Is Crypto Fueling The 'Dumbing Down Of America?' Mad Crypto Alpha With Ivan

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  • Our Managing Editor Crypto Ivan's weekly column providing alpha you must not miss to make it in crypto.
  • A lighthearted take on what our news does not cover, such as how influencers are moving markets and why crypto is a sign of the times.


I’m Ivan and welcome to the new and improved weekly column Mad Crypto Alpha.

Some people want to build the “future of finance,” but I just want to help you make money in crypto.

Each Sunday, you get weekly insights the news does not cover but you need to know about.

So you’re not just entertained by crypto but get the alpha behind the story.

In this week’s issue:

  • What is and why is its upcoming airdrop huge?
  • Who is Ansem and why do you need to know this Solana influencer?
  • And what all of that has to do with the “dumbing down of America”

What Is Friend.Tech And What Does The $FRIEND Airdrop Mean? is basically a crude version of Onlyfans for a crypto audience. You sign up with a wallet and … that’s basically it. You can add an X (ex-Twitter) link but that’s not mandatory. Your fans can buy your key, which unlocks a private chat function.

The profile of Ansem, the main character in this week’s issue.

The app blew up in popularity and trading volume last summer when keys of popular crypto influencers went for several Ethereum ETH/USD. Things calmed down when there were new shiny toys to play with, but now all that hard work of shilling your own keys to generate trading volume advertising the platform is about pay.

100% of $FRIEND is rumored to be airdropped to users, and points (the crypto equivalent of loyalty points) are currently going for $5-6$ a pop on over-the-counter markets.

Influencers, such as Ansem, who have racked up five to six figures in points are in for a massive stimmy check. is built on Base, the Layer-2 blockchain of Coinbase, so take a wild guess what may or may not happen next …

According to DefiLlama, total value locked (TVL) on Base has done a 3X since 2024 started. On-chain degens have turned $15,000 into over $5 million with Base memes and are refusing to sell. Coinbase is itching to deploy its Coinbase Wallet to provide an easy on-ramp onto its ecosystem.

The takeaway: I’m not saying Base coins are about to moon. But I am saying that you will want to pay attention to what influencers rotate some of their FRIEND profits into.

Influencers like Ansem…

Read Also: Dogecoin Soars As Whale Moves 200 Million DOGE From Robinhood To Unknown Wallet

Who Is Ansem And Why Do You Need To Know About Him?

Ansem is a New York-based Solana SOL/USD maxi and crypto trader who has gained “main character” status thanks to helping dogwifhat WIF/USD blow up to Shiba Inu SHIB/USD and Dogecoin DOGE/USD levels of brand recognition.

To you, he might be best known for putting “a hat” on the Wall Street Bull or for meme-ing his cat Hobbes into a nine-figure market cap.

But in the crypto community, not everyone’s happy with the kind of pull Ansem has. This viral post sparked a hot debate about whether building a huge social presence is the best way to generate an edge in crypto:

ZachXBT, an on-chain detective and crypto’s unofficial most ethical character, jumped to Ansem’s defense, saying he has never seen Ansem using his followers as exit liquidity (shouting out a coin and selling into the euphoria pump). But he also does not agree with Ansem randomly shilling microcap coins.

Other reactions ranged from “good and wholesome guy” to “he’s shilling 50k [market cap] tickers.”

Pump-and-dumps (another word for market manipulation) are not illegal in crypto and likely will never be in the parts that stay beyond regulation.

But, as this commentator pointed out, attention is the number one factor for pulling liquidity in the hyper-sensitive crypto space. And influencers like Ansem command a lot of attention.

The valuation of his key doubled from 2 ETH to over 4 ETH in the last two weeks. His tweets literally move (and create) markets.

The takeaway: You can decide for yourself whether he’s “a real one” by listening to Ansem in this podcast episode. But you must be aware of what and who actually moves markets in crypto during this “memecoin supercycle.”

My take: Nobody’s perfect but he’s not a straight-up grifter like many others. I mean look at the man’s sneakers in the tweet above, for crying out loud!

But what the [redacted] do Ansem and have to do with the “dumbing down of America?”

Read Also: Benzinga Bulls And Bears: Tesla, Apple, Meta And A 2013 Bitcoin Supporter Now Says ‘Yes’ To Shiba Inu

Did Carl Sagan Predict ‘The Dumbing Down Of America’ In 1995?

Take 88 seconds to watch this clip and tell me whether something about it feels prescient:

Service and information economy over manufacturing prowess?


Technological powers in the hands of “very few?”


People unable to distinguish between what feels good and what’s true?

Check, check and checkedycheck.

Jeo Boden BODEN/USD trading at over $500 million market cap probably does not say much positive about the *checks notes* market’s ability to efficiently allocate capital.

And considering we’re closing in on 15 years since Bitcoin’s BTC/USD inception, the market’s record for self-correction doesn’t look great either.

There’s a good case to be made that this goes beyond “financial nihilism.” Crypto has not only “lost its moral compass” but is — hot take alert — actively accelerating the decline. These kinds of tweets were funny until they started being true too often:

There’s a small subset within the industry that still works on making crypto, y’know, actually useful. But I predict it will get a lot worse (and a lot dumber) before it gets better.

The takeaway: Adjust your expectations and investments accordingly.

Read Also: Mark Cuban Is Bullish On AI Minting ‘World’s First Trillionaire’…And His Crypto Portfolio Backs It Up

Wrapping It Up

If you liked this column, give me a follow on Twitter and sign up to our “Future of Finance” newsletter.

Shoot me a DM or Benzinga a mail if you have topic requests, and I’ll see you back for next week’s Mad Crypto Alpha.


Read Next: Crypto Trader Writes Viral Post About Financial Freedom: ‘If You Think It’s Having $100M, You Are Wrong’

Image created using artificial intelligence with Midjourney.

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