Janet Yellen's Bitcoin Troll Gets $15,000 In Donations

In what was perhaps the most amusing act of protest to occur during testimony by one of the world’s most powerful central bankers since ECB President Mario Draghi was glitter-bombed by far-left activist Josephine Witt two years ago, an anonymous bitcoiner trolled Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen by holding up a hand-made sign that read “Buy Bitcoin” during Yellen’s testimony before the House financial Services Committee on Wednesday.

Though the attendee and a friend who accompanied him were ultimately asked to leave by a staffer, the moment quickly went viral on twitter, sparking a community-wide hunt to uncover the brazen bitcoiner’s identity and bitcoin wallet ID so they could send him donations as a sign of solidarity.

The community’s response to the still unnamed man's act of defiance yielded dozens of tweets, memes and, to date, more than $15,000 in donations to a bitcoin wallet purportedly belonging to the young troublemaker.

Bitcoiner @cryptoethan, an 18-year-old trader who claims to be a close friend of “bitcoin sign guy” satisfied the community’s demands by posting a photo of sign guy holding another sign that advertised a bitcoin wallet address where donations could be sent. As of press time, the wallet has received more than six-and-a-half coins – equal to more than $15,000 at the current bitcoin price of about $2,340 per coin. Readers can check out the wallet in real time on blockchain.info.

Crypto Ethan, for his part, insists that he isn’t sign guy, and that, by posting the wallet address, he was merely helping out a friend.

The moment provided a moment of levity for the bitcoin community, which is facing a day of reckoning that could ultimately split the network in two. On July 21, the bitcoin core development team will release its SegWit2x proposal. The software update would increase the amount of transaction data that the network can process every ten minutes, while also allowing the network to shift some of the transaction data onto side networks. As Bloomberg explains, Segwit2.0 has been made viable by a defection of miners to the bitcoin core camp. Previously, miners, many of whom are based in China, had presented a nearly unified front in opposition to SegWit2x.

Bloomberg goes into more detail about the conflict here:

“Behind the conflict is an ideological split about bitcoin’s rightful identity. The community has bitterly argued whether the cryptocurrency should evolve to appeal to mainstream corporations and become more attractive to traditional capital, or fortify its position as a libertarian beacon; whether it should act more as an asset like gold, or as a payment system.

The seeds of the debate were planted years ago: To protect from cyber attacks, bitcoin by design caps the amount of information on its network, called the blockchain. That puts a ceiling on how many transactions it can process -- the so-called block size limit -- just as the currency’s growing popularity is boosting activity. As a result, transaction times and processing fees have soared to record levels this year, curtailing bitcoin’s ability to process payments with the same efficiency as services like Visa Inc.


To address this problem, two main schools of thought emerged. On one side are miners, who deploy costly computers to verify transactions and act as the backbone of the blockchain. They’re proposing a straightforward increase to the block size limit.


On the other is Core, a group of developers instrumental in upholding bitcoin’s bug-proof software. They insist that to ease blockchain’s traffic jam, some of its data must be managed outside the main network. They claim that not only would it reduce congestion, but also allow other projects including smart contracts to be built on top of bitcoin.


But moving data off the blockchain effectively diminishes the influence of miners, the majority of whom are based in China and who have invested millions on giant server farms. Not surprisingly, Core’s proposal, called SegWit, has garnered resistance from miners, the most vocal being Wu Jihan, co-founder of the world’s largest mining organization Antpool.


‘SegWit is itself a great technology, but the reason it hasn’t taken off is because its interest doesn’t align with miners,’ Wu said.


Still, after previous counter-proposals championed by Wu fell through, miners last month agreed to compromise and support SegWit, in exchange for increasing the block size. Wu says the plan will alleviate short-to-medium term congestion and give Core enough time to flesh out a long-term solution. That proposal is what is known as SegWit2x, which implements SegWit and doubles the block size limit.”

Chris Coney, host of the Cryptoverse podcast, featured the photobombing as the main topic in his daily podcast. Coney noted a key detail that went unnoticed by much of the media coverage surrounding the incident: The fact that the kid raised the sign just as Florida Rep. Bill Posey was asking Chair Yellen about what the Fed's biggest fears are.

Coney sent the kid about 0.4 bitcoin, equal to about $96, live on air, praising bitcoin sign guy's "creative" ploy to try and entice more people to join the bitcoin community - an act Coney described as "pure gangster": “do yourself a favor, do me a favor, do the bitcoin network a favor, do the bitcoin community a favor and send this kid a tip."

So, what’s Yellen’s biggest fear, anyway?

She responded to the Florida Congressman’s question by saying the growing mismatch between workers’ skills and those needed to succeed in an increasingly tech-oriented workforce iss one of her biggest concerns.  

“The kinds of jobs that will be available and the types of skills to use those jobs…to my mind education and training are absolutely central for the new kinds of workers who will fill these types of jobs…”

That's right: It's Jobs, jobs, jobs...

Perhaps the world's under-educated workers can take a page out of bitcoin sign guy’s yellow legal notepad and start committing absurdist acts of protest in the hopes of earning the patronage of hundreds of strangers on the internet... for what it’s worth, it looks to fun – and may end up being lucrative, just avoid getting arrested.


Zero_Ledge armada (not verified) Thu, 07/13/2017 - 23:35 Permalink

This story needs a correction.  They didn't send him $15,000.  They sent him bitcoin, which *currently* is convertible to dollars.  Today I bought a couple slices of pizza for lunch.  I asked if I could pay with bitcoin.  They said no.  Then I went to the coin dealer and bought platinum, also paid for with USD.

In reply to by armada (not verified)

Dsyno Zero_Ledge Fri, 07/14/2017 - 00:55 Permalink

"Today I bought a couple slices of pizza for lunch. I asked if I could pay with bitcoin. They said no. Then I went to the coin dealer and bought platinum, also paid for with USD."

Then you went back to pizza girl and asked if you could pay with platinum. She said no again. Then you asked if you could pay with Canadian dollars. No, again.

What's your point?

In reply to by Zero_Ledge

Zero_Ledge The Dutch Guy Fri, 07/14/2017 - 10:18 Permalink

No, I can't buy food with bitcoin.  I've shopped around a lot.  I'm sure that if you live in New York you can probably find some places.  But no one I know has ever used bitcoin to buy anything.  It really is that simple.  It has not been adopted for any "real" transactions (i.e. not money laundering or drugs).  I'm just making an observation.

In reply to by The Dutch Guy

junction Truther Thu, 07/13/2017 - 22:55 Permalink

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Tyler, the real story now is a story Rachel Maddow just reported on this evening on her show, the strange death of Peter Smith.  Smith's death by helium asphyxiation, according to the Medical Examiner.  I wonder if his hyoid bone was broken, a sure sign that his death was an assisted one.  --- Peter W. Smith, GOP operative who sought Clinton's emails from Russian hackers, committed suicide, records show http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/politics/ct-peter-smith-death-… A Republican donor and operative from Chicago's North Shore who said he had tried to obtain Hillary Clinton's missing emails from Russian hackers killed himself in a Minnesota hotel room days after talking to The Wall Street Journal about his efforts, public records show. In a room at a Rochester hotel used almost exclusively by Mayo Clinic patients and relatives, Peter W. Smith, 81, left a carefully prepared file of documents, which includes a statement police called a suicide note in which he said he was in ill health and a life insurance policy was expiring. Days earlier, the financier from suburban Lake Forest gave an interview to the Journal about his quest, and it published stories about his efforts beginning in late June. The Journal also reported it had seen emails written by Smith showing his team considered retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, then a top adviser to Republican Donald Trump's campaign, as an ally. Flynn briefly was President Trump's national security adviser and resigned after it was determined he had failed to disclose contacts with Russia. At the time, the newspaper reported Smith's May 14 death came about 10 days after he granted the interview. Mystery shrouded how and where he had died, but the lead reporter on the stories said on a podcast he had no reason to believe the death was the result of foul play and that Smith likely had died of natural causes. However, the Chicago Tribune obtained a Minnesota state death record filed in Olmsted County that says Smith committed suicide in a hotel near the Mayo Clinic at 1:17 p.m. on Sunday, May 14. He was found with a bag over his head with a source of helium attached. A medical examiner's report gives the same account, without specifying the time, and a report from Rochester police further details his suicide. In the note recovered by police, Smith apologized to authorities and said that "NO FOUL PLAY WHATSOEVER" was involved in his death. He wrote that he was taking his own

In reply to by Truther

coast1 Thu, 07/13/2017 - 23:02 Permalink

he just "happened" to be right behind mr yellen...lol....how many people could get in camera shot of yellen?   give me a break, this is all set up...this is not people breaking into a CNN live taping with an infowrs sign, this is the federl reserve...wake the fuck up...yeh right, hey guys, guess what? I was able to get in camer shot in one of the most important meetings in the world?   der jesus people wake up...They wnt every dime and wnt to control you and it will never stop...x22report had an article about big banks offering thousands to retilers in free upgradr to plastic money as long as they dont allow dollars... 

Rebelrebel7 (not verified) Thu, 07/13/2017 - 23:14 Permalink

I believe that what Yellen and Dudley fear most is that everyone will conclude that they are guilty of fraud if the Fed is audited. It is unconstitutional that it even exists. That responsibility was granted to Congress, who is also guilty of fraud, among other things. We would have no need for estate, capital gains, or income taxes or to reduce spending if that responsibility were restored to a competent congress, which we obviously lack.If we were to pay off the national debt, we would obliterate the economy since the money supply is based on government debt.Please read The Web of Debt, the Shocking Truth About Our Money System by Ellen Hodgson Brown J.D. It is an excellent read.

Schmuck Raker Thu, 07/13/2017 - 23:22 Permalink

"...Mario Draghi was glitter-bombed by far-left activist Josephine Witt two years ago..."I HEREBY take back every bad thing i may have said about far-left activists before that occurrence.

Schmuck Raker Fri, 07/14/2017 - 00:04 Permalink

Hey Tylers, you might want to get somebody more familiar with Bitcoin to help you you analyze this 'stuff'.I think most content in paragraph 6 may be factually wrong. "Defecting to" vs from.  [I'm not sure]"On July 21, the core development team will release its SegWit2x proposal." [No, and political hot-button]The miners hate the SegWit part, but are foaming at the mouth for the 2x angle. I've noticed ocassional retweets of ZH amongst some BTC guys.I think it would behoove ZH to delve a bit(sorry) deeper, than regurgitating WSJ cud.

R2U2 Fri, 07/14/2017 - 00:17 Permalink

Segwit2x is being released by btc1 led by Jeff Garzik, not bitcoin Core. Core gets Segwit up front and have stated they will not merge the 2MB HF due in Novemebr. We'll see. 

JuliaS Fri, 07/14/2017 - 00:25 Permalink

Now that the guy's publicity stunt is paying off, I wonder how many copycats are going to emerge out of this. TV might be worth watching once again... though the sign IMHO should've read: "Fuck you, Mr. Yellen",  "too big to jail", or something along those lines. Such great opportunity wasted on a narcissist.

Huntley Haverstock Fri, 07/14/2017 - 01:01 Permalink

Nice to see the epic bitcoin dude get some props for those balls.... the non-sequitur, totally inaccurate reporting regarding the state of Segwit deployment and 2MB hard fork totally destroyed the authors credibility. 

Dazman (not verified) Fri, 07/14/2017 - 02:51 Permalink

I wonder if this drugged up pasty looking cunt even knows about this yet.That's right bitch, we don't want your fucking smelly cunt or your damn currency anymore; We're discarding you like that cum-filled condom I flushed down the toilet last night after I pulled out of that worthless chick.Bye bye. See ya and I wouldn't wanna be ya!