Barry Oners, the man who responded to me from the website’s contact form, agreed to an interview. He then goatsed me. It was shocking and disturbing. I made this post on r/Buttcoin, where after the moderators on Reddit stickied it to the top of the subreddit. In that post, I included the questions I sent to the Buttcoin Foundation. This elicited responses, some of the first in my research on Buttcoin.
I began to learn the ways of Buttcoin. Like Bitcoiners, Buttcoiners enjoys laissez-faire social philosophy. “The beautiful anarchy of minimum moderation flourishes here as we mine for comedy gold,” GreatGuy_GG tells me. “Mods have a minimum impact and have close to no intervention at this beautiful community they established with the goal of connecting anti-bitcoin shills.” GreatGuy_GG was once interested in Bitcoin technology.
“Sadly, it's failure is inevitable because the majority of its user-base are anarcho-capitalists and neoliberal internet addicted upper middle-class Americans that have no idea about how modern economics work,” he wrote. The purpose of Buttcoin is multifaceted. For GreatGuy_GG, the growing community of Bitcoin shills offer a dose of sanity to Bitcoin fanatics.
“Some also see us as a bitcoin fanatic rehab center and that's just great,” he wrote. While most Bitcoiners believe Bitcoin’s decentralized nature is its strength, some Buttcoiners, like GreatGuy, see this as its weakness.
“...[B]itcoin's biggest weakness is that there's no authority and every single supporter of it has strong opinions despite having minimal knowledge on technical subjects,” he told me. He claims Peter Todd is a Buttcoiner. The definitive Bitcoiner for Buttcoin, he says, is /u/americanpegasus, who “is like our go-to bitcoiner. Not really one of us but his level of delusion is a textbook example of financial illiteracy.” A favorite episode in Bitcoin history among Buttcoiners was the publishing of a story on r/Bitcoin about how Bitcoin saved the life of a Bitcoiner. As xyzzy24 writes in the post How bitcoins saved my life NSFW:
This was too much for me. Since everyone was sleeping, I started to masturbate very slowly to prevent the bed from moving. It looks like I was not discreet enough as Manuela turned her body towards me as I was nearing the end. I had planned to contain my ejaculation with my other hand, but seeing her looking at me was such as surprise that I ended up ejaculating all over my chest and also over hers. It was so powerful a feeling that I could not let it go and gave it a few more strikes while looking at her stupidly.
Nobody knows if the story is true.
There are other Buttcoin associated Reddit sites, such as /r/NotAcceptingBitcoin, /r/SorryForYourLoss, /r/ActualMoney, /r/EnoughLibertarianSpam, as well as newer ones like /r/ButtcoinXT. Yet another, r/SecretButtcoin, won’t let you in without a code they say.
Buttcoiner u/ghostofsatoshi thinks that digital currency is feasible, even if it’s not Bitcoin. “If we can ever make one that is fast, cheap, secure, and decentralized I think it would be great. Bitcoin, however, only meets one of those requirements, and it's getting less decentralized as time goes on.” Reddit user justcool393 also shared his thoughts with me on the viability of the technology.
“It could work, but a lot of money is already digital, even through services like PayPal and more, and generally have better security than most other Bitcoin services, as evidenced by the repeated hacks and thefts,” justcool393 told me. The user also opined on the block size limit debate.
“I think there needs to be testing and research done before people make drastic changes willy-nilly. There is a problem with that, because everyone seems so reluctant to give any different opinion a thought,” the user wrote. Reddit user Shatari is no Bitcoin sympathizer.
“The block chain is interesting (I imagine it will be far more useful on smaller scale and more centralized platforms), but Bitcoin has too many crazies on board and is never going to be able to scale to meet global needs,” he wrote. Shatari believes digital currency is redundant.
“It's completely unneeded, since most cash transactions are already done online, except that they're regulated, insured, faster, more reliable, and don't pretend to be anonymous (since I don't buy illegal things I'm not too worried about pretending that I'm untraceable),” he wrote. Lulz at the Bitcoin community were expressed by many Buttcoiners.
“I followed bitcoin news for a while, because I'm a tech geek and it was interesting. But after awhile the content on /r/Bitcoin just seemed... Off,” king_of_the_shill wrote. “Then I discovered this subreddit and realized I wasn't the only one thinking the Bitcoin community was getting crazy.” This after king_of_the_shill devoted time to the project.
“I tinkered with bitcoin while it was still being explored, but now that's over,” he added. “Time to watch the death spiral. All in all, I'm here for the lulz.” Reddit user Unistrut detailed his journey into - and out of - Bitcoin:
I grew up with William Gibson and Neil Stephenson, I read "The Great Simoleon Caper" when it was published. When I read that someone was creating an actual version of it I was very interested. Then it all went sort of mental. The main exchange was a repurposed Magic: The Gathering trading site, scams were multiplying daily, and the more you read about actually trying to use the damn stuff the worse bitcoin seemed to get.
Unistrut is no longer sympathetic to the Bitcoin cause, believing “It's poorly implemented and infested with scammers, crooks and fools.” He noted life on the Buttcoin mining farm has been pretty good lately.
“It was slow for a bit, but the blocksize censorship craziness and the recent flash crash has given us a pretty good supply of material," Unistrut wrote. The user also opined on the block size debate.
“2.7 transactions per second is a joke. So is 24,” the user wrote. “8MB blocks are still pathetically small compared to the volume of transactions Bitcoin will need to handle in the future - Bitcoin doesn't scale, not that millions of people are dying to use an irreversible volatile currency anyway.”
While Buttcoiners maintain their staunch individualism, there are many common themes amongst them. For one, many of them deny the existence of the Buttcoin Foundation.
“This guy is an idiot,” writes a Buttcoiner. “He really thinks we're some kind of centralized organization.” More echo this sentiment.
“We don't have a leader -- we're a decentralized network of shills,” says another.
They seem to also agree on one another thing: “You are a shit journalist...Just really total shit.”
Featured image from Shutterstock.