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We Tracked Down the Original Bitcoin Lambo Man – Cointelegraph Magazine

Jay is the bitcoin OG who made a meme by buying a Lamborghini with cryptocurrency. Thanks to the mining of bitcoin in the early days, he moved from a poverty-level existence to a gated community enjoying a decent lifestyle – but without worrying about his family’s safety.

As BTC first broke the $1,000 milestone in December 2013, former US Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan suggested that bitcoin could not really be used to buy anything of value.

That’s when Jay (not his real name), then in his early 30s, and with the help of his wife, who is also a bitcoiner, used about 217 BTC, which is believed to be the original. bitcoin lamborghini On Lamborghini Newport Beach dealership. then he provided evidence Anonymous imageboard on 4chan.

This proved that bitcoin had real value – who would accept counterfeit money for Lamborghini? A meme was born that launched a million other memes.

“It’s overwhelming as a person – I made up a meme.”

A fanatic bitcoin OG, Jay made his debut around 2010. Despite breaking up and supporting a family in Southeast Asia on very little earnings, he ended up installing 20 GPUs, resulting in electricity costing six times his rent.

Buying a Lambo with Bitcoin in 2013.

“I was really poor – I made $8,500 a year supporting a family, and the kids money. I had business and savings before, but going to university and starting a family cost me $0. got closer,” he recalls, bewildered.

“It’s amazingly hard to HODL bitcoins when you eat pasta every day and do shit, and spend what you have on computers and miners. But I had that belief, I knew it would change the world. has been.”

Today, Jay lives in a gated community in Southeast Asia in a small town of less than 100,000 with his wife, three children and three dogs – among them a professionally trained and impressive guard dog, which I have no doubts about. Wasn’t that ready to rip my face off on orders when I went.

His house actually consists of two houses on two streets, carefully connected in the middle, forming a subdued facade. While the front garage houses “normal” luxury vehicles, the back holds none other than a bitcoin Lamborghini 2.0.

“Unfortunately because I was so close to $0 and I had kids, I had to sell BTC so quickly because I wanted some safety net. If I didn’t have a family I could have added at least a zero to my net worth – But it’s a contradiction because family is why I do it.

lambo convention
Bitcoin Lambo in Texas at a Crypto Women meetup in 2014. supplied.

money worries

Jai’s fate is crowned 1,000 BTC Cassius “Physical Bitcoin” Gold Coin Of which only a few exist. In fact, it is the most valuable coin in the world, with a face value of approximately $60 million dollars and a collector premium of over several million.

This is how we met, because I act as a broker of such rarities and wrote Encyclopedia of physical bitcoins and crypto-currencies. For Jay, owning such coins, however, could prove stressful “if someone adds to me effectively holding tens of millions of dollars in bearer bonds.” Such coins hold the private key of a stated amount of bitcoin under a tamper-proof label, making them the equivalent of bearer bonds, gold or cash.

It’s “difficult” to deal with such privilege on the family front, Jay says. Living in a country with a vast wealth inequality, he explains that money can be used to either build a large wall to separate himself from the masses, or to bring a large table to his side. can go. “Honestly, I have to do both, but I want to make a big table,” he says. He feels that he faces very real threats, including the abduction of family members by international criminals.

“I’ve had issues with some Russian oligarchs in the past, but I don’t think I’m a target anymore.”

cassius coin
A loaded 1,000 BTC Cassius coin, which Jay bought for $5,000. bought in

Still, it’s hard to put aside anxiety or paranoia—states of mind that Jay considers her natural. Late one night, as we enjoyed a beer and burger on the side of the city, Jay’s delight suddenly drew attention as he spied a vehicle near his Lamborghini. “It’s been over 30 seconds in there,” he said, still appearing nervous as the car left. “They were probably praising the car – but what if?” He was clearly restless.


Jay describes a typical childhood in an average lower-middle-class family in the US Midwest. Sometimes money was tight, but the basic necessities were met and the school was fine. He excelled in geography, which came naturally to him without the need for study.

He started working at the age of 12 in a warehouse owned by a family friend, putting together large boxes. The work was repetitive and it was indeed illegal to hire such a young child, but Jay was there willingly and feels that socializing with business owners at such a young age gave him a valuable perspective.

After high school, Jay enrolled at a university closer to home to study international relations and computer engineering. However, he became disillusioned, believing that “what the university was teaching me was complete nonsense” and intended to make him “a well-paid slave”. As he studied money, “it blew my mind that fiat money was based on nothing – it was debt.” He dropped out to run his own book-selling business, which he later sold to a firm that was later acquired by Amazon.

“The realization of the financial system and money being crap helped motivate me to leave university and do my job in the United States.”

Jay used the money to travel, first heading to Mongolia, which he felt might be a “missed gem” and seizing economic opportunities. Later in Kazakhstan, he spent time with a group that “trained golden eagles to hunt wolves,” and he heard high praise of Southeast Asia from other passing travelers—knowledge that he later filed. did. His money was short, and he soon returned to the US where he found some success trading oil futures from home.

“When the tsunami hit Southeast Asia on Boxing Day 2004, I realized all I wasn’t doing was bullshit and jumped on a plane to help.”

Jay chose to stay and attend a local university, this time to study business administration. Years after graduating and struggling financially, he came across the bitcoin white paper in 2010 via the infamous Cypherpunks mailing list, where it was discussed in the early days of the cryptocurrency. He had previously read a book about cryptography – he loved reading – and the project caught his eye. He found it spectacular, “but I thought there was little chance of making money around the world — it was so crazy.”

The biggest attraction was not the money aspect, but the idea that “it breaks censorship.” He recalls that someone quickly put Bible verses on the blockchain – forever indelible. With bitcoin, anyone can write freely on the wall of eternity.

Celebrating Bitcoin’s breakout of $100 on April 1, 2013. supplied.

bitcointalk forum

The Bitcointalk forum was an interesting place in the early 2010s, a time when Jay remembers a collection of “random people with random ideas”. Bitcoin was then primarily an intellectual pursuit, and it attracted socialists and communists in addition to libertarians who were more involved with the movement’s history.

One idea discussed around that time involved the cancellation and re-issuance of coins after two to five years of inactivity at one address, while others suggested that mining rewards be based on individual need or national income. can be adjusted. As there was no firmly established value, the bitcoin idea was considered quite malleable and not necessarily set in stone – it could become anything.

Jai was confused by some discourse. He recalls, “I wasn’t very educated in philosophy then, so I didn’t really understand the Left’s view.”

The culture of the platform evolved as waves of discourse and new users followed news coverage of bitcoin. There was a loose “core group” of enthusiasts who considered each other close to the project; “Some new people will be added all the time, and some will leave.” However, the culture became more toxic.

Although he previously cited that the poisoning was due to the “Wild West culture” that naturally builds up in the gold rush, Jay noted that people in the contemporary Wallstreetbets community, “seem to be incredibly polite and welcoming.” He went on to say that although he “doesn’t want to say anything bad about anyone,” he has placed some responsibility for the culture on the administration of the Bitcointalk forum.

“I think the leadership of a community helps shape this. The person running Bitcointalk was quite inexperienced and had largely fallen into the role – I wonder if it could have been different.”

In contrast, the early Ethereum community seemed friendly at the time, possibly due to Vitalik Buterin’s credit for acting as a visible community leader. Buterin approached J during the process of launching Ethereum, but J was not impressed.

“I told Vitalik on Skype that Ethereum was going to fail because it was too centralized.”

Despite his concerns, Jay owns some Ethereum and is not an extreme bitcoin maximalist like some of his peers.

“There should not be people who hold the keys to the Internet. It should be based entirely on mathematics, because it can be,” he argued, which he argues as unnecessary centralization and reliance on human data within the Ethereum community. sees.

future directions

Already an old-timer, a little over a decade after stumbling upon bitcoin, Jay is cautious about new developments, calling DeFi “definitely risky” due to the risk of some projects leading the way, who have the power to unilaterally control your funds. He has a similar view on NFTs, stating that “99% of them will go to waste, but some may become cult classics,” a line of thinking that was particularly prominent regarding ICOs in the 2017 boom.

All considered, Jai is doing well in life and focusing on his family, but there’s a certain unease—a restlessness about him, even unrelated to physical security.

With so many people reaching his goal, he has everything he could have ever dreamed of, but it’s not quite clear what he should do next, given that he feels he has nothing to do with his descendants. Enough to cover financially for the fourth generation. One thing is for sure – he is not looking for fame. “I really don’t want this article out there, but I think overall it’s fair and the story needs to be told,” he says.

“I’ve reached my goal, so what now? I’ve accomplished my life goals but I’m not dead yet, so I have to do something. I don’t know what – but something…”

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