Print the page
Increase font size
SBF and The Monkey Hangers

Posted January 11, 2023

James Altucher

By James Altucher

SBF and The Monkey Hangers

During the Napoleonic Wars, a French ship was sunk off of the coast of Hartlepool, England.

The townspeople questioned a survivor that washed up on their shore. When he refused to answer their questions, they executed the interloper in their town square.

This unlucky and tightlipped sailor was a monkey. 

image1

The story (which is likely apocryphal) goes like this…

The town of Hartlepool, being on the northern shore of England, was a long way from France. 

So while not only being far removed from most of the events of the Napoleonic Wars, nobody from the town had ever met a Frenchman.

When a French ship was seen sinking off of their shores, the townsfolk became excited and suspicious.

The only survivor of the shipwreck was a monkey dressed in a miniature French military outfit. Something the sailors likely did for laughs on a long voyage. 

Having only ever seen the French caricatures drawn in English political cartoons, it wasn’t a big jump to assume that this is what people from France looked like.

(If you believe that eating carrots improves your eyesight, then you now understand just how effective English propaganda has been.)

The people of Hartlepool held a trial where they questioned the “French spy”.

Pleading the Fifth, the monkey didn’t answer any of their questions. Unable to defend itself, the monkey was hanged. 

Don’t worry. It died honorably knowing it didn’t reveal Napoleon’s secrets.

Why am I telling you about this?

It’s a story about how crazy and illogical people can be when they have a common villain they don’t understand.

With Sam Bankman-Fried facing over a century of jail time, we’re seeing the same behavior.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that SBF is innocent. That monkey was up to no good. 

If they have anything in common, it’s that neither has any idea how they got where they were. Also maybe their hair.

The behavior we’re seeing is the public fitting someone into a mold of a villain that they’ve already made, no matter how comically poor the fit is.

Many see the dethroning of this billionaire tech kid as a reckoning for crypto.

Why?

Because he looks like what people’s limited understanding of crypto is, and they’re happy to have him play the role of their villain.

It might be because they’re still mad they didn’t buy Bitcoin in 2011. Or because they just don’t care to question the narrative. Who knows…

The thing is that SBF was a villain, but the old school, centralized kind. His scam wasn’t a crypto scam, it was a classic Madoff-style rug pull.

Part of accountability is making sure that when you punish someone for their crimes, you punish them for the crimes they actually committed.

Decentralized exchanges, such as Uniswap, DyDx, and Pancake Swap, have not been part of the “crypto reckoning” that many are claiming happened in 2022.

What a lot of people claimed to be “crypto scams” had nothing to do with crypto, other than being what the mismanaged money was being invested in.

If a hedge fund manager ran off with your investment in a more durable rubber, would that be a rubber scam?

In fact, decentralized exchanges solve what many think to be “the crypto problem”.

Decentralizing an exchange means that your money isn’t in the hands of someone that can decide to use it as their own personal slush fund. It’s all public code.

Public sentiment in crypto is at an all time low right now, and it has nothing to do with crypto.

To bring this back to its point, if you’re going to hang a monkey, it’s just embarrassing to do it because you think he’s a French spy. Have some respect for yourself.

Crypto Buzz: FTX Wants a Refund → Crypto On Twitter → More

Crypto Buzz: FTX Wants a Refund → Crypto On Twitter → More

Posted February 06, 2023

By Chris Campbell

What’s Hot In Crypto
Where AI Meets Crypto

Where AI Meets Crypto

Posted February 01, 2023

By Chris Campbell

How AI and Crypto Work Together
Crypto Buzz: FTX Updates and Bitcoin as Legal Tender in U.S.

Crypto Buzz: FTX Updates and Bitcoin as Legal Tender in U.S.

Posted January 30, 2023

By James Altucher

What’s Hot In Crypto
AI’s Upcoming “Crypto Moment”

AI’s Upcoming “Crypto Moment”

Posted January 27, 2023

By James Altucher

How AI Will Go Wrong
AI Means MORE Jobs

AI Means MORE Jobs

Posted January 25, 2023

By Matt Insley

New Opportunities In The Job Market
Crypto Buzz: Genesis Bankruptcy → Return of FTX → Crypto is Inevitable → More

Crypto Buzz: Genesis Bankruptcy → Return of FTX → Crypto is Inevitable → More

Posted January 23, 2023

By Chris Campbell

What’s Hot in Crypto