In the third instalment of my column So you don’t have to, the spotlight is once again on infamous crypto shill Ben Armstrong, aka BitBoy. Last time, we dissected his truly terrible book Catching Up to Crypto — now, we review his rather lengthy interview with Donald Trump Jr.
On May 4, the son of former president Donald Trump streamed a chat with Armstrong on his Rumble channel called Triggered. However, things quickly went askew.
In the video, BitBoy is said to have begun investing in bitcoin in 2012, “before anyone had even heard of crypto.” But in his book, Armstrong admits that any coins he purchased back then were quickly sold thereafter. He wasn’t a pioneer in cryptocurrency by any means, nor did he have programming or coding knowledge.
At another point, the duo called bitcoin’s early spenders “stupid” for buying pizza and drugs with it, without acknowledging that if no one had bought real-world goods with bitcoin, it would have likely failed.
But perhaps the funniest part of the interview occurred when Trump Jr. and BitBoy swap stories on the various times they were cut off from the US banking system. Reasons to kibosh varied, from authorities not loving the word ‘crypto’ in the names of their business ventures, to having a not-so-stellar reputation after the January 6 attack on the US Capitol.
BitBoy shills and misinforms in Trump Jr. interview
Of course, Armstrong never misses a primetime opportunity to shill and promote the cryptocurrencies he owns. Both GoodGensler and XRP are name-dropped in the video — both crypto firms offer coins he’s invested in. BitBoy also makes sure to mention Ethereum, Cardano, ICP, Hbar, Algorand, and Polygon.
“If you don’t understand that everything the media is telling you is wrong, then you don’t have a brain,” Armstrong rather ironically told Trump Jr. during the hour-and-a-half of my life that I’ll never get back.
At one point in a discussion on blockchain’s various use cases, he suggested that our identities could be tokenized and blockchains could be used to verify age and other aspects of an individual. He didn’t express why tokenization or blockchain are needed for this.
Armstrong later suggested that the only way to attack the Bitcoin network is to perform a 51% attack. But there are alternative attack methods, whether we’re discussing the future security budget once all the coins are mined, attacking the few developers who have access to the code, or even the re-awakening of Satoshi’s wallet (which would crater price if the coins were sold).
Then, they brought up US Senator Elizabeth Warren and claimed she’s anti-bank and anti-crypto because she takes political donations from Amazon, Google, Apple, and Microsoft. Now, I’m not defending Warren here, but arguing those companies represent the banks and are against crypto seems inaccurate — at worst they don’t care about crypto, at best they occasionally support it.
Suffice to say, this interview left me absolutely exhausted. A final highlight worth mentioning: apparently Sam Bankman-Fried makes Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme “look like small potatoes” and no one but Armstrong could have predicted the collapse of FTX.
“Could anyone else [besides you] have seen it coming?” Trump Jr. asked BitBoy at one point.
Armstrong responds with a resounding “no.”