Bitcoin Bull Fails to Keep Promise to Ross Ulbricht

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According to Ronnie Moas, Asian Ross Ulbricht supporters were so excited that Bitcoin didn’t re-tread the $20,000 threshold in time for New Year’s Day that they were already bugging him about it before the ball had even dropped.

Moas is a renowned financial analyst known for his crypto leanings.

Free Ross … On Your Own Dime 

Ross Ulbricht is one of Bitcoin’s earliest entrepreneurs, having founded the Silk Road before most people knew what the cryptocurrency was, in 2011. The Silk Road Darknet Market, the first of its kind, processed billions in mostly illicit transactions for a couple of years before Ulbricht was arrested at a library in San Francisco. 

Ronnie Moas and Civic CEO Vinny Lingham made a bet way back in October 2018, when the Bitcoin price was having an awful time, about where it would stand on January 1st, 2020. Moas took the bull position, believing that Bitcoin was in the throes of a deep recovery. 

While Bitcoin has jumped roughly 200% since then, it was still not even half the way there on 1/1.

The bet was for $20,000, and Moas himself suggested that the proceeds should go to a charity of the loser’s choosing. Moas named and indicated that, in the event he lost the bet, his dues were supposed to go as a lump sum to, a non-profit organization operated by Ross Ulbricht’s mother. 

The stated goal of is to work toward freedom for Ulbricht, who has had his sentence of life-without-parole upheld in at least one higher federal court. The drug kingpin (sans drugs) received a harsher sentence than El Chapo, but his best chance at freedom, at this point, is a presidential pardon. 

Should’ve Used a Smart Contract

If you follow the Bitcoin market at all, you already know that Lingham won. Like his Asian counterparts, Lingham didn’t shy away from reminding Moas about the commitment he’d made. 


Moas didn’t like the implication. He says that shortly after making the bet and committing to, he regretted it. 


In a four-part tweet, the analyst explains that in a past life he audited non-profits. Instead of giving to, Lingham explained that he would give $4,000 each to five (of 24) non-profit organizations Moas has “vetted.”

A Lesson in Civics

Neither party is well-known as a Bitcoin maximalist, but certainly Lingham was putting his money where his mouth is: his company’s identity platform, Civic, has struggled to gain momentum since its inception in 2017. 

The startup aims to use the Ethereum blockchain to help with KYC, government identification, and other identity applications. However, the bet was not about the price of Civic (CVC) or Ethereum, despite Moas’ efforts to steer the conversation in that direction. 

The analyst pointed out that CVC tokens are down 99% from their ICO price, which may or may not be 100% mathematically correct. 


Moas made a few points in his own defense.

  • Ross Ulbricht’s mother Lynn, who runs the charity, was “supposed” to contact Moas but never did. 
  • The 250,000 known supporters of Ross Ulbricht could easily raise $20,000 without creating moral hazards for Moas.
  • Ulbricht’s conviction currently looks permanent, meaning that the funds may go to better use elsewhere. 

Still, a deal’s a deal. 

Crypto personalities make bets all the time. Another famous one is between Jimmy Song and Ethereum co-founder Joseph Lubin, who disagree on whether Ethereum’s non-financial uses (like Civic) will ever see widespread adoption.

Elsewhere in the Twitterverse, famed Bitcoin bull John McAfee has reneged on his promise to “eat his own dick” if Bitcoin didn’t surpass $1 million per coin.


Craig Wright has yet to back off his “tulip trust” promises.