The Goatse Cryptocurrency Is Launching to Make Memes Danker

Images: Shutterstock, Goatse.cx. Composition: Author

When news broke in August that the Goatse website—which once hosted a gross-out meme that scarred many in the early days of the web—was launching its own cryptocurrency, the response was general confusion. Why did the site that used to host an image of a man holding his butthole wide open need its own digital currency? Was it… real?

Dear reader, it appears to be real. The Goatse website got a major overhaul and now sports a countdown timer to an Initial Coin Offering, or ICO, marking the launch of the digital token on the Ethereum platform. The token will simply be called “Goatse,” according to the website, and it will be open to investors who want to buy in on Thursday, November 2. During an ICO, investors send ether, Ethereum’s currency, to a smart contract that trades the ether for Goatse tokens.

Read More: The Original Goatse Site Is Launching Its Own Cryptocurrency

The idea (if this isn’t all an elaborate joke, that is), according to the whitepaper posted to the Goatse site, is to financially incentivize the creation of dank memes. The setup will work like this: Users post memes to the Goatse website, which applies an ID to the meme, and users then vote on which memes they like using Goatse tokens that they purchased. The creator of the winning meme gets a payout in Goatse tokens, and the voters also get a payout in the form of a token lottery, the design of which is not discussed in detail.

Ethereum tokens issued during an ICO have no intrinsic value until people buy and trade them, and a market price emerges based on how much folks are willing to pay. This is likely to upset people who want their investments to be “sound” and “have an actual reason for being worth money.”

As for who is behind the new-and-improved Goatse site and the token—that’s unclear. Someone calling themselves “GoatseNakamoto”—an apparent reference to Satoshi Nakamoto, Bitcoin’s anonymous inventor—emailed me with a Goatse domain address and said they were open to an interview, but has been unresponsive for over a week. (If you’re out there, GoatseNakamoto, I have some questions for you.)

This isn’t the first time that someone has attempted to combine blockchains and dank memes. The Rare Pepe Directory, for example, uses tokens issued over the Bitcoin blockchain to maintain the rarity of certain Pepe the Frog memes. The Goatse token sets itself apart by leveraging the Goatse.cx domain’s legendary web status to give it some dank meme pedigree.

According to the whitepaper, the team behind the Goatse token will also put aside a pot of funds for Kirk Johnson, a man suspected of being the original Goatse. “Never before has one man given so much to so many but asked so little,” the whitepaper states. “Thank you Kirk.”

Given the anonymous inventor and generally joke-y tone of the ICO, it’s probably best to take a wait-and-see approach to this whole thing. Even the best Initial Coin Offerings are very risky investments, especially since many have been shown to be prone to simple hacks that fleece eager investors of their funds.

Still, the Goatse token already seems to have more going for it than some other ICO’s out there, like the FUCK token. But regardless of how any of this goes, the reemergence of the once-shocking Goatse (now with the equivalent of a fresh haircut and a suit) makes it a remarkable day on the internet.

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