I had high, high hopes for Pirate Chain. It is based on ZKsnarks which enable private transactions. It is also one of the few cryptos that include the ability to send private messages along with transactions. All transactions are shielded by zero knowledge math proofs (spooky math). The cartoonishly silly cashtag $ARRR might have scared away “legit” altcoiners (if they exist).
But, this is an AnarchoCapitalist dream! With Central Bank Digital Currencies, which are government controlled crypto prototypes that will (likely) facilitate financial surveillance, PirateChain is a logical hedge. I was smitten.
I joined their Discord and attended weekly meetings. I had every reason to fall in love. Their Discord was an irreverent of salty memes, somewhat pornographic GIFs and lively conversations. The weekly meetings showcased projects and organizations that advocate privacy and security projects. They even have a pirate shanty, and it’s amazing!
It’s a variation on the Jollyman shanty and the chorus is this;
Soon may the Pirate Chain come, to bring us crypto gold and rum
One day when the system is done we’ll take our treasure and go (huh!)
Podcast appearances on the venerable Unloose the Goose survivalist podcast boosted sales. The implementation of “wrapped ARRR” wARRR allowing cross chain transactions was cause for celebratory buys.
And real Pirates are generous. Name That Tune contests, airdrops and scatterfire tips abounded in the Pirate Chain Discord. The big spenders (early investors in the 4 cent era, I’m told) would happily drench the online community with tokens, incentivizing community participation by react airdrops. Phrase drops would require users to type outlandish phrases like “Good morning pirates, have a wonderful day and may you have much rum and treasure” in order to be rewarded with ARRR tokens. Saturday nights would be a raucous blur of memes, airdrops and generous Pirates redistributing their tips to whomever posted the LOList memes.
Buying was difficult from the get-go, but that’s the allure. KuCoin is the best (worst) option. P2P transactions were facilitated in the trading channel, and I know a few pirates that participated. It’s been on sale for quite some time, hovering around 8 cents for years, spiking past 10 bucks during the rip (which coincided with Tax Day April 20th) and beyond. But it has steadily eroded down to the sub-dollar mark with market cap in the 130 million range.
Alas, when Quora became a partner, things started to sour. Quora is a “magic beans” project which promised to do just about everything while being based on Java and developed over the past 5 years by one person. I pointed my autistic friend to the Q and he laughed and said he wasn’t wasting time with white hatting a junior college coding project. The Pirate leadership was adamant. It was a sea change.
During a very dark evening, a Discord user named “Gunnery Sergeant Hartman” a nod to the tyrant Marine Corps Drill Instructor in Stanley Kuberick’s Full Metal Jacket, attained moderator privileges and started banning people for the mildest of misbehavior. Let’s Go Brandon meme? Banned. Calling someone a “commie”? Banned. As far as Pirates go, those infractions are merely baseline trolls to scare away the normies and Karens. The vast majority of Pirates have thick skins and healthy senses of humor. As AnCap pirates should be.
I had to get to the bottom of this coup upon my most favorite of sub-200 altcoins. Thankfully, I was invited to a splinter community of Discord denizens that had been ban-hammered by the Gunny. “Okay, dudes. What happened,” I asked.
The response: The "core team" is apparently having a civil war and used us in the middle of it.
Me: That sounds bad.
Other Pirate: With the DMCA I figure they want control
Another Pirate: All the [Komodo] chains are going through restructuring
Ahh, I thought. Komodo is the development kit that birthed Pirate Chain
Another user chimed in with: everyone We are currently crafting a response to the DCMA notice filed by a competitor project to our pirate repository on GitHub… https://www.dmca.com/FAQ/What-is-a-DMCA-Takedown
Takedown notification. Some “legit” investors got involved. The “owners” of Komodo didn’t like what the Pirate community was doing with their (copyrighted) software. Perhaps they were trying to sell the whole “open source” platform to reputable investors and the spirited nonsense on the Pirate Chain Discord had to go. Trump memes and literal pirate booty was disallowed. This was the only nail in the coffin, but sometimes you only need one.
This mutiny of normies shed light on the errors, dumbness and worst traits of crypto projects attempting to normalize.
So be aware, altcoiners and NFTers- if your supporting platform or artist does not like what you are doing with their IP, despite claims of “fair use”, the can choose to take you down, Normie Style.
Let this be a cautionary tale to you aspiring pirates, NFT minters and altcoin aficionados- there are copyright bullies, normies and Karens out there that will gut your fledgling or full-blown community of the crypto cred that you spend years building in the cryptoverse.