Every Friday, we take a light-hearted tour through the best memes, artwork, and oddities from the cryptoverse. This week, Carty Sewill makes us all feel old with the “30-year-old boomer who traded crypto.”
“That 30-year-old boomer who trades crypto.” That sentence, and the viral meme that followed, made me feel like an old man talking about gold and silver every time I mentioned bitcoin. No meme has ever made me feel more self-conscious than the ’30-year-old boomer’.
For those of you who don’t know a boomer, or baby boomer, is someone born between 1945 and 1965. Whether it be relatives or the old man at work listening to Sean Hannity, we all know a few. The arch-nemesis of millennials, boomers are owners of muscle cars and deniers of climate change. Boomers are the target audience of gold and silver shills alike. Much like millennials love crypto, boomers love their shiny rocks.
That’s the crux of the meme. We crypto-loving millennials are slowly finding ourselves out of touch. Relegated to the status of ‘old dude’ on 4Chan and Reddit. Especially considering the current downturn. Much like a boomer talking rocks, it seems talking cryptocurrency has become its own cliche. Imbued with the same stereotypes underlying millennials dislike of boomers: drinking Coors Light, driving muscle cars, listening to Rush, and mowing lawns; to name a few.
First appearing on 4Chan channel /biz/ at the end of April in 2018, the 30-year-old boomer was met with disdain and copious amounts of coping. Posted with the sentence, “that 30-year-old boomer who trades crypto,” and a new balding wojak, the meme struck a chord. In no time, parodies where being drawn and memers began playing with their new toy.
Though posted first on /biz/ in reference to cryptocurrency, this meme in particular found itself in all corner of the internet rather quickly. Soon posted to 4Chan channel /v/ after its 2018 debut, almost immediately Facebook groups were created and in no time the internet echoed with the insult ‘boomer.’ Threads extolling the virtues of crypto exchange-traded funds (ETFs) were met with derogatory images of a balding wojak.
Like magic, the meme began pigeonholing me and all of my friends. This meme literally kept me off /biz/ for days. Protecting myself from the anxious cringe that was the 30-year-old boomer meme hitting the proverbial nail on my head. As the wojak began being portrayed smoking, drinking Monster energy drinks, driving Challengers, all the while talking Bitcoin and wearing Led Zeppelin tees. Like any good crypto-meme it was picked up and played out by Bizonacci, but the boomer meme reached its zenith with a post by Rick Steubens. Who, on this occasion, took meme videos to a whole new level.
Figure 4. Rick Steubens 30 Year Old Boomer Tribute Animation.
The meme still has legs but its slow dissipation from popular internet platforms has been, for me personally, a breath of fresh air. Because in the end, the boomer meme speaks to the hard truth that no matter how cool or new we think crypto is, it’s getting older. And the older bitcoin gets the more ‘uncool’ it becomes. I’m not looking for any reminders.
If you remember Chris Moneymaker, you probably remember April 15, 2011, colloquially known in poker communities as ‘Black Friday.’ After an indictment filed by the United States Department of Justice, poker sites such as Full Tilt, Pokerstars, and Absolute Poker shuttered their doors to US players. Poker night in America was over. Vegas and Indian Casinos were once again the only places available. Even then you had to have a bankroll. Casinos don’t have micro-stakes.
Shortly after ‘Black Friday,’ a young poker player named Brian Micon filled the void and thirst for internet poker. And he did it with bitcoin. He launched Seals With Clubs in September of 2012. Cryptocurrency and poker enthusiasts alike flocked to Micon’s DIY poker platform.
An Honest Bitcoin Poker Offering
With a basic user interface and minimal options, at first, Seals With Clubs was a hangout for darknet marketeers and grinders. All bonding over their unwavering faith in the future of bitcoin. But that didn’t last long. Soon word spread and seats began to fill. Withdrawals were successfully made and Seals With Clubs began a reputation of an honest poker offering.
In the first months after ‘Black Friday,’ internet poker had been relegated to lackluster and seemingly fraudulent Chinese applications and offshore servers. With a growing reputation Seals With Clubs quickly became a trusted alternative. Unlike sites such as Carbon Poker and others, on Seals With Clubs you deposited in bitcoin, played for bitcoin, and withdrew in bitcoin. Your BTC deposits were never converted to fiat in the process. That was a big deal. Especially for crypto-enthusiasts like myself.
As ‘Seals’ reputation grew and tables filled, daily tournaments with guaranteed prize pools began taking place. And soon other games were made available; such as Big O, Open Face Chinese, and Courchevel. The poker community began to take notice and Micon found himself the center of attention. The poker press heralded Micon and his upstart poker platform, Seals With Clubs, but in the process drew the attention of the authorities.
Seals With Clubs Shut Down
Seals With Clubs was shut down on February 11th of 2015 shortly after Micon’s house was raided. Micon pleaded guilty to operating an unlicensed interactive gaming system and avoided jail-time. Shortly after, Seals With Clubs (SwC) was purchased and re-launched under different ownership.
With the lowest rake in town and a solid reputation, Seals With Clubs 2.0 launched. Though most of the user base had fled, a few stuck around and it slowly became a haven for crypto-enthusiasts looking for something to do with their bitcoin other than just ‘buy and sell.’
With an average player base of about 200 at any given time it became more of a hangout. The guaranteed tournaments kept players playing and the wealth of game options kept the cash games going. But things began to grow a bit stale.
The unnamed owners who took control of SwC after Micon’s withdrawal decided to take action. Bitcoin’s meteoric rise in price had cost the platform users and stakes which were previously considered ‘micro’ were now twenty and thirty dollar poker games. New players weren’t coming and old players began cashing out. Enter Seals With Clubs 3.0.
The Launch of Seals With Clubs 3.0
Released in November of 2018, Seals With Clubs 3.0 is a complete makeover of the ‘Seals’ brand and aesthetic. They even took the time to give the platform a new user interface and chat. With super low micro-stakes, no rake tables, and a new ‘Bad Beat Jackpot’, SwC is making a real attempt at a comeback. And anyone with a few Satoshis (micro bitcoin denominations) can join in the fun. I also dig the 8-bit aesthetic they used to redesign their homepage and banners.
SwC’s stellar reputation in the cryptocurrency community speaks for itself. (They reimbursed me for both the BCH and BTCG forks and refunded bitcoin to my account after identifying a rake bug years later.) Not only do you need only a few Satoshis but you can rest assured your Satoshis are safe in the ‘Seals’ wallets. They also have a Bitcoin Talk thread to address complications, as they’re still working out a few bugs.
I’m excited to play a bit of poker, once again, with my bitcoin. I’ve never played Big O in real life nor OFC 2-7. But I’m happy to have the opportunity on SwC’s 3.0.
We recently had the opportunity to ask the owners a few questions about the re-launch of ‘Seals.’ The site operator, who goes by the name Glitch in the SwC chat, gave us some insight into their thoughts and opinions on running an internet bitcoin poker site:
Carty Sewill, Block Explorer: What brought you to re-launch? And how has Seals With Clubs’ past affected your future decisions?
Glitch, Seals With Clubs: The team decided that it was time to upgrade the software. SwC Poker spent far too long on the 2.0 platform and our players deserved a better experience. After looking at the global online poker marketplace, we found that no one else had a nice platform and treated the players fairly. Because of bitcoin, we can charge an industry-lowest rake and still make a profit. Once players see our new software and see the great deal we are offering they will start showing up in bigger numbers. We are already seeing an increase in traffic with only a few weeks of operation on the 3.0 platform.
CS: What makes SwC different to other BTC poker sites (or those that claim to be)?
Glitch: SwC Poker is unique in that we offer the game purely using bitcoin, on our own network, with reliable multi-platform software, and charge industry-lowest rake. Because SwC Poker has a long history of always paying out players, new players can be confident when making deposits.
Withdrawals on the 3.0 platform are averaging only a few hours. We know that players want fast cashouts, a variety of games, stable software, and a good value for their poker budgets.
Our “No Rake Microstakes” tables allow players at the lowest stakes to use our platform absolutely free. No other poker site is doing that because no other poker site really cares about the players. The industry seems to always move towards higher rake and less player rewards. After our recent upgrade, we now offer low-rake Bitcoin poker in a competitive package that is set to compete with bigger traditional poker sites in 2019.
CS: How do you feel about your less-than-forthright competition and operating as a trusted entity surrounded by scam sites?
Glitch: Not sure about that question, as SwC Poker can only speak for itself. Bitcoin poker players know to do research on poker sites before putting their money on. When they research us, they find our long history of always paying out players quickly and handling any situation with high ethics.
CS: What’s the largest pot, in bitcoin, in Seals With Clubs history?
Glitch: We do not have older data, but some players have talked about 1000 BTC pots played on the 1.0 platform.
CS: You’ve all been committed for so long. What drives your passion?
Glitch: It is not the same team throughout, but the members today have the passion to make bitcoin poker very successful. We think that using bitcoin the rake can be made very low, which will help fuel a healthy poker economy.
Over the past few weeks of ‘Meme History’ we’ve covered the basics; Sminem, theWojaks, and Bobo the Bear. But in all the commotion, the lowest hanging fruit has yet to be plucked. What is probably the most well-known and mainstream of crypto-meme stories has yet to be told. And how poignant the story is in this, seemingly, never-ending bear market. The story of Carlos Matos or Bitconnect Carlos.
Figure 1. The Original Bitconnect conference video featuring Carlos Matos
Now defunct, Bitconnect was a cryptocurrency lending platform that operated like a pyramid or “Ponzi” scheme. Launched in December of 2016, the Bitconnect platform asked users to convert their bitcoin into Bitconnect coins and lend those coins out to other users. The lenders were rewarded with interest; the more you lent, the more interest you accrued. Bitconnect’s anonymous lending platform had people crying Ponzi from the start. It duped many bitcoin holders and in the process became crypto’s most iconic fraud. Carlos Matos was its most iconic sucker.
During the bull market that was Q4 of 2017, coins needed little merit to see a jump in price and early Bitconnect adopters like Carlos Matos were raking in the coins. His success on the platform led to his attending of an October symposium and appreciation ceremony in Thailand.During the event, Carlos made and ill-fatedly enthusiastic attempt at shilling Bitconnect. A coin many in the crypto-community recognized as a fraud. And ended like everyone expected.
Screaming “Bitcooooonect!!,” and “Wassup!” like a 1990’s beer frog, Carlos’ presentation struck a chord with the crypto-community and we all lol’d together for weeks. In no time, parodies started hitting YouTube, and Bitconnect became as close to a household name as any shitcoin has ever gotten. It even got as far as PewDiePie.
Figure 4. Pewdiepie’s Bitconnect video.
It’s probably the most ‘mainstream’ crypto meme out there. With good reason. Carlos is the embodiment of the dupe and everyone loves a dupe. Especially when you’re missing out on the bull run that was 2017.
Every Friday, we take a light-hearted tour through the best memes, artwork, and oddities from the cryptoverse. This week, Carty Sewill explores the Pink Wojak’s cousin, the Green Wojak.
We could all use a little optimism. There hasn’t been much of it over the past few months; that’s for sure. But in that time we’ve seen a pump or two and felt the warm glow of hope. A reminder of past highs and profitable longs. It’s been quite some time since bullish crypto memes graced the front page of Reddit and flooded Crypto-Twitter. But they’re out there. Waiting. One such meme is the Pink Wojak’s cousin the Green Wojak.
Whereas the Pink Wojak is a symbol of despair, regret, and desperation, the Green Wojak is the antithesis. A calm, collected ‘hodler,’ the Green Wojak is the image of an optimistic and profitable ‘bullish’ investor. Always exiting the rollercoaster at the top and buying the bottom.
Though our Green Wojak might share the same origin story as his evil twin, his emergence in early 2017 was a time of optimism and hope for the crypto market. Bitcoin maximalists seemed to have won out and everyone looked to be reaping the benefits. A hard fork of “Feels Guys,” the Green Wojak started seeing the light of day in early 2017 as altcoins began to rally behind bitcoin. The original post seems to be lost out there somewhere so the specific time and date are a bit ambiguous.
But its place of birth is the same as, seemingly, any great crypto meme. It was originally posted on 4Chan channel, /biz/. With the kind of placid comfort and profitability only a mediocre MS Paint sketch can imbue, it seems /biz/ has become the center of the crypto-meme-verse. And for good reason.
The Green Wojak is just one in a long line of iconic crypto-memes flowing out of the crypto-trollbox. And like the others, he’s become the focus of Bizonacci videos, countless spinoffs and mashups, and an endless stream of content focused on everyday price movements in our favorite market; crypto.
Here’s hoping we see more of /biz/’s Green Wojak in the near future. I saw a few just last week. Though the bullish sentiment that came with them seems to have faded now. He will return soon. That’s for certain.
Every Friday, we take a light-hearted tour through the best memes, artwork, and oddities from the cryptoverse. In a year when $1 billion crypto was stolen, Carty Sewill explorers a meme devoted to crypto hacks: “Funds are Safu.”
We’ve all felt it. The overwhelming anxiety that comes when you log into an exchange and see any change in balance or lack of withdrawal options. It instantly triggers thoughts of GOX. Whether it’s a hack, a server error, or just maintenance, we’re a shaky bunch; with good reason. Sometimes we need assurances. We want to know our ‘Funds are safu.’
The majority of us have a few exchanges we trust and most of us use one of those exchanges like a wallet. Binance being one such exchange for many a crypto-enthusiast. And in early March of 2018 the collective PTSD of the crypto-community was triggered once again when an API and SYScoin attack caused a disruption of balances and the temporary shutdown on Binance.
In a clever scheme, a hacker used Binance APIs to target a low liquidity coin, SYScoin, in order to manipulate the order book and use access to a high volume account to withdraw Bitcoin without an audit. The hack triggered an immediate shutdown of Binance and as a consequence the cryptosphere went on red alert. Thousands of Twitter handles began screaming foul and speculating as to whether or not their funds were still sitting safely in Binance wallets.
In response, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ) tweeted an explanation claiming “all funds are safe.”Soon, 4Chan channel /biz/ was exploding with parody and the phrase “Funds are Safu,” was born. In just a few days, Bizonacci cemented ‘Funds are Safu’ as a crypto-meme when he released an animated mockery of the situation on Youtube.
As usual in, our small corner of the internet, original content began flooding Twitter. The meme was a hit and even CZ himself played along, tweeting “Funds are safu,” during a scheduled upgrade later in the month. Even going so far as to name the Binance insurance fund S.A.F.U.
It’s a meme with legs and it’s unlikely to go anywhere anytime soon. Reminding all of us to remain vigilant, use 2FA, and keep our funds safu.