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Show HN: Create your own crapcoin in 3 minutes (crapcoin.solutions)
206 points by vrepsys 3 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 92 comments

"The characteristic feature of the loser is to bemoan, in general terms, mankind's flaws, biases, contradictions, and irrationality — without exploiting them for fun and profit" -Taleb

OP: If you want to make some money with this, send me an email.

I get about 3 requests a week from get-rich-quick-minded people who want their own crypto.

Not serious players, not credible businesspeople, just average Joes who want to get in while the getting's good.

They would probably pay $500 or more.

We could make this work.

Interesting to see this comment here, and upvoted. I think it shows just how divergent the news.ycombinator community has diverged from ycombinator (the incubator). Or maybe the community is simply a reflection of what the incubator has become.

If you look at ycombinator's about or principles page, it's filled with words like helping, teaching, advise, benevolence. I for one, disagree wholeheartedly with the spirit of that quote, and find it disappointing to see it here.

I'll finish with a couple quotes found on other pages on this site that I hope still reflect the the purpose of this community/incubator:

"The most successful founders are motivated less by money than by a consuming interest in what they’re building."

"...empirically the benefits of benevolence are greater than the costs"


Interesting that you consider the incubator to be less focused on money. They are extremely rich, of course they have better PR.

They are and have been stealing the future from the public and giving it to the 1%(accredited investors).

I never said the incubator is less focused on money, and I don't believe that. I just think the incubator believes the best way to make money is to be passionate about your work, and that by being benevolent, people produce better quality products that make more money in the long run.

Apologies for misrepresenting your words then.

Benevolence is a good idea. I think it can be done through coin distribution.

None of this means they can’t honorably charge $500 for crap coins instead of giving away that work for free.

They can make a fair business out of it where they add a few optional addons and value adds.

Just because we think they are crap and arrogantly feel confident that no non-technical get-rich-minded joe smoe will derive any value (or perhaps "deserves" to) from it doesn’t mean that he/she won’t in fact benefit from it. One man’s trash...

And besides, there are lots of purposes for small independent coins/currencies: reward your kids for doing dishes as someone else pointed out, arcades, company rewards, etc. We may very well end up in a world with infinite currencies that interoperate with each other, thereby giving individual control back of our closest surroundings.

As far as YN’s principles, it’s PR rhetoric. It’s far from representative of the ultimate truth of the intentions and actions of all those involved. In practice, it exploits goodwill to make money for a few. I'm also not all that sure that's a bad thing either.

The devil is always in the details, and as programmers, we must look at them.

Obviously I’m someone who thinks it would be more beneficial if profiting wasn’t demonized. It leads to more disengenuity, which is worse.

There’s nothing wrong with putting your own survival first and desiring to make so much money you never have to worry about it again. The hamster cage is a waste of our lifetimes and very hard to permanently get out of. And if we are so capable to escape, we will surely be able to give back a whole lot. ..you know, like on how airplanes you put on your oxygen mask first before your child’s.

But yes, there’s a flip side: people get obsessed with making money, doing deals, creating things that new jacks would create anyway. It becomes an unhealthy addiction, and the giving back never really happens. I don't think a lot of people see this for what it is as it takes over their lives. Apps and technology become far overvalued.

I think demonizing making money will continue to create the rift that obscures the balanced middle path here. I also think a lot of people who promote how they aren't money-obsessed are obsessed with something else: how good and noble they APPEAR (which I'm not sure is as "real" as BEING good and noble). Likely, it was just too hard for them to get out of the hamster cage (reads: they're lazy), and gave up. Now they work medium energy days for some employer that drives the ship. I know this much: I refuse to spend the majority of my life hustling for survival, or even worse: being someone else's tool waiting for the clock to strike 5pm each day.

The path to me is clear: grind your ass off, get yours, then give back; be conscious and don’t get addicted to anything in your life. The world doesn't need our saving (it's going to continue spinning as an infinitesimal part of a far larger universe); question your intentions, focus on yourself, as they say.

> Interesting to see this comment here, and upvoted. I think it shows just how divergent the news.ycombinator community has diverged from ycombinator (the incubator). Or maybe the community is simply a reflection of what the incubator has become.

That quote above is a bit pessimistic, I agree with you there, but maybe you're replying to an individual quote that doesn't reflect the values of anyone else here at all? Is it really necessary or justified to project this negativity on the greater community based on one comment and a few up-votes? Are you certain you know why the up-votes were given?

The empirical benefits quote you shared is talking directly about YC and it's employees, not founders, and it's ultimately (and intentionally) a bit paradoxical. When YC is talking about the benefits of benevolence, they're implicitly talking about the long term private financial return of their own investments.

Their attitude here seems like healthy and forward business thinking to me, but maybe we should be careful about equating for-profit business benevolence with selfless humanitarian benevolence. Strong arguments have been made in both directions whether human good is served by business returns. I just wanted to emphasize that starting a company is almost always inherently partially selfish, and that it's hard to name many billionaires who's primary adjective is benevolent. Many are benevolent to varying degrees, but most are first and foremost good at profit-seeking.

But do you seriously believe that the most successful founders' comments are represented in news.yc?

HN is about denominators. We all want to get rich. Some of us are willing to work, some of us are willing to hustle, etc.

The ideals of YC don't correspond to Internet commenters. Hell, half of the comments here probably don't even correspond to the true intent of the author's opinion.

Disclaimer: I'm just some moron on the Internet. No need to wax philosophical over Internet comments.

We really don't all want to get rich. Some of us just want to solve problems, help people, or alleviate suffering. Some people want to achieve that by getting rich first (not me). A large proportion of even those who want to get rich for selfish reasons don't want to do that by screwing other people over.

I wanted to solve problems without money, but I quickly realized that I can solve significantly more problems with money, than with less money.

I sold out, took a high paying job. I pay interns to write articles and finance a charity.

I spend my evenings writing an app(that I hope makes billions). I can only imagine how many people my charity will teach healthy, low cost food skills if I had millions at my disposal.

Its kinda awful, but if I dont do it, I dont think anyone is going to teach kids how to cook low cost foods.

Cool, but other people have found ways to solve problems (often leveraging large amounts of other people's money) without personally enriching themselves.

Personally, I found that having a lot of money myself brought more problems than solutions. Perhaps I'm just not good at whatever skills it takes to be rich and an effective altruist. But I'm pretty good at helping people with money decide how to spend it solving problems I care about. Now I make enough to pay other people to handle things I'm bad at, while enabling me to pursue my goals. But not more.

I don't have anything against people who pursue personal wealth in order to do social good. That's admirable. But to suggest that it's the only way to so social good (which you didn't do, but grandparent did) is just wrong.

> I found that having a lot of money myself brought more problems than solutions.

Can you explain this further? I'm in my 20s, have over 6 figure income, and I'm curious what problems you ran into.

>But do you seriously believe that the most successful founders' comments are represented in news.yc?

No, that's why I commented about how it was possible the community has diverged greatly from the incubator. I don't know what the overall principles of the majority of commenters/founders are, but I think the fact that the quote is (still) the first/most upvoted response in this thread hints that it's probably not an abnormal view of the community.

I took it as a gag, but maybe it’s just because it’s so ridiculous to me.

Yeah me too.

>I think it shows just how divergent the news.ycombinator community has diverged from ycombinator (the incubator).

This is a prime example of the holier-than-thou sentiment that's part and parcel of the crypto community.

This is a fantastic art project that showcases exactly what value cryptocurrency brings to the fore. That you're acting this way towards someone looking to make a side-hustle work on a website about side-hustles is incredible self-delusion.

Well, first I don't really consider myself part of the crypto community, although i do own a bit own a bit of one coin. Second, I wasn't addressing the website/project at all. I was addressing the comment that was advocating for the users to be "exploited for fun and profit", and that not doing so was a characteristic of a "loser".

If not exploiting your users is considered "holier than thou", then yeah I guess that's an accurate description of me.

I upvoted because it's funny not because I don't believe in benevolence. I imagine others did too.

Those wanting to be "exploiting them for fun and profit" will probably be launching multi million dollar ICOs, not joking about crapcoin generators.

If he can TEACH them a lesson for 500$ and prevent them from paying 5000$ to an other scam - isn't it BENEVOLENCE? Sometimes ADVISE is not enough and the lessons need to be painfull/costly or they are no HELP.

Pretty sure the Catholic Church has similar principles.

We meant this website to be funny and hopefully educational.

But perhaps there could be a paid version with more features, like a small website for your cryptocurrency with a logo etc.

Feature creep already? You have already launched. Add Stripe and go!

While you're adding features, can you offer "customer support?" I don't need to actually answer the thing. I just need for it to loop in some elevator music with an occasional robot voice which says "please hold" at random intervals.

ETA: I think the site is fine. People will still be interested in using this even if it's meant to be a joke. I bet some people will even be disappointed that the name "crapcoin" is already being used.

Surely the cryptogold rush equivalent of selling spades during the original gold rush!

More like selling those silly clip-on beards and a plastic spade so you can look like an olde-tyme prospector, but not actually give you any skills or leverage.

Their might be personalized vanity angle to it. Why wouldn't my friend and family want to trade Bob Coins...

Taleb is intellectually dishonest and quite probably a terrible human being. His strategy of making money exploiting anti-intellectual movements to do with agriculture and human nutrition is just abhorrent to me. He transparently and carefully constructs the minimal argument required to garner support from existing, factually misguided activists. Your quote actually highlights the entire problem with his approach. He's a charlatan, making money by identifying exploitable social waves that act against the best interests of society, and lending them his intellectual credit.

Agreed. Roman Republican ethics (2000+ years ago) held as a core value the idea that your legacy is more important than personal gain, and that just because you _can_ do a thing, that does not mean that it is best that you do it. Taking advantage of opportunities for personal gain at a net loss to society is childishly small-minded, and ignores the fact that the best elements of society were built by people doing the exact opposite because they had the wisdom to know that it was a more dignified way to conduct one's self in one's short window of existence.

What a fantastic quote.

I think its a villainous and cynical quote, but I expect no less from mankind with all its flaws and biases, contradictions and irrationality.

In my mind, there are worse things to be in life than a loser, by Taleb's definition. Far worse to be someone who takes pleasure in exploiting the ignorance of his fellow man, in my book. This is the kind of view that sees someone like Trump as a winner in business, rather than someone who doesn't pay his bills, has an enormous amount of debt, and takes money that was supposed to go to St. Jude's from his son's charity organization.

> And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.

I'm not christian, but I've always loved this quote. It's not about god punishing people for being rich, it's that being rich and worshipping money above all else makes it very, very hard to be a good person.

The end of the quote is "fun and profit."

I think you jumped to economic profit for an individual.

But I think we should think of the good of the many. Hans Rosling talked about nations that are opt-in for organ donation, versus nations that are opt-out for organ donation. Turns out, people don't change the default. So, opt-out organ donation is MUCH BETTER for everyone.

That's an example of exploiting human behavior for the benefit of all.

Fun and Profit. =)

> I think you jumped to economic profit for an individual.

Do you actually think my reading is unreasonable?

Somehow I think Hans Rosling would use a different phrase than "for fun and profit." The phrase "for fun and profit" heavily connotes economic profit. Especially coming from Taleb, and especially on HN.

But sure, if I take the less common meaning of profit (a benefit) then yes there is nothing selfish about this quote.

Edit: Furthermore, this post is about worthless crypto currencies and exploiting the ignorant.

Your read is 100% reasonable.

I just delight in cataloging those human failings, and being confronted with the message "SO EXPLOIT THEM, ALREADY!" resonates strongly with me.

Like, as a for instance, we spend more on the lottery than we do on tons of other stuff combined. [1]

And sure, that's neat, it helps pay for some things in states... But that's ridiculously harmful to those who can least afford it.

Well, how about if we figure out how to do some good?

On FB right now I'm kibitzing with some of my educator friends about trying to gamify education more. Original thought, right? :) But really, this is what we're doing. Exploiting human faults, and trying to do good with them. Humans like semi-varied reward schedules. So, exploit that, and teach them. What other human flaws can we exploit? =D

[1] http://money.cnn.com/2015/02/11/news/companies/lottery-spend...

The loser is, at least, a person who thinks that way.

It's nice when you can define yourself as clever and everyone else as a loser with an arbitrary quote. It doesn't really carry any weight, though.

See now I wasn't doing that. But here you are decrying oneupsmanship by trying to one-up me. And telling me the weight of my words at the same time you say oneupsmanship carrys no weight.

Do you realise that you are the thing you dislike?

In this instance, I was remarking that a person who thinks of themself as a loser is also the person who is likely to have adopted this cynical and resentful worldview.

A person who opts into this "winner/loser" dynamic has already adopted the world view of one who can lose and will do so.

Living-out-your-values doesnt entail winning or losing anything, rather, it is life measured by authenticity and integrity not "victory".

The low self-regard, resentment and entitlement in this search for "victory" is fair game for mine and any one elses criticism.

I dont need you to tell me the weight of my words, they are weighed according to my values, not yours.

I had the same and 99% of the ideas were Overly complicated and simply did not understand the limitations of Ethereum.

Not saying you have the same, but if you didn't listen to those individual ideas yet I doubt EC20 tokens would do the job.

Exploiting the problem instead of helping, might be part of the problem.

It's a moral question, so there's no right answer, but plenty of us come down on the other side thinking that we're better off in the long run not taking every shortcut we see. It's a race to the bottom and profit at any cost that we've seen be destructive in the long run.

There's not a person on this planet that can't be sold some crap with the right pitch. Like Trump said, you play into their wildest fantasies and then let their imagination run wild. But, just because you can do it doesn't mean you should.

We all make significant investments in life (stock, real estate, cars, business ventures, etc.) and it's rare to find someone who's well versed in each of those areas. At some point we have to trust each other. When it comes time to spend that money you earned off of average Joe's, I hope you're not the average Joe in the next equation.

That quote sounds like something scumartists would say

This idea is obviously stupid but it really does expose the missing consistent, friendly front end experience for dApps. I have no idea what contract this is pointing to and what happens when I submit the transaction. MetaMask tells me some info but very little really. I don't know which buttons are going to trigger a MetaMask prompt and start an on chain transaction and which point to a centralized backend etc.

Compare that to the web where I know underlined text takes me somewhere else, hover over will give me the URL, there are standard browser components for input fields, buttons etc.

I'm really hoping there's a drop in framework for this which reaches mass adoption soon.

We've been trying to tackle this at Hexel. We recently launched our own wallet and Discord integration so that you can send coins for free, to any email or Discord user. You can link your token to your Discord server and let anyone send it via chat. This makes it easy to actually use your token after creating it, and no MetaMask is required for most users (everyone except the token creator).

Is your wallet code open source? How can a user verify that the token is safe, and won't be easily hacked.

P.S. I understand that most tokens don't have much monetary value, but just wanted to understand the benefits and legal ramifications of taking on a custodial wallet...

Good stuff!

Discord is a private proprietary service, right? Why did you choose to solve distribution over that instead of something more widely used, like the web?

Discord is just an integration we offer. We also have a web wallet that lets you send tokens to anyone by email or username.

They obviously tackled the right crowd. Most of 'get rich quick' Ethereum discussions is happening on discord right now.

It's not pointing at a contract. Metamask should let you view the data (and it they're working on it[1]), but ultimately if you want to verify the contents of a contract you're deploying you'll have to compile it yourself. I suppose metamask could take the source and compile it for you, but ultimately verifying what a transaction is going to "actually" do seems like a difficult problem that's unlikely to be solved anytime soon.

[1] https://github.com/MetaMask/metamask-extension/issues/2847

It says:

> When you fill in the details and click create, MetaMask will ask you to confirm the transaction

> Check if you're ok with the ethereum transaction fee and click submit.

In this case it's creating a new contract (I didn't notice the "new contract" logo in MM at first glance). I have to dig into the FAQs to find the source for that contract, and as you point out MetaMask can't guarantee that's the actual source. So this is an easy opportunity to stick a backdoor in that can hijack your created coins at any point.

A better approach would be to call an existing contract on the blockchain which creates a new contract from it's own source. Is there a reason not to do this?

It still wouldn't solve the problem of viewing the source. You can't easily view the source code of a deployed contract. The only way to verify a contract is to find the source code from somewhere, then try compiling it and check if the bytecode matches the blockchain data. But details like compiler version and compiler flags may lead to the bytecode not matching.

In short, there's no good way of verifying an ethereum contract.

But that can be automated though, right? You could post the source on IPFS or some hosted provider, put the hash inside the source code on chain, and have MetaMask or whatever is calling the contract download, compile and compare the code?

metamask could peek at etherscan and see if a contract has 'verified code' or not. often times, contract creators upload the source code to etherscan itself to get the verified badge https://etherscan.io/address/0xd22f97bcec8e029e109412763b889...

however, that would require trusting etherscan, but metamask already relies on it pretty heavily, so...

if the user didn't want to rely on etherscan, it's possible to have metamask verify contracts itself - the dapp publisher would need to provide the source with the dapp, metamask could compile it, and make sure it matches the on-chain bytecode. i believe solc is written in javascript so it would be possible to ship it with metamask.

i'm not sure how this would work with contracts with dependencies. at that point, the sources of all the dependencies would need to be verified. this would require larger infrastructure (e.g. etherscan, but again, a single point of failure).

in that case, it would almost make sense for another data section in the EVM to hold the contract source. in this case:

* 1. contract source code is all stored on chain, in a decentralized manner

* 2. clients can verify the byte code

* 3. it's more expensive to publish a contract since it needs the extra space to store the source

On #3, I suppose that's the difference between OSS and closed source software today.

But why not just store an IPFS / Swarm hash linking to the source on chain? That requires almost no cost overhead per contract.

I was under the impression that there is no guarantee that the data will actually be there with ipfs? Not sure about swarm. It's possible that it could be somehow paid for when launching the contract. Anyway, the idea makes sense

However, in my experience, contracts don't usually have a lot of source code. I think storing them on chain wouldn't be much of a problem. Unfortunately though, that might incentivize minification and other self defeating measures.

Why would that be better though? How are you going to verify the contract that the deployed contract is deploying? How are you even going to verify what message you're sending to the already deployed contract (assuming the user isn't technically knowledgeable). You can have a third party (etherscan for instance) verify the contract after it's deployed. My main point here is that this is a complicated system, and there's only so much somebody who doesn't really understand the basics can be protected from it.

Even the web example you gave isn't as simple as it first appears. Just because you fill in a form with certain details doesn't meant that's what the page is actually sending to the server. Most of the time this isn't an issue, as you "trust" the page you're on not to fuck around.

> Even the web example you gave isn't as simple as it first appears. Just because you fill in a form with certain details doesn't meant that's what the page is actually sending to the server. Most of the time this isn't an issue, as you "trust" the page you're on not to fuck around.

This is what blockchains bring, you don't have to trust the web page any more. With a dApp you know exactly where that form is going and what's going to happen, with the web you only know a POST request is outgoing somewhere and hopefully it'll be handled correctly. It's not something that's easy to understand yet, but one day it might be.

> How are you going to verify the contract that the deployed contract is deploying?

Go and look at it, compile + compare the source etc.

found the dApp comment. question-

Anyone actually find a usecase for public, decentralized, verified ledgers?

Like I dont understand a use-case. Currency is basically solved by bitcoin.

After that, I dont see why you wouldnt trust a single source? Most things like social media, videos, medical records, etc... dont need to go through the blockchain. They can be centralized.

Anyway, asking this question here, because on reddit its awful.

Any programmers actually finding blockchain is going to be another tool for us to use? Or is it all hype and niche use-case?

Actually, if you scroll down there's an explanation of what will happen when you click create. Perhaps it would've been better to add a tooltip on create.

But generally I agree, it's hard to design UIs in crypto, having to install and use a plugin like MetaMask doesn't add to the trustworthiness of the site.

Surely, SURELY this should have been called "Craptocurrency"

I can't believe I've never seen this before, just brilliant sir.

Is there a reason you didn't use the SafeMath library for protecting against overflows?


My guess is that, in the spirit of all Ethereum Crapcoins, it's been coded with minimum attention to security and maximum attention to marketing.

We just used the erc20 template from the ethereum wiki.

It looks useful although for the people that do want to understand how the contract works it adds complexity to the codebase itself.

I definitely would use it for more complex smart contracts, but this one is meant to be easy and educational (like the whole app).

Looks like it's just doing overflow checking inline ( "require(balanceOf[_to] + _value > balanceOf[_to])", for instance).

  > 4. Viola!
Why not a cello, or a octobass?

(should be 'Voila!')

I think 'Viola!' is just perfect for this.

Absolutely. I use this in person whenever revealing something mundane or ridiculous. Guaranteed laugh.

Tuba fair the viola sounds just a fine here.

  (should be 'Voila!')
Not the way I play it. ;)



:) thanks, fixed.

"Is it free? This website is free. But you have to pay a small amount of ether as a transaction fee for deploying your cryptocurrency contract."

Shut up and take my money... to the moon!

I think the OP should make a crapcoin and sell it in order to be able to spend it on creating more crapcoins!

That would be so meta and craptacular. It must be done.

Funny what the Crypto world has now become. Why I still believe in Crypto? For any new innovation to well, be sustained, it needs funding to last. Speculation helped get Crypto there just like speculation helped the dot-com to thrive. However, speculation wouldn't keep us there. We need to stop with the scams and jokes and get rich quick schemes (bitconnnnnnnect) in order to build lasting innovations.

This should be renamed. Garbage ETH tokens are not cryptocurrency they are 'shittokens'.

This is 'Create your own (crap)token in 3 mins'. Not that its actually this hard -- copy paste ERC20 (and use a better version than this junk, maybe try SafeMath?).

I don't trust a shitcoin generator that doesn't know the proper nomenclature for the shitcoins it's generating.

But people who also dont know that proper nomenclature may very well trust it.

You don't have to be outsmart the bear, just outsmart the guy next to you.

Bearcoin anyone?

Snoop should launch his own Shiznitcoin!

>Q: I don't want to spend any real money. Can I still create a cryptocurrency?

>A: Yes! You can create your cryptocurrency on one of Ethereum's test networks, instead of its main network. First, change the network to Ropsten or Rinkeby in MetaMask.

So you can create fake crap currency for free! Free fake crap is much better than costly real crap, because it's not actually crap, while it's actually free.

You should make an ICO out of this project.

1 token = 1 credit for creating a crapcoin?

That would probably probably raise a decent amount of money...

What's the point of this if you can premine 50% of the coins and dump them if it ever takes off?

> 2. "Install MetaMask and get some ether"

When programming stopped to be fun not requiring money?

You're in luck!

> I don't want to spend any real money. Can I still create a cryptocurrency?

> Yes! You can create your cryptocurrency on one of Ethereum's test networks, instead of its main network. First, change the network to Ropsten or Rinkeby in MetaMask.


You need the ether for the etherium network to process the smart contract.

You could probably mine the small amount of ether needed

I'm just sad this doesn't include a random shitcoin name generator

Dumb question but what does this create? Is it a new smart contract for a new currency on Ethereum?

It seems to be creating ERC20 tokens. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ERC20

I've invested up to 99c to make some TimCoins and should be able to sell you a few shortly.

Greatest domain name ever submitted.

That's so true and some people are paying a lot of money for that.

We already have Coinbase for all of our shitcoin needs though.

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