I caught up with Mike in Space of Bitcoin Car Talk on the Telegram app and got him to answer 21 questions.
Scrilla: Is Mike In Space your birth name?
Mike In Space: No, it's my married name. I'm a progressive guy.
S: That’s very Canadian of you, lol. 2. How did you first get into bitcoin?
M: I first got into Bitcoin in early 2013. It had been in the news after a recent price run-up. I knew I wanted some immediately, but the challenge was actually getting it back in those days. Fortunately, Mt. Gox on-boarding seemed like too much of a hassle, so I turned to LocalBitcoins as well as bartering. I recall trading some VOIP credits early on for Bitcoin over Twitter.
S: Sweet. So 3.. Did your order get fulfilled?
M: Yes, it did! It was also done completely on the honor system, by the way. I sent the VOIP credits to some rando on Twitter and he actually sent the Bitcoin to my address!
S: 4. Have you ever used a tipping feature on social media?
M: Sure, occasionally I’ve received tips through ChangeTip, Tippr and Tippin.me. I don’t really solicit donations but it’s an appreciated gesture when someone sends me something. I’ve received a few dank rares as well, which are the most cherished.
S: 5. Can you tell the people who don’t know, what a dank Rare is?
M: I’m sure everyone has their own unique interpretation, but I kind of consider something dank when it’s so bad that it’s good. Kind of like watching a cheesy B-movie where you can see the strings holding up the floating monster. The fact that it’s Rare makes it an exclusive collectible.
S: True indeed. You're actually featured on a Rare Pepe trading card and it recently was sent into space. 6. Can u tell us a bit about this phenomenon and how it occurred?
M: So it started out as a joke one morning when @mandelduck suggested that a pepe depicting me should be transmitted by Blockstream satellite. Mike In Space *actually* in space, get it? I kind of ran with it because, of course, I have a massive ego. @johnvillarz (who has the technical skill) was kind enough to handle the details of sending the encrypted message which was broadcast by satellite and received by Blockstream engineer @notgrubles back on earth. I made a video about this monumental event which will premiere at RAREAF on May 18th in NYC.
S: Oh nice. I’ve seen the video (very funny) and I can co-sign that if you're in NY May 18 you should take some time out to hit up RAREAF- pauses to massage own ego- where I’ll have a couple art pieces on display too. 7. Would you consider yourself the Buzz Aldrin of Bitcoin?
M: No, that's absurd. But what's interesting is that when I Google myself, I often see that there is an actual NASA astronaut that frequently comes up in my results, Mike Massimino, who was the first person ever to tweet from space and appears to also have the moniker "Mike In Space". Mike Pence comes up a lot too.
S: 8. I’ve seen you make some good crypto memes. Can you say about how many memes you’ve thrown into cyberspace over your shitposting career?
M: Too many. It’s nothing to be proud of.
S: 9. Do you keep a full clip of memes in a folder ready to unleash at the right moment?
M: That would be smart. In reality they are littered throughout my phone’s camera roll interspersed with photos of my kids. I really should take a course to increase my meme efficiency. I think Jimmy Song offers one.
S: Lol ya a Brian Hoffman video? He makes good parodies. 10. You are most well known for your Bitcoin Car Talk program. How did you get the idea of that show and maybe give an elevator pitch of what it is if you want for those that may not be familiar.
M: When I initially tried my hand at content creation, I did a few traditional-style interviews before quickly realizing it just wasn't my thing. It's a crowded field these days with a lot of talented people in the space who do it much better than I ever could. But I did notice that one underserved niche in crypto is comedy, especially absurdist comedy. I got a lot of inspiration from Brian Hoffman's videos as well as the skits that used to be performed on Bitcoin Uncensored. The show itself often involves me going off on wild tangents rather than actually discussing Bitcoin to any degree. The elevator pitch is that it's a Bitcoin show that isn't about Bitcoin. I've heard the Seinfeld comparison, as well: it's a show about nothing.
S: Yea that’s a good explanation. Everyone check it out. 11. Have u always been into performing or making funny content? Or was bitcoin the catalyst?
M: Bitcoin was definitely the catalyst. I’m a very introverted person IRL. None of this makes sense to me. It’s a weird compulsion.
S: 12. Is the end Goal getting Bitcoin Car Talk syndicated across the world?
M: That would be amazing. I would love to see the Chinese version, the Russian version, the Mexican version. But I would need to learn all those languages first and I’m not sure there are enough hours in the day to crank-out that much content.
S: 13. Word. What is Bitcoin Weird to you? Any funny examples?
M: I think that current Bitcoiners were Bitcoiners at birth long before the technology even existed. You have to be a little weird (in a good way) to be drawn to this technology as an early adopter. So Bitcoin Weird is just an acknowledgement of our shared oddity.
S: That’s a good explanation. 14. When someone new asks you about Bitcoin and seems interested, what are the resources you point them to?
M: Aside from telling them to steer clear of obvious scams, I think people need to discover Bitcoin on their own. You can’t really short-cut the process. You need to go through the phase of thinking that PoW is wasteful and maybe PoS is an upgrade, all that stuff first-hand to arrive at a conclusion that really makes sense to you. You may get REKT along the way.
S: (Insert “I just learned about bitcoin and I’m here to fix it” meme)
M: Yes :joy:
S: 15. What does the term HODL mean and represent to you?
M: I tend to be a traditionalist. I believe the original intent of the forum post was not to panic sell and recognize that it’s difficult to time the perfect exit. So just sit back, relax and HODL. Over time you’ll be rewarded.
S: 16. So HODL is like savings? A speculative hedge ?
M: I don’t think it means to save indefinitely. I think the intent was to avoid panic selling the bottom.
S: Do u hold all of the bitcoins? Are u an indexer?
M: I’m of the opinion that indexing is a valid investment strategy for some people, especially if you’re not focused on this space 24/7. It’s a conservative strategy that balances out risk/reward. Personally, I don’t index but consider myself a more active investor.
S: 18. What are your thoughts/position on the current @bitcoin twitter handle war going on?
M: I’ve been fairly vocal on the matter. Despite what I may consider to be the “real” Bitcoin, I recognize that it’s subjective to some extent and this is also permissionless tech. No one owns the name. Aside from that, I don’t think advocacy should equal entitlement in terms of who should hold a twitter handle. If the ToS isn’t being violated, then I think it’s fine if the handle tweets about marshmallows or motorcycles all day or anything at all for that matter.
S: 19. Please break out the tea leaves.. Is Bitcoin still a thing in 100 years?
M: Here’s the way I look at it: there are first generation Bitcoiners in their early 20s right now. No matter if all the exchanges disappear and the price craters, there will always be a group of people who will keep Bitcoin going for the rest of their lives. I’m very convinced of this. So that takes us at least 60 years out from now. The real challenge may be the generational transition. Will our kids care about this stuff? Will our grand kids? If it takes over the world, sure, they’ll care. If it doesn’t, though, it will definitely still be around until at least the last of the OGs croaks.
S: Nice answer. 20. In your opinion, What’s the second best cryptocurrency/blockchain/DLT?
M: I think crypto is still largely in a speculative phase and the technology, while important, is almost secondary to the community that supports it. Without the people, the technology doesn't really matter. So I'm inclined to say, perhaps, Decred or Monero as they appear to have healthy communities.
S: 21. Finally, what’s one jewel/life lesson you can drop for our readers that you’d tell yer kids?
M: The universe doesn’t owe you that.