- CoinDaddy is the most famous “bitcoin rapper” in San Francisco.
- The 28-year-old behind CoinDaddy, Arya Bahmanyar, left a lucrative career in commercial real estate after he said he made a fortune in bitcoin.
- Bahmanyar now makes rap music inspired by bitcoin, and the community of power brokers and devotees who evangelize the digital currency.
Arya Bahmanyar, 28, makes rap music about driving Lamborghinis, “slinging coin,” and indulging an urge to check the price of bitcoin on his phone while he’s having sex.
His style of hip-hop is an acquired taste. But the biggest bitcoin devotees in the world are here for it.
After he said he made a million dollars in bitcoin,Bahmanyar left a lucrative career in commercial real estate and became the “bitcoin rapper” known as CoinDaddy. He writes and performs songs for YouTube, and lives off his earnings from investing early in bitcoin.
The self-described cryptocurrency millionaire hopes to turn his hobby into an entertainment brand, leveraging the character CoinDaddy to bring crypto culture to the mainstream.
CoinDaddy is the ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic of bitcoin rap
The first CoinDaddy track was inspired by a bad cryptocurrency trade that resulted in a big loss. Bahmanyar channeled his negative energy into creating a parody meditation tape that told listeners to breathe “bit” in and exhale “coin” out.
Friends shared the video: The song really spoke to down-on-their-luck traders. Its swift virality sparked an idea.
“I’m going to make songs that aren’t that good,” Bahmanyar said he thought to himself.
Though his music is inspired by prolific rappers Eminem and Sean “Diddy” Combs, it more closely resembles the stylings of “Weird Al” Yankovic, with a more specific appeal. The concepts string together bizarre crypto slang, like “HODL” and “mooning,” and iconic crypto figures.
In “Holding the Bag,” he name-drops several cryptocurrencies and boasts of buying the dips – the term for purchasing coin when the price is down, with an eye towards collecting big gains later. The second verse starts:
“Apartment’s looking like the Palace of Versailles/Long position riding on an all time high/If you want the ride, and you want the riches/Then buy more coin and get the b—–s”
Here’s the song:
The idea was to create music that holds a mirror to the crypto community. It aims to comfort investors in times of volatility, and self-congratulate when the price of bitcoin soars.
One of his most popular videos, called “The Siphoning,” tells the tale of two tokens: bitcoin and bitcoin cash. Bitcoin split in two last August when the popular cryptocurrency forked, creating bitcoin cash. The event divided bitcoin’s power brokers and caused the coin’s price to take a hit.
In the song, CoinDaddy assures his audience, “Bitcoin gonna live, bitcoin’s gonna live.”
How Bahmanyar made a fortune in bitcoin
Created in 2008, bitcoin is a cryptocurrency that allows people to buy things and send money without attaching their names to transactions. The core technology doesn’t rely banks or middlemen to function, and there are no obstructions to sending bitcoin across international borders.
It was the decentralized nature of bitcoin that first excited Bahmanyar, he said.
In 2013, Bahmanyar was a recent graduate of George Washington University looking for work and sharing an apartment with four other people in New York City. After a fateful encounter with a group of bitcoin boosters in a bar, he found himself at the apartment of one of the most vocal evangelists for what turned out to be an educational session on cryptocurrency. His new friend told him to dump all his savings into bitcoin, which he did.
Years passed, and he checked the price of bitcoin almost daily.
His parents begged him to undo his investment, calling bitcoin a scam, referring to it as “magic internet money.” But the price mostly trickled up.
“I just held,” Bahmanyar said.
He worked a series of unrelated jobs in entertainment, business development, pharmaceuticals, and commercial real estate before quitting his last job and taking off for a backpacking trip across Europe in 2017. He stopped checking the price of bitcoin.
It was during a visit to see extended family in Oslo, Norway, in October that a relative asked Bahmanyar what he knew about this crazy thing called bitcoin, according to Bahmanyar.
He pulled out his phone to show them an exchange app and saw that the price of bitcoin had more than doubled to nearly $US6,000 per coin within the four months since he stopped checking. He packed his bags for home, abruptly ending his visit.
“I was like, ‘What? I love you but not that much,” he remembered saying.
Bahmanyar returned to the place where he grew up – the San Francisco Bay Area – to be part of the action. He would not disclose hisinitial investment in bitcoin or his current net worth.
His advice: ‘HODL’
Last year at a holiday party for the San Francisco Bitcoin Meetup group, Bahmanyar stepped out for the first time in his new look.
He wore a long white fake-mink coat over a leopard print shirt and a matching porkpie hat. A photographer with the New York Times snapped his photo at the party, giving CoinDaddy his first brush with mainstream fame. He has the article framed in his apartment across the bay from San Francisco, near Oakland.
Bahmanyar said more people today know him as CoinDaddy than as Arya, his real name.
He spends most of his time travelling for speaking engagements and conferences. Bahmanyar said he drives the same car that he owned before making a fortune in bitcoin, but he eats out more often. He spends frugally, knowing that the price of bitcoin remains extremely volatile.
Bahmanyar plans to ramp up production of new videos in 2018 and create songs that educate people who are new to cryptocurrency investing – like a “Bill Nye the crypto guy,” he said.
When asked what advice he has for other bitcoin investors, he said, “Just hold.”
“I’ve done pretty well so far,” he added.
Disclosure: The author owns small amounts of bitcoin and ether.
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