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Having A Gas: This Week In Crypto Pop Culture, February 11-15




Demanding a bitcoin ransom from YouTubers, breaking down a PUBG-enabled crypto heist, and more crypto-themed game shows, please.

It's Friday, February 15, everybody! This week, we said a tearful goodbye to NASA's Opportunity rover. It was also the thirteenth anniversary of former Vice President Dick Cheney accidentally shooting someone in the face. So, yeah, weird week. But enough of that, let's get to this newest edition of Having A Gas, where we gather up a few of the lighter stories in crypto and blockchain news.

Like, Share, and Pay a Ransom

YouTube content creators ObbyRaidz and Kenzo had their channels held ransom by an anonymous extortionist who made copyright claims against their videos before then demanding a payment in the form of bitcoin to have the copyright claims removed. Both channels posted videos outlining their predicament and have continued to upload videos to their channels since communicating with the extortionist.

Both channels upload videos of general gameplay walkthrough of Minecraft, a game that partnered with crypto gaming platform, Enjin, last year in an in-game building contest that awarded its contestants $500 and 1,000 Enjin Coins.

Knowing that, this might be a Minecraft and bitcoin partnership that just didn't get the right media spin. If Minecraft/Enjin partnership focused on the game's strengths – designing something massive in the world of Minecraft – maybe this partnership was just focusing on bitcoin's strengths – being used as an extortionist's preferred ransom payment.

The Fiddliest Heist Ever Allegedly Devised

If you thought that was the only silly alleged criminal activity that happened this week, then you must be new here.

A group of 24 individuals were detained this week for allegedly stealing 13 million Turkish lira (about $2.46 million) worth of bitcoin, Ether, and XRP from an unnamed Turkish cryptocurrency company in Istanbul. The simultaneous arrests were carried out in eight provinces by Turkish cybercrime units. Strangely enough, the group was apparently communicating with each other via the online multiplayer battle royale game Playerunknown's Battlegrounds (PUBG).

It becomes much more fascinating when you try to wrap your mind around this Ocean's 24 collective of people allegedly pulling off a massive heist with the limitation of PUBG's voice chat and team sizes.

We have to assume they were playing in groups, otherwise turning on voice chat would have meant any of the 76 other players in a match could have heard them carrying out the heist. If they were playing in groups, PUBG's largest grouping for a single team is four, meaning, most likely, there were six groups of four people. However, only members of the same team can speak to each other, meaning there were six groups of four people who couldn't hear anyone other than who was on their team.

So, to put it all together, this means 24 individual people who couldn't communicate with more than three other people at a time allegedly managed to steal $2.46 million worth of cryptocurrency.

Given the usual state of PUBG's voice chat, I'd say this might actually be a step up.

Who Wants to Be a Crypto Millionaire?

Lastly, the Crypto Guessing Game is here to break up this crime heavy edition of Having A Gas, injecting some much need legal fun, even if just for a moment or two. Players are tasked with sorting through 150 different cryptocurrency icons and choosing the correct corresponding name associated with the logo.

Nothing is really lost if you get it wrong, although the game will unfortunately ask "Do you even hodl, bro?" But this got me thinking, if this game is an early sign that cryptocurrency is moving into app and board game territory, why not take it a step further and start some crypto-themed TV game shows to really help promote mass adoption?

Maybe something like "Satoshi Feud" where Craig Wright argues with no one about being Satoshi Nakamoto.

You don't even really have to change the name "Jeopardy!" for it to fit in with the cryptosphere.

And I'd love to see Drew Carey host "The Price Is Rising, Now It's Falling, Wait, Yeah, No, It's Still Fal – Oh Now It's Rising!"

That's it for Having A Gas. Join us next week, and remember, [insert clever catchphrase here].

Nicholas Ruggieri

Nicholas Ruggieri studied English with an emphasis in creative writing at the University of Nevada, Reno. When he’s not quoting Vines at anyone who’s willing to listen, you’ll find him listening to too many podcasts, reading too many books, and crocheting too many sweaters for his dogs, RT and Peterman.

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