This Week on Crypto Twitter: CryptoPhunks vs Bored Apes, Bukele Defends Bitcoin City

This Week on Crypto Twitter: CryptoPhunks vs Bored Apes, Bukele Defends Bitcoin City

Illustration by Mitchell Preffer for Decrypt

The crypto markets have had an extremely lackluster start to the new year. And yet, NFT sales are booming, and Crypto Twitter is as juicy as ever.

Phunks vs Apes

The week got off to a combative start when Ryder Ripps, creative director of the NFT project CryptoPhunks (a CryptoPunks parody), leveled a broadside against the mega-popular Bored Ape Yacht Club for allegedly being racist. He tweeted out a Bored Ape with a spiked Prussian style helmet and wrote, “Imagine defending this passionately.”

Ripps continued to attack BAYC all week from multiple angles, including accusing the BAYC skull logo of being modeled after a Nazi SS logo, even down to the number of teeth. 

Ripps’ criticisms were dismissed by many—and not just BAYC holders. Critics viewed it as an opportunistic attempt to drum up PR for his lagging Phunks NFT project.


Crypto trader @MoonOverlord concurred, and concluded,  “I’m dumping all my Phunks, it’s cringe.”

But the most damning and pithy critique of Ripps’ broadside came from NFT investor @Loopifyyy, who tweeted Ripps with the words, “this you?” along with four screenshots including a message from pop star Azealia Banks accusing Ripps of attempting to blackmail her with a sex tape. Other images show Ripps casually using racist language.

Yuga Labs, creator of BAYC, didn’t officially respond to Ripps’ attacks. But coincidentally (or not?), just 20 minutes before Ripps launched his first attack on Monday, Yuga Labs tweeted a seven-point primer explaining the project’s background and why the creators made certain aesthetic choices. The thread touches on the logo, and introduces the four pseudonymous founders as having Jewish, Cuban, Turkish and Pakistani origins. 


Hanke vs Bukele

BAYC wasn’t the only heated conversation on Crypto Twitter this week. El Salvador’s Bitcoin-maxi president Nayib Bukele, who appears in this roundup frequently, reminded everyone that he does not take criticism kindly, not even from one of the world’s most respected economists. 

On Friday, Johns Hopkins University economics professor Steve Hanke tweeted that Bukele’s ​​proposed volcano-powered Bitcoin City is “as prepared as Florida is for snow. The advertised power source for the City is an inactive volcano. This is just more attention-grabbing antics from a narcissistic president who is full of hot air.”

Less than ten minutes later, Bukele parried by calling Hanke an “idi0t” and asking him “Why would you build a city below an ACTIVE VOLCANO?”

The debate then turned technical, with Hanke replying that El Salvador already has “an enormous energy deficit.” The economist asked Bukele just how much energy he expects to get from an inactive volcano. Bukele kicked off his retort with two ad hominems at Hanke (“ID-10t” and “fraud”) before addressing the technicals. 

Bukele finished his thread by telling Hanke: “We’ve a 90% chance of finding at least a +42 MW well. Enough to power all of #Bitcoin City.”

This isn’t the first time Hanke and Bukele have scrapped on Twitter. Last October, Hanke tweeted that with Bitcoin-obsessed Bukele at the helm, El Salvador faces financial ruin. After a major Bitcoin price spike, Bukele responded, “You were saying?”

Shill Eva Longoria your NFTs

On Saturday, “Desperate Housewives” star Eva Longoria tweeted that she’s “jumping into the NFT space” and asked for guidance from Twitter. She got almost 14,000 replies. Surprise: a large volume of them were people trying to hawk their own NFT projects to her. 

Longoria is far from the first A-list Hollywood actress to ask Twitter to help her get into crypto. 

In December, Legally Blonde star Reese Witherspoon bought her first NFT, and has since been quite active on Crypto Twitter

Later that month, Gwyneth Paltrow told her Twitter and Instagram followers that she had partnered with Cash App, the peer-to-peer payments app of Block (formerly Square), to give away a total of $500,000 worth of crypto in payouts of up to $100. 

Between Longoria, Witherspoon, Paltrow, Matt Damon (currently getting roasted for his ad), Tom Brady, Kim Kardashian, and more, which celebrity will go crypto next?

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