Cryptoland: Unrolling my livetweets of the video from hell

by Molly White on

Here's an easier-to-follow version of my tweet thread about the absolute fever dream that is the "Cryptoland" promotional video.

If you got a kick out of this, you might like my project:
Web3 Is Going Great.

Twitter an up-and-coming crypto scam—er, project—has managed to dunk on cryptobros better than any satirist i've seen so far, with one of the most painful-to-watch youtube videos i've seen in a while. join me in hell as we watch this together:
Twitter "do you want to be part of the world's first physical crypto island?"

there are few things i want less
Twitter "a private island with a complete ecosystem that represents the blooming crypto space"

these people are going to die on this island aren't they
Twitter the video begins with a montage of men bro-hugging and clinking beers, with not a woman in sight. they seem to have taken inspiration from the Fyre Festival promo, but maybe they couldn't afford the hot models?
Twitter they tout their 60 parcels of 1 acre each, with careful wording that visionary investors will "acquire land" (despite later portions of the video, which show a guy turning up to a fully-built mansion on what appears to be much more than an acre)
Twitter they don't mention the starting price, so i looked it up for you. 319 ETH a pop, or about $1.2 million.
Twitter we cut away from the island rendering now to @kyle_chasse on a zoom video hyping the project, clearly reading from a script just off-screen. he claims they have spent "$500,000 of their own money" on the project
Twitter now an unnamed person hypes the project, though the most specific praise he seems to have is "look at the quality of this 3D animation". buckle up, it's time for the animated video and it is a doozy.
Twitter "hi! this is me, christopher. a cryptodegen with a crush for cryptokitties"

end my suffering
Twitter someone who was not familiar with cryptokitties has pointed out to me how much it sounds like he just said he was "a cryptodegen with a crush for cryptokiddies", underscoring why you have people test-watch your promo videos
Twitter he flies in on a helicopter and disembarks, overhearing a conversation:

"so, are you coming to the vladimir club party tonight?"
"yeah! just for cryptolander NFT holders, right?"
"yeah man!!"

we now meet connie (so like... con?), the anthropomorphic coin
Twitter an arch over the entrance reads "WELCOIN TO CRYPTOLAND: The hodlers of last Resort"
Twitter evidently people on this island permanently have the overexcited energy of awkward convention-goers meeting fellow nerds who get their in-jokes for the first time, because they're standing on a dock yelling "honeybadger don't care!" and "we are going to make it!"
Twitter the keys to christopher's mansion say "not your keys, not your bitcoin" on the keychain. "where do you come up with these crazy ideas?" he asks. connie looks in the direction of a flushing toilet sound. at this point i was strongly wondering if this was satire.
A hut with a rounded top and a door with toilet symbols on it has the sign over the entrance saying 'Shitcoin'
A crying meme face is above a toilet roll that says 'WIPE PAPERRR' above it. The toilet paper is dollar bills.
Twitter connie and christopher get into a yellow lamborghini and make their way to christopher's mansion in "the blockchain hills".
Twitter they arrive at a fully-built mansion, complete with a bear-fur rug, in-floor hot tub, and foosball and pool tables. i'm pretty sure this project is only actually selling land, but i guess we'll just gloss over that.
Twitter christopher now awkwardly hits on a cute shy girl who reaches for a fork at the same time as him at the crypto restaurant. somehow she resists stabbing her eyes out with it after he makes a bad joke about blockchain forks.
Twitter the musical number begins. i nearly gave up at this point. if you drink, i would recommend pausing the video to go get one.
Twitter "musical" is maybe generous for whatever this is
Twitter "i'm exhausted" says connie after the dance number. me too.
Twitter "i'm still amazed by the success of the cryptolanders NFT collection", says christopher. i assume this statement is also set in some far-future where the island also actually exists, because the NFT collection he mentions is currently enjoying lukewarm success at most
Twitter it's another dime-a-dozen generated NFT, this one based on the "connie" mascot. they're... not great. the average price for one of these babies over the past 90 days was 0.15 ETH, or $575. not exactly buying-an-island-in-fiji money.
A turquoise anthropomorphic coin has yellow Trump-like hair, dollar signs for eyes, and is smoking a joint.
A green anthropomorphic coin has a black top hat that says 'WAGMI', Bitcoin-shaped glasses, and has a pill on its tongue.
Twitter now they're in a room in a casino full of people playing air hockey. everyone pictured appears to be male, except for a waitress who is being painfully hit on by a man in a pepe the frog shirt. this may be the most realistic part of the video.
A man wearing a Pepe the Frog 'Feels good man' shirt talks to a waitress holding a tray of drinks, wearing some sort of Egypt-themed headdress
Twitter "oh my god." says christopher, looking around the casino. "this must be a joke."

at this point in the video i was thinking the same.
Twitter remember the cute girl from the fork joke? a seagull steals her hardware wallet. christopher saves the day, and the two of them float off in the sunset in a "cryptokitty" inflatable.

we've finally gotten to the end of the animated video.
Twitter now we meet max olivier and helena lopez, the cofounders. googling them turns up little, except for this article (in spanish) about "the man all spanish youtubers hate".
Twitter it describes how both olivier and lopez were involved in a magazine that published papparazzi photographs of a youtuber named elrubius, and his girlfriend, who he had previously tried to keep private. the magazine shut down shortly after.
Twitter after publishing the paparazzi photos, olivier tried to cover up his ties to the magazine, then apparently falsely claimed that he was not active in the magazine's day-to-day operations. shady.
Twitter anyway, back to the video. helena and max are on stage to talk about crypto land at some sort of small press conference. helena speaks now.
Twitter "today marks a very important milestone. it's taken us a very long time and a great deal of work, but it's been worth it because now we can finally say that cryptoland exists. it exists in digital form, but it exists nonetheless"

oh dear.
Twitter "this is v1", she says, pointing at a banner showing an island. wait, what is v1 exactly?

"now we're going to enter into a very, very, very exciting phase, which is migrating v1 into the physical world, v2"
Twitter "cryptoland is the first crypto-themed place on earth" he says, failing to mention it doesn't exist
Twitter now we're shown a series of sketches for gyms, menus, and... toilets, because apparently these folks don't want you to be able to escape "crypto related messages" even in the bathroom. the overlaid text has multiple typos.
Sketches for various ideas. Overlaid text reads 'The toilets are part of the expereince[sic], every element will be representing a crypto related message' and 'The order book is the menu of the Crypto restaurant, every dish is named after a crypto reference. Very funny!'
Twitter over a montage of max and helena jetsetting, helena talks about searching for a location. she says it will be an "eco-friendly crypto-paradise", though doesn't explain how that will work with the lamborghinis or the fact that the project is set up on the ethereum (PoW) blockchain
Twitter "we quickly realized that it was practically impossible to convey this all with a PDF or something, because it's so abstract.... like the lambos, the bitconnect scam memorial, the cryptokitties... things that we know people will get it if they see it"
Twitter "more than 30 talented 3D artists from pixar-type production companies participated in the creation of the cryptoland short film, which took more than a year to complete"

so i guess that's what they did with the $500k that kyle chasse mentioned at the beginning of the video
Twitter max: "using the space wisely has raised a series of challenges because we have a limited area, yet nothing important can be left out". this, he clarifies, includes the "rockstar cryptocurrencies having their own space" to convey their "powerful status"
Twitter that's a relief, because we certainly wouldn't want them to waste space on trivial things like sanitation or power facilities

[Quoted tweet by Grady Booch]
Oh. My. God.

I have no words.

As someone who lives on an island, I have to ask: where do they put services such as sanitation and electricity? How does one get food to the island? Where do the people who provide services for all the cryptofanatics live?
Twitter "we are already partnering with some of the most visionary projects of the cryptoverse", says helena, not mentioning which. "this is the last and most important step before we start the actual construction of the site" is it???
Twitter max and helena finally wrap up the video. "we'll become the number one safe haven for crypto lovers"

like... tax haven? non-extradition haven?
Twitter i spent a fair bit of time trying to determine if this is a real project or some beautiful satire. i'm still holding out hope it's the latter, but unfortunately it seems like it may be the former. there is an NFT project behind it, an active twitter account, and...
Twitter ...a 10k+ person (though possibly bot-heavy) discord server. crypto investor @kyle_chasse has talked them up (YouTube video) as has @CharlieShrem (tweet)
Twitter anyway, this has been my villain origin story
Twitter - "who could fall for this scam?"

well this "Cryptolander" apparently hasn't bothered to even ask where the island is
discord chat:
person 1: 'Yes, I watched that already, it's what piqued my interest in this discord in the first place. But they don't state where the island is.'
person 2: 'im sure when the CEO joins voice chat with us again he will disclose that information not sure if anyone has asked the exact location'
Twitter the island they're eyeing is probably this one, which is currently listed for sale for $12 million

[Quoted tweet by @MadBastard_v2]
Okay, so I did a little looking up, and apparently, the island that they're planning on using for this is Nananu-i-cake, in Fiji.

Looks like a nice place. Except it's a tiny island. Not even a mile across it's widest part.

And.... some people live there already.
Twitter for some reason 🤨 you have to check a box asserting that you are not a US citizen in order to purchase (sorry, mint) a parcel, which raises some questions about how @kyle_chasse supposedly managed to
Purchase form, with checkboxes at the bottom reading "I'm not a US Citizen" and "I have read the why paper"
Twitter this is apparently news even to their "super mod"
Discord chat:
Person 1: 'Can anybody explain why you can't mint a plot if you're a US citizen?'
Cryptolander super mod: 'You get 5% for a referral so like 75k referral bonus'
Cryptolander super mod: 'You certainly can, Kyle chase[sic] is American'
Person 1: [screenshots of the form showing you have to check a box]
???
Person 2: if anything it's way too low
Cryptolander super mod: I don't have an exact answer for you on that, I'll speak to the team, but it is likely just a bit extra paper work that needs to be done first'
Twitter i am, sadly, reading their whitepaper now. so far they plan to power the island through diesel generators and uproot some pesky mangroves that are in their way. eco-friendly!
Twitter "electric buggies will deliver people and goods around the island over the buggy roads"

now hang on, what happened to the lambos??
Twitter "Masterplan.pdf" includes plans for staff lockers, break room, etc. but there are no staff accommodations. This presumably means that staff will not stay on the island, which I'm sure will go just fine when one of those Fiji storms blows through and they can't get to work.
Twitter Infrastructure.pdf might be convincing at the quickest of skims. it falls apart under closer reading, such as where it directly contradicts itself.
Screenshot of a document. Highlighted text reads 'Supply and installation of Diesel Fuel Tank with the capacity of dispensing fuel for a seven days' continuous operation of the Generator at its 100% capacity.'
Screenshot of a document. Highlighted text reads 'The diesel tank shall be suitably sized to hold 3 days of fuel supply for the continuous operation of the generators.'
Twitter "It is anticipated that part of the Islands facilities such as the Laundry, Offices, Marina, Garbage storage rooms, etc. will be based on the Mainland."

what could go wrong
Twitter there is no visible indication that they've made plans for things like fire or medical emergency services
Twitter back to the "why paper" now. the first three pages are small-print terms and conditions. they are SUPER CLEAR you can't buy these NFTs if you're an american. doubt that's enforced on opensea in any way; wonder how many owners are from the US
Twitter they seem to have search-and-replaced to capitalize "King" elsewhere in the document, so their legalese includes stuff like "hereby disclaims, any representation, warranty or undertaKing in any form whatsoever..."
Twitter The Distributor will be an affiliate of [Sat Elite Limited, a company incorporated in the Seychelles with company registration number [NUMBER]] ("CRYPTOLAND")

i'm sure they're from there or something, not because it's a tax haven that's been home to several crypto scams
Twitter a bunch more CYA type wording that i am in no way qualified to interpret but that i suspect any lawyers reading this thread would get a big kick out of
Twitter "CRYPTOLANDERS can hear, see, touch, eat and smell crypto all day long."

i do not wish to know what crypto smells like
Twitter "The most exciting and fun beach will make you want to take your eyes off your portfolio."

do not take your eyes off your portfolio.
Twitter "The Blockchain Bar: The coolest overwater bar to enjoy some drinks like a true Chad with fantastic views over the Crypto Beach."

in case their target demographic was not already painfully apparent
Twitter "The Bitconnect Memorial: ... A tribute to the most notorious of crypto scams."

not a tribute to the victims of the scam, a tribute to the scam itself. classy stuff.
Twitter "The spa also has a Yoga studio to practice and meditate hearing only the sounds of nature."

i assume the sounds of nature in this case also include the bros screaming "to the moon!" outside the studio
Twitter "Why Fiji? The reasons that lead to the conclusion that Fiji is the best place are:
...
Fijian people are among the most welcoming and nice in the world. They have a kind nature and an amazing and very interesting culture."

gross colonizer bullshit, who could've guessed
Twitter "THE PARCELS ARE 1 ACRE EACH AND WILL COME WITH:
* Development potential"
Twitter "Disclaimer: King Cryptolanders funds will NOT be used to purchase the island. The island will be purchased with other sources of funding."

no further information on this whatsoever.
Twitter now we've gotten to the roadmap. evidently there's a cryptoland metaverse project, merch, and PVP game to look forward to, because why focus on one project when you can try to tackle all of them?
Twitter some brave souls have tried to ask questions in the discord server and the cryptolanders aren't taking it well.

"stop spreading FUD!", the rallying cry of crypto scammers everywhere
Discord chat:
Person 1: Im pretty sure those free NFTs are just bait lol
Cryptolander 1: Lol they aren’t tho
Cryptolander 2: You should do some research
Cryptolander 3: your entitled to your oppinion but dont be coming here spreading fud and trying to cause fear raise your concerns to mods team ie Wagmi role  or just research yourself and stop reading other people bull [poo emoji]
Person 1: Didn’t someone in here call the director of planning in Fiji and confirm that this is all a scam? 
Cryptolander 2: I have a good feeling you wouldn't even be able to if you wanted
Cryptolander 3: i've got  10 of these nft dont i look scared like im being scammed? im very bullish on this nft and im going to whale in hard 
Person 1: Wouldn’t be able to what? Invest?
Discord:
Cryptolander 1: I have a question for you. How did you find the project?
Cryptolander 2: no they didnt stop reading bull shit and read the #faq #official-links  read actual doscuments and not crap people type on social media cause they was kicked from the server
Person 1: I saw that hilarious video/animation thing and had to join this server out of curiosity
Cryptolander 2: join to talk fud more like, your either trolling or researching take your pick, dont waste the teams time
Cryptolander 1: I can see from the questions asked and your interaction so far that you haven't bothered to do any research and that you just want to spread FUD because you're bored or something
Person 1: Yknow this seems like an island for millionaires… it would’ve been a good call to spend more money on the CG animation in the video
Cryptolander 2: you actually are clueless, maybe take 10 mins from typing and go do some reading, and you might learn something
Twitter probably not fair of me to label the cryptolanders speaking here as scammers, since i don't think they're mods or part of the team. these are just True Believers who are somehow totally bought in to this idea
Twitter this cryptolander is going to be floored when they learn about home inspectors
Discord message from "Cryptolander": do your own research dont listen to what everyone else thinks, if you think something is a great investment make your own decision, if someone you dont know told you not to buy a house even though you liked it would you listen to them still?
Twitter their discord bot bans links to the website that shows that this island they have all these plans for is still listed for sale.
A Discord message from "Cryptoland Bot":  sending links from that website isn't allowed in Cryptoland! [rage emoji]
Twitter oh, if anyone's looking for the documents i've been referring to, i've copied them here: (Google Drive)
Twitter did you think it couldn't get worse? it sure can!
Twitter conversation: Lil Head Ass “EBAY” @widesauce: .@cryptoland  what will the age of consent be in Cryptoland? 
      CRYPTOLAND @cryptoland: Mental maturity should be more than enough! ;)
Twitter caveat: i haven't been able to independently verify this (can't find an archive link), but there is a deleted reply from the cryptoland account on the original tweet.
Twitter archive link found 🙃

[Quoted tweet by @widesauce]
Got ‘em (again) (archive.org)
Twitter :( was it something i said?
Screenshot of Twitter showing I'm blocked. Screen reads: CRYPTOLAND @cryptoland You're blocked
Twitter "orchestrated attack"
Discord message from "Cryptopher": @everyone We are getting targeted by low/no life trolls lately on social media and here on discord. They are spreading FUD, do not worry they will get tired of it soon. Looks like an orchestrated attack, some bots are also used so it can be the competition or just some normies/teenagers having fun. We are investigating and will act accordingly. [Pepe the frog grimace emoji] Special thx to our awesome mods who are helping cleaning them out [Pepe the frog emoji with crown]"
Twitter more shady business:

[Quoted tweet by Hahaitsfunny]
Lol... Hey @cryptoland - you got anything to say about this? One of the staff you advertise on your website is not affiliated with your project at all. Sounds like a scam to me!
Instagram message exchange with Bartosz Domiczek First message is cut off; begins: 'project out there - cryptoland.is - which claims that you helped work on and produce concept art, and that you are affiliated with the project. While I would be remiss if that were true, because being a part of ponzi schemes and fraudulently trying to attract investors is never cool - I have a feeling that the work highlighted in the video is not yours.' Reply: 'Hi! Thanks for letting me know. I did some concepts for them a few years ago but I am not affiliated with this project whatsoever. I will request them to take down my name from the site.'
Twitter and they used stolen assets in the animation:

[Quoted tweet by kamilabianchi]
Hello, you have been using my Seagull Rig to advertise your product. This is not authorised. Can you please remove it from all your videos/ campaigns?
Twitter apparently cryptoland, a project entirely based on the "ideology" of crypto, goes running to centralized interventions when it suits them. fortunately decentralized services have existed since long before web3, and someone seems to have re-uploaded it to peertube
Hi Molly White, Due to a copyright takedown notice that we received, we had to take down your video from YouTube: Video title: Cryptoland presentation
      Video url: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=npc48Kb3Xn0 Takedown issued by: Cryptoland This means that your video can no longer be played on YouTube. You received a copyright strike. You now have 1 copyright strike. If you get multiple copyright strikes, we’ll have to disable your account. To prevent that from happening, please don't upload videos containing copyrighted content that you aren’t allowed to use.
Twitter i wonder why this project suddenly no longer wants people to watch the video they spent so much time and money on?

the video is also available on the wayback machine, though their player can be slow and they are more susceptible to takedowns: (link)
Twitter so much for "the future of the web will be decentralized, immutable, and free from the meddling of big tech companies"
Twitter as a little treat, the lovely and undoubtedly extremely attractive person who uploaded the video to peertube also shared this extended cut of the animation (nearly twice as long) in case anyone truly wishes to torture themselves: (link)
Twitter i'm wondering if the founders are trying to distance themselves from the project in taking down this video but not the one w just the animation. that's what they did with another project that went up in flames after they doxxed someone (see previous tweet)
Twitter if so, they probably wouldn't want people to see this extremely self-indulgent "Cryptoland founders" video they made: (link)
Twitter and i sincerely apologize for each and every one of them
Twitter "cease and decease" (tweet link)
CRYPTOLAND @cryptoland Replying to  @xellios83  and  @williamlegate We are not impersonating anyone. Sending a letter of cease and decease is a perfectly legit tool to ask a person to stop spreading misinformation.