Crypto-masculinities: Bitcoin vs Altcoins

My Masculinity Coin project highlights how normative masculinity is so prevalent in the cryptocurrency community. I’ve previously mentioned how celebrities such as Ghostface Killahand Floyd Mayweather have lent a heavy-weight masculine vibe to cryptos.

More recently, I have noticed how John McAfee is contributing to this Stage 2 factor, with a string of tweets showing the famed libertarian posing with weapons and making highly unsavoury comments about women.

But it is also worth noting that a split in perception about masculinity is appearing in the crypto community. One crypto tweeter created some attention by posting the photo above with the comment, “Bitcoin and Ethereum community can’t be anymore different.” On the left, representing bitcoin, is a weapon-wielding MAGA-hat-wearing tough guy. On the right is Vitalik Buterin, co-founder of Ethereum, who is presented as weak and effeminate.

A similar point was made elsewhere this week, with the infamous pick-up-artist Roosh suggesting that bitcoin is “alpha” whereas altcoins are “beta.”

This appears to be developing as another example of what may appear at first glance to be a monolithic example of hegemonic masculinity that actually contains various counter-hegemonic elements. These internal differences are often missed by progressive critics and researchers (which is partly why they are rarely taken seriously by those they critique).