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Bitcoin Cringe: Psychedelic-Fueled Commencement Speech Sparks Controversy at OSU

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Ohio State University’s 2024 Spring Commencement took an unexpected turn when keynote speaker Chris Pan, a 1999 OSU alum and founder of the online jewelry retailer MyIntent, faced a chorus of boos after discussing Bitcoin in his address to over 12,000 graduates and their families.


  • Ohio State University’s 2024 commencement speaker, Chris Pan, faced boos from the audience after discussing Bitcoin in his speech.
  • Pan, a 1999 OSU alum and founder of MyIntent, admitted to using ayahuasca, a psychedelic, to help write his speech.
  • The speech included awkward moments, such as leading the audience in sing-alongs and a magic trick involving turning quarters into a Bitcoin.
  • Despite the audience’s negative reaction, Pan continued to discuss Bitcoin’s decentralized nature and the recent launch of Bitcoin ETFs.
  • The university did not approve the speech beforehand and declined to comment on the Bitcoin reference.

Pan, who later admitted to using the psychedelic ayahuasca to help write his speech, began the ceremony by leading the audience in a sing-along of “What’s Up?” by 4 Non Blondes and a Navy SEAL breathing exercise.

He then transitioned to the topic of cryptocurrency, stating,

“I know this might feel polarizing, but I encourage you to keep an open mind. Right now, I see Bitcoin as a very misunderstood asset class.”

The audience’s reaction was swift, with boos echoing throughout the stadium. Undeterred, Pan continued to highlight Bitcoin’s decentralized and finite nature, which he believes makes it resistant to government manipulation.

Crowd reactions to pro-bitcoin remarks at OSU's commencement are telling. Bitcoin is a brand. And to this audience, an annoying or possible grifty

— Andrew M. Bailey (@resistancemoney) May 6, 2024

He also addressed the recent launch of Bitcoin ETFs backed by asset managers Blackrock and Fidelity, claiming that this development has resolved early issues with exchanges being prone to hacks and fraud.

Throughout the speech, Pan engaged in various antics, including a magic trick that involved OSU president Walter E. Carter Jr. blowing on quarters in a black bag, which Pan then turned into a Bitcoin.

He also promised free bracelets to the audience as an apology for discussing the controversial topic.

Christopher Pan mentions #Bitcoin at @OhioState during the Ohio State University 2024 Spring Commencement. You can hear the crowd's reaction. We are so very early.

full speech can be found here

— Columbus Bitcoin PhD (@ColumbusBitcoin) May 5, 2024

The university declined to comment on the Bitcoin reference, with a spokesperson emphasizing that they do not approve speakers’ speeches before the ceremony.

In a LinkedIn post cited by the Columbus Dispatch, Pan revealed that he had sought assistance from “AI (Ayahuasca Intelligence)” to write the speech, aiming for something “extra heartfelt” in challenging times.

Pan’s unconventional approach to the commencement address has sparked discussions about the appropriateness of discussing polarizing topics like cryptocurrency at such events.

While some may argue that the speech provided valuable insights into an emerging asset class, others view it as a misguided attempt to promote a personal agenda on a platform meant to celebrate students’ achievements.

The post Bitcoin Cringe: Psychedelic-Fueled Commencement Speech Sparks Controversy at OSU appeared first on Blockonomi.

Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

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