Crypto’s best use case? Buying goats on Twitter

After seven years in crypto, the best use of this magical internet money I’ve found so far is my 50 USDC purchase of Vincent Van Goat from a Kenyan man I found on Twitter


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Anyone who says that cryptocurrency is useless needs to spend $50 in crypto to buy a goat in Kenya.

All the talk about creating a new type of finance — throwing off the shackles of Wall Street once and for all — boils down to how easy crypto has made it to sit in my apartment in New York City, push a few buttons on my phone, and name a goat after a post-Impressionist painter.

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But the story of Vincent Van Goat starts much earlier than that.

At the beginning of April, Twitter user Richard Opany responded to a Worldcoin promotional tweet with an interesting bit of information: “I use the coins to buy myself a goat during this Easter.” He then posted a picture of said goat, adding “thanks.”

Crypto Twitter was tickled by the idea of someone using what aims to be the future currency of a universal world income for its intended use case. Twitter personalities Nic Carter and Zack Voell responded to Opany with queries about how to buy more goats, and the goat race was on.

By checking the crypto wallets that Opany has posted to solicit goat donations, he seems to have received about $2,900 in 15 different tokens so far. That would break down to about 58 goats, if he had unlimited space in his goat house. To be clear, we don’t know that he doesn’t, as he recently shared that only 30 goats can be safely housed in his new, expanded goat enclosure

But who exactly is Richard Opany, crypto’s newest goat maven?

While the expected goat-themed memecoins have popped up around Opany’s goat business, he had maintained that he had no affiliation with any goat coins up until yesterday, when he shared his new role as marketing director at Goat Dzaddy, which, worriedly for Vincent Van Goat, has a GOAT MEAT token affiliation.

Speaking to Opany via DM, the most important thing that I wanted to get straight was the specifics of his new crypto goat business. A quick search showed that goat meat is very much a staple food item in Kenya, so I needed to know: Would Vincent Van Goat end up on someone’s dinner plate someday?

Opany said no. These goats were meant neither for meat nor for milk, but instead for “rearing them incase [sic] they multiply [sic] in future.” This begs the question: With these goats named after some big crypto names like “Cobie” and “CZ,” could these crypto monikers end up as very unusual parental pairings?

Because at the time of writing this article, Opany appears to have purchased at least 22 goats with a variety of unusual crypto names. I’ve reached this number by counting how many different goat photos with unique names he has posted, but I haven’t done the full due diligence of comparing each of their coats and coloring to make sure he’s not double spending any goats. 

Because, hey, at the heart of this crypto goat story is trust.

There are established charitable organizations that let you buy animals for farmers in third-world countries or support environmental causes. I believe I’ve even purchased a sheep or two as Hanukkah gifts. These charities are organized to track everything, sometimes to the extent that your animal has a GPS-enabled chip or collar so you can watch them frolic around their habitats.

Opany’s crypto goat business is very much not that. 

Instead, you have to trust that the man running this X account will take your $50 in crypto and actually purchase a goat with it. There’s no way to check that he actually purchases said goat, no structures in place for visiting your goat in Kenya and no guarantee that he will even honor your name choice. 

Buying a goat from Richard Opany is almost a bastardization of the trustless nature of cryptocurrencies. Instead of a financial transaction with no trust involved, you use crypto in pure blind faith that you will get a goat at the other end. 

And I think it’s one of the best uses of crypto that I’ve ever seen.

I don’t care much about tech, I don’t care a whole lot about finance, either. I care about writing stories and watching weird things unfold. And that’s why I’ve ended up in crypto.

But because I’m missing that passion for what crypto and blockchain are all about — finance, tech, privacy, yadda yadda — I’m going to write instead about what I am actually interested in. Everything about crypto that has very little to do with crypto.

That’s what this column will be about. All the tangential stories that come out of the blockchain and crypto space, what I think about them, and how I navigate it all as a skeptical former Russian literature major.

It’s precisely my perch as an outsider that lets me do what I do: Opine on all sides of any crypto issue, no strings attached, no skin in the game.

If you want to talk crypto with me, let’s go off topic.

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