The cryptocurrency world is an odd one, with schemes ranging from a Jesus Christ-themed token to the proposed purchase of a small libertarian country. Meanwhile, the prices of Bitcoin and Ethereum keep soaring (albeit still with dramatic swings), and more money than ever has poured into "initial coin offerings." The strange, frothy market is accompanied by important innovation, much like the early days of the internet itself. There's no reason why that can't apply to diet as well as finance.

Wait, what? Yes, diet -- you read that right. The cryptocurrency community has experienced an emergent surge of unusual diets. A popular option is the ketogenic diet, which entails eating lots of fat, moderate protein, and very few carbs. But some people go farther than keto: They only consume meat, a practice known as carnivory. Y'know, like wolves and lions and such. The carnivores say they're modeling their habits on what humans evolved to eat, like a more extreme version of the paleo diet.

Neeraj Agrawal, the communications director at cryptocurrency policy think-tank Coin Center, has noticed this phenomenon. "There is probably a bit of self-selection going on here," he explained via Twitter DM. "You can't really work in cryptocurrency without an openness to weird ideas." The technology unites people who are willing to challenge a foundational assumption like how money works. Naturally, Agrawal said, "It's not surprising that many of these same people are looking at other parts of society that some might considered 'settled questions,'" he said, "like what makes a healthy diet and trying to find a better way."

Zcash creator Zooko Wilcox made the same point on Twitter, noting that "there are few defenders of the nutritional orthodoxy among cryptocurrency folk." He continued, "Carnivory and veganism are both heterodox."

Zooko (who usually goes by his first name, a la Madonna) even offered to talk Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin into carnivory.

One of the best-known hardcore carnivores is Michael Goldstein, founder of the Satoshi Nakamoto Institute and self-described "Bitcoin and meat maximalist":

Saifedean Ammous‏, whose book The Bitcoin Standard is forthcoming from Wiley, is another evangelist of carnivory: well as Bitcoin, of course:

Ferdous Bhai, whose team 21MIL runs Crypto Insider, is also on board:

Pseudonymous Twitter users @SteakAndIron and @TsonicTsunami round out the readily apparent examples.

Admittedly, it's unclear how many people are actually practicing carnivory (and how many of those people are Bitcoin maximalists in particular). But the topic has certainly generated chatter, at least in the lively portion of the cryptocurrency community that uses Twitter. If you try the all-steak diet, please let us know how it goes, especially if it enhances your investment returns. As Goldstein said, "Bitcoin carnivore bodybuilders shall inherit the galaxy." Why not test the hypothesis?

Published on: Sep 22, 2017