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.)

Previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously.

Tags: , , , , ,

26 Responses:

  1. Jan Kujawa says:

    Cheeze-zits with Nutella? Weed can't explain that. Only severe brain damage.

    • rcn says:

      The subtle note about the three keyboard cleaning sprays in his bedroom might be the key.

      • Elusis says:

        Oof, I knew that was code for something but I couldn't figure out what - I thought he was going all Howard Hughes.

        I clicked on that article, read about two paragraphs, and fought to close it again before the nausea really took hold.

  2. transitorykris says:

    "they talk about how cryptocurrency will decentralize power and wealth, changing the world order"

    Yes!

    "Data suggests that about 94 percent of the Bitcoin wealth is held by men, and some estimate that 95 percent of the wealth is held by 4 percent of the owners."

    Oops.

  3. Paul Rain says:

    Lol. Like Netscape Communicator was a more substanial product.

  4. Please tell me this is a Joey Skaggs hoax.

    PLEASE tell me this is a Joey Skaggs hoax.

    PLEASE TELL ME THIS IS A JOEY SKAGGS HOAX.

  5. Jim Sweeney says:

    I can’t wait for the “Where Are They Now” story... in a year.

  6. MrEricSir says:

    I think I've lost track of how many Erlich Bachman clones are mentioned in this article.

    • margaret says:

      From MIT Technology Review:

      Quote of the Day

      “Women always question if they’re qualified. But look at these clowns.”

      – Arianna Simpson, a cryptocurrency investor, tells the New York Times that the crypto scene is dominated with enthusiastic male novices, and encourages more women to get involved.

  7. Nice. I have to say I admire the gumption. And am grateful to be able to use the word gumption this soon in the new year.

  8. Carlos says:

    Mr. Hummer and Mr. Buttram?

    It's gotta be a hoax. The problem is that the world is fucked enough now that /we can't be sure it is/.

    C.

  9. Soupdragon says:

    That there's some serious Nathan Barley shit.

  10. Jeremy Wilson says:

    Microserfs 2.0

    • jwz says:

      Though these guys are a parody of what's wrong with the current tech industry, it's probably a mistake to think that they are a part of it. Microserfs was about people who were employed.

      These people are barely as productive as day traders.

  11. Mark Crane says:

    James Altucher?

  12. "It's me, a couple V.C.s and a lot of charlatans." In other words, just a lot of charlatans.

  13. Seems like someone wants to be the Martin Shkreli of crypto currency.

  14. ennui says:

    meanwhile, "blockchain" is about to be rolled out in the exciting, totally honest, and unrelated to money-laundering world of Caribbean banking:

    “Blockchain is now more than an emerging technology that has numerous potential benefits to consumers, businesses and governments alike. It's inherent security and audit capabilities lend it to a myriad of uses including payments, smart contracts, cryptocurrencies, authentication and verification functions and a host of yet to be developed new opportunities. Blockchain may be one of the solutions to the ever increasing cost of regulation and compliance faced by many industries, which benefits both industry and government.”

    Yup. Having a distributed automatic computerized chain of contract will totally be used to make "compliance" problems a thing of the past... one way or another. So, luckily, after the cryptocastle goes into foreclosure and these guys go back on their meds, the technological advances that bitcoin has brought us won't be lost!

  15. margaret says:

    Why is pimpzilla not being maintained?
    https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/pimpzilla/

  • Previously