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 firstname.lastname@example.org)
- The mystique of CZ
- Antiguan BSV assholes Craig “You Can’t Prove I’m Not Satoshi” Wright & Calvin Ayre threaten a bunch of fake lawsuits and get themselves delisted
- PewDiePie leaves Youtube for DLive
- NBA Playoff Gambling
Aaron Lammer: Jay, hello.
Jay Kang: Hello.
Aaron Lammer: It’s been a couple weeks.
Jay Kang: I heard your intro, and I was going to ask, do you think it’s really spring, or do you think that we’re in some spring-ish plateau period right now?
Aaron Lammer: I think of this like Groundhog’s Day, where there’s a multiplicity of possible fates in front of us.
Jay Kang: But Groundhog’s day is in February. That’s straight in the winter.
Aaron Lammer: Oh is it?
Jay Kang: Yeah, it’s like February-
Aaron Lammer: Jay, you can’t expect me to know when Groundhog’s Day is. I thought Groundhog’s Day was like right as winter went into spring.
Jay Kang: I think it’s literally February 2nd, which I guess in some places would be that. I guess the only question would be we’ve been around 5000, the range between 5000 and 5300 for a few weeks now. Generally, the interesting thing about crypto I guess over the past year is that we seem to have these like … it’s not really just an up, down, rollercoaster. There’s just like a jolt and then it stops for a while. Are you concerned at all about what’s going on? Because I don’t know if people on the show know now, but like you’re not the only one right now on our show who’s invested in the price of crypto currency and bitcoin, as I am now a partial coiner.
Aaron Lammer: Are we going to talk about where your coins came from later?
Jay Kang: We can talk about it now, if you want, but yeah. I now have like … I would not say a significant amount of skin in the game, but I do have enough where if the price of bitcoin went down, I would be upset.
Aaron Lammer: Okay. So you weren’t here for last weeks show, which is great because if you had been here, I would have made fun of your bet and been like that is the ultimate suckers bet. You like, you’ve probably got terrible odds because everyone wants to make that bet.
Jay Kang: Yeah.
Aaron Lammer: What was the bet?
Jay Kang: I bet a reasonable amount of bitcoin that Tiger Woods would win the masters.
Aaron Lammer: That was what, about 14 to 1?
Jay Kang: It was a little bit less than that, because I bet it every day, and because he was doing well those odds kept going down obviously, because he was actually in contention.
Aaron Lammer: Oh I see, so you bet Tiger again when he was like down two strokes?
Jay Kang: I bet him every single day, yeah. Then I bet him as part of like a four team parlay that hit, which is outrageous. I bet him with the Orioles to beat the Red Sox. I think it was like … I forget. It was some soccer game where it was like +180 and some other sport. I don’t even remember what the fourth sport was. Oh, the Nets to beat the Sixers in the first half, and all that hit so I now have like a reasonable amount of crypto currency.
Aaron Lammer: Okay. If the [inaudible 00:03:34] line didn’t do it, gambling would.
Jay Kang: Yeah.
Aaron Lammer: So we’ve got both of your original castmates here, back in the hunt. Should we be worried about the bags we’re holding right now? Personally, I feel very optimistic, but I do also feel that way you feel like in the sports movie, where when things start going better and they’re setting you up to like fully pull the carpet out.
Jay Kang: That’s how I kind of feel.
Aaron Lammer: We haven’t clearly had the full carpet. The full carpet pull was a drop way below the [inaudible 00:04:04] line.
Jay Kang: Yeah, yeah.
Aaron Lammer: It was like it hit the [inaudible 00:04:07] line, and then it dropped 40% more, which always felt like it was in play, that drop to 1000.
Jay Kang: That was my, when everybody was oh it’s going to go to 1000 because X, Y, Z, like there’s no support line. Like all the technical analysis stuff, but then when that was paired with my sort of dumb psychological analysis, being like who really supports this anymore, I felt like it was going to go down to 1000. But as you know, I got swept up in all this sort of euphoria over alt spring, and then alt spring died when bitcoin came charging. Then it became bitcoin spring. I guess enough time has passed where it’s been sitting at 5000, that I am once again worried that it’s just going to crash back down, and all my Tiger Woods hard earned faith and belief in him in the masters will be for naught, or at least will have been for less than I thought it was at the beginning.
Aaron Lammer: What does give me some faith is the signal that we really pay the most attention to is other people starting to get interested in bitcoin again-
Jay Kang: Wait, do we pay attention to that?
Aaron Lammer: I pay attention to that one. I’m feeling a little bit of like bitcoin is becoming more pop culturally present again.
Jay Kang: Where do you see the evidence of that?
Aaron Lammer: Well, of course the movie Crypto.
Jay Kang: It was like straight to streaming, right?
Aaron Lammer: I feel like a lot of movies are straight to streaming. It’s not-
Jay Kang: I’m not-
Aaron Lammer: … I don’t think it’s dirty to be straight to streaming anymore.
Jay Kang: Have you seen that yet?
Aaron Lammer: I have not watched it yet. I feel like we should probably watch it for the show.
Jay Kang: Do you feel like you’re going to watch it?
Aaron Lammer: Well, we’re going to watch it. Let’s just commit to both watching it, and then we’ll watch it.
Jay Kang: Yeah, I’ll watch it.
Aaron Lammer: It’s not like torture. It’s like a weird money laundering thriller.
Jay Kang: Yeah. Honestly, I would rather watch that than watch like a movie that was nominated for an Oscar, or like an independent hit or something like that. I think I’d rather just watch a dumb Kurt Russel movie that is funny because it’s about bitcoin. Alright, let’s watch it.
Aaron Lammer: Okay, so Jay has checked into the show with his generally negative opinion of everything, which somehow that take went from insulting independent movies to complimentary to Crypto, so I’ll take it.
Jay Kang: Where else have you seen it other than this Kurt Russel movie that came out?
Aaron Lammer: I’ve just kind of heard like R again. R numbers are going up. I’ve heard from a few other podcasters that like … it’s just a feeling.
Jay Kang: Okay.
Aaron Lammer: A few people have asked me, anecdotally, about it.
Jay Kang: Okay. I don’t doubt that.
Aaron Lammer: People seem a little more interested in the explain bitcoin to me question than they were a couple months ago.
Jay Kang: Okay.
Aaron Lammer: All right, Jay. Maybe the biggest spite story of the year in crypto this week.
Jay Kang: Let me guess who this involves.
Aaron Lammer: One of your favorite figures. Probably, if I was to draw a Jay Kang crypto power ranking, is it fair to say CZ is in your top three?
Jay Kang: Oh, for sure. CZ is like, I feel like he’s the only person … he’s the only big person in crypto, like in big crypto, and with that I’m talking about people like oh I don’t know, like the guy who ran all the mining in China whose name I’m blanking on for some reason. Or like Roger Vare, or even like-
Aaron Lammer: Jihad Wu, is that who you’re talking about?
Jay Kang: Yeah, Jihad Wu. Or even the people in Bitcoin Core.
Aaron Lammer: None of those people are cool.
Jay Kang: CZ is the only person in crypto at that level who seems to have a sense of humor, you know? He’s the only one that I think has a little bit of troll in him, and kind of thinks all this is funny, and he thinks it’s kind of funny that he’s now super rich. Those are the types of rich people I enjoy. The people that have some sense of like perspective on it, and just kind of think wow, this is all crazy, this is happening to me. CZ seems like the only crypto person like that.
Aaron Lammer: Well, he’s like … I feel like there’s a whole culture of people in crypto who are like, “I’m like some kind of a character in a William Gibson novel.” It’s like no, you just have like a dirty beard and a [inaudible 00:08:13]. That guy, he’s like a character in a William Gibson novel.
Jay Kang: He is.
Aaron Lammer: He literally like lives as like a two letter acronym. He’s like super mysterious. I don’t really know that much about him. He seems simultaneously like unprofessional and deeply in control at the same time. It’s weird. All these other exchanges of this magnitude have had these kind of weird like white knuckle grip moments, where like you’re like oh God, Brian Armstrong’s going to lose control of Coin Base with all this insider trading. Like CZ never seems like he’s like sweating.
Jay Kang: Yeah, yeah. You know the scene in The Social Network where Marc Zuckerberg puts like, “I’m the CEO, bitch,” and the point in the movie is like he’s sort of play acting this like cool guy who doesn’t care about anything, and who is just rolling with the punches but is totally in control. I think CZ is like the real version of that in crypto. Now, we don’t know anything about him, so he could be totally different, or he could be a psychopath, but at least that’s what he emanates, and I actually think that’s why it actually helps Binance. It makes Binance actually seem like the cool exchange that people are actually making money on, and that has actually some sense of security, and isn’t just a scam. I think a lot of his cult of personality is working.
Aaron Lammer: Well, I mean the BNB coin is clearly working. I think it’s like the number seven current-
Jay Kang: I know.
Aaron Lammer: … like number seven market cap right now. And it’s an interesting like signal that sends, because like the signal that Coin Base is always sending to me is we would prefer that bitcoin lose, and we would prefer some sort of like Silicon Valley like reeducate yourself at 0X earning camp mindset comes in. The effect that BNB coin has on me is making me think that no, this is the product.
Jay Kang: Yeah.
Aaron Lammer: We’re not trying to build this so we can IPO it or like resell it to like venture capitalists. We’re actually just … we’re trying to make money on Binance. Like we started our own coin, way to make money.
Jay Kang: Yeah, and it’s like another coin that has very, very little … like what does it do? It makes it so the trades are cheaper or something like that basically?
Aaron Lammer: Well the major thing about it is it’s truly a super air drop festival coin on some level, because they convert your dust. So if you have a little tiny bit of bitcoin leftover after a transaction, which you almost always do, like it’s almost impossible not to get left with dust. I believe, correct me if I’m wrong, you have the option to convert that dust into BNB, and lots of people … it’s done at some sort of a preferred way so that you get like a little bit of airdrop festival inside your airdrop festival, if you know what I’m saying. And everyone wins. That’s how you make the number seven coin I guess.
Aaron Lammer: It’s basically like the crypto equivalent of like Coinstar in a supermarket.
Jay Kang: Yeah.
Aaron Lammer: Which is also a great business that IPO’d.
Jay Kang: Coinstar IPO’d?
Aaron Lammer: Oh yeah. Publicly traded.
Jay Kang: Aren’t they doing something else now outside of-
Aaron Lammer: I think they’re also maybe in the like DVD rental game or something.
Jay Kang: Coinstar, good lord. Those are the days. I definitely had a few very necessary trips to Coinstar, as I’m sure a lot of people listening to this podcast have had, where it’s like I don’t have any many. Time to empty these coffee cans into Coinstar and pay like a 14% fee or whatever it is.
Aaron Lammer: Okay. So we didn’t actually tell the CZ story.
Jay Kang: Yeah, tell me what’s going on with CZ.
Aaron Lammer: It’s a really complicated story. I’m going to try to tell it as concisely as I can. All right, so the story starts with Craig Wright. You know Craig Wright. He’s a notorious super villain on this show. Craig Wright, for many, many, many years has been claiming to be Satoshi. He’s pretty resoundingly humiliated a few years ago, but it’s kind of like peripherally stayed around. Resurfacing pretty heavily when bitcoin cash split in half, into Satoshi’s vision and ABC. It’s possible that ABC is calling itself something different now, but he was partnered up with Calvin Ayre.
Jay Kang: Yeah.
Aaron Lammer: Am I pronouncing that correctly? Who is a, Jay, an entrepreneur after your own heart. The founder of Bodog, the gambling website, and a pretty despicable person over all.
Jay Kang: I think that’s fair.
Aaron Lammer: Lives in Antigua, and so basically ever since Calvin Ayre and Craig Wright have been pumping Satoshi’s vision, the only way they know how by stirring up controversy.
Jay Kang: What’s the controversy?
Aaron Lammer: So basically, they’ve been going around this week saying that they’re going to sue anyone that says that Craig Wright is not Satoshi, and demanding, sending legal letters to people demanding that they like retract their tweets that he’s a fraud, and apologize to him. This is like very old school troll. I feel like this is facts era trolling.
Jay Kang: How does that even work? It’s like … I don’t really even understand how you would do that. Like you’re basically asking to prove a negative thing.
Aaron Lammer: They just have like a spammy lawyer, who’s like spamming out quasi DNCA notices telling people to take down Tweets and apologize for them, and saying that it’s liable to say that Craig Wright is not Satoshi, unless you can demonstrably prove that he’s not Satoshi.
Jay Kang: Good lord. I have a pretty open and almost borderline libertarian vision of how these things should work and what I feel like generally people, under free speech, should be able to file frivolous lawsuits as long as it doesn’t completely derail the legal system, but this feels like one of those where if you see somebody they should immediately be able to counter sue you. It’s the dumbest thing in the world.
Aaron Lammer: The other thing is, these guys are in Antigua. Let’s not act like this actually interfaces with any real legal system, or like there’s any threat that any of these suits will actually come to trial or go anywhere. This is basically the equivalent of like spamming everyone who’s talked shit about you with a, “I will totally sue you unless you apologize to me right now. You have five days sir.” That’s basically that.
Jay Kang: Wait, wait, hold on. We have definitely done this at least five times on this podcast. Basically made fun of them-
Aaron Lammer: I’m a little insulted that we have not been contacted, but so was Peter McCormick from [inaudible 00:14:55] did. So he made a point of saying, “You’re a fraud, sue me. You’re a fraud, sue me,” until eventually they sent him a letter. That touched off a grass roots campaign of everyone changing the name of their Twitter handle to Hodolnot, who is I think the first person who was served with legal papers, or maybe just the most prominent. Then there was a subsequent Delist BSV Satoshi’s vision movement, that resulted in CZ, the head of Binance, delisting the entire fork. I’m looking again now. It was down over 10% earlier today when I looked.
Jay Kang: Good lord. Wow.
Aaron Lammer: It brings up a lot of interesting issues, though, about the power and centralization of exchanges themselves.
Jay Kang: Yeah, I mean like-
Aaron Lammer: These guys are easy to cheer against, but like if we weren’t just so deeply cheering against them, what does it mean that like CZ can basically tank a coin willy nilly?
Jay Kang: Well, could they? 10% is really not that much, right?
Aaron Lammer: 14% now.
Jay Kang: Oh, 14%. Well, that’s more.
Aaron Lammer: And that’s on a day bitcoin went up, so the overall split is about … it’s lost maybe 15.
Jay Kang: Can I ask you a follow up question then?
Aaron Lammer: Sure.
Jay Kang: Who are the people who are keeping bitcoin SV afloat? Does it have a core of people outside of Craig Wright and Calvin Ayre who believe in it?
Aaron Lammer: I think it’s a pretty limited pool of people, and I would think that it’s just people who are holding big bags, who somehow bought into this vision and can’t leave. Which you could say is a parable for bitcoin holding, as a whole, that we’re all just sitting around because we can’t leave, because we bought into our specific version of the cult. But this is like the tiniest version of the cult, that’s like living in the cave outside of town, and you’re like, “Are there more than three or four of you in there? I just see some raggedy old men with beards.”
Jay Kang: Yeah, well I would think that 100% of bitcoin SV is held by Calvin Ayre and Craig Wright-
Aaron Lammer: Deeply possible.
Jay Kang: … and like four other people, and maybe all it was was like the 14% of people who had SV, maybe they just sold it because of this thing. I can never quite figure out what’s going on in that corner of the crypto world at this point. It feels a little anachronistic and weird to me, like everybody else has sort of moved on to different ideas within crypto, and these guys are still arguing over the same things and endlessly forking crypto. Unless they’re forking bitcoin.
Aaron Lammer: Yeah, kind of like a weird like we’re gutter hardcore band, dude. That is not what you do in gutter hardcore.
Jay Kang: Yeah, yeah, exactly.
Aaron Lammer: It’s gotten to be this very specific regional punk, like offshoot, and at this point it’s two bands arguing with each other.
Jay Kang: Yeah.
Aaron Lammer: It’s like you’ve lost the thread here. No one knows what you’re talking about.
Jay Kang: Also, everyone else moved on and you guys are like it’s two guys in the comments section screaming at each other at a blog post that’s like six months old. Every day they sign on and they don’t care that nobody else is engaging with them anymore. They’re just yelling at each other. I’ve been in a few of those.
Aaron Lammer: I feel like this is maybe aimed at crypto fans who were like too young to have experienced Craig Wright claiming he was Satoshi the first time, and it’s a little bit of like a come back tour, where he’s like, “I’m still claiming I’m Satoshi.”
Jay Kang: Did anyone definitively prove … I guess that is the definition of proving a negative, but is it proven that he’s not Satoshi?
Aaron Lammer: No, that’s what he’s like, “No one’s proved I’m not Satoshi.” At the last moment, when he had like said, “I’m going to prove it this way,” he failed to produce the keys, so does that definitively mean he’s not Satoshi? I can’t empirically say it, but given the opportunity to prove that he was Satoshi with people watching, he failed.
Jay Kang: Do you think there’s a higher chance that Craig Wright is Satoshi or Dorian Nakamoto is Satoshi?
Aaron Lammer: Dorian Nakamoto, because we know hardly anything about Dorian Nakamoto.
Jay Kang: Do you think there’s a higher chance that Dorian Nakamoto is Satoshi or Elon Musk is Satoshi? Elon Musk came out in favor of bitcoin in some weird, cryptic tweets this week.
Aaron Lammer: Those I would put in like a similar camp. Elon Musk is like highest percentage chance if it’s a famous person. Also, if you read all of Craig Wright’s complaints about this stuff, he’s so cowardly that he also frames it in all this language where he’s like, “You can’t prove I’m not part of a team or organization that may have contributed to Satoshi’s projects.” It’s like come on, dude. Here’s what’s going to happen. If it ever is revealed what really happened, Craig Wright’s going to be like, “I was at a meeting with that guy, and we like talked about it over beers.” He’s just going to like keep scamming. That’s all he does.
Jay Kang: Yeah. Sadly, we’re like four months off from what was supposed to be the release of [inaudible 00:20:11] book, and so we don’t even have that anymore. Craig Wright and John McAfee and all that, all those guys who were the crypto entertainment a year ago, I actually find it interesting that they’ve been so thoroughly marginalized, and crypto is still here. I guess it’s a bullish sign for crypto and bitcoin that it didn’t sort of die off with those guys’ reputations, although it certainly was hurt by it, but man-
Aaron Lammer: I mean delist half lives are pretty short. With all these guys, I’m like you can only do the “I’m going to chop my dick off if X” stunt so many times, or the “I’m Satoshi” stunt so many times. You can’t just keep running these back and expect to get the same response each time. It’s just a law of trolling that people get sick of you. Also, these men are like … I don’t know. They’re all looking kind of haggard. These are like weird Jake Paul kind of stunts. I’m talking about a whole lot of them. McAfee, Craig Wright, these guys are like cruising around the Caribbean throwing bikini booty shaking BSV parties. It’s just like oh, you guys, this is bottoming.
Jay Kang: Yeah, yeah.
Aaron Lammer: Just give it up. You’re rich. All these people are already rich.
Jay Kang: I know, but I think that they have very little to sort of … like so much of their identity its tied up in bitcoin.
Aaron Lammer: Yep.
Jay Kang: It’s kind of like how, in a professional athlete that stays on too long. There’s part of you that can be like, “Hey, why do you keep playing and embarrassing yourself? Just retire.” I think their answer is almost always the same, which is like well, I still think I got it. Then the other part of it, which is the true part, is I don’t know who I am if I’m not this person. I think that’s probably true of Craig Wright.
Aaron Lammer: It’s like I still have a .1% chance of becoming the richest man on earth, and don’t try and take that dream away from me until I’m dead in my grave.
Jay Kang: I will say I don’t think I have that problem. Like if I became super rich, and people are like-
Aaron Lammer: You would just gamble it all away.
Jay Kang: … people are like, “Hey, would you like to write a magazine article and stay in the game, or would you like to record a podcast?” I’d be like, “NO, I’m okay.”
Aaron Lammer: No, but I bet you would still be like trolling on Twitter.
Jay Kang: Yeah, I would definitely be doing that, yeah.
Aaron Lammer: That’s the thing. You would still be like okay, I still have some things to say about my enemies. Yes, I’m a billionaire, but I still have some [inaudible 00:22:45].
Jay Kang: Yes, but I would not be throwing a booty shaking party to announce the launch of my new publication, let’s just put it that way.
Aaron Lammer: So after Binance delisted it, Shapeshift said they’re going to delist it, Kraken did a pole about whether they should delist it and it was 75% affirmative. So there’s going to be a ripple effect here, no pun intended, a non Ripple effect. There may be an effect here where BSV gets literally written out of the crypto exchange internet.
Jay Kang: Like [inaudible 00:23:21], your favorite coin.
Aaron Lammer: Yeah, much like [inaudible 00:23:24]. What is that mean? How decentralized is a system if a few like minded heads of exchanges can get together and basically crush something?
Jay Kang: I would say that they can’t in some ways. I don’t know if BSV actually works or doesn’t work, but I assume it works. Let’s assume it works.
Aaron Lammer: Big old blocks. Jay, the biggest blocks you’ve ever seen. The biggest blocks ever made.
Jay Kang: If we both had this big block coin, and we decided to send it to each other, we could. We could-
Aaron Lammer: Sure.
Jay Kang: … figure out a way, and we could figure out what the value was based on some sort of calculations that we did, and it would still work, but we would have no way of doing it. Not to go back to our baseball card analogy, but it would be similar to if Beckett baseball card pricer no longer existed, and we’re just like well, I got these pieces of cardboard. I have no idea what they’re worth, so let’s figure out some value system for it. I don’t know, that does mean that exchanges hold quite a bit of leverage. They could, like what if they all … BSV is a ridiculous example, but let’s say that there’s some sort of spite war going on between CZ, who obviously has a real interest in BNB, and he got really mad at Joseph Lubin because Lubin said something about … or got mad at Vitalik and decided to just not list Ethereum anymore. He could definitely do that, right? Would Ethereum suffer from that? Yeah, maybe.
Aaron Lammer: Well, it really only suffers if the whole class of exchanges all decide to delist at once, so there’s almost like a checks and balances here, where each exchange is getting a vote, and probably losing one exchange isn’t going to destroy you, but if you get voted down by all the exchanges, they can destroy you. It almost makes like CZ, Brian Armstrong, Jesse Palatz, et cetera the supreme court of coin cancellation.
Jay Kang: Yeah, but this is, in their defense, this is the only one that they’ve done this with, right? They haven’t collectively decided-
Aaron Lammer: Yeah, it had to be pushed. They’re not making judgements willy nilly. They’re like you have to be a real asshole before we’ll even consider doing this.
Jay Kang: I think there’s enough computing interest between all of them where that would be very difficult to do. Now, if any of them gain way more power in the way that Coinbase had two years ago, where it literally is the interface for an entire country, then that’s a bigger problem. That’s why people have a problem with Coinbase, or even with Bit Hum in Korea or whatever. They basically had a monopoly on the entire market. But I think this system is actually kind of healthy in that sort of way. If somebody is acting totally crazy and has a clear scam product, then they can at least get rid of it together.
Aaron Lammer: It’s amazing that you have to be a huge … Craig Wright and Calvin Ayre have to be the biggest assholes imaginable to inspire a bunch of strident libertarians to all conclude we should [inaudible 00:26:34] some of these people.
Jay Kang: I know.
Aaron Lammer: Like you’ve really pushed it too far. Everyone’s like no, it was fucked up, just get out of here. Leave this party. No, you should get goin.
Jay Kang: They all had to collectively do the, “I’m a libertarian, but” in this one instance. I believe totally in free market.
Aaron Lammer: My views on freedom do not extend to Calvin Aires Antiguan contact.
Jay Kang: Both of you are the exception. We will make one exception and it’s you. Yeah. That seems like what happened. Like congratulations to them. I don’t know. Suing everyone who dares to say what is true? That’s crazy and those people shouldn’t be running something that A, carries Satoshi’s name, and B, continue to keep running at this weird bankrupt image that they are the true purveyors of all this. We talked about this in the live podcast that we did, does Satoshi still have an effect on bitcoin. I’ve got to say, even over the time that has passed since then, I feel like the yes answer to that question has been just every month that passes. Satoshi matters less and less. I’m a little surprised about that. I thought that he would still have a bit of a hold even at this point, but I just nobody even talks about him.
Aaron Lammer: I’m going to take the opposite tack there. I feel like each month Satoshi sort of looms larger and larger because the anomaly of starting a coin and it working becomes more and more improbably that it lasted so long. It’s a little bit like the way that in a religion, hey the first 50 years is going to look like a cult. But give it a couple hundred years, this is all going to seem mythological and like it was preordained.
Jay Kang: I know. That might be true in some ways, but I just think that normal people care less.
Aaron Lammer: That may be true. It is true that people … like I never hear anyone wondering about who Satoshi is.
Jay Kang: Maybe that’s what it is now.
Aaron Lammer: Are we the only people who are still curious?
Jay Kang: All the journalist who were interested in that question no longer are interested in that question, and I don’t know why that is. I still think it’s a huge story if you can break it. We’ve talked about this before, but the … it has enough clues where it feels like you should be able to break it. And they’re definitely people who do know. I don’t buy this idea that nobody knows who it as.
Aaron Lammer: Well, that’s what I always think is the reason I don’t believe that 9/11 conspiracy could possibly be true is that no one could keep that secret. I sort of believe that there could be a real conspiracy about Satoshi because these are the kind of people that could keep the secret.
Jay Kang: And it might only be two people who need to keep the secret, you know, and-
Aaron Lammer: Half dozen.
Jay Kang: … one of them is Satoshi. I don’t know. It would be interesting. If bitcoin really died, I feel like that’s when we would know. Like if it was trading at $11 and there’s no activity at all in the chain, then I think somebody would just come out and say it. But we’re no where close to that right now, so people are still incentivized.
Aaron Lammer: Bitcoin feels pretty strong. I have to say, some of the stuff feels like … mostly I don’t care about Craig Wright and Calvin Ayre, but it’s sort of like Hunger Games. When each person gets picked off that makes the market leader a little bit stronger or the person who’s got the highest chance of winning a little bit higher percentage chance of winning. And I do feel like if this winter has done anything, it’s thinned the herd a little bit. Yes, there shit coin still have money in them, but I feel like no one thinks that any of these coins out there right now are going to overtake bitcoin. No one believes that.
Jay Kang: Yeah. Now especially since Ethereum is kind of struggling.
Aaron Lammer: I’d much rather take a bet of a coin that does not exist yet right now, passes bitcoin, than I would take the bet of the entire non bitcoin field overtaking bitcoin.
Jay Kang: Oh yeah. I don’t think that’s close. I think Ethereum has peaked and is on its way down, and I don’t know what could revitalize it. Somebody will just make a better version of it, and have no interest in calling it Ethereum. Those things probably already exist right now. It kind of makes me want to speculate on a whole bunch of new alt coins. You know how when you go into seamless, you can hit new restaurants.
Aaron Lammer: Yeah. You just want that new new. Does it seem like there is less new new than there was a year ago? I felt like I heard about some new coin on Bitrex like every week. When’s the last time you and I got shilled a coin by someone?
Jay Kang: Because you can’t ICO anymore really. You can’t scam people anymore.
Aaron Lammer: So they filtered out the scams and there’s no one here.
Jay Kang: Exactly, the party is empty. Do you want to talk about PewDiePie?
Aaron Lammer: Yeah, let’s one quick last one. I think we’ve talked about this issue before, but no one this famous has actually gone for it yet, so PewDiePie is the number one YouTube channel. He’s also a meme. It’s that dude who shot up a mosque in New Zealand said his name. He’s everywhere, and he is leaving YouTube to stream exclusively on DLive which is a decentralized platform that has some kind of a token tipping viewership situation that I didn’t really look very deeply into, and I’m sure is not very mature, but basically he’s going over there. He’s getting a bunch of tokens. He’ll be giving out tokens on the show. People will be tipping him tokens. It’s going to be a great time for everyone.
Jay Kang: What is the official reason for doing that? He’s sick of being censored by YouTube, or he’s sick of YouTube changing the monetization stuff and he just wants a platform?
Aaron Lammer: Something along those lines. I don’t think he said literally censorship, but more like I don’t know if you watch these big volume YouTube channels, but I feel like a lot of their complaints are about videos getting demonetized. I think his argument, I watched the video. If I could summarize his argument was well my videos are all getting demonetized anyway, so I might as well have control over my own destiny at DLive or something.
Jay Kang: They must be paying him a ton of money.
Aaron Lammer: I was like this must be a good … he must have like half of the DLive tokens.
Jay Kang: Yeah, and they must have paid him some upfront, outrageous amount of money to do this, because obviously this is a bad idea for PewDiePie, you know? This type of thing has really worked really well for anybody except I guess Howard Stern going to Sirius radio or something like that.
Aaron Lammer: Yeah, I think that would be the biggest comparison. If anyone could pull it off, it would be him. And it’s not an Alex Jones thing where you’re just taking an audience of like cranks, and selling them boner pills. It’s real teenagers and young people who watch PewDiePie who might be pulled over to this, just like Howard Stern pulled in lots of people who would never otherwise subscribe to satellite radio.
Jay Kang: Yeah.
Aaron Lammer: So I almost could see it working. I think it’s a crazy move for PewDiePie though. What is he doing?
Jay Kang: Yeah. I think if this doesn’t work, he probably has some out in his contract where he can leave.
Aaron Lammer: He must.
Jay Kang: I just, PewDiePie feels kind of over for me in some ways. I’m sure the numbers don’t reflect that, but-
Aaron Lammer: Are you a PewDiePie watcher?
Jay Kang: Yeah, but I do watch a lot of video game YouTube.
Aaron Lammer: I watch his show.
Jay Kang: I would say that I think that he, at the very least, has a lot of competition now where he didn’t a few years ago. It’s like, you know, when people leave ESPN with very, very few exceptions, they all … most of them just flounder. It’s very hard to take your audience with you somewhere. If the platform itself has some sort of cache or people just tune in to the platform itself. I’m actually really curious about how many people watch PewDiePie because it’s suggested, and how many people would follow him there. I imagine the number is much higher than it is with other people, but the number might also not be as high as it is with say Jordan Peterson, who is another person who suggested doing this, because he has really dedicated fans. I just don’t know. What is decentralized mean, too? Do you have any idea with DLive decentralized pitch is?
Aaron Lammer: As I understand it, it’s just like a token and decentralized hosting scheme. I don’t think there’s anything like particularly surprising about it. It looks like a YouTube window, more or less. But this also feels a little bit like a reflection on YouTube, which is there’s this like chronic insecurity, where you can have the number one YouTube channel, and you still have no control over your business. They can delist things, they can demonetize things. So you have someone who really should be, if you’re the number one streamer in the world, not only should you be making a lot of money, you should reasonably assume that you’re like have a pretty stable business. I wonder if he looks at DLive and is like even with 1/100th of the audience, I can make more money doing this.
Jay Kang: I think he’s probably mad at YouTube and this is a way of sort of holding them ransom in some sort of way, don’t you think?
Aaron Lammer: I wonder how long he gives it. If you’re PewDiePie, how many shows do you give a chance to DLive?
Jay Kang: 30, something like that I would say.
Aaron Lammer: Yeah. In some ways, it’s trying to recapture lightening in a bottle, because all these people are nostalgic for when YouTube was nascent, and the culture was cooler.
Jay Kang: I think it also depends. They need like four other people to put on there with him so that they can keep people there, and so that they can get a sense of growth and people aren’t just downloading an app to watch one thing, which is kind of death. If they can get more people like him, where it’s aimed towards problematic sort of shitty 13 year olds, then there’s plenty of content for those guys. If they get all those guys, then I think that makes sense. I mean, [inaudible 00:36:43] is doing this too out in Los Angeles, the guy that Cointalk and famous no coiner Adrian Chen wrote a New Yorker article about, you know that guy who he was getting swatted, and does a lot of like live streaming stuff where he just plays pranks on people. That guy is moving to decentralized platform too. He’s leaving YouTube as well.
Jay Kang: I think what happened was basically a lot of, I don’t know where the money came from, but some amount of money came and they just were trying to sell these guys on, “Hey, you don’t have to be beholden to YouTube anymore. You can come do this and here’s X number of private equity or VC dollars, and you help us launch this platform.” Some will work maybe, but most of them probably won’t, and we’ll just see those guys on YouTube again. But it seems to be an actual trend, where people who are frustrated with this thing are going towards a decentralized model. And it worked for Jordan Peterson, too. They almost convinced him to leave.
Aaron Lammer: Yeah. Also, especially if a big part of your business ends up being [inaudible 00:37:45] anyway, why do you need to host on YouTube if you already have an audience?
Jay Kang: Because you have to grow that audience somehow.
Aaron Lammer: Right, but for someone like PewDiePie who has the largest audience in YouTube history, the some point is growth really more valuable than just increasing how much money you can make off people? It’s pretty wild to me. I watch his show. I’m sort of fascinated by these top YouTubers, how much work he has to do shilling stuff to get paid. It’s not like he’s just doing his show and he gets paid. He has to do promos left and right.
Jay Kang: But isn’t he going to keep doing that?
Aaron Lammer: I have no idea. I would kind of assume that it’s more like listener supported now.
Jay Kang: Oh no, he makes most of his money through pimping shit out on there, like toys and stuff like that. His rate is like $140,000 per thing he does.
Aaron Lammer: Per promo, yeah. Yeah, I also wonder because so much of that show, you describe him as a shit poster. I actually like, I think he’s talented at what he does, but a lot of it is about YouTube culture. It’s sort of like a snarky new show about other YouTubers, and that’s how they draw traffic, is they all get in beefs with each other.
Jay Kang: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. That’s-
Aaron Lammer: It’s like rap without the rapping.
Jay Kang: That’s what Jake Paul does too, right? He just gets in fights with other YouTubers.
Aaron Lammer: So if you leave YouTube, then does the focus of the show become DLive culture? Does it change? Is it still making fun of YouTube but from outside of YouTube instead of within YouTube?
Jay Kang: See, that doesn’t quite work then, because then the algorithm doesn’t pump in their responses and stuff like that.
Aaron Lammer: Exactly. You break the system. It has to all go to DLive.
Jay Kang: I don’t know. I think this is an experiment for him.
Aaron Lammer: Do you think that other young live streamers who are not as successful will see him coming to DLive and be like that’s like where the open grass is, I should go over there? I can make my way over there and there’s less competition.
Jay Kang: Well, they shouldn’t because … the other question I have is all right, so let’s say that I have a toy company and I want PewDiePie to mention it on the air, right?
Aaron Lammer: Is it Picasso tiles?
Jay Kang: Yeah, Picasso tiles. The cheaper version of Magna Tiles. I’m not going to pay for-
Aaron Lammer: I came home so excited, and I was like to my wife, I was like, “Jay told me that there’s a bootleg knock off of those expensive tiles.”
Jay Kang: Did you get them?
Aaron Lammer: I’ve not gotten them yet, but I hope to.
Jay Kang: I would say that, again those tiles are really expensive. The Picasso tiles are still expensive, but not as expensive. If I was shilling Picasso Tiles on PewDiePie, I would pay much less for shilling Picasso Tiles on DLive, wouldn’t you? I would just be like look, the whole point is-
Aaron Lammer: Hell yeah.
Jay Kang: … fucking the biggest video website in the world, versus this weird thing that I don’t understand, that might all be Nazi’s. I’m not going to do the second one, or I’ll pay you a lot less for it.
Aaron Lammer: Yeah. It’s not something that people really talk about with all this move everything to decentralized platforms, is like what moves the audience to decentralized platforms? Because they still have to make money. But, I do think that there’s a different future, where it’s much, much smaller audience. Much, much smaller audiences support these creators, but they give a lot more, and that is like a token future. I don’t know. Maybe PewDiePie would rather have just like tip income and not deal with the bullshit. I could imagine it. Maybe he’s already rich.
Jay Kang: Yeah, maybe he’s just like I can’t do another … he’s definitely already rich. Maybe this is his shot at making $500 million instead of like having $40 million or however much money he has.
Aaron Lammer: I mean, knowing what we know about crypto and all the dumb fortunes that have been built, if you’re like a scenario where let’s say PewDiePie takes, let’s say he got paid $5 million in tokens to do this show for a year. Current value of the token, $5 million, and somehow this shit coin, possibly because PewDiePie does this show, goes 10 X in the next year. Kind of believable if it’s a shit coin.
Jay Kang: Yeah, the PewDiePie coin.
Aaron Lammer: Who knows? Maybe it already did. Have we looked at what, is DLive tokens something that even trades? It kind of reminds me of when Ledger was trading that weird hero shit coin, and he was like, “It’s not really available yet, but if I do, I have like $20,000 worth of it.”
Jay Kang: Wait, what was it?
Aaron Lammer: It was when you were on break for a week. Ledger was playing this like gambling game-
Jay Kang: Oh yeah.
Aaron Lammer: … and had like tons of the token, but it was just starting to trade, so it was like all kind of theoretical. I’m guessing that PewDiePie has an outrageous amount of this coin, that is basically worth nothing right now, but could easily go 100X. So maybe it’s not a bad gamble. Maybe we’re going to be hearing he’s like the ninth richest person in the world as a result of this. Who knows.
Jay Kang: Oh wait, okay. I’m reading a little bit about it, and PewDiePie said he would donate between $10–50,000 worth of Lino points, L-I-N-O points, to 100 content creators on the site during his first live stream, which is set for April 14th at 1 PM eastern. He DLive account has amassed roughly 80,000 followers. His fans have donated more than $23,000 to support the channel, which to him is absolutely nothing.
Aaron Lammer: Jay, I have three words for you. Streaming Airdrop Festival.
Jay Kang: That’s basically what this is, right?
Aaron Lammer: Oh yeah. We don’t know that PewDiePie’s involvement in this extends significantly past doing a massive airdrop.
Jay Kang: That’s what I think it is. If he deletes all his old videos off of YouTube, then I’ll start believing it, but yeah.
Aaron Lammer: Then you’ll believe.
Jay Kang: I don’t believe this. I think this is just him doing like a month of this, and then going back to YouTube.
Aaron Lammer: All right. Before we get out of here, we need gambling Kang in the house one more time. If a man just came into a bunch of bitcoin and was betting on the NBA finals, none of this investment advice … NBA playoffs, what are you liking out there?
Jay Kang: The Warriors are going to win.
Aaron Lammer: Not great value for that bet though.
Jay Kang: You have to bet individual games in series.
Aaron Lammer: I was thinking about just betting the warriors to win every game.
Jay Kang: Yeah, but that’s-
Aaron Lammer: Just every game bet the Warriors.
Jay Kang: That’s not any different. It’ll probably be worse, honestly, because they’re going to be … what are they tonight? They must be like minus 250 or something like that, so you have to bet 250 to win $100.
Aaron Lammer: Yeah, and after this week, the Clippers, it’s only going to get more extreme.
Jay Kang: Yeah. I think I would see what the Rockets odds are at.
Aaron Lammer: Rockets were I think about 8:1 to win the finals before tip off in the first game.
Jay Kang: Oh, yeah. That seems okay. Before they lost by 22 last night, I would have taken like a long, long shot at Utah, just because they were playing so well. On the East, I have no idea. I thought Philly might have a chance, but then [inaudible 00:44:54] got hurt. This is not that I think they were going to win, this is just I thought the odds might be okay. Then they got blown out by the Nets. Toronto lost game one to Orlando, so if you like Toronto, maybe now is the time to do it, even though I don’t think the odds have swung that much. At least there’s some budging of the odds because I think people are probably not betting them as much. If you’re down 0–1 in a series, obviously your odds swing a little bit, but I don’t think they should have lost that game, even though Kyle Laurie scored zero points.
Aaron Lammer: I kind of was also liking like just taking all of the dogs in the East, and just assuming that one of these supposedly decent teams is like due for a complete collapse.
Jay Kang: That’s what I did on day one of the playoffs, which was Saturday. I just bet all the underdog money lines, and two of the three hit. Did pretty well, but then I did that again yesterday and they all lost.
Aaron Lammer: I feel like I would only do that in the east. In the west, I’m favorites in the west dog [inaudible 00:46:02].
Jay Kang: Yeah, the Clippers were plus 900 to win game one, and I did bet that for a small amount. It’s like maybe they can surprise them. Okay, cool.
Aaron Lammer: All right. I’ll see you next week. We’re taping this on Monday. I’m taping with David Z Morris later this week. Pick up Radical Markets and read it. We should have that up in the next week. See you next week.
The official podcast of Bitcoin crashes. Hosted by @aaronlammer and @jaycaspiankang. Mailbag/contact: email@example.com
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