Episode 86 – The Dogecoin Joke (featuring Jackson Palmer)

The Dogecoin Joke (Feat. Jackson Palmer) Crypto Critics' Corner

Today Bennett and Cas are joined by Jackson Palmer, co-founder of Dogecoin and host of the Griftonomics podcast. We talk about how Doge flew off the rails, why Jackson has taken a few social media hiatuses, and why he's back and talking about cryptocurrency grifts and scams more than ever before. Follow Jackson on Twitter at https://twitter.com/ummjackson This episode was recorded on July 10th and produced by Griffin Davis.

In this episode Bennett Tomlin and Cas Piancey discuss a lawsuit against Celsius Networks by a former trader accusing them of being a Ponzi scheme.

This episode was recorded on July 10th, 2022.

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English Transcript:

00:00:06:03 - 00:00:12:10
Cas Piancey
Welcome back, everyone. I am Cas Piancey and I'm joined, as usual by my partner in crime, Mr. Bennett Tomlin. How are you today?

00:00:12:12 - 00:00:13:15
Bennett Tomlin
I'm doing well. How are you?

00:00:13:15 - 00:00:31:10
Cas Piancey
I'm doing great. We're joined by a very special guest today, someone who I've looked up to for a long time and somebody who kind of helped not lead me astray when I first arrived in the cryptocurrency industry. Mr. Jackson Palmer, co-founder of Doge, host of the Griftonomics podcast. How are you?

00:00:31:27 - 00:00:33:29
Jackson Palmer
I'm good. I'm good. Thanks for having me on.

00:00:34:06 - 00:00:44:00
Cas Piancey
It's a pleasure to have you. I guess we should start with doge because that's kind of your your claim to fame in this industry. So so let's start with doge. How did that happen?

00:00:44:15 - 00:01:06:25
Jackson Palmer
It started as a joke. I it was around 2013. I was familiar with cryptocurrency and stuff like that. I'd been in technology for a long while, never taken really any interest until Litecoin and the kind of altcoin boom in 2013. I thought it was just hilarious that there was like something coin popping up every, every couple of days.

00:01:07:09 - 00:01:31:19
Jackson Palmer
I actually posted to Tumblr that I was a big Tumblr user at the time that I am going to invest in Dogecoin and the next big thing is kind of a joke. It cross posted to Twitter from my tumblr and then kind of became a viral thing. So as I used to do at the time, I bought the domain, put up a fake page that was like, you know, a dog on a coin that said it's a parody cryptocurrency.

00:01:32:05 - 00:01:35:13
Jackson Palmer
And then the rest is, is this kind of history.

00:01:36:01 - 00:01:44:04
Bennett Tomlin
Can you give us a little bit more context and how you initially got introduced to cryptocurrency and why you thought it was a topic deserving of parody?

00:01:44:14 - 00:02:06:27
Jackson Palmer
The first time I ever encountered cryptocurrency was sometime between 2009 and 2012. I remember, you know, I was living in Australia at the time. I used to check Hacker News every day as people in tech do. And so Bitcoin was posted. Tried to run it on my local machine. It just didn't work because I obviously didn't have enough hash power on my on my laptop.

00:02:06:27 - 00:02:14:29
Jackson Palmer
But also I couldn't even seeing the blockchain because the internet in Australia was so bad at the time. So I was like, Well, this is stupid. And so I forgot about it for a few years.

00:02:15:10 - 00:02:20:09
Cas Piancey
That's so weird because satoshi's Australian, right?

00:02:22:16 - 00:02:49:27
Jackson Palmer
Apparently. Apparently every Australian kind of cringes. Every guy has mentioned. The funny thing about Craig Wright is that I think a lot of people that are outside of Australia just to hear people with Australian accents and think, oh, maybe they're a little bit sophisticated or they're trustworthy or something, but every Australian I know could just see that guy on the street and hear him speak for a second, be like, That guy's a bullshit artist.

00:02:49:27 - 00:03:09:00
Jackson Palmer
Like every Australian. Like that bullshit. A meter goes off like the second I even just see the guy. So it's kind of funny that the rest of the anybody got kind of wrapped up in his whole web. But as I was saying, in around 2012, 2013, there was this kind of Litecoin run up. And a lot of people in tech, I think, got caught up in that because they were making some money.

00:03:09:08 - 00:03:25:14
Jackson Palmer
And I just thought, whoa, this technology that I had tried and I thought, this is really inefficient. Like this is kind of dumb, but I'm like, give it another try and chance. So I was like, I should get some Bitcoin, I should get some, like, let me see how I can do that. And it was so hard to acquire cryptocurrency.

00:03:25:24 - 00:03:48:16
Jackson Palmer
I had to buy Linden Bucks, which are like a Second Life cryptocurrency using PayPal. And then I don't know what the exchange was, but I traded that into feather coin from Linden Bucks. Like, that was my first. And I'm like, This is so stupid. What? Like, what an inefficient system this is. And so it was really that that led me to like, this is a joke, right?

00:03:48:17 - 00:04:04:08
Jackson Palmer
Like, I have to make fun of this. And so I was also into very much into memes at the time I used to run a website was kind of a precursor to like giphy and stuff like that called GIF base. So I had a history in memes and so it kind of put two and two together.

00:04:04:08 - 00:04:22:04
Cas Piancey
Just so everyone's keen as to where I'm coming from. In case you're only listening for the first time now, I started getting interested in, you know, bitcoin and stuff in 2017 and you would do a tell me if I'm getting this wrong or right, but I think you would do a weekly like roundup that you would host on, I think on YouTube.

00:04:22:08 - 00:04:43:24
Cas Piancey
I remember always going and I would watch like every single one because I thought you were very fair, very reasonable, whether or not you liked it or not, it didn't matter. You were trying to be as fair as possible. And then I remember going and checking your profile and you were gone and and you had vanished from the cryptocurrency space.

00:04:44:00 - 00:04:55:00
Cas Piancey
There were people who were saying, like, he's obviously bitter about how much doge is worth now. He didn't make any money. So can you clarify like what? What got you to be like? I got to go there.

00:04:55:11 - 00:05:13:06
Jackson Palmer
You know, it's actually happened twice. It's just the second time was a little bit more extreme. What happened after I made the joke was that another person reached out to me cause my co-founder, Billy, he had been more into kind of blockchain development stuff before and he's like, Hey, I'll make it a real thing. And that's how Dogecoin became a real thing.

00:05:13:17 - 00:05:34:18
Jackson Palmer
In the early days, I'd also happen to coincide it when I was moving from Australia to San Francisco. So I was like first week off the plane. I hadn't even rented a place yet, but I was speaking next to Charlie Lee at COIN Summit in San Francisco. Like I was like dunked like headfirst into the culture, if you want to call it that.

00:05:35:08 - 00:05:55:06
Jackson Palmer
It became really apparent. Like at first I was like, Oh, this is exciting, is lots to people. They want to talk to me. Like, it's cool. But after about six months of being into it in combination with there being obvious scammers who got involved in dogecoin, which happens with any cryptocurrency. But also I just became very aware of the kind of people that I was being surrounded by.

00:05:55:06 - 00:06:17:18
Jackson Palmer
I was like, Whoa, like this is not this doesn't align with me. And so I kind of backed away, gave all the control of the GitHub repo and everything off to some other community members. You know, there's a Coindesk article, I think from late 2015 where it's like Jackson Palmer quits crypto sites that has toxic libertarian bros or something like that.

00:06:17:18 - 00:06:23:08
Jackson Palmer
Right? And so that was the first time I kind of left and I didn't have a lot to do with cryptocurrency.

00:06:23:21 - 00:06:35:04
Cas Piancey
I found the article, by the way. Dogecoin Founder Exits Crypto Community Citing a Toxic Culture. This is from April 23rd, 2015, written by Pete Rizzo over at Coindesk.

00:06:35:11 - 00:06:42:09
Jackson Palmer
Back when it was just I think it contributing is one of the lower rung journalists, right? Yeah. I remember that.

00:06:42:15 - 00:06:46:23
Cas Piancey
Updated in September of 2021. So I guess they've been keeping an.

00:06:46:23 - 00:06:50:07
Cas Piancey
Eye on you.

00:06:50:07 - 00:07:13:00
Jackson Palmer
But anyway, so I was kind of I'd wipe my hands of it. I was off doing other things. And then in 2017, I was in an Uber here in San Francisco. The Uber driver is like this Ethereum thing. I think I should probably get in on it and I'm like, Oh no, it's happening again. So that's why I started the YouTube channel you were referring to, and I used to do like a weekly video where I'd go into the details of a concept.

00:07:13:00 - 00:07:31:15
Jackson Palmer
You know, I did an NFT video in like 2018 or something like back before anybody knew what an NFT was. And then I did a weekly thing called Crypto Weekly, which was kind of a round up, like you said. So I did that for a couple of years. It's funny because a lot of people like to assume like, Oh, the guy is just salty.

00:07:31:15 - 00:08:01:14
Jackson Palmer
He doesn't actually know anything about crypto. Like I was in it, like I was sitting around having beers with like the Cosmos guys talking about that. Like I was sitting around with Jed talking about Stellar. Like I was like in among it. And that's why I was able to make that YouTube channel because I like was having conversations about like consensus and blockchain storage and actually what drove me at the end to delete my entire online presence was impersonators.

00:08:01:24 - 00:08:27:05
Jackson Palmer
So because I was a figure in the blockchain space, I used to almost weekly have like YouTube accounts that would take my footage and replay it and say, Jackson Palmer is live, send bitcoin or Dogecoin to this address and they'll double it back. Right? Just happen on Twitter. Used to happen everywhere and it was so bad that I used to have people contact me, they'd email me and be like, Hey, I sent you the $5,000, can I get it back?

00:08:27:05 - 00:08:51:22
Jackson Palmer
And I'm like, Oh, no. Like, you know, even though it's not my fault, these people are losing money because of my face being used, and I was like, this is this is terrible. So if there's nobody to impersonate, then I can't be impersonated. So I literally nuked my entire online presence and didn't really have a Twitter or anything, any social media until probably about a year ago.

00:08:52:00 - 00:08:58:23
Bennett Tomlin
So what motivated you to come back in to now start this new podcast and to start commenting on this space again?

00:08:59:00 - 00:09:23:05
Jackson Palmer
The first time I was in active crypto, I had gone through a lull and then crypto had another lull after like the ICO bubble kind of popped. And then in 2021, we all know what happened with like Nfts and Defi and all this kind of stuff. Eventually what ended up happening was I started getting reached out to by a lot of journalists when Mr. Musk started getting involved in like pumping up Dogecoin.

00:09:23:21 - 00:09:44:28
Jackson Palmer
And I was like, like, I have to say something. So I came back online, I finally got access to my Twitter account and I posted very quickly just it was only live for a minute. I was like, Elon Musk is and always will be a self-absorbed grifter, I believe is what I said. And then I deleted it and kind of just went off and I was like, That's my public statement.

00:09:44:28 - 00:10:05:12
Jackson Palmer
I'm gone. And then I thought, you know, this is these bubbles, pop, so I won't get back involved for very long. But after a while, like the bubble wasn't popping, I was like, I'm going to do a podcast about this. So I started writing a script for a podcast called Gritftonomics. This was in like early 2021, and I was like, I'll do this.

00:10:05:12 - 00:10:19:04
Jackson Palmer
It'll go live, it'll be great. And then what happened around the time I think there was that Save the Kids scandal that happened and Coffeezilla exposed them like the Faze Clan and all that. Yeah.

00:10:20:00 - 00:10:27:17
Cas Piancey
Who are all now? Fine. I think everyone forgot about it and everyone's forgotten about that and moved right along. But yeah.

00:10:27:27 - 00:10:29:01
Bennett Tomlin
One of them got kicked out.

00:10:29:01 - 00:10:29:23
Jackson Palmer
That crazy one.

00:10:29:23 - 00:10:32:23
Bennett Tomlin
Of them got kicked off the team. I thought one of them, at least some one.

00:10:32:23 - 00:10:39:14
Cas Piancey
Or two of them, got kicked off the team, but they went on. They went on to like another scam again and they made all their money and they. Yeah.

00:10:40:15 - 00:11:03:27
Jackson Palmer
Well, anyway, because of the video he published, I think he actually got sued by Faze Clan or by the people involved. And I was like, Why do I want to do a podcast where I'm going to like like a lot of powerful people with a lot of money, like, why am I doing this again? And so what I did was I took the script to that, to that first episode, and I published it live as the Twitter thread, which is now I like pin Twitter thread.

00:11:03:27 - 00:11:20:23
Jackson Palmer
It got pretty big at the time and was really just the takedown of crypto. And I was like, I'll just post that and I won't mention anybody's names and I'll be done with it. And so I posted that it was pretty big for about a year. I just again was offline doing stuff like making music and things like that.

00:11:21:05 - 00:11:39:29
Jackson Palmer
And I was like, the bubbles got to pop and then it did it and I was like, You know what? Now I'm ready to take the emotional and mental battering that will inevitably come at me. And so that that's really it. I think I'm just a sucker for having idiots yell at me online masochists.

00:11:40:00 - 00:11:40:11
Cas Piancey
Okay.

00:11:40:11 - 00:12:17:06
Bennett Tomlin
I sympathize. I don't understand that. What was it like for you to see this cryptocurrency started as a joke that was meant to parody and satirize and point out a subset of the issues in like the crypto culture and in the marketing of these cryptocurrencies. What's it feel like to see it listed on Robinhood and marketed to retail traders years later and to see things like that going where it's now more prominent than it ever was but still serves, but it's still fundamentally very similar technically to what it was when it was launched as a joke years and years ago.

00:12:17:16 - 00:12:33:19
Jackson Palmer
Yeah, it's it's surreal. I realize it's a lot earlier than a lot of other people have. Like I think that bored apes, for instance, are just an extension of the same kind of lunacy which, which, which has built itself around something like Dogecoin.

00:12:33:19 - 00:12:41:16
Cas Piancey
That's actually another coin, by the way, LunaC Just so we all know.

00:12:41:16 - 00:13:08:29
Jackson Palmer
I feel like it's really just indicative of this like broader problem where people are attaching value to something that has no value. That is funny. I guess that's the thing. It's like the joke feels a little old now, you know, it's a bit overdone. Like I was done with the joke after a few months. And so the thing I always have to remind myself about cryptocurrencies is that the demand isn't actually like organic.

00:13:08:29 - 00:13:25:19
Jackson Palmer
The demand is entirely artificial in that it is produced through, you know, celebrity sponsorships or false advertising or, you know, fake trading volume, which then gets people in the door.

00:13:25:19 - 00:13:52:03
Cas Piancey
As you were interested and excited about memes, which I think, you know, everyone still widely uses memes to get their message across. But as you just said, like usually a meme dies within a few weeks, months, right at the most. Like you don't see memes years and years later getting used very often. Generally, is it the financialization of this that gives Dogecoin this kind of like staying power?

00:13:52:03 - 00:13:55:06
Cas Piancey
Or like, what do you think it is that has kept this going for so long?

00:13:55:13 - 00:14:12:25
Jackson Palmer
I usually don't comment on dogecoin because like, everybody's like, wouldn't you just leave it alone? Do it like you're not involved anymore? Why do you have it? I have to have an opinion about it, you know, kind of thing. But I actually don't know if it did have a lot of staying power. It was like on a steady decline until like 2021.

00:14:12:25 - 00:14:29:12
Jackson Palmer
It hadn't organically pick back up. Like the Reddit was like a ghost town. It was basically dead to the point that, you know, around in 2020 or 2021, when it started to tick back up, like I had to remind a few people, I'm like, there hasn't been a release on the jet repo in like two and a half, three years.

00:14:30:02 - 00:14:49:12
Jackson Palmer
One, that's a sign that it's not really being actively developed. But to like, I worry about the security. The security enhancements that haven't been pulled in from the upstream bitcoin branch, but whatever. And they've obviously gone and now that it's all famous and everything that they have to fix that. But I think that that's what I was getting back to about how everything is artificial.

00:14:49:24 - 00:14:57:19
Jackson Palmer
I firmly believe that if a certain, you know, billionaire wouldn't have tweeted about it, that it probably wouldn't. It probably would have faded into nonexistence.

00:14:57:29 - 00:15:18:16
Cas Piancey
It's pretty interesting. I'm looking at the Google Trends page for Dogecoin for the past five years. And man, you're absolutely right. It has two big pop ups, pretty much centered around when Elon was talking about it a bunch. And it has yeah, it has gone way down way fast and I think that's right. You're right like that. That's how memes work.

00:15:18:16 - 00:15:31:26
Cas Piancey
So no one should be surprised by this. Of course that's what happened. Do you have a hypothesis of why Elon started talking about it?

00:15:31:26 - 00:15:35:03
Jackson Palmer
Bennett's like Jackson's going to be very careful in what he says.

00:15:35:21 - 00:15:37:15
Cas Piancey
Yeah, yeah.

00:15:37:15 - 00:15:50:26
Jackson Palmer
Oh, I. You know, and I don't like starting fires. Like, gosh, the last time I talked to a journalist about Elon Musk, it was like my, my, oh, my God. I had to, like, just walk away from my computer for two days.

00:15:51:03 - 00:16:02:03
Cas Piancey
Neither Bennett nor I are big fans of Elon Musk. If he wants to come on the podcast for whatever silly, silly reason, I would love to ask him a bunch of a bunch of not fun questions.

00:16:02:03 - 00:16:18:19
Jackson Palmer
Maybe it's just like he, you know, in his day to day, like, thought something was funny and that's why he won't shut up about it. Like, I think he he he is shown that he's a person that does a lot of things on a whim. So maybe that's it. I do think and you know, I'm not alleging anything.

00:16:18:19 - 00:16:38:20
Jackson Palmer
I'm just saying an observation. I think it is interesting that the person who manages Elon Musk's family office is an advisor to the Dogecoin Foundation. I think that's interesting. I don't know. I don't I'm not inside the head of that guy, so I can't speak to his.

00:16:38:20 - 00:17:05:04
Bennett Tomlin
Jared Birchall, Elon Musk's fixer is listed on the Dogecoin Foundation board chair. It claims he's in no way affiliated with Dogecoin. Foundation, has no idea why his name is there, but it's certainly fascinating. And it's especially fascinating when you consider that the criticisms that Elon leveled at Bitcoin surrounding like its energy usage and things like that apply equally the same to Dogecoin, which at the same time he was promoting.

00:17:05:26 - 00:17:26:17
Bennett Tomlin
I think it's certainly plausible that like Dogecoin drew his attention because oh look, it's the doge meme. But in crypto and Crypto Bro's love Elon. And that was the extent of his critical thinking on the issue. It is absolutely plausible, but that's always been a connection that smelled real fishy to me with Jared being listed there.

00:17:26:19 - 00:17:56:18
Jackson Palmer
Elon is one of those people that likes to build a cult of very faithful followers around him, and I think that he does that through a way as a lot of kind of cult leaders and people that kind of have these cult of personality do is they like to soften that in a way that seems playful, in a way that seems fun by, you know, I'm releasing a flamethrower right now going really hardline into something like a more serious cryptocurrency.

00:17:56:18 - 00:18:14:21
Jackson Palmer
If you want to call Bitcoin. More serious, I think is probably a little bit harsher than being able to say it's just about the memes, it's just about the memes. And then building kind of a loyal following around that. And so I think that probably also has something to do with it, is that it's a lot easier to swallow than going to Bitcoin.

00:18:14:21 - 00:18:24:14
Jackson Palmer
And all of a sudden, like you're interfacing with people who are like, I only eat raw meat and read the Bible. It's the only book I read. Like that's some kind of like Bitcoin personality these days.

00:18:24:14 - 00:18:33:15
Bennett Tomlin
And my calendar is base 16, right? Right. Sorry, that's a dig at a very specific bitcoiner that none of our audience are going to get.

00:18:33:18 - 00:18:56:21
Cas Piancey
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. So something that is very interesting to me is that I've gone in and met with two miners, two cryptocurrency miners in my life, one was in China, and one was in America. Can one of you explain how I believe it's Litecoin and Dogecoin have now? There's like merged mining, right? Can one of you explain how that works and what it means?

00:18:56:21 - 00:19:24:13
Jackson Palmer
There's a technology called auxiliary proof of Work or POW. It was something that was introduced otherwise known as merged mining back in the day, Dogecoin had this problem where it got through its block rewards really quickly, so it kind of mined out its initial hundred billion really quickly. It was becoming not really profitable to mine Dogecoin alone. A lot of people were freaking out like, what do we do to maintain the kind of future existence of the security of the network?

00:19:24:26 - 00:19:41:29
Jackson Palmer
And Charlie Lee actually came into the Dogecoin community and I think it's all probably documented on Reddit somewhere and was like, I think you should merge mine with Litecoin, you should implement aux POW. And this will save you know, he he had I think he had a bit of a savior complex at the time. He was like, I'll come in and Litecoin will save it.

00:19:41:29 - 00:20:04:18
Jackson Palmer
And the reason it's able to do that is that Litecoin and Dogecoin are both on the same scrypt caching function. Essentially what happens then is that these miners that have these mining operations, you know, they generate random numbers every so many minutes. Instead of submitting that to just one network, they submit it to two and they stand a chance to get the reward for both of them.

00:20:04:18 - 00:20:21:05
Jackson Palmer
Right. So like, why wouldn't it be doing the work anyway? There's actually other scrypt coins now that are all within this kind of big thing. Although it's funny that now I think Dogecoin is probably the the leading reason that people are mining rather than than like I'm not sure I haven't looked at the profitability, but.

00:20:21:18 - 00:20:44:19
Cas Piancey
Well my point was going to be that when I was in China they were mining Bitcoin and Litecoin. This was in 2018, they're mining Bitcoin and Litecoin. I was surprised that they had Litecoin miners, but they were all about it. And then when I went to the American, it was a very small, just like an individual. But he was mining Litecoin Dogecoin.

00:20:44:19 - 00:21:10:04
Cas Piancey
He was telling me that he would win these mostly dogecoin, I think, but then he would instantly sell that dogecoin out into Litecoin and then would sell that Litecoin into USDC or tether or whatever, and then would sell that into actual U.S. dollars. So this is the it's similar to the way you said it. You started, which is like, okay, I'll use my PayPal to buy the Linden cash to then buy the feather coin.

00:21:10:04 - 00:21:33:27
Cas Piancey
And this is like, okay, all mine the doge coin, sell that into litecoin and sell the litecoin into a stablecoin and then I'll exit to Fiat. It's just like incredible to me. Like, so insane. But I guess what I'm saying is that Litecoin and dogecoin are like, people are genuinely mining these cryptocurrencies. Still, it's kind of like, I don't know, it.

00:21:33:27 - 00:21:38:21
Cas Piancey
It's hard for me to imagine. I can only imagine for you how you're how you feel about that. You know.

00:21:38:27 - 00:21:57:13
Jackson Palmer
I've met a lot of miners in my life, and I think they're actually incredibly simple people. I. Not not not not intellectually, but I think their motives are very simple to read. You know, can I get electricity at a cost that is lower than what I'm going to reap by burning that electric light? That's that's all they do day in, day out.

00:21:57:13 - 00:22:15:13
Jackson Palmer
And so while there are probably a very tiny sliver of people with probably negligible hash rate who like mine Dogecoin or something because they just think it's cool, they do it for giggles. I think the majority of all mining hash power is people that are driven by one thing which which is profit.

00:22:16:00 - 00:22:42:15
Cas Piancey
Probably the number one problem I have in the cryptocurrency industry is profit. Maximalists. But yeah, like maybe you're right. Ultimately that's the only thing. Keeping the entire industry going is profit maximalism, right? It's not like gold where you're mining it and maybe you can use it for electronics or something. This is strictly a profit play and if there's no profit, they're not going to do it anymore.

00:22:42:18 - 00:23:06:10
Jackson Palmer
Oh yeah. The whole industry is that everything about it is profit, maximalism, any kind of dressing around that is is simply a veil to obfuscate the fact that it is just profit maximalism like that. I actually saw a really interesting thing this morning on Coinmarketcap the video today was this guy and he's like, Are you sick of Hodling your NFT?

00:23:06:18 - 00:23:25:15
Jackson Palmer
Why don't you lend them out and get yield on nfts? And I'm like, uh, that completely blows up the whole like, well, we're helping starving artists. Or it's really about having ownership. No, it's not. No, it's not. It's, it's, it's about making a buck.

00:23:25:24 - 00:23:49:13
Bennett Tomlin
There was a startup recently that announced their intention to offer Buy Now Pay later services for Nfts so that people can purchase an NFT in four installments over the next several months. And of course, I'm sure A16z is in the funding round, you know, just funding call options and fees with a zero cost basis, just brilliant work all around by everyone involved.

00:23:50:11 - 00:24:16:15
Cas Piancey
I was about to bring up A16z like I was about to bring it up and I was like bordering on not doing it because I heard some NPR show this past week and they had a Arianna Simpson who's like a Yeah, she's an a16z partner and she man, it bothers me and it boggles my mind that these people are saying the things they're saying out loud publicly to all of us where she's like, you know, I work at A16z.

00:24:16:15 - 00:24:35:11
Cas Piancey
I'm around these these billionaires and stuff. Trust me, there's so much value in cryptocurrency. And I was like, That's your pitch. Your pitch is, trust me, I'm a I'm around rich people. Like this is going to be great. And then they were like interviewing a dude who's like, Oh, I'm going to NFT rockets. Like, What the fuck are you talking about, dude?

00:24:35:11 - 00:25:07:23
Cas Piancey
Model rocket nfts what? What are we what are we doing? What is this? What are at least like bitcoin? Whether I agree with it or not, it seems like there's like a a goal or there was I don't know if there is anymore. The whole thing is a shit show now, but I think that's at the very beginning, whether I whether I agreed with Bitcoin or not and why I still to this day like love to think that a gentleman named Paul LeRoux was involved with it is because it was like an and cap wet dream digital currency thing and it's like okay this I can understand, I can at least wrap my head around

00:25:07:24 - 00:25:14:10
Cas Piancey
it when they're like, Dude, I'm so rich, I'm around rich people. There's so much use case in Nfts. I'm like.

00:25:14:21 - 00:25:34:28
Jackson Palmer
Mm, yeah. Yeah. I agree to a certain extent by the way that buy now pay later thing, I can't wait to see the daisy chaining that happens with buy now pay later. Then I'm going to loan out that NFT to get yield to pay off the beautiful beautiful. I'm not advising anybody to do that, but I just think it's a shit show.

00:25:34:28 - 00:26:07:10
Jackson Palmer
But anyway, a lot of people say, well, is crypto inherently a scam? And I think that it isn't. It isn't. Bitcoin really opened the doors in terms of providing a technology which allows scammers, snake oil salesman, every type of fraud to exist in a way more efficient way. Right? Like cryptocurrency is like a big tent enabler of all types of scams that have existed for the last, you know, for centuries.

00:26:07:21 - 00:26:48:16
Jackson Palmer
But it provides unregulated, more efficient way of of exploiting and extracting cash. I think the difference is that historically it was VCs that were losing money on things like Juicero versus now retail investors are the ones that are being suckered. I think that's to be different. Crypto just enables them to extract that way quicker. Back in the day, we all know that nine out of ten of startups that they invest in are going to fail and the one in ten that actually wins that you put money into, you've got to hope that they can either be acquired or they can IPO long process.

00:26:48:16 - 00:27:19:08
Jackson Palmer
We're talking about like 5 to 10 years before you see any money back on on that investment crypto you can get in or a16z can get in. They can get very low rate tokens or they can get insider access to tokens before anybody else can. Then a public sale happens, they're already up. They can liquidate very quickly. They can get a ten out of ten success rate and reap the benefits in under a year.

00:27:19:20 - 00:27:36:16
Jackson Palmer
A lot better than traditional startup investing, right? Yeah. So like that's the game that's at play here and crypto has enabled them to do that because there is none of the oversight, there is none of the regulatory, there's ability to basically wire money around willy nilly without any any oversight.

00:27:36:16 - 00:27:59:25
Bennett Tomlin
Yeah, we did talk about that when I came on your show a few weeks ago and we talked about it recently when we were when we had Molly White and this show is that that time to liquidity, getting that opportunity so fast and getting the tokens at such a big discount means a16z is most like optimal. Way to make money is just to like take a money gun blasted at everyone and then sell as soon as they can.

00:28:00:02 - 00:28:06:25
Bennett Tomlin
And so that's what they do. And so they invest in the dumbest ideas with no due diligence because that's going to make them a lot of money. And it it's bad.

00:28:06:25 - 00:28:15:18
Jackson Palmer
That's a thing, right? Like a lot of people are like these VCs must be idiots. No. Then they know exactly what they're doing, right? They're, they're making a shit ton of money.

00:28:15:21 - 00:28:23:12
Bennett Tomlin
They may also be idiots. I'm not discounting the possibility of some idiots, but yes, they do know that this is how they can make money.

00:28:23:15 - 00:28:45:26
Cas Piancey
Well, and I think it's either people are saying like, oh, they're idiots or they're saying like, see, these geniuses are getting involved. And either way I go like, wait, you think Peter Thiel and A16z and you think all of these venture capitalists are looking out for your best interests? You think Chamath is going out there and trying to tell you about the best cryptocurrency?

00:28:45:26 - 00:29:05:02
Cas Piancey
Really? So you think like, man, no way. They want to make their money from you. They're going to steal your money. They're going to steal it. And I'm using that word because I mean it. It's not like they're not like asking for it graciously. Your money's fucking gone. When they get involved, you forget cash.

00:29:05:03 - 00:29:07:22
Jackson Palmer
It's all just an experiment, right? You know.

00:29:08:19 - 00:29:30:07
Cas Piancey
It's, you know, it's art or it's an experiment or whatever word we need to use that does not get us in trouble. That's what this is. It's not utility. Let's never say that word. Don't ever say it's utility. Yeah, or security. Never mention the S-word. Every time it feels like, oh, my God, this is so much greed. I've never experienced the levels of greed that I'm seeing right now.

00:29:30:08 - 00:29:37:15
Cas Piancey
It's almost like it amplifies the worst aspects of finance. They're speedrunning the past thousand years of finance is what they're doing.

00:29:38:04 - 00:30:13:15
Jackson Palmer
They are. Yeah. I think that it's also the perfect storm of you have this enabling technology. I think that we're also living in a world where what I like to describe is kind of a moral nihilism, is taking hold. You know, you have the isolation of the pandemic. You just generally have people caring less about one another. At the same time, you have this technology that if you can navigate it properly, you can make money off the back of some other sucker that you bring in and you combine that with that moral nihilism and everybody is basically scamming one another.

00:30:13:15 - 00:30:15:04
Jackson Palmer
It's peer to peer scamming.

00:30:15:04 - 00:30:17:11
Bennett Tomlin
Like peer to peer scamming is a good phrase.

00:30:18:08 - 00:30:20:28
Cas Piancey
It's I mean, I hope you don't like it, but.

00:30:20:28 - 00:30:30:01
Bennett Tomlin
No, no, I don't like it. I like it. It's like a piece of rhetoric as a piece of prose. It's like a phrase now there's like a thing that should be happening in society.

00:30:30:09 - 00:30:34:00
Cas Piancey
All the things that you said, the quiet part out loud. You said the quiet part out loud.

00:30:34:04 - 00:30:53:21
Bennett Tomlin
I mean, if Chamath can go on the All-In podcast and say, Yeah, of course, I'm selling my unvested Solana tokens, why wouldn't it? Right. There were so much right now in they're not going to be later. If he can do that, then I can say that that's a that's a cool couple of words. Oh, my God.

00:30:53:21 - 00:31:03:22
Cas Piancey
You're going to get screen capped with that phrase for sure. No doubt. Bennett, any other questions that you specifically want to get out there right now?

00:31:03:27 - 00:31:09:12
Bennett Tomlin
No, no. I'm pretty disappointed with reality right now.

00:31:09:12 - 00:31:22:10
Cas Piancey
Okay. So par for the course. Let's get a shill in for Griftonomics again. Make sure that everybody knows to tune in to Jackson's podcast. But Jackson, what what is a topic that you want to kind of end this on?

00:31:22:16 - 00:31:48:20
Jackson Palmer
We are living in a time that is fairly unprecedented in terms of people's access to technology. And there are good things that can come of that and there are bad things that can come out of that. If you'd asked the people 20 years ago when they were creating peer to peer protocols, Hey, do you envision that this will be used in the future to extort other people of money, like peer to peer scamming would be a thing.

00:31:48:20 - 00:32:03:15
Jackson Palmer
They'd be like, What are you talking about? Like, now we just want to send funny images and text to one another, you know, via peer to peer. Or we just want to, we just want to pirate some movies, right? In the case of BitTorrent, they would never have thought this, right? In hindsight, you can say, well, of course it's going to be used, right.

00:32:03:15 - 00:32:31:03
Jackson Palmer
Like any anything that can be used will be used for that reason. People have to just apply a little bit more of a critique to to any kind of technology that they get involved with or any technology they see kind of being promoted to them by somebody else. And the problem with that I see today and I hear this from my nine out of ten people I speak to, they like, well, I try to get into cryptocurrency, I try to understand it, but I just felt stupid.

00:32:31:11 - 00:32:50:28
Jackson Palmer
Think that's something that a lot of people say to me. It's like, I try to understand Bitcoin, but like I left the Wikipedia page or I left this explanation just feeling like I'm the problem. Like I don't understand it and maybe I'm just stupid and these people are smarter than me. So it is actually good, right? Like, which is a strange roundabout way of like determining something is good.

00:32:50:28 - 00:33:13:01
Jackson Palmer
But I actually think that a lot of these projects do that on purpose. They make it complex to make people feel stupid. The reality is, and what I want everybody to know is that these technologies are actually very, quite simple. They're not complex. The marketing is complex on purpose. To confuse you into putting your money in, find somebody in in your life.

00:33:13:01 - 00:33:33:10
Jackson Palmer
If you can't digest that yourself, who is involved in software or who has a bit more of a technical background and ask them to explain it to you in simple terms, I think is the thing I would say before, just assuming that while I don't understand space travel, I don't understand rockets either. But that doesn't mean rockets are bad.

00:33:33:20 - 00:33:59:15
Jackson Palmer
You know, you can't apply the same logic to financial instruments. I would just say you have that skepticism. I think the other thing, though, and this is actually more of a challenge that I face every day, and it's part of why I started Griftonomics as a podcast, is that all of this is predicated on the fact that people care about one another, right?

00:33:59:16 - 00:34:38:03
Jackson Palmer
We only get away from this if society veers more towards caring about their fellow individuals and caring that another person isn't losing money while you're making money. The tragic thing and the dumber in me, unfortunately, sees us going in the opposite direction to a point where people who are espousing these kind of like anarcho-capitalist, which is a paradox, but like these very right libertarian viewpoints, all they care about at the end of the day is their freedom to extract money from somebody else.

00:34:38:15 - 00:34:59:01
Jackson Palmer
I hope that people can like also in addition to questioning the technology question, the belief systems they may be sold because I think especially with some of the upcoming elections in America, I think we're going to increasingly see this kind of individualistic, kind of put yourself all others kind of mentality that is floating around.

00:34:59:10 - 00:35:14:21
Cas Piancey
I'm so glad you brought this up as your last topic. This means we've discussed this with Jim Chanos, Molly White and you. I'm mostly cynical and pessimistic when it comes to cryptocurrency, but I think when it comes to financial education, I'm actually an optimist.

00:35:14:29 - 00:35:43:03
Jackson Palmer
So I think you're absolutely right. Is education is hopefully the answer to this? I think scaling that is really, really hard. My bigger concern about that is that I worry that the financial education that people are going to start receiving or already beginning to receive is one that scams aren't necessarily a bad thing. I will never forget the Coinbase article like this token is a Ponzi scheme, but is that a bad thing?

00:35:43:04 - 00:35:46:17
Cas Piancey
Yeah. Coindesk. I was about to bring that up. So are the dollars in your pocket?

00:35:46:24 - 00:36:24:13
Jackson Palmer
So the education angle only works if the education you're giving people is that it's in your financial best interest to think about society as a whole. If the financial education you're giving people is hustle and grind to make as much money for yourself, screw everybody else, then it's not a good thing. And I worry if you go and you look at a lot of like the way that financial tech talk, it's something I want to do a future podcast episode on it is veering in this direction of, Yeah, we'll give you a financial education, but it's about how to hustle other people out of money.

00:36:24:13 - 00:36:40:24
Jackson Palmer
The fact that you had people who are in respectable positions in the crypto industry saying Have fun, stay poor to people, that that became also almost a mantra of the of the crypto industry. I worry that, yeah, I think education is the answer, but is it the right education. Yeah.

00:36:40:24 - 00:36:57:02
Cas Piancey
And we see it I'd like it's more than just that article there was another person who had posted something about like our Ponzi is actually the future of finance and you're just like, do you not understand when you're like at the top of a Ponzi how that feels? Do you not get that? You're like, This is definitely the future.

00:36:57:02 - 00:37:21:08
Cas Piancey
I'm making so much money. Yeah, it's all going to be gone in a second. Trust me. Like, this is not the future finance. You hope, though, that when moments like this happen, it gives people like us an opportunity to be a little bit louder and a little bit more noticed, because we're not saying the things that people like, you know, Ran Neuer, newer and these other people buying Luna now is a once in a lifetime opportunity or whatever.

00:37:22:12 - 00:37:23:00
Cas Piancey
So I don't I.

00:37:23:03 - 00:37:28:08
Jackson Palmer
Just love name dropping people so that you call that on Twitter. I just he.

00:37:28:08 - 00:37:47:13
Cas Piancey
He's been particularly bothering me lately, so I feel it's necessary to name him right now. But yeah, it's probably not a good idea. But yeah, thank you for joining us. Jackson This has been a great episode and I look forward to chatting with you again sometime.

00:37:47:14 - 00:37:49:01
Jackson Palmer
Awesome. Thanks, guys. Appreciate it.

00:37:49:09 - 00:37:51:13
Cas Piancey
Awesome.

00:37:55:14 - 00:38:17:06
Cas Piancey
Hey, everyone. So I know that I blew up the crypto critic's corner reserves on Luna and Celsius and Coin Flex and Voyager and three AC. Big mistake on my part, but obviously we're going to make it. We're going to make it all back in one trade. I've put everything into dogecoin. So, Elon, if you're listening, you know, pump it.

00:38:17:06 - 00:38:36:17
Cas Piancey
Let's do this. We got this together. Also, like subscribe, invest. Wait, I shouldn't say invest. Don't, don't invest. This isn't an investment. There's no investments. This is just a it's a podcast. Anyway, thanks for listening, everybody. Talk to you soon.

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