Alpaca

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One of the unofficial mascots for Bitcoin[1].

The connection between Bitcoin and the Alpaca likely originated from the February 10, 2011 post on Slashdot which described various goods and services could be purchased with bitcoins[2]. Because the slashdot crowd has a tendency to be critical (they summarized Apple's 2001 iPod announcement as "lame", for instance[3]) or humorous ("Do alpacas really wear socks?"[4]) the meme involving the Alpaca was born.

The mention in Slashdot included a link to the page for a merchant, Grass Hill Alpacas, that sold Alpaca products for bitcoin[5]. He used that transaction in a subsequent article comparing using Bitcoin as a medium of exchange versus the coincidence of wants that a barter exchange suffers[6]. Shortly after receiving the media mentions, most of the merchant's product offerings had sold out for the remainder of the season.

Bitcon's lead developer Gavin Andresen tweeted that he had purchased wool socks with bitcoins.

In March, 2011 the What is Bitcoin? video described Alpaca socks as one of the products Bitcoins could buy.

The reference to Alpaca socks has since been mentioned in quite a number of blog posts, news reports and videos occurring in the months since[7], [8], [9], [10], and [11].

The Bitcoin community has generally identified with the Alpaca and the Alpaca-Bitcoin meme. An example comes in a response on IRC following the conviction of Bernard Von NotHaus in which the U.S. DOJ labeled him a domestic terrorist for issuing a private currency[12]. The quote "We are 'alpaca-sock-wearing crypto-terrorists'" resonated with Bitcoiners, and the meme persists[13].

References

  1. The others might include the Honey Badger.
  2. Online-Only Currency BitCoin Reaches Dollar Parity
  3. Apple releases iPod
  4. Obvious question
  5. Alpaca Products for Bitcoins
  6. Open source identity: Bitcoin technical lead Gavin Andresen
  7. Crypto Currency
  8. My Money Is Cooler Than Yours
  9. What Bitcoin Is, and Why It Matters
  10. What Are Bitcoins?
  11. The World's First Bitcoin Road Trip
  12. Thoughts On The Liberty Dollar Debacle
  13. We are "alpaca-sock-wearing crypto-terrorists"