Hayden Otto has taken his enthusiasm for bitcoin as a form of currency and peer-to-peer electronic cash to new levels. He’s gone from a curious admirer to full on defender, in fact, producing two compelling videos. They’re both slick, a little tongue-in-cheek, and smuggle-in some education and history without hitting viewers over the head. His mission is to make bitcoin great again, and News.Bitcoin.com caught up Mr. Otto for an interview.
For at least two videos now, the cryptocurrency world has been entertained and provoked by a previously unknown Aussie, Hayden Otto. In his latest polemic, Mr. Otto narrates how we “live in a fast-paced world where commerce is built on the backbone of reliable tap & go transactions. A superior alternative emerged with the birth of Bitcoin; trustless P2P electronic cash that’s independent of central banks, governments, or any other centralized middle-men.”
It’s a smokey, smart visual as Mr. Otto, Bond-like, enters his shiny black Mercedes, complete with a Bitcoin.com logo. Thumping electronic music to Rage Against the Machine’s heated track, “Wake Up” (he used Kanye in an earlier video), A Tale of Two Bitcoins makes for entertaining viewing. It’s something those in the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) community can pass around and feel confident in doing that it will at least get a fair viewing.
Mr. Otto’s collaborators have included Sam Fregonese and Jack Hammonds, and they’re paying off in the form of high quality. That high bar allows Mr. Otto to proclaim, “Thankfully due to the open source nature of this project; faithful pioneers were able to fork away from the direction of this hostile takeover, with Bitcoin Cash. A return to Bitcoin’s former glory by reintroducing instant and irreversible transactions, plus onchain scaling – as was the plan all along.”
News.Bitcoin.com: What’s your story with regard to crypto? How did you get into it?
Hayden Otto: In 2016 I was in my 2nd year of an Information Technology degree and living at an all boys college. There was a drug dealer at this college who I’d heard was sourcing all his products on a Darknet marketplace and paid with Bitcoin. The only time I’d heard about Bitcoin before was when it caught media attention in the 2013 bubble and I was told it was a scam; this intrigued me and I set out to investigate. I bought my first Bitcoin for little over $500 USD on Localbitcoins and transacted it straight to an Electrum wallet. Little did I know that this day would turn out to be a pivotal moment in my life; I went down a rabbit hole of revelations about the financial system I’d been indoctrinated into, tyrannical governments and much more. I realised that Bitcoin had the power to undermine these systems, so I began accumulating more through trading and also promoted it to my friends and family.
How did you find BCH?
Once the scaling debate came onto my radar and I got up to speed, I was immediately advocating for an increase to the block size. Coming from a tech background, this was a no-brainer to me and I couldn’t understand why Blockstream developers were unwilling to at least try 2mb blocks. I later discovered this was intentionally done to cripple Bitcoin and force users off layer-1 onto Blockstream’s monetised side-chain. It was clear that Bitcoin (BTC) had no future as P2P electronic cash after witnessing Blockstream’s stranglehold resulted in skyrocketing fees, on-chain congestion and loss of Bitcoin’s first mover advantage to alt-coins. Thankfully big-blockers were able to split the chain before Bitcoin was tainted with Segwit, which gave us Bitcoin Cash. Now I’ve stepped up to fight harder than ever before to make people aware that in reality Bitcoin Cash is the Bitcoin described in the whitepaper.
To my knowledge, this is the second video you’ve done promoting BCH. Why is it important to you to make promotional videos?
Too many people have had the wool pulled over their eyes with Bitcoin. I had a strong desire to set the record straight and fight for what I believe in – P2P electronic cash. Storytelling in this format can be an effective way to convey information to people, since videos are easy to consume and they can be entertaining. Another factor which lead me to do this was the severe lack of any voice for BCH on Youtube, particularly in Australia where I live! The main Youtubers here demonstrate very little technical understanding and go with the flow of the censored sub r/bitcoin, else lose potential followers and face attacks from Bitcoin Core trolls. I, however, welcome such attacks, as their “arguments” are easily refuted or baseless name calling – which proves me right.
The first thing that jumps out about them is their production value. Is that something you consciously tried to do?
I’d noticed that nobody in the crypto space was making high production quality videos promoting the usage of their cryptocurrency in real life; it’s always some sort of animation with a voice actor narrating. I wanted to be sure that Bitcoin Cash was the first to do this, so decided to mix things up a bit and simultaneously raise the bar in regards to crypto video production. This was something that I felt would make the videos stand out in the cryptocurrency space and particularly to those who we wish to onboard. Do you fund this all yourself?
I’ve invested a lot of my own time, effort and resources into the production of the two advertisements I’ve made to date. On the most recent one I did receive some financial assistance from a few BCH shills (you know who you are). This was because the costs were just over $10,000 AUD for things such as camera rental equipment, location costs, the cinematographer and producer. Although the more elaborate video was worth exploring, it’s definitely far more cost effective to shoot something short and simple.
What are your future plans with regard to video production and BCH?
I will do more 1 minute videos because people have short attention spans, they are cheaper to produce and I can easily make them go viral on Twitter and Instagram. There are a number of BCH explainer videos in the pipeline which you can look forward to release soon. I’ve also been asked to create a promotional video for the BCH stress test, which is taking place on September 1st. If you would like to request something, feel free to DM me on Twitter @CryptoStratz.
What do you think about popular conceptions of crypto in the media? Let us know in the comments.
Images via the Pixabay, Otto Hayden.
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