A proposed Mediterranean crypto state with ties to collapsed exchange FTX and fascist literature says it’s looking for “portly crypto merchants” to populate it. This is according to a leaked internal memo seen by the New York Times (NYT).
According to a leaked internal memo seen by the New York Times (NYT), startup Praxis is also on the hunt for “warriors” and “very thin” priests.
Praxis, which pitched itself as a “crypto state” in a $15 million funding round last year, is the brainchild of 27-year-old university dropout Dryden Brown. It plans to open its doors in 2026.
Brown claims that the ambitious project — which he describes as a “beautiful green city” — has the backing of two former prime ministers and an almost 50,000-long waitlist. However, despite this apparent support, an official location for the city hasn’t yet been disclosed.
Praxis seeks fit citizens with ‘European’ features
Brown previously described the concept as a reaction to him being trapped inside his apartment during the pandemic. However, according to some reports, there are more sinister motives at play.
As detailed by the NYT, Guardian US editor Amana Fontanella-Khan attended a party thrown by Praxis in June and subsequently wrote that Brown and his followers wanted to “create their own laws, not pay taxes and remove the poors and the undesirables.”
Brown has also been accused of encouraging his staff to read fascist writers and was reportedly seen in an Instagram post having his head measured — an apparent nod to phrenology, the discredited practice of predicting mental traits by measuring the shape of the skull.
A Praxis branding guide seen by the NYT outlines how the project’s creators consider people who “reject what they consider the optional ‘European beauty standards,” as “enemies of vitality.”
With this in mind, the guide says that Praxis, which will be based around a “walkable urban maze woven together at the heart of the city” and which will encourage “chance encounters and the delight of uncharted discovery, will look to attract three types of people:
- Warriors, who are “muscular,” “clean,” and protect society from threats
- Priests, who are “very thin,” and “define the values and beliefs of society”
- Merchants, who are “portly,” “bearded,” and comprise venture capitalists and crypto professionals.
According to the NYT, former Praxis employees claim that Brown talked about attracting top tech talent to the futuristic city with “hot girls” and lavish parties.
Praxis received crypto funding
In March 2022, Praxis raised $15 million in a Series A funding round during which it pitched itself as a “cryptostate.” Investors included FTX investor Paradigm Capital, Sam-Bankman-Fried’s Alameda Research, Three Arrows Capital, Apollo Projects, and Robot Ventures.
According to the NYT, two sources familiar with the deal noted that Paradigm was concerned about gender imbalance within the Praxis community.
A transcript obtained by NYT details how Brown dropped out of New York University and became a hedge fund analyst before being let go. During his time at the fund, he met Charlie Callinan who reportedly shared golf tournament money with Brown so they could pursue building a financial center in Ghana. Callinan is now a co-founder of Praxis.
According to the transcript, he began to plan a city with a “spiritual core” after witnessing the Black Lives Matter protests and fearing he may be dragged from his apartment.