Do Kwon, the monarch of the “Lunatics,” wants to buy $10 billion in Bitcoin.
This year, a group led by Do Kwon wowed the laser-eye crowd by buying more than $1.5 billion in Bitcoin.
In 2016, when Do Kwon was still a little-known startup founder with grand ambitions to bring the open web to everyone, he discovered that his research on distributed networks had been saved, citing material on Bitcoin and Ethereum.
As a result, he knew he’d gone “down the crypto rabbit hole.”
Fast forward to the present day, and this relative newcomer is now one of the most powerful — and debatable — figures in that rabbit hollow.
On the one hand, there are the legions of crypto enthusiasts and deep-pocketed backers known as “Lunatics,” who have turned Kwon’s vision of creating a strong, virtual currency that is both simple to spend in real life and free of the tentacles of Wall Street and government regulators into some of the largest blockchain initiatives to date — with tens of billions of dollars price of crypto tied to the ecosystem.
(“Lunatics,” for the uninitiated, is a nod to the Luna token, which is designed to keep the Terra stablecoin, commonly known as UST, strong through some algorithmic wizardry.) (I’ll expand on that later.)
On the other hand, critics, including those within the crypto community, believe Kwon is doomed to fail. Some compare the ostensibly too-good-to-be-true 20% interest in the Terra blockchain’s lending-and-borrowing program to a single large Ponzi scheme that will eventually collapse under its own weight. Others have warned — albeit without much evidence — that it could bring down the entire virtual world.
Kwon, the 30-year-old “King of the Lunatics,” is at the center of it all. This year, a group led by Kwon wowed the laser-eye crowd by buying more than $1.5 billion in Bitcoin to help Terra, with plans to buy up to $10 billion in the token’s price.
This has made it a flash level for both supporters and detractors alike, attracting not only some of the unique cryptocurrency’s largest whales but also a flash level for supporters and naysayers alike. The purchases, according to believers, were a bold move to bring Kwon’s vision closer to reality. Skeptics believe it is a calculated ploy to divert attention away from a mission that will inevitably run out of funds.
In an interview with Bloomberg, Kwon, co-founder of Terraform Labs, said, “Right now, my role in the crypto industry is a little polarising.” “Because, as you know, we’ve been making a lot of significant changes.” And that ruffles a few ostriches.”
“We’ve been making a lot of big moves. And that ruffles some feathers.”— Bloomberg (@business) April 24, 2022
Meet 30-year-old Do Kwon, crypto’s “King of the Lunatics.” His plans to purchase up to $10 billion in Bitcoin has the market watching his every move. https://t.co/AzXdObkVw8
Kwon appears to enjoy causing a ruckus, and his online persona is built on expectantly combative and occasionally puerile tweets.
In reality, he rose to prominence in the crypto community after using the US Securities and Exchange Commission over its investigation of a Terraform-developed tool that allowed people to create, trade, and speculate on tokenized, artificial shares and ETFs without ever proudly owning the real thing.
So it’s no surprise that Kwon dismisses accusations that Terra is a Ponzi scheme on the verge of collapse. And he’s putting his money where his mouth is: In March, he staked an $11 million wager with two of his social-media critics — on the blockchain, no less — in the hopes of proving them wrong.
A lot of people in the crypto world are betting on the Stanford grad and former Apple and Microsoft engineers.
Despite his more than 360,000 Twitter followers, the card-carrying Lunatics are one of the most powerful names in the industry. Terraform Labs is supported by companies such as Coinbase Ventures, Galaxy Virtual, Pantera Capital, and a number of cryptocurrency enthusiasts.
In February, the Luna Basis Guard, the group that buys Bitcoin for Terra, raised $1 billion through a private sale of Luna tokens, with investors including Leap Crypto, 3 Arrows Capital, and others. Galaxy Virtual’s billionaire crypto luminary, Michael Novogratz, wears his admiration for Kwon and Terra on his sleeve.
Novogratz sized up Kwon’s pivot to Bitcoin as a reserve asset to boost UST once more in Miami. In his keynote address at the convention, he told the audience, “It’s not without risk, right?” “Right now, he’s going through a transition.”
The plan is to purchase $10 billion in Bitcoin. And as the ecosystem expands, so will the number of people who live in it. That’s fine as long as the bank doesn’t experience a run.”