A protester holds up a placard during a rally against new pandemic laws and vaccination mandates in Melbourne on December 4, 2021. ( WILLIAM WEST/AFP via Getty Images)
If you ask the developers behind a new cryptocurrency called Unvaxxed Sperm if they’re opposed to vaccines, they’ll claim to be unsure.“We’re not anti-vaccine,” one of the developers called Jason, who would only provide his first name, told VICE News, claiming that the project is “here to ensure the continuity of objective scientific inquiry and the freedom of discourse.”But moments later, another developer who wouldn’t reveal his identity and simply goes by the name “Fauci,” said: “To a degree, I'd say we are anti-vaccine.”
To be very clear, Unvaxxed Sperm and the people behind it are not anti-vaccine to a degree; they are completely anti-vaccine, baselessly claiming that 90 percent of the population has no need to take a COVID-19 vaccine and advocating that the pandemic can be medicated with alternative remedies like ivermectin, even though the only studies to claim the drug typically prescribed as a horse de-wormer can treat COVID-19 have been retracted.Unvaxxed Sperm launched just over a week ago and saw explosive growth last Thursday and Friday. However, over the weekend, the price once again plummeted, leaving many in the group’s Telegram channel to question the future of the coin—which trades as “nuBTC”—and whether the whole thing was simply a scam.“Dang, what happened here,” one used wrote on Telegram on Monday morning.The cryptocurrency is a offshoot, or fork, of SafeMoon, a cryptocurrency that went viral earlier this year thanks to the support of celebrities like Jake Paul and KEEMSTAR.“Fauci” said he has a group of around seven “cryptocurrency veterans'' who are advising him on the project, though he was unwilling to name any of them. When VICE News pointed out that the anonymity surrounding the project could create a sense that this project may be a scam, “Fauci” said such a situation wasn’t unusual in crypto circles, adding that one of the benefits of blockchain technology was privacy and anonymity.
While this is true, that aspect of crypto-culture has also allowed many scammy developers to disappear with people's money without being caught, and has encouraged a trend of promoting so-called “doxxed devs” to lend a project legitimacy by having a public face. While SafeMoon promised to make investors rich, the developers behind Unvaxxed Sperm say their plan is to use the meme-able nature of their coin to make it go viral and draw people into their anti-vaccine community, promising big plans that include a “pureblood” version of Tinder, cryogenically frozen unvaccinated sperm, and something called “Project Super Sperm.” It’s worth noting, however, that many new projects in crypto seek to draw investors in by touting a vague and unrealistic roadmap of new features and experiences like an app or a game. Some of these promises turn out to be part of a scam’s lure. Meanwhile, Unvaxxed Sperm's whitepaper page (where project developers typically lay out their schemes in detail) is blank and only says “cumming soon.”The developers say they were inspired by the success of a “Let’s Go Brandon” cryptocurrency that gained some momentum last month when right-wing commentator Candace Owens backed it.
“It really showed me that political movement can kind of happen on the blockchain,” “Fauci” told VICE News. “You can really organize on the blockchain and it's a much harder thing to suppress just because of the decentralized nature of all of it.”Then they saw protesters at an anti-vaxxer protest holding signs that said: “Unvaxxed Sperm is the new Bitcoin.” This is based on the erroneous belief that in the future, the sperm and eggs of unvaccinated people will be worth a fortune when people realize the COVID-19 vaccines have damaged their ability to procreate.
In fact, studies have shown that getting vaccinated does not affect sperm quality or count. "There is evidence that the vaccine is safe for men and that it does not affect sperm production/quality," Dr. Tony Chen, clinical assistant professor at the Stanford School of Medicine urology department, told VICE News last August.The developers compare their project to how powerful memes were in the lead-up to the 2016 election, drawing people who weren’t typically engaged in politics into the Republican Party and in support of former President Donald Trump.A lot of cryptocurrencies lure investors with promises of benefits that ultimately don’t happen. And in Unvaxxed Sperm’s case, the cryptocurrency is just the beginning of their plans. Next up will be a DAO or decentralized autonomous organization, which the developers say will allow investors to vote on a variety of topics, including which groups or individuals the project should donate money to. This list includes a who’s who of anti-vaxxer doctors, influencers, and grifters, who already earn plenty of money from speaking engagements and selling bogus health supplements based on their infamy within the anti-vaxxer community.
The developers also plan to launch a version of Tinder for “purebloods.” The term “pureblood”—taken from the “Harry Potter” books—has become a rallying cry for unvaccinated people who are trying to reclaim the term as a way to tout their “superiority” over their jabbed fellow citizens.From here, however, the project’s plans become even more ambitious—and unhinged.Due for launch in the first half of 2022 is the “Freedom Apothecary,” an online marketplace where people can buy “suppressed supplements and medicines” such as ivermectin (using their Unvaxxed Sperm crypto, of course). And in the third quarter of 2022, they plan to launch “Operation Noah’s Ark,” a repository for cryogenically freezing unvaxxed sperm and eggs—which in a worst-case scenario “would be required for the continuity of the human race,” Jason said.Finally, in the last three months of 2022, there will be “Project Super Sperm” but the developers couldn’t say more about this. “It’s secret,” they insisted. “We can't really go into that right now; it's kind of a work in progress.”The developers seem convinced that the viral nature of the Unvaxxed Sperm cryptocurrency will help open the eyes of millions of people to the “truth” about COVID-19 vaccines, claiming that once people begin investigating the community, they’ll be quickly convinced.But a quick trawl through the meme-heavy Telegram channel where investors speak to each other and the developers, it’s clear that the people who are investing in Unvaxxed Sperm are completely uninterested in hearing about the efficacy of ivermectin and only interested in making money.When Jason announced Monday morning that “Fauci” had been hospitalized but plans were progressing as normal and that the price should begin climbing again, one user called Dave responded by writing: “Wow. Great fucking news. Time to shill guys.”Want the best of VICE News straight to your inbox? Sign up here.