A new meme is conquering the Twitter profiles of famous Bitcoiners these days: the Taproot Wizard. Its origin dates back to the early days of Bitcoin. And that’s exactly where the prominent movement behind the sweet magician wants to go again: dare more experiments, preach less orthodoxy. “Make Bitcoin magical again” was the battle cry. He finds more and more sympathizers on crypto-Twitter. And is provocatively directed against the beliefs of so-called maximalists, which are perceived as outdated.
A bit cute, deliberately amateurish: The Taproot Wizard looks like a crude paint experiment by an intern during the coffee break. That is supposed to be like that. The imperfect look is part of the charm of the movement. She wants to get away from perfectionism, which she believes is paralyzing Bitcoin.
The first @TaprootWizards jpeg appeared on the Chain of Time 8 weeks ago with inscription #652 🧙♂️
Did you ever inscribe a magic internet jpeg yourself?
✅ if yes – show us!
❌ if not – why not? pic.twitter.com/zr0ophZwl2
— Taproot Wizards (@TaprootWizards) March 28, 2023
A total of 2132 of these wizards exist. They live as NFTs on the Bitcoin blockchain, so-called ordinals. These BTC-NFTs are a thorn in the side of critics because space on the blockchain is very limited. Pictures of magicians and Co. – in their eyes a waste, if not even a sin. And the Taproot Wizards apply “as one of the fastest growing ordinals communities”.
Clashes with maximalists
Nic Carter, Dan Held, Cobie, Eric Wall: The list of BTC celebrities who have temporarily swapped their Twitter profile picture with one of the magicians is growing – and weighty. Almost all of them have been at odds with Maxis publicly in recent months, most vocally: Nic Carter. As one of the oldest and most prominent Bitcoiners, he fell under the wheels of the Maxi Mob in the summer of 2022. His crime: investing in other coins as a VC. The result: a shitstorm of such proportions that even the Washington Post reported on it.
I invite bitcoiners of all stripes to follow Matt's lead and publicly distance themselves from the maxi cult. At this point, there is only downside in being associated with this pathetic, delusional ideology.
— nic 🌠 c4rter (@nic__carter) August 8, 2022
Radical maximalists believe in the one true doctrine: Bitcoin – and nothing else. The protocol should remain untouched. Big changes: a sin. A debatable point of view. The problem: Those who deviate from these beliefs are often showered with hatred and malice on social media, like Nic Carter. The hallmark of maximalists, often (but not always): the laser eyes on the Twitter profile.
Launched in 2021 at the height of the bull run at the time, the sparkling red eyes were a signal to the mainstream: Bitcoin is unstoppable. Even celebrities like football player Tom Brady briefly adopted it on their profiles. Today it is denounced by critics as a symbol of the toxic sides of maximalism. One example among many: the case of David Heinemeier Hansson, a famous hacker. One reason why he was so annoyed with Bitcoin: the “HODL army with the laser eyes‘ who constantly attacked him on Twitter.
Taproot Wizards as an alternative
The Taproot Wizard is set to become the social media mascot of moderate and adventurous Bitcoiners. The mission of NFT Collection founder Udi Wertheimer, a former member of the BTC community: “Don’t rest until every respectable bitcoiner has swapped their laser eyes for a Taproot Wizard.” He does not skimp on violent tips against maximalists, as this meme demonstrates.
The Taproot Wizards are reminiscent of one of the essential characteristics of art: its provocative nature. For centuries, artists have used their works to challenge the status quo of a society, be it religiously orthodox or antiquated conservative views. It seems that this principle has also arrived in the Bitcoin community 13 years after its birth.
The story of the Wizards already has a symbolic meaning. The original Taproot Wizard was posted on Bitcoin Reddit in 2013. With a simple message: “Magic Internet Money. Come join us.” The community then grew rapidly, proving the imaginative power of memes. Today is a reminder of what bitcoin is all about – at least to the meme wizards:
It seems that the people at Bitcoin are very concerned about avoiding mistakes and failures, when in fact they are preventing its progress. The only way not to make mistakes is to not move at all. So I hope that Taproot Wizards can rekindle that passion for experimenting, trying things and learning from mistakes.
The genesis of the NFT collection was already designed as an affront to the commandments of the maximalists: The Taproot Wizard collection constituted the largest transaction in Bitcoin history, with a block of almost four megabytes. So to speak, a form of mega-spam.
Last night, we made history
The gatekeepers tried to censor us
But we mined the LARGEST BLOCK and LARGEST TRANSACTION IN BITCOIN’S HISTORY
Special thanks to bitcoin full node operators for supporting our efforts and hosting our 4MB NFT for all eternity!
— Udi Wertheimer 🧙♂️ (@udiWertheimer) February 2, 2023
The Taproot Wizards now organize small events on Twitter, so-called quests. For example: the Wizard Shower. The task: disguise yourself as a magician in a video and symbolically “wash clean” of the ugly sides of maximalism. “We are assembling a pro-hygiene army,” was the slogan.
According to their own statements, more than four thousand such videos have already been submitted. There is also a Wizard School where you can register with your Twitter account. A bit worrying: The website requires access to sensitive information, such as your own tweets or who you are following. The next and fourth “quest” will be announced soon.