had carried out the hit, and so they basically staged a photo of the FBI agent who had been shot in the head. They put silly putty on his head or something like that. They sent it to him, and he was like, “Excellent.”
Aaron Lammer: If you read Nick Bilton’s book, I would say the FBI was trying too hard, which seems slightly suspicious, and I would also say that whether the messages are real or in some ways simulated, he was kind of offered a bunch of hits. I mean, Adrian probably know more about this than I do, but it wasn’t exactly like, “Hey, I want you to go kill somebody.” It was like, “Let’s do this drug deal. Also, would you like me to kill this guy?” And he’s like, “Yeah, how much is that?”
Jay Kang: It’s like the Newburgh Sting.
Aaron Lammer: Yeah. It’s reminiscent. The part that’s actually the most believable about it is it’s reminiscent of terrorism stings.
Jay Kang: Yeah. Don’t you really wanna blow that thing up? Like, yeah, yeah.
Aaron Lammer: Yeah, it’s got that air. So anyway, this guy, I think he’s a french guy, was running AlphaBay, was caught in Thailand, hung himself in his Thai prison cell. Just suspicious, again, that we haven’t really gotten the full story from someone who’s running these, and they said he had x number of 500 Bitcoin, 7,000 Ethereum, and we will never know how much Monero he had because there’s no way to ever get into his wallet. I was like, “Oh, weird.”
Aaron Lammer: So they were basically able to seize everything he had, his Lambos, all the other coins, except Monero, and that made me interested in Monero because when we talk about differentiating features, it’s a differentiating feature if no one can ever get your treasure horde, even if you’ve hung yourself in a Thai prison.
Jay Kang: Aaron, does this story have anything to do with the recent depression and the price of Monero?
Aaron Lammer: So, no this was a while ago.
Jay Kang: No, no. I’m saying are you telling this story to try and pump Monero?
Aaron Lammer: No comment.. Are you saying I’m trying to prop up the Monero-
Jay Kang: One thing our listeners can count on is that if Monero drops 10% that Aaron will tell this story about the Thai prison.
Aaron Lammer: I think Monero-
Adrian Chen: Talk about a differentiating feature, man. You can commit suicide. Have you heard of Monero?
Aaron Lammer: And that’s why it’s undervalued.
Jay Kang: And then I talk to a Chinese launderer-
Aaron Lammer: If you hang yourself in a Thai prison, you don’t want someone getting your cash.
Adrian Chen: Monero.
Jay Kang: Monero.
Adrian Chen: It’s anonymous.
Jay Kang: And Sumokoin. Just like Monero, but cheaper.
Aaron Lammer: Okay, see that’s what I was gonna say. I don’t really think this show has the influence to move the Monero markets yet.
Jay Kang: Well we have Adrian on.
Aaron Lammer: But … Yeah, we need Adrian. Adrian, have you heard of this cheaper Monero plan clone called Sumo? It’s a really exciting project.
Adrian Chen: I’m sure you guys have a lot of people listening who will probably end up hanging themselves in Thai prisons, though.
Jay Kang: Wow, dark.
Aaron Lammer: Do you-
Adrian Chen: So it is the target demo.
Aaron Lammer: So, a little bit of background on Monero, here.
Adrian Chen: Tell me more!
Aaron Lammer: Okay, we’re pretty deep in this episode, and I actually want to make this Privacy Coin Week, so I’m gonna make that the teaser for the next episode. I’m gonna-
Jay Kang: This is brought to you by Monero.
Aaron Lammer: … We’re gonna break down two coins. We’re going to break down the two leading privacy coins, Monero and Zcash, and their many descendants. Jay’s dabbled in many of them. You’re a fan of some of those Jay.
Jay Kang: You own every single one of them.
Aaron Lammer: No, ZRX is not a privacy coin.
Jay Kang: No, no, no. Well, Zcoin.
Aaron Lammer: Zcoin. Zcoin the classic, which is Zcash.
Adrian Chen: [inaudible laughter].
Aaron Lammer: I feel like we should just have Adrian come in for all of our tapings and just laugh at us.
Jay Kang: And just laugh at us in the background.
Aaron Lammer: We wouldn’t even need him here, we just need to get like 10 minutes of background laughter and just layer it over the entire show. Doesn’t matter if it lines up exactly.
Adrian Chen: I represent the 90% of people who are just like find this all hilarious.
Aaron Lammer: So, we’re gonna talk about all of that, all of those privacy coins. I’m gonna talk a little bit about their history, and why I think that they’re important. Adrian, do you have any thoughts on that?
Adrian Chen: I actually know about Monero.
Aaron Lammer: Oh yeah ’cause you’re part of that like New …
Adrian Chen: New Inquiry, yeah.
Aaron Lammer: Yeah, and they’re in the Monero mining game.
Adrian Chen: Yeah, Monero was chosen to be the cryptocurrency of Bail Bloc, which is a project launched by the New Inquiry. I’m on the board of the magazine, and yeah, it basically is you donate your computer power to mine Monero, which is then donated to the Bronx Freedom Fund so that people can get bailed out of prison, so-
Aaron Lammer: Were you giggling maniacally during the board meeting when someone pronou- was like, like this … Did you come to this decision from the nocoiner perspective?
Jay Kang: You guys chose Monero because of the mining thing right? It wasn’t because of the privacy part?
Adrian Chen: Yeah, I don’t really know why they chose it. I thought it was a brilliant idea because it turned all these people’s computers into basically donation machines. It seemed like one of the more practical uses for cryptocurrency.
Jay Kang: It’s a cool idea.
Aaron Lammer: So, yeah, I’ll say it, and we’ll get into this when we talk about Monero on the next episode, but Monero uses the CryptoNight mining algorithm, which is distinct from Bitcoin’s mining algorithm in that it’s far more realistic to use. Personal computers, old computers, any old computer’s chip. So when you go to one of these Chinese mining factories, you’re basically seeing high powered graphic chips that are really only used for 3D game rendering and Bitcoin mining, and they changed the algorithm to make it what they say is more democratic, the mining process. And that means that nonprofits like, is New Inquiry a nonprofit?
Adrian Chen: Yes.
Aaron Lammer: Are able to use it as a fundraising thing, weird spam, like bot hoards are taking control of computers and using their processing powers to mine Monero, and anywhere that you mine Monero you could be mining Sumo ’cause Sumo is a Monero clone.
Jay Kang: What is going on on our show? Are you in gambling debt right now? What is this is extended-
Aaron Lammer: Sumo’s taking a hard hit in this market.
Jay Kang: What is this extended ad that that we’re doing for Monero?
Aaron Lammer: So before we tie up, have your views changed at all over time? Has anything convinced you regarding Bitcoin or are you … Tell me about what your thinking is in 2018 on Bitcoin.
Adrian Chen: I guess I honestly do agree with the kind of dot com analogy. It seems like there’s an incredible amount of hype, people are making a lot of money, people are losing a lot of money, and I think we’re gonna look back on this like the dot com boom where stuff happened that still exists now. It set the stage for a lot of things, but it was this incredible frenzy that we’re gonna feel like we’re waking up from a dream.
Adrian Chen: And so yeah, I don’t judge people for getting involved in it. I don’t have the-
Jay Kang: Yes you do.
Aaron Lammer: Yeah, come on.
Jay Kang: What is that? Of course you do.
Aaron Lammer: Just own it. You’re possibly the first nocoin … like when they do nocoiners in the crypto dictionary, you may have started nocoiner.
Jay Kang: I would … Aaron, he might be … You might be the first nocoiner.
Adrian Chen: I just hate speculation in general.
Aaron Lammer: Interesting.
Adrian Chen: Like both from a constitutional standpoint. I can’t deal with the stress of it, and I also just feel like there’s better ways to spend our time, energy, money than in the gambling market.
Aaron Lammer: Why did you get involved in technology? I sort of agree with you in certain ways, but I think that startups are just as much speculation and gambling. Almost everything in technology is speculation.
Adrian Chen: Well I don’t write about startups. I hate startups.
Aaron Lammer: So, tell us, what are you writing about? What are you working on these days?
Adrian Chen: I am-
Aaron Lammer: Other than your tan, which is looking very nice.
Jay Kang: Your tan is incredible.
Adrian Chen: I went surfing, yeah. Well, I was just in LA.
Adrian Chen: The thing that I’m interested in right now is gamers and gamer culture as a kind of internet native subculture and just exploring all the facets of that.
Aaron Lammer: You’ve studied … Well, studied might be the wrong word, but you’ve hung around a lot of internet subcultures. What has your experiences around subcultures during their rises and falls told you about this Bitcoin culture, both past and present? Where do you see it going?
Adrian Chen: Kind of to go back to an earlier point, I think the subcultures that form around technology are just very interesting because on the one hand it’s about these debates about fundamental nature of technology; what’s good or bad. And then also there’s just these weird, I guess memes or ideas that are generated in this kind of hot house environment that then spread to the rest of the world. Like trolling really came from 4chan and Anonymous and all these things that I was covering back when it was a tiny little niche thing that was so repulsive and incomprehensible to people, and now troll in that meaning is really a pop culture phenomenon, right?
Adrian Chen: I think there’s something about technology that allows these ideas to transfer and these metaphors to kind of take hold in a way, and so I am also interested in Bitcoin from that point of view, like what are the metaphors, what are the ideas that’s gonna come out of this?
Aaron Lammer: Charlie Warzel who’s a technology reporter was on this show, and one of the things he said that kinda stuck with me was that this is the perfect time for crypto and Bitcoin on the internet ’cause no one really knows what they’re talking about. People love to talk about things they don’t really understand, and Bitcoin is the ultimate thing that no one really understands.
Adrian Chen: It also really plays into the cult of expertise that I think is just going through the roof now.
Jay Kang: Oh, God yeah.
Aaron Lammer: Is that fun for you? Do you still catch flack from the Bitcoin world online?
Adrian Chen: Not really.
Jay Kang: Just from me.
Adrian Chen: Jay mentioned me in some discord or whatever, and I got a couple tweets from angry crypto nerds-
Jay Kang: I definitely did that.
Adrian Chen: … being like, “It’s up 100%!” You know? This like …
Jay Kang: Actually, I thought it was going to have a better effect. So what I did was I went into a very troll-y bitcoin room, and I posted Adrian’s article that he wrote in 2013 and the recent tweet that he put-
Aaron Lammer: And so when he tweeted that out, that was a response to you?
Jay Kang: Yeah, I was putting it into troll-y Bitcoin forums-
Aaron Lammer: Tell us what he said.
Jay Kang: … so that people would swarm him.
Aaron Lammer: What did you say in that 2013 article?
Adrian Chen: I basically said that Bitcoin is more interesting as a psychological phenomenon of people experiencing FOMO of this kind of idea that you can just miraculously generate wealth out of the cloud, that all of these claims of it’s usefulness were overblown, it was mainly a speculation tool, and that it eventually it was just gonna crash and I was gonna laugh a lot.
Aaron Lammer: So the thing is, I agree with 2013 Adrian Chen almost the whole way except I was like, “Yeah, but I wanna be in the fad!” Even knowing all of that thing, I’m like, “I kinda wanna be the guy jumping out of the airplane with everyone else rather than watching.” And I feel like that’s maybe just a differing constitutional, like … any time somebody’s gambling, like if Jay and I are like, “Oh there’s some dumb gambling going on? How can we get in on this?” That kind of situation.
Adrian Chen: Right, right. And you do you, you know?
Aaron Lammer: We went from Bitcoin to low market cap Cryptopia coins in like six weeks. We went all the way to the bottom.
Adrian Chen: Is that like the crack of-
Aaron Lammer: Cryptopia coins are like coins that … you could easily get a … You could create ChenCoin and [inaudible 00:50:04] get it on Cryptopia.
Adrian Chen: Oh really?
Aaron Lammer: Yeah, it’s like-
Adrian Chen: Wow, I should do that. . ChenCoin-
Jay Kang: They definitely trade TrumpCoin on Cryptopia.
Aaron Lammer: Oh yeah, TrumpCoin.
Adrian Chen: ChenCoin would be a good for a coin.
Aaron Lammer: Well, we’re already talking about doing KangCoin, so …
Adrian Chen: Uh oh.
Jay Kang: KangCoin is going to be amazing.
Adrian Chen: Well, I mean, what’s the opposite of a fork? Can we merge? [crosstalk 00:50:27].
Aaron Lammer: First merger.
Jay Kang: KangChenCoin. Jaydrian.
Adrian Chen: Join our houses.
Aaron Lammer: Jaydrian. We’re rebranding as Jaydrian coins.
Aaron Lammer: Well thank you so much for coming on Adrian.
Adrian Chen: Thank you for having me.
Aaron Lammer: Where can people who want to follow your work on the internet find you?
Adrian Chen: Just follow me on Twitter @AdrianChen.
Aaron Lammer: Send him some Bitcoin, y’all.
Adrian Chen: Yeah. DogeCoin. Oh we didn’t’ even talk about. I hold DogeCoin.
Aaron Lammer: Oh you do?
Adrian Chen: Yeah.
Aaron Lammer: How did you get the DogeCoin?
Aaron Lammer: We’re gonna get Jackson Palmer on the show to talk about DogeCoin.
Adrian Chen: Oh really? You should, he’s cool. I also played a role in inventing DogeCoin, too.
Aaron Lammer: Come on. You gotta tell these … “Oh, I don’t follow altcoins. Well, I did start one of the 20 most famous ones.”
Adrian Chen: According to Jackson Palmer, he read an article I wrote about doge.
Jay Kang: Doge!
Adrian Chen: It’s Doge.
Aaron Lammer: I think Adrian is the guy to trump card here.
Adrian Chen: It was like right towards the end of my time at Gawker, and I wrote a little post about how I somehow like this meme even though I had grown so tired of memes.
Aaron Lammer: This is like the Shiba Inu photograph meme thing.
Adrian Chen: Yeah, and he read that article and was kind of playing around with the idea of starting a cryptocurrency as a joke to make fun of Bitcoin, and so he decided to name it Doge after reading that article.
Aaron Lammer: You’re like a Zelig for crypto history.
Adrian Chen: And so-
Jay Kang: I’m gonna point out that I’ve always been very skeptical when Adrian talks about inventing memes. Like he-
Adrian Chen: Get him on!
Jay Kang: You said-
Aaron Lammer: We’re gonna have Jackson Palmer on this show. We can play this tape and have him corroborate.
Jay Kang: Adrian also claims to have created Cat Breading.
Adrian Chen: I did invent Cat Breading.
Aaron Lammer: I kind of believed what Adrian says he invented this stuff.
Adrian Chen: I’m not proud of it.
Jay Kang: If I had invented Cat Breading that would be the first line of my Twitter bio. I’d be like, “Invented Cat Breading.”
Aaron Lammer: So did Jackson Palmer give you some Doge as the like godfather of the Doge meme?
Adrian Chen: No, I solicited donations for the New Inquiry back when I was an editor in DogeCoin, and I got like 16,000 I think.
Aaron Lammer: So they’re not your DogeCoins. They’re the New Inquiry’s DogeCoins? [crosstalk 00:52:52].
Adrian Chen: Yeah, but I have them somehow on a wallet. Right.
Aaron Lammer: DogeCoin’s been doing pretty well.
Adrian Chen: That’s the thing. I got a taste of it when-
Aaron Lammer: I’m gonna give you some great knowledge here. Cryptopia is one of the few places where there is DogeCoin trading fairs. So you get those Doge on Cryptopia, you can trade directly for Sumo.
Jay Kang: Yeah, nobody cares. Nobody cares.
Adrian Chen: It’s going up after next week’s podcast.
Jay Kang: Aaron I know that I can’t look into your finances-
Aaron Lammer: Baby needs some diapers.
Jay Kang: … but let me know if you need me to look into your finances right now. There’s like a weird sweatiness to this podcast right now that I can’t explain.
Aaron Lammer: I’m not quite from a Sumo baron to a Sumo serf, but I’m maybe a low level merchant at this point.
Aaron Lammer: All right, well thanks so much for coming on. Will you come back sometime?
Adrian Chen: For sure. Anytime.
Aaron Lammer: We wanna do … Okay, I’m pre-announcing this. I wanna do a round table show, “Who is Satoshi” where we get different people who have looked into this all together, share notes, see if we can solve this once and for all.
Adrian Chen: Finding Satoshi. Yeah.
Aaron Lammer: Has anyone ever accused you of being Satoshi?
Adrian Chen: Yes.
Aaron Lammer: How do you refute those claims?
Adrian Chen: I don’t know, I just-
Aaron Lammer: ’Cause you actually fit the profile of somehow who would leave the million coins somewhere.
Adrian Chen: Just like why am I still-
Aaron Lammer: Just to prove your point.
Adrian Chen: Why am I still writing magazine articles if I have $1 billion. That’s the biggest …
Aaron Lammer: Yeah, we made a joke about that in an earlier show, and Jay said, “I’ve been to Adrian’s apartment. He’s not Satoshi.”
Adrian Chen: Hey.
Aaron Lammer: Cool. All right, well we will be back next week. Jay, you ready to talk about some Monero and Zcash?
Jay Kang: Yeah, anything to help out your family finances.
Aaron Lammer: We need it. All right, see you next week.