University speaker booed for shilling bitcoin in ayahuasca-fuelled speech

A speaker at Ohio State University was booed by thousands of students this weekend as he delivered a bizarre bitcoin-shilling commencement speech that he claims to have written while under the influence of hallucinogenic drug, ayahuasca.

Self-proclaimed social entrepreneur, investor, and musician Chris Pan was invited to speak at the university’s spring commencement — the ceremony at which graduating students receive their diplomas — on Sunday. During his speech, he shared financial advice he claimed would lead to “financial, emotional, and spiritual freedom.”

However, he was roundly jeered by much of the 12,500-strong crowd when he started promoting bitcoin and attempted to explain bitcoin ETFs by performing a magic trick that apparently turned three-quarters into a physical bitcoin.

He then suggested that graduates could combat depression by singing, and tried to row back his bitcoin comments by offering everybody in the crowd a bracelet made by his company.

“As an apology for talking about bitcoin, I’m going to gift everybody in this stadium your own custom MyIntent bracelet,” he said. “Hopefully this will take you through your next chapter.”

Even the promise of a free bracelet couldn’t win over the crowd.

Read more: First and largest Bitcoin Rune is down 85% in a month

Pan had some hallucinogenic help with his speech

Pan wrote on Linkedin, “Got some help from AI (Ayahuasca Intelligence) this week to write my commencement speech,” adding that he tried using ChatGPT but it “wasn’t that good.”

Ayahuasca is a psychoactive drug used by indigenous South American cultures in shamanic rituals. It’s said to induce spiritual revelations and psychedelic visions with unpleasant side effects of vomiting and diarrhea.

An earlier draft of Pan’s speech reportedly saw him give his bitcoin advice before a planned interactive song segment so that “those who identify as alpha males will buy in more,” and detailed how he planned to remove his shirt during a story about an elephant.

According to an OSU spokesperson, drafts of his speech were reviewed.

The ayahuasca-inspired address, however, wasn’t enough to sway students in the arena or sentiment online. One Reddit user said, “Shame on the university for bringing in a LinkedIn loser bitcoin shill. This is embarrassing and someone needs to be held accountable.” 

Another posted, “No one is less in touch with college students than college administrators, including whoever booked this clown.”

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