Episode #85: ⚰️ Bury Me With My Cardano

The struggle to launch Libra

Coin Talk
Coin Talk
Jul 23 · 38 min read

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

Show Notes

  • Is Libra a ‘false flag’ operation? Will it ever launch?
  • Novogratz sold the top, Jay bought the top
  • Craig Wright cries in court
  • Our updated 2019 “who is Satoshi’ odds


Jay Kang: Are we actually talking about Libra?

Aaron Lammer: I got a few things to say about Libra.

Jay Kang: All right. All right.

Aaron Lammer: Are you trying to censor me bro?

Jay Kang: No. Yeah. Was that thing you said true? Is Libra content outperforming everything on internet right now?

Aaron Lammer: That is true. I told our friends at Medium, hey you might really want to push this Libra episode, cause I think we broke some new ground. We’re out in front here. Oh, we know. Libra been going crazy in the Medium system. It’s all over the front page.

Jay Kang: You know, how Thomas Friedman, the famed columnist for the New York Times, has that thing where he has several columns that start with him talking to a cab driver?

Aaron Lammer: I almost described that as Thomas Friedman style.

Jay Kang: Okay. Yeah. So, the idea-

Aaron Lammer: I think it’s important to note, cab driver driving you either to or from the airport.

Jay Kang: Okay. Yes. The point being that there is power to antidotal evidence that actually is spacious and dumb.

Aaron Lammer: Sure.

Jay Kang: But I would say anecdotally the cab drivers from the airport, back and forth in my life, who are just people that I know, who talk to me about Bitcoin from time to time. They’re pretty excited, not excited in terms of like, they are very excited that Libra exists, but they are very interested in Libra and they’ve asked me a lot of questions about it. And so, it seems to have penetrated in a way that is beyond just Facebook announcing something that they’re doing, because would not be necessarily that interested in Facebook. For example, it’s like, hey we’re going to drop an IOS or something like that. Not an IOS, but an operating system.

Aaron Lammer: They did do that. They made that Facebook phone, which was their own blend of Android and it flopped horribly and you’ve never heard of it again.

Jay Kang: Yeah. I have an antidotal story about that too.

Aaron Lammer: Did you buy the Facebook phone, Jay?

Jay Kang: No, but the guy who now runs Instagram, Adam Mosseri, he and I knew each other back in San Francisco, we ran in the same circle of friends. I had no problem with him back then, but I will say that he did the Facebook phone and then he was in charge of Newsfeed, before the election. And now he’s head of Instagram. I bet there are a lot of things that he does very well, but I’m just saying that in terms of a resume, it was not really the, it just seems at some point you’re just like these two things have been massive disasters and now you’re head of Instagram.

Aaron Lammer: I think, I’m so used to giving counter takes of this show, it’s like a knee-jerk reaction. I can’t not counter take. That if you look at the run, not including Facebook phone, but of Newsfeed to Instagram, Newsfeed is maybe too much of a success. But effectively addicted the world to self-destructive loops. I mean, just in terms of doing your job, depending on what you look at as your job definition, a robot who was supposed to do the job of designing Newsfeed would be like, Adam Mosseri, genius. Very good at his job.

Jay Kang: Yeah, no doubt. I don’t doubt that. I do think he probably does feel bad for the excessive of it. Although I did see that when Chris Hughes who was one of the co-founders of Facebook and very famously had a Facebook phone stint as the owner of the new republic. Right? Did you see that op-ed? He wrote a long op-ed about how Zuckerberg is out of control and they need more regulation and maybe anti-trust stuff needs to come in and help break them up. I did see that Mosseri, on Twitter, tweeted at Chris Hughes saying, hey let’s talk about this. We all think there needs to be change but I don’t know if your solutions are the right ones. I’m like, who does that? Obviously, you did that so people could see it. You clearly can contact Chris Hughes’s office another way.

Aaron Lammer: It’s a little of Brian Armstrong’s open letter to the guy who ask to borrow his money.

Jay Kang: Yeah. Or it’s like when I tweet at Elon Musk. Did you invent Bitcoin or whatever? I’m just doing it so other people can see it. I don’t expect Elon Musk to give me any sort of answer. Anyway, that was the last I heard.

Aaron Lammer: Is there a sport’s analogy for what’s going on in technology, which is a bunch of people who became millionaires and billionaires, who’ve already come through the door, being like hey, I think we should close this door behind us. In fact, I don’t think this is a good idea anymore.

Jay Kang: Well a lot of the people who started Facebook, have done that. Right? Chamath Palihapitiya. Right? He was one of the people who worked, I think, with Sheryl Sandberg to monetize Facebook and helped a lot with his growth. He also is an avid poker player that’s the only reason I know about him, but-

Aaron Lammer: He can not surprise me. He’s all skills that a robot or a person are approximately equally good at.

Jay Kang: Exactly. He came out and said that Facebook was bad, and the guy who designed the iPhone, I guess, not Johnny I, but somebody else, he came out and said that the iPhone was too addictive and my sense is that with all these people that after they say that there’s like a big fucking band waiting behind them, and a bunch of confetti cannons, and then once everyone pays attention to them they just go, poom. And here’s my product that will solve the things that you don’t like about the last social network. And for the most part, that is proven out. Now with Chris Hughes, I don’t think that was true, because I think Chris Hughes probably really does believe this and-

Aaron Lammer: I think, a lot of these people really believe it. I just think that people who argue things when they have no personal stakes anymore, like are inherently less convincing. If a good piece of viral content, but I don’t necessarily think that, Facebook is going to get regulated because a few people [crosstalk 00:06:51]. I sort of look at Facebook almost like Bitcoin, where I’m like, yes I personally object to it, but I wouldn’t want to bet against it. I don’t think I would take the one year … like how long do you think it’s going to be until Libra comes out?

Jay Kang: Well, I mean, there’s an if. Right?

Aaron Lammer: Well, I want to talk about that. But let’s just set the over/under here.

Jay Kang: Two years.

Aaron Lammer: Two years. Okay. Let’s say in the two year window. So a person who’s truly, truly short on Facebook, could take out two year, just short Facebook stock, for the next two years, and that could make you a lot of money. I hear a lot of people saying, you know that was a Trumpian statement, but on crypto twitter-

Jay Kang: It is?

Aaron Lammer: Certain pretty respected people who I consider somewhat sober minded, have said Libra will never come out.

Jay Kang: I’ve heard that today.

Aaron Lammer: It’s all a ploy. Regulators are never going to let it happen. It’s kind of the way that Facebook allows the government to regulate certain parts of it and stop them from doing something so they can continue their core business. This is all a faint. This is all a stunt, basically. And the reason why it seems so ill-advised is that it is ill-advised. It’s never going to come out. I do not agree with this take at all. [crosstalk 00:08:10] pretty well designed-

Jay Kang: Do you think it’s a false flag or something?

Aaron Lammer: Yeah, that they basically they’re already predicting the government response to it. There will be a negotiation. As a result of those negotiations, Facebook will withdraw Libra or in some ways potentially sever itself from Libra. So I can definitely see a future, whereas regulators call for the break-up of Facebook. They’re like we have divested ourselves from the Libra project.

Jay Kang: Yeah, I guess it makes some sense. Basically, they created a boogieman and they’re like, hey US Government. All the things that were bad about us, this thing is even worse, and then the US Governments like cut that out. And they’re like no. And they’re like cut that out. I’m like okay, okay, okay, we’re going to cut this out but let us slide on all the other stuff. So, it’s just a negotiating tactic.

Aaron Lammer: It’s almost as if were like Jay, we’re going to have to amputate one of your limbs.

Jay Kang: Yeah.

Aaron Lammer: And you were like, I just grew this new limb. It’s really maybe the most important one. Yeah, like it might be even a bigger deal than Instagram. I’d sure hate it if you cut off this limb. And then … it would be much more damaging-

Jay Kang: That’s a very strange analogy, by the way.

Aaron Lammer: But not afraid to go there.

Jay Kang: Yeah, third limb amputation.

Aaron Lammer: So, I don’t buy that and I also don’t buy the like this is such a bad idea. It’s not going to come out. It’s poorly thought out thing. I don’t buy either of those takes. Everything I’ve seen of Libra seems very real, very well thought out and as if there’s actually going to be a product. The only thing that gives me a little pause is, it’s sort of weird to announce it now, for two years from now to release. Like this is Facebook, it’s going to take you two years to make a crypto? People do this in a few months, with a much smaller team. Why is this a two year project?

Jay Kang: They just cut and paste from other things. I imagine that the two year project is mostly going to be lawyers negotiating with the governments on regulation. Right? And the thing I started thinking about is, it is two separate projects, and it’s helpful to think about it as two separate projects. The first is the consumer product that you and I and other people here in the United States can potentially use which is that like, if I wanted to buy, for example on Instagram, the leather bound version of Chuck Palahniuk’s Fight Club-

Aaron Lammer: I’m just going to say this. If you listen to the show, and you appreciate what Jay does, buy him the leather bound Fight Club. Clearly he wants it.

Jay Kang: It’s a $160.

Aaron Lammer: It’s basically, think of it as a two year subscription to the show on [inaudible 00:10:53] except instead you get Jay, the leather bound Fight Club signed by Chuck Palahniuk.

Jay Kang: Okay, so I have an update on that. So for the listeners who didn’t listen to the episode whenever we discussed this. There’s an Instagram ad, that I guess a lot of other people you know, get.

Aaron Lammer: Just me actually.

Jay Kang: Okay. It’s from a book publisher. What they did is they made these leather bound guild versions of books that maybe shouldn’t be leather bound. The one I keep getting is Fight Club, and the funny part about it is that there’s a man who takes it down from the shelf, and the man looks like this miserable 50 year old-

Aaron Lammer: Yeah, kind of like a sad repressed looking dude. It does seem like someone who Fight Club might like free them.

Jay Kang: Yeah, like he might join a fight club. I will say, they have replaced all the sad parts of that.

Aaron Lammer: Oh really.

Jay Kang: So maybe they listen to the show.

Aaron Lammer: See, I thought that what would have happened, I thought this through and I was like why is this video so sad? Like I was screen grabbing it and trying to capture it for prosperity. And I was like, well they probably do a hundred different leather bound volumes.

Jay Kang: They do.

Aaron Lammer: And this ad has to universally apply to all of them. It can’t be Fight Club specific.

Jay Kang: Oh, they swapped it out.

Aaron Lammer: Right?

Jay Kang: Like yeah. Yeah.

Aaron Lammer: The same ad is probably playing through like a Richard Yates [crosstalk 00:12:12].

Jay Kang: Or like Graham Greene, The Quiet Americans.

Aaron Lammer: I think that is a company that makes sort of new fangled releases. So, I’m trying to think of what, if Fight Club is one. What’s like another book that you think-

Jay Kang: Lorrie Moore’s Birds of America or something like that.

Aaron Lammer: Yeah, wild maybe. A signed leather bound-

Jay Kang: Eat, Pray, Love.

Aaron Lammer: Gerald Strayed edition.

Jay Kang: Why did I mention that? Oh, okay if you think of the one layer of Libra which is like, I want to buy that book and I want to use Libra as a payment processor essentially. Instead of having to enter my credit card information, I’m just going to send them some Libra. That’s one of the projects. The other one is the whole world banking, the one bank, and interstate commerce. I’m sorry. International transactions and remittances and everything like that, and I think that the first idea can definitely be regulated by the United States Government, in a way that will be thoroughly uninteresting and will probably end up somewhat in Facebook’s favor. Right?

Aaron Lammer: Yep.

Jay Kang: Like who cares? They’ve already partnered with all the credit card companies and so it’s not like this is disaster for the credit card companies. The second one, I just don’t know how they’re going to regulate that away. You can regulate it out of specific countries. Right? So like, France might regulate it. Germany might regulate it out. But you know, that’s not the entire world. What if the Philippines which has I think a 140 million people. It’s almost half the size, like 40% of the size of the United States population. What if they let it go? It’s a huge win for Facebook.

Aaron Lammer: It’s almost better if some of these countries ban Libra. They’ll be like, oh you can’t get Libra in your country, bro?

Jay Kang: Yeah. Exactly.

Aaron Lammer: You don’t have Libra? Wow.

Jay Kang: You don’t have Libra? Yeah.

Aaron Lammer: Oh, I thought I could just pay for the hostile in Libra, bro? It’s going to be exactly like that. There’s going to be hostile deals going down.

Jay Kang: Basically, we conceive of all things in terms of international commerce in the hostile academy.

Aaron Lammer: Well I’m going to say that historically this phantom like when you can’t use Venmo situation. That’s actually come up in my life the most, has been traveling in a developing nation in a place that has limited ATM access, needing to get the cash to pay for accommodations and some places in the world, PayPal is used for that. Like I’ve PayPal the front desk, but some places they don’t have PayPal.

Jay Kang: When did you PayPal the front desk?

Aaron Lammer: I’ve PayPal the front desk in Southeast Asia.

Jay Kang: Oh really? Wow.

Aaron Lammer: In Cambodia.

Jay Kang: Was that recently?

Aaron Lammer: Yeah, no it was years ago. Yeah. But I’ve also been in Nicaragua in a place where it was like they had to write down the details of my credit card were on the weird pink paper thing. And then put that on a boat down the river, where a bank would process them all at the end of the week. And this is a place that has cell service. So it’s not like there is no connection. It’s just simply no one wants to do that transaction for them.

Jay Kang: Yeah. Yeah. And there hasn’t been an update of infrastructure, but if the update of infrastructure is just the cell phone, then it doesn’t matter.

Aaron Lammer: I’ll even tie this story up full circle. That place that I was staying, their website is a Facebook page.

Jay Kang: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

Aaron Lammer: So this could be, these payments actually could be built like directly into things like hotel economies.

Jay Kang: Yeah, that’s why I think the two need to be separated.

Aaron Lammer: Yeah. I agree with this.

Jay Kang: One is a very simple idea that is not that interesting, and the other is a huge idea and for the people who think the huge ideas is the faint and the little idea is the real thing that they want to do, that might very well be true. We have no idea, what Mike Zuckerberg or whatever the guy, David-

Aaron Lammer: Marcus?

Jay Kang: David Marcus. Yeah. We have no idea what they really intend out of it, but I would say that I think, the reality of it is going to be that the second idea, the bigger idea’s the one that ends up being much more powerful.

Aaron Lammer: I agree.

Jay Kang: The idea, like who cares? If I want to buy that Fight Club, leather bound Fight Club. I don’t care if I link my credit card to Instagram or if I use Libra. It makes no difference to me.

Aaron Lammer: I use PayPal linked to dozens of sites right now.

Jay Kang: Yeah. Yeah. So it would just be a competitor to a crowded market. The other one is basically, in the same vein that Facebook and a lot of developing countries has become the internet. They can become the money. Anyway, we’ve discussed this many times.

Aaron Lammer: So, I think it comes out on time. There’s a lot of Facebook things that could fail. I could be totally wrong about this. It feels to me, the success of this one is actually pretty indicative of Facebook’s future.

Jay Kang: Did you ever think, for example, that the Facebook phone was going to be a big hit? I never did. Remember when they made the ESPN phone?

Aaron Lammer: I do not recall that.

Jay Kang: You don’t remember the ESPN phone? Okay, so it was around the time of Sidekicks, so there was no iPhone yet, and it’s a flip phone.

Aaron Lammer: Yeah.

Jay Kang: That every time something happened in sports it would give you the dah-na-na-dah-na-na ring and then you could open your phone and then it would tell you what the score was. It was fucking terrible. But Facebook phone came around that time where there were all these, people were trying to make phones that were completely dialed into one service or another. Obviously, it didn’t really seem that promising because I can just go to Facebook on my phone. But yeah, this seems like a much bigger idea. I would have a hard time seeing it fail too.

Aaron Lammer: I have one final thought on Libra before we move on. I feel like all these Tethered doomsayers are refusing to give Libra its due. I keep seeing these people being like, oh you guys, the Bitcoin Rally had nothing to do with Libra. It’s just because of an infusion of Tether. The narrative that Tether’s behind every Bitcoin movement, there’s literally no piece of news that can sway people from this view. I could be like, wow, Apple’s building a Bitcoin wall into everyone’s phone? Be like no, Tether.

Jay Kang: I didn’t see any of that, but yeah.

Aaron Lammer: It’s been all over the place, and it’s also been reported.

Jay Kang: Are you following a lot of Tether doomsayers?

Aaron Lammer: Probably, yeah. Probably too many, honestly. And then I do see, I think, Larry Cermak who works for the Block, is one of people that are like, there’s no evidence for the idea that Libra pushed the price up. I’m like yeah there’s no real evidence but there’s tether stuff also. They’re all poorly understood. I agree that all these things are probably affect … It is possible that there’s more than one input in the market.

Jay Kang: Yeah. Yeah.

Aaron Lammer: And it doesn’t mean that even if the market’s manipulated, there’s still things happening in it.

Jay Kang: Well shockingly people in crypto tend to have a hard time figuring out that things aren’t mutually exclusive and there isn’t just one option. Everything isn’t some [crosstalk 00:19:27] game.

Aaron Lammer: I actually appreciate, I know that the TA guys get a bad name, but I feel like the TA guys are effectively able to just be like market stuff. Like Libra, Tether, whatever … yep, those are all news items and then there’s like overall market going on, and to bring the story to the next point. It seems like the market’s guys, when, men and women, when we hit about $13000 there was a pretty collective screech. I think Mike Novergraff was like I sold $1300 and something and I wish I’d sold even more.

Jay Kang: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I read that story. Mike Novergraff’s a really interesting guy.

Aaron Lammer: He’s really one of the few people whose just calling all of his, like actually calling his trades in real time, rather than being ah we did 2000% over the three-quarter. He could have made that call and then Bitcoin could have shot up to $20000.

Jay Kang: He also seems to have, of all the rich guys that I follow, which is not that many, but enough. The guys are just billionaires who did it all because of an ed fund or whatever. He seems to have figured out how to be a rich guy pretty well. He goes to NCAA basketball games. He’s super into wrestling, cause I guess he was a wrestler, when he was younger.

Aaron Lammer: Are we talking about like WWE, or talking about wrestling, like Greco roman rat.

Jay Kang: Yeah, like Olympic wrestling.

Aaron Lammer: Oh okay. Okay.

Jay Kang: He goes-

Aaron Lammer: If you told me that Novergraff was really into pro-

Jay Kang: No. I don’t think so.

Aaron Lammer: I’d be like whoa. Now I really like him.

Jay Kang: Yeah. And then he has a … he seems liberal in terms of his politics and gives money and seems really into Alexandria Ocasio-Cortes. He has all this weird political ideas that seem totally all over the place, and I feel like that’s how you should be a rich guy. You should just be like, well I don’t care. It’s just whatever comes to my mind that I support. I’m just going to support. I found myself liking him much more and more. Not that I ever disliked him, but I did like that move where he was just, they coined $13000 man, that is the top. And I sold most of my bags and honestly I stuck back holding the rest of these that I’m pissed off about it.

Aaron Lammer: Well he called that. He also called that he was re-buying at $10000, which we hit today.

Jay Kang: Oh, he said that?

Aaron Lammer: So if he held to his word, he’s now back all the way mostly in, I think at $10000. I think he’s fascinating. We’ve made fun of him on the show before.

Jay Kang: Well, I mean, cause I met him. Yeah.

Aaron Lammer: Well you met him and anyone who’s out making big price pronouncements in public is just inviting abuse upon their good name, but he feels like of all the whale, like the big traders out there, he feels like he approaches Bitcoin the most similarly to how you and I do, which is sitting there doing runs and crashes with our finger over the mouse, like should I sell? I’m doing it. I’m doing it.

Jay Kang: Yeah. Yeah.

Aaron Lammer: You can kind of see him basically thinking it through and like $15000, too rich for my blood. I’m out guys.

Jay Kang: Exactly, and then it falls back to $10000, and he’s like oh my God, if I don’t get back in now, I’m never going to see $10000 again.

Aaron Lammer: And he’s clearly trading Bitcoin because he’s interested in Bitcoin and cause it’s fun for him. It’s almost like he needs to trade some many hundred million dollars to make the whole thing real and fun for him, in the same way we felt like we needed to have real money in the game. Not very much money, but probably too much money for ourselves in order to feel like we were really in Bitcoin.

Jay Kang: I’m curious about those guys who are like the super rich guys who were in Bitcoin before, not that guys who got rich off Bitcoin, but the rich guys who got into Bitcoin.

Aaron Lammer: Yeah. Two totally different social classes.

Jay Kang: Yeah. Really.

Aaron Lammer: Not the same the parties.

Jay Kang: So the rich guys who got into Bitcoin and then got even richer.

Aaron Lammer: Yeah.

Jay Kang: I wonder how much money they lost investing in blockchain technology companies, because that meme as we say, is pretty much run its course. I know that there was news out that came from a cryptic tweet but that everybody understood that IBM quietly … remember we did four shows on the IBM blockchain commercials?

Aaron Lammer: You’re saying these guys were ball deep in IBM blockchain? But what does that mean? They were trading IBM.

Jay Kang: No. No. No. I mean IBM blockchain laid off pretty much its entire staff.

Aaron Lammer: Oh, okay.

Jay Kang: So it doesn’t really exist, which is interesting because about a year and a half ago, or to a year ago, the only messaging out of IBM, was hey we’re doing blockchain now. Blockchain is the future. Our thought was always that if you went to IBM and you went into their blockchain division, it’d be similar to my, maybe I shouldn’t say this because, but you know, the place that I used to work, where they would have everyone who works on the actual thing in the basement and then they have four really attractive people in the lobby, and you’d see all these marketing people come in.

Aaron Lammer: You’re talking about the New York Times?

Jay Kang: Yeah. I’m talking about the New York Times. Yes. They would bring the head of Proctor & Gamble’s marketing division and they’d be like this is nice. And all these young beautiful people and meanwhile there was all these nerds in the basement slaving away trying to make these TV shows. We always thought the IBM blockchain would be like that. You walk in and there’s these four dudes, at computers, they’re plugged in making the blockchain and at the bottom there’s like 30 marketing people trying to make ads for the IBM blockchain. Apparently, now all those people are gone.

Aaron Lammer: Do you think Novogratz invested, built a stock portfolio around-

Jay Kang: I don’t know if he did. I just know that a lot these people were investing in blockchain companies, about two years ago, and I don’t know what has happened to all those blockchain companies.

Aaron Lammer: I think, if you bought into Long Island Iced Tea Company, which became a blockchain company using its ticker symbol, you got pretty rekt. I think if you bought into big block, this is why blockchain was a good idea. For the big companies, like IBM they probably gained stock value during the blockchain run up. I don’t think the stock crashed after they shuttered the blockchain research labs. People just forget about it. It’s just a thing to say you’re doing. A company like IBM, has probably jumped on fifty trends over the last twenty years. They’re jumping on all trends. They’re like IBM cloud computing, IBM micro-

Jay Kang: It’s just like a media company when they’re like we’re starting-

Aaron Lammer: Yeah, we’re going all video now.

Jay Kang: We’re doing video. We’re doing podcasts. It’s just a way to make their investors happy for a little and to keep them off their back.

Aaron Lammer: Yeah. I don’t think people who invested heavily in the blockchain got mega-rekt who bought those stocks. I think they did pretty well. For the same reason I would just buy Facebook stock right now. I think Libra is probably bullish for Facebook, but to your different kinds of rich guy’s questions, I feel like those rich guys aren’t even really buying a ton of stocks anymore.

Jay Kang: Well no, they’re not-

Aaron Lammer: They want that like, that-

Jay Kang: They’re not buying stocks but they were definitely investing heavily in blockchain start-ups.

Aaron Lammer: I think there’s probably a lot of angel investors who lost money on blockchain start-ups. That said the entire nature of angel investing is basically you’re going to lose 99 bets to make one.

Jay Kang: No. No. I agree with that. I agree with that.

Aaron Lammer: I think, they don’t even … I bet a lot of those guys think just like people are holding Altcoin bags. Yeah, I don’t know. Maybe there’ll be another blockchain run.

Jay Kang: I don’t know if they feel that way, and also the people that who are holding, the only people we know who are super holding Altcoin bags forever are you and Doug Kim.

Aaron Lammer: Doug Kim almost was going to come on the show for the rally and then the rally ended before we could get Doug to come on. Now he’s sad again. He’s back to playing poker.

Jay Kang: Yeah. Well-

Aaron Lammer: Jay was giving him [inaudible 00:27:38] advice at some poker tournament last night.

Jay Kang: He’s at the world series of poker.

Aaron Lammer: Yeah, it’s not any poker. It’s a real poker tournament.

Jay Kang: Yeah, is Doug still holding all those waives?

Aaron Lammer: He would have told us if he sold them.

Jay Kang: That’s right. He would have told us.

Aaron Lammer: So, let’s talk a little about our own bags right now. If you believe at all in Altcoins, we’ve had multiple cheap Altcoin moments. Why are we not just loading up on Altcoins, right now?

Jay Kang: Past, I think it’s a form of crypto-PTSD.

Aaron Lammer: Yeah.

Jay Kang: We’ve been burned so many times before, its caused us so much pain for us, and it’s difficult for us to engage in the thought of even buying in Altcoin.

Aaron Lammer: Right.

Jay Kang: For example, if you made me send money from a hardware wallet to Binance right now. The entire time that the thing was confirming, I’d just be trying to think of all the reasons I shouldn’t do it. And then I feel like, oh you should buy at Altcoin. I just say, fuck. I don’t want to do this. I really don’t want to do this. I just think we’ve been burned too many times and I think we’re afraid of it.

Aaron Lammer: Well it doesn’t help that a bunch of the Altcoin exchanges don’t serve New York anymore. I got kicked off on all my Altexchanges, cause I’m a New York customer-

Jay Kang: Binance too?

Aaron Lammer: I never traded on Binance. I guess I could sign up for Binance. I was a Bittrex trader. So for me it’s funny, after periods where I was trading stupidly, multiple times a week, I now haven’t traded for many months. I might never trade again. My daughter might inherret some Cardano, just cause of like the weird moment that I had to stop trading.

Jay Kang: Yeah, what are you going to do now that you can’t access those things without a VPN?

Aaron Lammer: A VPN doesn’t help you. It’s based on the driver’s license you sent in.

Jay Kang: What do they do with the coins? Can you take them off exchange?

Aaron Lammer: Yeah, I have them on another wallet. I mean the coins are safe. I have them all. I just don’t have any way to sell them back to Bitcoin or Fiat, easily. I could atomic swap some of them.

Jay Kang: What do you have?

Aaron Lammer: I think, it’s funny, it’s literally a snapshot of the last day I could trade AltCoins. I’m about 60% Bitcoin, 20% Ethereum, and that’s all easy to trade in and out of-

Jay Kang: Yeah. Yeah.

Aaron Lammer: Yes I was tempted to dump everything after $13000. I was like don’t trade. Don’t trade. Oh, why didn’t I trade? I’ve got about 5% Monero, 5% Zcash, and then the rest is split among Zeromax, Cardano and a couple others.

Jay Kang: It’s an extremely vanilla profile.

Aaron Lammer: Yeah, it’s prestigious, and for that reason I’m like well verses selling them to Bitcoin right now. There’s a part of me that’s just like I don’t know. I’m still betting on the market doubling. The fact that I’m still in Bitcoin now, I’m gunning for $20000 at this point. And it does seem, I haven’t looked now but it does seem to have stabilized around $10000. So the other big shift I’ve been feeling in Bitcoin, this is probably just antidotal as well as the fact that we had this big run, even now that it’s crashed back down to $10000 and I wouldn’t be surprised to even see it range down to $9000 or $8000. The target is now above the all-time high. If you’re buying Bitcoin now, you’re betting that Bitcoin is going to go above $20000.

Jay Kang: For sure. For sure.

Aaron Lammer: Is that what you were thinking when you bought Bitcoin? Oh no, you bought Litecoin.

Jay Kang: Okay, so I bought the top again.

Aaron Lammer: It’s amazing that we didn’t even talk about this until forty minutes into this show. We buried the lead. Jay did it again.

Jay Kang: I bought the top. I bought Litecoin like $135 and Ethereum was like $350 or something like that.

Aaron Lammer: Did you think Bitcoin was going to like follow through its swing, and run even higher, or we’re you thinking that Litecoin and the rest were like behind it and we’re going to run now that-

Jay Kang: I wasn’t really thinking much. I had a little money left, well not a little but let’s say a reasonable amount of money left, in an exchange in cash and I was getting super [inaudible 00:32:06] and angry because people I knew were making money, not in just in crypto but also gambling and so because that this, I’ll just say it was coin basically. You can only buy like coin in Ethereum and some other stuff.

Aaron Lammer: Oh, I see. You were just like give me all that shit?

Jay Kang: Yeah, I’m not going to send Bitcoin and Binance and buy a bunch of garbage. Just give me a little of everything.

Aaron Lammer: Yeah.

Jay Kang: In the hopes that something would follow through if there’s a huge bull run. And the only logic I had which was yes, Bitcoin had just gone on a big run, and these Ethereum and Litecoin were far behind it. I was like well maybe, Litecoin is at $135 maybe it’ll go back up to $180 or something and I’ll sell it. Or maybe Ethereum will make it all the way back to $500. There’s no real thinking behind any of it, and now everything is rekt.

Aaron Lammer: I think if you just hold your fine. I mean, this is always the thing with Bitcoin, especially if you’re buying within … the main thing that I learned from Ledger Status on this show, is unless you really know what you are doing, you probably should not buy Bitcoin during crashes or spikes.

Jay Kang: Yeah.

Aaron Lammer: But if you’re buying into a spike, you’re basically are buying a contract to say, I’ll hold to this if it crashes right now and assume it’s going to get back here. It’s almost feels like 50/50 once you’re buying it but during one of these volatility moments-

Jay Kang: Yeah. Yeah. I mean, how many times do we think that we were at the top during the run up from $3300? We probably thought it at $6000. We probably thought it at $8000. We definitely thought it at $10000.

Aaron Lammer: Well, I quite literally thought about selling my Bitcoin at $10000. Didn’t sell it. It went to $13000. I was like yeah. I should sell it now, didn’t sell it. Now it’s back at $1000. So I’m actually in the same position I would have been if I had dumped and then re-bought, I could buy a re-buy right now at $10000. I feel like thinking you’re going to catch it, is always wrong. It’s more like can you stay in Bitcoin through a few cycles? We had an eighteen month break there to get back on the horse. I think Bitcoin, not investment advice here, but I think if you can hold Bitcoin long enough to go through cycles, it’s a pretty good investment.

Jay Kang: Yeah.

Aaron Lammer: Says a man who is still under water, but briefly for a second, raise the tip of my pinky above water.

Jay Kang: Really?

Aaron Lammer: Yeah, just at the top. At the very top.

Jay Kang: Okay.

Aaron Lammer: Cause everything was at the top. Ethereum was crushing during that run too.

Jay Kang: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

Aaron Lammer: But I was losing Bitcoin value the whole way. I mean, we’re terrible at trading.

Jay Kang: Yeah.

Aaron Lammer: We should stop.

Jay Kang: We really should not trade.

Aaron Lammer: Have we learned nothing on this entire show that wouldn’t have stopped you from buying at the mega-rally when it’s up 50% for the week already?

Jay Kang: No. No. Nothing could have stopped me from buying that Litecoin. I hate Litecoin, now they’re going to stop me from buying Litecoin.

Aaron Lammer: Is this crazy? You were trying to talk us out of buying at the Kang Line-

Jay Kang: I know. I know.

Aaron Lammer: And then you’re buying it 4X the Kang Line. I’m not criticizing you, I’m just staring in awe at how little we could have learned.

Jay Kang: Yeah. We learned nothing.

Aaron Lammer: It’s not, not indict myself. I didn’t dump when I knew I should and the reason I didn’t buy anymore is, because I don’t have anymore money to put into crypto. Otherwise, I’d be buying $10000 right now.

Jay Kang: That’s always your problem is that.

Aaron Lammer: And it’s kind of my saving grace.

Jay Kang: And it’s also a blessing.

Aaron Lammer: Yeah. I’m in.

Jay Kang: You’re in.

Aaron Lammer: And now at this point since I didn’t sell at $13000, I want to see at least $20000.

Jay Kang: All right. I hope that happens.

Aaron Lammer: One last thing. Have you been following Craig Wright’s trial at all?

Jay Kang: Oh, I thought we were going to talk about this at the beginning of the show, but yes. Yes.

Aaron Lammer: It’s been pretty incredible.

Jay Kang: Tell the listeners what Craig Wright is on trial.

Aaron Lammer: Okay. So if you haven’t been listening to the show for long, Craig Wright, we did a lot on him pretty early on and then we exhausted all of our Craig Wright takes. But Craig Wright is known as Fake Satoshi. He most recently was threatening people on Twitter that he would sue them if they said he was not Satoshi. He’s now involved in a legal proceeding in Florida.

Aaron Lammer: He was business partners with Dave Klineman. They mined a lot of Bitcoin together. Dave Klineman died. Craig Wright allegedly took all of Dave Klineman’s Bitcoin and Ira Klineman, is Dave Klineman’s brother, is trying to recover it. There’s basically a bunch of disputed money. Craig Wright has basically told nine different stories about this. It’s kind of the same story as him being Satoshi, which is why can you produce any evidence in this? So, he was caught during these proceeding having falsified documents, falsified timestamps, like written emails and then back dated them.

Jay Kang: Really?

Aaron Lammer: Changed timestamps. Yes. And so his explanation is that at the time, I think, the period in question is maybe 2014, that people at his company were secretly trying to get rid of him and were going in at night on the computers and changing information maliciously, to ruin his reputation.

Jay Kang: Oh my God.

Aaron Lammer: It’s that hot, hot con-man talk.

Jay Kang: Yeah. Yeah. I mean, the thing that I found interesting was that for whatever reason, during this trial, he was asked if he could produce the evidence that he is actually Satoshi, which everybody knows, is the keys to the original Bitcoin wallet that has a million Bitcoin on it. And whoever has that key and says they’re Satoshi … with Satoshi, it’s like the sword and the stone. Right?

Aaron Lammer: Yes.

Jay Kang: There’s only one person that can pull it out and you don’t have to worry about verifying whether that person is actually Satoshi or not. Craig Wright in the past when he was written about, I think, in Gizmodo and Wired, the stories that came out that ended up being wrong, that said he was Satoshi, not Kamono.

Aaron Lammer: Wired did back off that story in like 48 hours. They’re like, we think, we may have been the victims of a conspiracy.

Jay Kang: No, it’s true, but they both got it wrong initially.

Aaron Lammer: Yeah. Yeah. There’s also a giant London review of Bookstory about this.

Jay Kang: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Very [inaudible 00:38:39]. It could LRV plug on the show. He was unable to do that. Right?

Aaron Lammer: Yep.

Jay Kang: During this trial, he finally came out with, he finally admitted that he doesn’t have the keys, which is a new development.

Aaron Lammer: Yes, although he did put his own weird spin on it, so he still has not actually accepted that idea. He says that they put him into some kind of a trust, in which each year, a new one key gets sent out. It’s some kind of ticking time bomb, so that no one can take the money up until a certain day. It makes absolutely no sense. It’s basically, I can’t prove I’m Satoshi now, but obviously I’ll be able to in 2025.

Jay Kang: My favorite quote from this trial was that he, when asked, why would you be so caviler with this amount of money? He said, well it’s too much money. It’s changed me and my wife’s life too much, and my wife and I talked about it and we don’t want our children to have access to that amount of money, because we’re thinking it’ll change their lives. Basically, he’s saying like-

Aaron Lammer: I think, he probably plagiarized that statement from Bill Gates.

Jay Kang: Yeah. Exactly. Listen, I’m just doing this for my kids. I walked away with a million Bitcoin for my kids. I will say though, that I used to put the odds of Craig Wright actually being Satoshi, somewhere around 5%, which I think is higher than most people. Right? And the only reason I did that was because it was just like well, he is crazy and he’s completely unhinged and he can’t produce a key and that sucks, but at the same time, somebody has to be Satoshi and we’re ten years in now, and unless Satoshi is dead. Right? Then it makes sense that somebody would have come forward to say they’re Satoshi. The idea that he would lie about it is crazy to me. Somebody who’d come forward and lie about it and have magazine articles written about it, and it would all be a fabrication. That also seems crazy to me. After all this, I think I’m going to up, I think I’m more convinced now that he is Satoshi, then I was before.

Aaron Lammer: That is totally insane. I give it 0.000% chance.

Jay Kang: Really?

Aaron Lammer: Everything that’s happened around this trial has absolutely confirmed that he is neither Satoshi nor even a person who knows, he has revealed a life-long pattern of the most base level frauds. Submitting documents to a court, in which he changes the date, but fails to change what day of the week it is? That’s how he got caught. This is not a genius. His explanation for why he stepped away from Bitcoin was that he originally wanted it to be a law enforcement tool, but that it had become overrun with people using it for criminal ends, and he wanted nothing to do with those criminals. It’s broken his heart, seeing what it’s become.

Jay Kang: Yeah, [inaudible 00:41:43] is.

Aaron Lammer: This is patently untrue. Craig Wright pursued blockchain patents and all kinds of gaming nonsense. He’s business partners with Calvin Ayre, who is the founder of Bodog and was an international wanted criminal for many years, maybe still is. I don’t know actually what his legal status is. He was allegedly a criminal.

Jay Kang: He might have been. Yeah.

Aaron Lammer: This person’s own story about themself doesn’t even make sense. This does not seem like Satoshi, although it does not seem like a person who could keep a secret, or could not make massive mistakes that he left a track.

Jay Kang: He didn’t keep the secret though.

Aaron Lammer: Satoshi’s a genius for not making a mistake so that we know who Satoshi is. Craig Wright made like nine mistakes on his legal filings for a case, in which he’s lying and wrong and I guess, it’s all theater. During this trial, he several times broken down crying.

Jay Kang: Yeah.

Aaron Lammer: He slammed something on the- like a bunch of papers down. The judge said, I’ll put you in handcuffs if you do that again.

Jay Kang: He definitely had a “You can’t handle the truth,” moment.

Aaron Lammer: What part of this person resembles Satoshi?

Jay Kang: Look, I don’t know who Satoshi is. I’m not saying it’s probable. I’m saying it went from 3% to 5%, that he is Satoshi.

Aaron Lammer: It’s also crazy that he’s saying I don’t need money, but I’m going to court so I don’t have to give back the money I took.

Jay Kang: Well, I don’t know. It really is at some point, and this is a question, that we’ve talked about throughout the duration of this show. How do we figure out what the betting odds are on who Satoshi is? Right?

Aaron Lammer: Yep.

Jay Kang: At some point, if somebody says they’re Satoshi, and they have the sort of science and math background to actually be Satoshi, and they have some connection to the early Bitcoin people, doesn’t that count for something?

Aaron Lammer: Well, I’ll agree with you to the extent that if you extend the question to, does Craig Wright believe he is Satoshi? I give him much higher odds that he some way believes he Satoshi and would make an argument that he is, and potentially has some information that could either lead you to think he knows Satoshi, or that Satoshi will never come forward, so by some sort of aukum’s razor, Craig Wright is Satoshi.

Jay Kang: Yeah, that’s true.

Aaron Lammer: He’s a ninety-nine one partner with someone in his own mind, and that ninety-nine Satoshi is either dead or never going to come out and he knows this and so, therefore he believes himself legally indistinguishable from Satoshi.

Jay Kang: Do you remember when Dorrien Okamoto was being hounded by the press. The original Satoshi account put out a statement saying I am not Dorrien Okamoto.

Aaron Lammer: Yes. There’s also been a more recent, on one of the forums he posted NOUR, and people were like what? He may have pocket tweeted or someone may have hacked it, although I don’t know that’s what you’d write if you hacked it. It’s been hacked before.

Jay Kang: Is it for Noviani Nur Raveni?

Aaron Lammer: Yeah. Fuck off, Raveni. Raveni sucks.

Jay Kang: Maybe Raveni is Satoshi. I will never know because Raveni has block me on twitter for a long time now and it’s … this is completely off topic here, but I got to say that blocking people on twitter is effective, and I’m not saying that in terms of me being harassed by people I’ve block, but people who have blocked me. I generally forget that they exist and so I stop trolling them.

Aaron Lammer: Yeah.

Jay Kang: Peter Sagal, from Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me, who I used to troll like twice a day, he finally blocked me and I have not thought of him at all since then and so I don’t troll him anymore. The same thing with Noviani Nur Raveni, who I used to troll all the time too.

Aaron Lammer: I’ve never knowingly been blocked by anyone? How do you know if you got blocked?

Jay Kang: Well because I go back to troll them, and it says, you’ve been blocked.

Aaron Lammer: Oh, really? I think, I’ve never been blocked.

Jay Kang: You’ve never been blocked? Why would you be blocked. Your twitter’s totally nice and-

Aaron Lammer: It’s like my alts, vanilla and prestige.

Jay Kang: It’s all zero.

Aaron Lammer: Self-congratulatory. Pumping its own bags.

Jay Kang: It’s all zero [inaudible 00:46:14]. Yeah there’s no weird hot coin or something like that in there.

Aaron Lammer: The closest I’ve come to getting blocked with someone, was when I accidentally got into a fight with Jared Leto, during [inaudible 00:46:24]. I had a bunch of Jared Leto fans got made at me.

Jay Kang: Wait. What did you say to Jared Leto?

Aaron Lammer: I don’t know. He had some point about creativity. I was like that is the dumbest thing i ever heard. He was like that really hurts me, man. I was like, oh I’m sorry, Jared Leto. But it ended well. We ended on good terms.

Jay Kang: Oh man. Yeah.

Aaron Lammer: One other figure that this just brings to mind, since I think we’re probably overdue for our Satoshi power rankings. Memoir Satoshi should have dropped the memoir by now.

Jay Kang: I though we call them excerpts?

Aaron Lammer: Sorry, sorry. Excerpt Satoshi.

Jay Kang: Excerpt Satoshi.

Aaron Lammer: Excerpt Satoshi should have dropped the memoir.

Jay Kang: Yeah and the excerpt was from the excerpt of the memoir that he was going to write. Yeah, that makes me sad. I will say the most fun I think we’ve had during this show or least I’ve had during this show, was during the excerpt Satoshi period, where for the listeners this website appeared called the Nakamoto Family Foundation and there was an excerpt from a book, and the author said he was Satoshi and that Satoshi was drinking pina coladas and watching the world burn. He seemed like a very sensitive soul. Then there was more. There all these cryptograms within the excerpt. If you can solve this, you can find … what are those Nicolas Cage movies?

Aaron Lammer: National Treasure?

Jay Kang: National Treasure. Yeah, it’s kind of like that. And then the book was supposed to come out in January and now it’s July. It’s not out.

Aaron Lammer: I love the details about his character where he was like my mother was in publishing.

Jay Kang: Oh yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

Aaron Lammer: And he was like, you probably don’t remember me when you saw me at this convention in the Caribbean. He implied that he was Caribbean.

Jay Kang: He’s from the Caribbean. Yeah.

Aaron Lammer: I have some bad news though.

Jay Kang: What?

Aaron Lammer: I did a little research before the show. Not only did the memoir not come out, the Nakamoto Family Foundation, on which his excerpt was published is no longer online.

Jay Kang: Oh no.

Aaron Lammer: In 20 years, the only record of excerpt Satoshi is going to be our shows. People are going to be writing the definitive ninety volume history of Bitcoin. People are going to be, who is this excerpt Satoshi figure? He’s only mentioned in Coin Talk 27.

Jay Kang: Bloomberg wrote about it, which I remember made people angry, because they’re like why are you giving this any credence? Why would you even give this attention? I’m like well, because it’s fucking hilarious.

Aaron Lammer: There’s been one new entrant into the Satoshi Sweepstakes, who is Paul Le Roux, who are friend Evan Ratliffe wrote a book about. Not about him being Satoshi, being an international super villain who was involved in drug dealing and the oil trade and all kinds of online pharmaceutical sales. I’m going to try to get Evan to come on the show and talk about it. I don’t know if he will. He seems a little skittish about exposing himself to the Bitcoins out there.

Jay Kang: As long as he doesn’t say fuck XRP, he should be fine.

Aaron Lammer: Well, the interesting thing about La Roux, whether it actually is La Roux or not, La Roux is a criminal and the early Satoshi stuff, like I didn’t know some of this stuff, like there was a poker client built into the very first build of Bitcoin.

Jay Kang: Really?

Aaron Lammer: He’s actually in the forums talking about liberty reserve early on, which was like a pre-Bicline digital currencies that was used for a lot of illegal stuff.

Jay Kang: Yeah, mostly money laundering.

Aaron Lammer: Calvin Ayre is another figure, from that world, who seems to have ties to early Bitcoin. I don’t necessarily know, I don’t know enough about whether it could be La Roux or not, but I think imagining Satoshi as a criminal gambler instead of a IMG academic, might open up some lines of inquiry. I do wonder if one of the reasons we haven’t found Satoshi, is that we demand that he has this math and science background or that he be a he or whatever, and people aren’t totally open to where open source software development actually happens, which is in a lot of weird encryption communities, that are mixed between-

Jay Kang: Yeah, but does he have a coding background-

Aaron Lammer: Well he invented E4M, which is the encryption method. He’s a famous form of encryption Bitcoin builds upon in his YM. So does he have the exact? You can pick holes in different parts of his background.

Jay Kang: But it’s not like Mary, trying to code?

Aaron Lammer: No, he was a programmer. He got his start doing these online pharmacies. Running it as basically a scammy online business. Could that kind of person invented Bitcoin?

Jay Kang: Sure, why not? I mean, I think-

Aaron Lammer: The Libertarian politics are kind of in keeping between those two things.

Jay Kang: Well, that one is a constant. Yeah. The one think I would say, is that I think the reason why people look towards an academic is because of the white paper, because he wrote I white paper.

Aaron Lammer: I agree.

Jay Kang: But the white paper is not really a traditional white paper. It really does sound like it’s somebody who is trying to imitate a white paper.

Aaron Lammer: Well, I’m thinking about not La Roux specifically, but the idea that he’s a criminal. I think, it’s easy to forget that all this sypher punk shit was on the very edge of the law.

Jay Kang: Yeah. Yeah.

Aaron Lammer: If you were a hacker in 2000, which I think most of these sypher punks who later became famous for, you were probably breaking the law a lot.

Jay Kang: Yep.

Aaron Lammer: Whether you had any chance of getting caught or not, you were going places where it was illegal to go. That background from someone who creates this permission-less system, that is outside the reach of government. Well, kind of makes sense.

Jay Kang: Yeah. Yeah.

Aaron Lammer: All right. Well we’ll see if we can get Evan on the show. Yeah?

Jay Kang: Yeah. I didn’t know that, first of all it would be great to have Evan on regardless, but I didn’t know that La Roux had that much coding background.

Aaron Lammer: Yeah. I mean, I’m taking this all from Evan’s book, but that was one of the reason people … the reason this came up was because Craig Wright put a footnote into his filing for this trial, in which he said, my help, like I helped catch this international criminal using my expertise in the block chain. People were like, what? What are you talking about? It’s obviously another Craig Wright scam statement, but he’s talking about La Roux and it brought up La Roux and then La Roux has all these weird connections. Some of which I think you would think are very dubious. He has a Kongo leaves passport that’s made out to Paul Salachi, which kind of sounds like Satoshi.

Jay Kang: Yeah. Yeah. [crosstalk 00:53:11]

Aaron Lammer: The encryption stuff is kind of interesting.

Jay Kang: Yeah, it is interesting.

Aaron Lammer: All right. See you next week?

Jay Kang: Yep.

Coin Talk

Written by

Coin Talk

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


About this PODCAST


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

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

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