The Dunning-Krugerrand Royalty

I am at something of a loss for snark here. I want to believe that this is fiction, like some early 90s Mondo 2000 cover story documenting some made-up movement with a photo of some creepy-assed Cap'n Crunch lookalike in fun-fur. But I suspect it's not.

There's just too much to quote here, so I've bolded my favorites.

There's an actual house called the Crypto Castle, and the king is Jeremy Gardner, 25, a rakish young investor with a hedge fund who has become the de facto tour guide for crypto newcomers.

"I do I.C.O.s. It's my thing," he said. He wore a pink button-front and pink pants. "It's me, a couple V.C.s and a lot of charlatans."

About eight people live in the Crypto Castle on any given night, and some of Mr. Gardner's tenants brought out snacks (Cheez-Its and a jar of Nutella). One of the bedrooms has a stripper pole. Mr. Gardner leaned back into the sofa and rested his feet on the table. He recently did an I.C.O. for a start-up after-party. "You can I.C.O. anything," he said. He runs Distributed, a 180-page magazine about cryptocurrency that comes out about once a year. He is now raising $75 million for his hedge fund, Ausum Ventures (pronounced "awesome"). He said his closest friends are moving to Puerto Rico to get around paying taxes.

"They're going to build a modern-day Atlantis out there," he said. "But for me, it's too early in my career to check out." [...]

"My neurons are fried from all the volatility," Mr. Hummer said. "I don't even care at this point. I'm numb to it. I'll lose a million dollars in a day and I'm like, O.K."

His room is simple: a bed, a futon, a TV on a mostly empty media console, three keyboard cleaning sprays and a half dozen canisters of Lysol wipes. His T-shirt read, 'The Lizard of Wall Street,' with a picture of a lizard in a suit, dollar-sign necklaces around its neck. He carries with him a coin that reads, "memento mori," to remind himself he can die any day. He sees the boom as part of a global apocalypse.

"The worse regular civilization does and the less you trust, the better crypto does," Mr. Hummer said. "It's almost like the ultimate short trade."

Mr. Hummer went out to meet Joe Buttram, 27, for drinks. As a mixed martial arts fighter, Mr. Buttram said he would fight for a couple hundred bucks, sometimes a few thousand, and worked security at a start-up, but his main hobbies were reading 4chan and buying vintage pornography, passions that exposed him to cryptocurrency. [...]

They talk about buying Lamborghinis, the single acceptable way to spend money in the Ethereum cryptocurrency community. The currency's founder frequently appears in ((fan art as Jesus with a Lamborghini. Mr. Buttram says he's renting an orange Lambo for the weekend. And he wears a solid gold Bitcoin "B" necklace encrusted with diamonds that he had made. [...]

"When I meet people in the normal world now, I get bored," Mr. Hummer said. "It's just a different level of consciousness."

The tone turns somber. "Sometimes I think about what would happen to the future if a bomb went off at one of our meetings," Mr. Buttram said. Mr. Hummer said, "A bomb would set back civilization for years." [...]

As the holiday party filled up, a cryptocurrency rapper called CoinDaddy -- Arya Bahmanyar, 28 -- was getting ready to perform. Formerly a commercial real estate agent, Mr. Bahmanyar works full time at CoinDaddy after becoming a self-described crypto-millionaire ("you think I would dress up like this if I wasn't?"). "Right now all our entertainers come from outside crypto culture -- not inside crypto, and we've got to change that," he said.

He pointed to his outfit -- a long white fake mink coat, gold-heeled shoes -- and said, "It's gold, right? It's gold. It's a niche, and I'm going to fill it."

(So that you don't have to, I clicked on some of his YouTube clips. Not even funny enough to share.)

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