Over the past few weeks of ‘Meme History’ we’ve covered the basics; Sminem, the Wojaks, 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.