6 questions for Goggles Guy who ‘saved’ crypto with question to Trump

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Malcolm DeGods, better known on social media as the “guy in the goggles,” asked presidential candidate Donald Trump a single question at an NFT event at Mar-a-Lago earlier this month — and has since been credited with triggering a crypto revolution in Washington.

We caught up with Malcolm about what he thought of his small part in crypto history and the story behind those gaudy sunglasses.

1. Tyler Winklevoss recently tweeted the “guy in the goggles completely reversed crypto’s fortunes in Washington.” How do you feel about that? 

I think that there have been a lot of very smart people — whether it’s Brian Armstrong and Paul Grewal or the Blockchain Association — who have been on the Hill dedicating their lives to crypto regulation and making the U.S. a safe haven or at least somewhere where crypto teams can operate.

While I do feel like my question played a little part in this and voiced a lot of concerns of the everyday crypto person, I’m very cognizant of the fact that it was not my question alone that is helping turn the tide of battle for favorable regulation in the United States. 

2. Some say it was actually the handshake between Donald Trump and Messari CEO Ryan Selkis that did it. What do you think?

It’s an amalgamation of things. You have the Blockchain Association and their work. I saw that Balaji credited Ryan Selkis’ ‘$1-trillion handshake,’ and my question also played a small role. I think there’s been a long fight, to be honest.

All the crypto execs in America, they spend their time in Washington, D.C.; they’ve been doing this for years. So, of course, you can try to pinpoint one moment or one handshake or one question as the turning point.

But in reality, in the longer arc of history, this has been a fight that’s taken some time. So, I don’t feel territorial at all about Ryan Selkis or [the] Blockchain Association poll. I’m just trying to see crypto win broadly, and I love the fact that there are a lot of crypto natives fighting for it. 



3) What about the ‘goggles?’ What’s the story behind them?

So, one of the most prominent memecoins on Ethereum is a memecoin called MOG, and Mog is this diehard community that’s rallied around this memecoin, which means “winning” in popular culture.

And so, if you look at my profile on Twitter, and many of my friends and crypto natives, we have these Pit Vipers on our profile pictures, which symbolizes Mog.

So, before we went to Mar-a-Lago, a person from the Mog team came over to our house and delivered us Pit Vipers and said, ‘Hey, you guys want to wear these at the Trump event, like that’d be awesome,’ and we said, ‘It’d be our honor.’ So, that’s the story behind the Pit Vipers — we were mogging at the Trump event.

Mog memecoin
Mog memecoin and its mascot, a laughing cat emoji with Pit Viper sunglasses.

4) How did you find yourself at the Trump event anyway?

The Trump and NFT team had approached us for some advice. I’m the chief of staff at DeGods, so I work on an NFT collection, and around the time they were going to do their first mint, they approached our CEO to get advice on some tactical questions and positioning and how the NFT markets work.

I don’t actually hold any of the Trump NFTs, but because we helped out, they gave us an invite to the VIP section of the Mar-a-Lago event, which was like a Q&A before the main dinner.

5) What are your thoughts on this so-called crypto “pivot” in Washington? Where do you see it going?

There’s a really long way to go for regulation. This is a moment where you can get excited because they’re acknowledging us, and they’re acknowledging the crypto community.

Related: Donald Trump declares US must not settle for ‘second place’ in crypto industry

But even with the FIT21 that passed [in the House], it still has to go through the Senate billing community, and they have to ratify or remake a bill, and it has to go through the Senate, and the Senate isn’t very crypto right now.

There’s just a long way to go for crypto in the U.S. 

Pit Viper sells on eBay
Not investment advice. Pit Vipers sell on eBay for around $15.

I have a feeling the Trump administration will continue to support it. After Mar-a-Lago, they launched campaign donation functionality, which is cool. I don’t think it’s a black-and-white answer where you can just say, “Crypto in the U.S. is now here to stay.”

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It’s going to be a long battle and a lot of nuance […] but it’s a step in the right direction.

6) How did you get into crypto?

I’ve been working in the space for three years since I was 20.

I originally got into it via a professor at NYU who gave me the Bitcoin white paper as assigned reading. Been hooked ever since. 

It was a small individualized study program at NYU where I designed a degree called Blockchain and Business. The course was “Finance for Social Theorists” taught by professor Peter V. Rajsingh.

Felix Ng

Felix Ng

Felix Ng first began writing about the blockchain industry through the lens of a gambling industry journalist and editor in 2015. He has since moved into covering the blockchain space full-time. He is most interested in innovative blockchain technology aimed at solving real-world challenges.


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