Has Daniel Krawisz gone off the deep end with his extended "Emperor of Bitcoin" persona, or is he one of the greatest trolls that crypto social media has seen?

Much like the Emperor with no clothes, the joke may be on Krawisz under his "Emperor of Bitcoin" persona

For those not familiar, Daniel Krawisz has contributed to Bitcoin literature extensively in the past, having produced oft-cited pieces such as Hyperbitcoinization (of which Crypto Insider references further here and here) and Appcoins are Snake Oil.

However, recently Krawisz has been taking an interesting line in an attempt to combat the level of blind trust given to Bitcoin developers, which has resulted in cult-like behavior (something the developers themselves do not advocate). This is where the "Emperor of Bitcoin" persona began.

Stream published on 31/1/2018 | Discussion between Daniel Krawisz and correspondent Christina Storey on Bitcoin politics | Referenced heavily below

This is the problem with having a cult-like following of the developers. To me, people who say "we need to defer to the decisions of the developers" are not recognizing they are potentially treacherous. The only way to enable Bitcoin to evolve co-operatively is to use a process that is harmonious with the inherent treachery with everybody in Bitcoin, but that's a topic for another day...

...I play a super villain [the Emperor of Bitcoin] because I'm just trying to show people that you can be the evil character and that's still fine. It just has to be a fun, evil character. You should be somebody that lets you just be yourself.

11:25 - 12:07 | 14:30 - 14:51

(Timestamps referenced above and in all future quotes refer to the linked video)

Unfortunately, it's evident that Krawisz's ramblings as the "Emperor of Bitcoin" is doing little to solve the issues he's mentioning. Rather, Krawisz's persona has become a caricature unrepresentative of either side of the debate - failing to produce any meaningful insights as a result.

For example, unclear whether still in his alternate persona when delivering the above message, he fails to mention key counter-points. The main one being the fact that the Bitcoin repo is open and auditable to the public. If the developers are no longer acting in the interests of the users, then users will fork off or use alternative software. Users do not need to offer blind trust, they are free to verify.

It looks like Krawisz is attempting to re-invent the wheel through flowery language and pseudo-intellectualism for the sake of being "funny". Just as likely, he's in love with the sound of his own voice and the roleplay - watching the video above in full shows how Krawisz rarely acknowledges his correspondent's better-formed notions, much rather preferring to continue his two-sided monologue.

Most interestingly, Krwaisz has declared his intentions on Twitter and on the above stream to speak at an upcoming Bcash (Satoshi's Vision) conference under the "Emperor of Bitcoin" persona.

He goes on to encourage correspondent and fellow upcoming speaker at the Bcash confernece, Christina Storey, to present herself as "a crazy cat lady who snuck into the conference" (15:35 - 15:40).

One of Krawisz's justification for acting in this "funny" manner is as follows:

Someone who's a funny character is somebody who knows what they're doing more than someone who isn't a funny character

16:13 - 16:24

He applies this "logic" to the Bitcoin community and to handle issues of cultism. While the initial concerns aired are valid, Krawisz's recommendations to be "funny" as a solution does not appear to logically follow from the issue. The more appropriate recommendation is simply to not trust, but verify through all intellectual capabilities the individual has.

The joke is on Krawisz

With quotes like the above, it's understandable why a lot of the Bitcoin community have turned their back on him as a reliable source of insight into emergent Bitcoin discussions:

Giacomo Zucco, founder of the BHB Network, hits the nail on the head regarding Krawisz's dissonance from his former self

Krawisz attempts to clarify his position towards the end his latest discussion with Storey:

I don't mean to say that the Bitcoin Cash people are not a cult... It's just that I've been focusing more with the Core people and it's so obvious with them. I'm going to be learning a lot more about Bitcoin Cash when I go to the "Satoshi Vision" conference soon. We'll see how they look to me, we'll see how they deal with the "Emperor of Bitcoin" over there [chuckles]

18:58 - 19:22

A final nonsensical gem from Krawisz is this:

I think that somebody who plays a very funny leader character, and people who play along with his funny leader character, I think that's a good way to pick a leader in Bitcoin.

21:04 - 21:20


The natural response from Krawisz would be to state that this is all part of his persona, and not to be taken seriously. This is the beauty of his position: anyone wishing to dismantle the whimsical stance will be rebutted by the classic "gotcha! that's just my act!" thus dismissing any form of useful discussion.

One such example of the incoherent ramblings Krawisz has taken to sharing on social media.

The irony is that Krawisz took upon the "Emperor of Bitcoin" persona to promote more healthy discussion between divides in the community, but the way he has been acting is entirely counter-intuitive to that goal, whether he realizes it or not.

It's unclear whether Krawisz will turn out to be one of the greatest trolls that cryptocurrency social media has seen. The more likely alternative is that his current prose will become a shell of his former work which is still on display at the Nakamoto Institute.

Featured image from Shutterstock

Disclaimer: this is an opinion piece and the views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent Crypto Insider.

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Editor at Crypto Insider. Likes decentralization, fungibility and BIPs. Dislikes red tape, corporate stuffiness and oxidation

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