Having A Gas, New Year’s Eve Edition: This Year In Crypto Pop Culture


2018 was something, and here’s to 2019 (hopefully) being something else.

It’s New Year’s Eve, and everyone is getting ready to start anew in 2019. Just because we’re about to leave 2018 in the past doesn’t mean we have to forget (even if we desperately want to) everything that happened this year in crypto and blockchain news. That’s why ETHNews is here with a roundup of some of the less truly impactful, maybe a little less philosophically relevant, but nonetheless tantalizing stories of 2018’s crypto pop-culture takeover.

Not a Subhead

We’ll start just a couple of months back to help prevent any time-travel-induced vertigo. In October, it was reported that Elon Musk’s Boring Company, an infrastructure and tunneling firm managed by Musk himself, was accepting bitcoin, bitcoin cash, Ether, and Litecoin as payment for the company’s “Not a Flamethrower.”

Turns out those reports were false, and the whole internet had been duped by a fake Boring Company domain that showed the flamethrower that’s not a flamethrower being purchased using cryptocurrencies through a Coinbase extension.

I know the cryptospace is a hotbed for metaphors, but there’s something about cryptocurrencies, flamethrowers, and internet trickery that feels way too on the nose.

This wasn’t even the first time in 2018 that Musk’s name was involved in cryptocurrency drama. In July, Musk tweeted about Twitter accounts impersonating him and running Ethereum scams, which prompted a response from Vitalik Buterin, who asked Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey to “help us please.” By the end of July, Twitter purged all Musk, John McAfee, Bill Gates, and Roger Ver impersonator accounts.

Unfortunately, that also meant we lost a lot of great Musk Twitter parody accounts, too. RIP, French and Italian Elon Musk Twitter accounts.

I Only Read It for the Crypto Articles

Way back in March, Vice Industry, an adult entertainment company, tweeted about its partnership with Playboy and Playboy TV, the magazine’s television channel. The plan was to allow customers to use cryptocurrencies, starting with the Vice Industry Token, to pay for exclusive Playboy content.

Like most things in the cryptospace, it didn’t turn out to be that simple. By August, the Los Angeles Times reported that Playboy Enterprises had filed a lawsuit against the Canadian company Global Blockchain Technologies (GBT), which had been tasked with integrating cryptocurrency payment systems on Playboy’s media sites. Playboy Enterprises claimed GBT had failed to fulfill the requirements and hadn’t paid the $4 million it promised in their agreement.

I guess you could say everyone was feeling a little bit blue.

I’ll be here all week.

Bitcoin Bummer

I’ll be the first to say it: Bitcoin is dead. I know it’s controversial, but my middle name is Hot Take, and I stand by my parents’ strange decision.

What’s that now? I’m not the first to say it? Bitcoin died 91 times in 2018, according to 99Bitcoins?

Well, I’ll be damned.

Yes, bitcoin died 91 times in 2018, which is relatively far off from its 125 deaths in 2017. There’s a lesson to be learned here, and again, I’ll be the first to say it: What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Despite early predictions that bitcoin would crash this year, proclamations that the fad was over, and warnings that it had left the tracks – despite all of that, bitcoin’s heart is still beating away, alive and well.

What’s that now? ETHNews covered this year’s hard fork and wrote a great article about the harsh reality of this crypto winter?

Well, I’m new here, okay, can I catch a break?

Coin-be Bryant

TRON founder Justin Sun announced on Twitter in November that NBA legend Kobe Bryant would be attending niTROn, the company’s blockchain conference, this coming January 2019. The niTROn site also lists Bryant as a celebrity speaker.

What exactly Bryant will be speaking about is still up for debate. The site lists entrepreneurship under his name, and Bryant has made quite a name for himself in the investment world. Surely it won’t be any worse than Bill Clinton’s rousing keynote speech at Ripple’s Swell conference, an announcement Vitalik Buterin questioned when the news broke.

Now that I think about it, maybe Bryant wasn’t a ball hog at all. He was just an early adopter of the #hodl mindset.

Mr. ERC305

In April, Pitbull tried to save music.

Let me explain. Pitbull, Mr. Worldwide, Mr. 305, whatever you want to call him, announced his Smackathon project. The event sought to “decentralize the music industry” by holding a monthlong coding competition designed around “teams who can use the Ethereum platform to disrupt the current state of the music industry, bringing blockchain and music together.”

Then the unimaginable happened: something positive. In July, 10 Smackathon finalists presented their projects to a panel of judges that included Pitbull. In the end, Singapore-based HyperValence was awarded first place for its crowdfunding platform that allows fans to support emerging artists by buying ERC721-compliant collectible tokens.

I guess the jury’s still out on if and how this will save the music industry, but let’s just end this list on a good note.

From all of us here at ETHNews, we –

808s and Hash Rates

Wait, there’s one more! I almost forgot. Kanye West tweeted the word “decentralize” this year. You can figure out what that means on your own.

Okay, for real this time. From all of us here at ETHNews, we hope you have a great New Year’s Eve and an even better 2019.

Nicholas Ruggieri studied English with an emphasis in creative writing at the University of Nevada, Reno. When he’s not quoting Vines at anyone who’s willing to listen, you’ll find him listening to too many podcasts, reading too many books, and crocheting too many sweaters for his dogs, RT and Peterman.

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