It’s not every day that one of the most successful living artists in the world publishes an image of an embroiled crypto influencer covered in simian fecal matter. Nor is it necessarily typical for such an influencer to, in response, apparently compare said artist to renowned necrophilic cannibal and serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer.
But there’s not really such a thing as a typical day in crypto.
Late Wednesday evening, digital artist Mike “Beeple” Winklemann published a rather graphic depiction of an excrement- and cryptocurrency-covered Bitboy—a.k.a. crypto media personality Ben Armstrong—delighting in being defecated on by a giant Bored Ape. Why, some might ask?
Beeple was only the latest commentator to wade into the brown and murky waters of Bitboy’s latest financial ploy: a crypto token called BEN, designed to give citizens of the world the unprecedented opportunity to invest in people named Ben.
The Ethereum-based token was not originally created by Bitboy, but by a different Ben—the pseudonymous Ben.eth, another prominent crypto influencer. Though the token launched earlier this month at a near-worthless valuation, Bitboy almost immediately jumped on the moment to make an eyebrow-raising deal with Ben.eth, committing to pay roughly $430,000 in ETH and stablecoins for a 20% stake in the meme token and control over its liquidity pool.
Though BEN’s market cap currently sits just shy of $27 million according to CoinGecko—making Bitboy’s investment theoretically a sound one if he could somehow offload all of his BEN instantaneously without tanking the coin’s price—meme tokens like BEN often spike briefly after going viral, only to plummet to permanent relative worthlessness.
Thus, many mocked Bitboy for the deal, labeling it “mind-blowing idiocy” that would surely land Ben.eth in the “scammer hall of fame.” Beeple was one such critic; the giant ape excreting on Bitboy (along with controversial internet personality and former kickboxer Andrew Tate) in Wednesday’s piece is a visceral manifestation of Ben.eth’s Bored Ape NFT avatar.
Bitboy furiously swatted back against naysayers of the deal, announcing that he harbored no secret plan to pump and dump the coin, just a genuine passion for his own name. To prove that commitment, last week Bitboy posted his ETH wallet address on Twitter and swore that he would not move any BEN tokens from that address for the next six months.
Exactly a week later, a Twitter user looked up Bitboy’s wallet address, only to find that the influencer had in fact dumped all of his BEN tokens, within a week of making his public pledge not to do so.
Bitboy soon after attempted to clarify that the maneuver was a “necessary” and completely standard step designed to eventually bring BEN to a $500 million market cap, and that he decided not to disclose the sale in order to not “cause waves.”
After Beeple tweeted his fecal rendering of Bitboy and Ben.eth’s business arrangement, the artist posted again on Thursday, delighting in the number of Bitboy’s own followers who now appear critical of the influencer’s motives.
“Oh Bitboy, even all the people following [you] know [you’re] full of shit,” Beeple wrote, adding in a “lol” for good measure.
To that, Bitboy replied on Thursday: “Beeple is cool and all. He’s basically Jeffrey Dahlmer [sic] if instead of getting caught, he straightened out and learned to paint.”
Another Twitter user pointed out that there is no prominent person by the name Jeffrey Dahlmer—although Bitboy was likely referring to Jeffrey Dahmer.
Neither Bitboy nor Ben.eth responded to Decrypt’s requests for comment on this story.
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