Friday, April 9, 2021

What Bitcoiners Need to Understand About the Matt Gaetz "Sex Scandal"

Putting aside for a moment the question of whether the claims aimed at Congressman Matt Gaetz  are trumped-up charges, there is an important lesson for Bitcoin users in the latest revelations surrounding the "sex scandal."

Here is the latest report from The Daily Beast:

In two late-night Venmo transactions in May 2018, Rep. Matt Gaetz sent his friend, the accused sex trafficker Joel Greenberg, $900. The next morning, over the course of eight minutes, Greenberg used the same app to send three young women varying sums of money. In total, the transactions amounted to $900.

The memo field for the first of Gaetz’s transactions to Greenberg was titled “Test.” In the second, the Florida GOP congressman wrote “hit up ___.” But instead of a blank, Gaetz wrote a nickname for one of the recipients. (The Daily Beast is not sharing that nickname because the teenager had only turned 18 less than six months before.) When Greenberg then made his Venmo payments to these three young women, he described the money as being for “Tuition,” “School,” and “School.”

Got that?

Gaetz used a very traceable method (Venmo) of paying his friend, who then used the funds to pay three women.

Digital records don't go away. They stick around, especially when it comes to Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies that are recorded on blockchains.

There is no way they are as private as cash.

They leave trails.

Cash doesn't.

There is a lot to the old Roman saying "Gold (or cash) has no smell." There is no way to know where it came from or where it has been. You can't look up an old cash transaction, the way you can digital records.

Bitcoin may be somewhat private when used once for a single transaction. Do one and be gone, but it can never match the privacy of cash in a brown paper bag.

If Gatez had paid his buddy Greenberg in cash, then The Daily Beast would have no story.

On top of this, Gatez apparently wrote in the memo field the nickname of one of the girls. Double dumb.

"Never in writing, always in cash."



  1. I like how they are withholding the name of the 18 year old because at the time of the incident she was... 18 years old. Lol what?

    It leaves the reader with the impression he had sex with an underage girl even when stating he didn't.

    1. And, like "anonymous source," short-circuits attempts to verify and corroborate the story.