Crypto OGs — slang for Original Gangsters — have acquired almost a mythical and godly reputation in an industry populated with libertarians, anti-government rebels, innovators, get-rich-quick scammers, hackers and degen investors with rampant gambling addictions and toxic social media behavior.
Who are these OGs exactly? Unlike the rich and powerful in the traditional finance and conventional tech sector, crypto OGs are often protected by a layer of decentralized anonymity in a particularly wild corner of cyberspace. Who deserves this mythical label? The year they got into crypto? Their current net worth? Their lifestyle? Their impact on the industry?
How can you separate the randos and wannabes from the OGs? Without further ado, here’s our guide to spotting OGs at any networking party, written with insider tips from real-life OGs.
Crypto OGs story
1. The shadowy super coders and/or anon founders
These are the OGs that look underwhelmingly and deceptively average.
In New York and San Francisco, they’re the ones going around like starved college students, burying their heads under a hoodie and nodding to electronic beats from their headsets on a subway train. In Singapore, they are the ones blending in seamlessly with any given “uncles” at Kopitiams, wearing nondescript shabby shirts, slippers and Bermuda shorts.
These OGs are in crypto “for the tech”; they’re long tokens, and, hence, tend to be crypto rich but cash poor.
“I don’t have fiat, I really don’t,” Cyclone* tells me. (*Cyclone is not his real fake name.) He’s a shadowy super coder and anon founder who has been collaborating, developing, advising and consulting for many critical projects since he discovered Bitcoin in 2012: from Lightning Network to landmark proto DeFi platforms, to algorithmic stablecoins, such as the infamous UST. He is currently tackling cross-chain, as he sees that as the next critical development in the industry.
I meet him over lunch at a humble coffee shop in Singapore, in between his trips…