Jordan Fish, better known by his alter ego, Cobie, was co-hosting an episode of the much-loved podcast, “Up Only,” the Friday night FTX was hacked. The Crypto Twitter influencer had been talking with Zane Tackett, the company’s wealth management director turned whistleblower, about the insanity of watching a crypto exchange once valued at $32 billion become worthless in a matter of days.
It had been a jarring week for crypto. FTX’s founder Sam Bankman-Fried was an industry posterboy, who just months ago seemed to have prevented a major contagion event by rescuing struggling firms like BlockFi and Voyager Digital. Now his empire was crumbling, his customers had lost billions of dollars and it didn’t seem like the situation could get any worse.
But then things got worse. Cobie had received a direct message about a suspicious, late-night transaction moving funds out of the frozen FTX exchange. Several thousand viewers were watching the “Up Only” livestream, co-hosted by Brian Krogsgard (aka Ledger Status), which was popular from the day it launched during the better days of 2021.
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Cobie, who has long, sandy-blond hair and speaks with an English lilt, shared information related to the attack in real time. It was a remarkable view into his information gathering, vetting and distributing process. A fixture of Crypto Twitter since 2013, the year he says he got interested in bitcoin, Cobie has become a practiced hand at calling out scams and unknotting convoluted crypto transactions.
This April, for instance, Cobie sent out a series of tweets showing the signs of insider trading at major crypto exchange Coinbase. The exchange then followed up with an investigation that eventually implicated its former product manager, Ishan Wahi, who has since pleaded not guilty to insider trading charges and is next scheduled to appear in federal court on March 22, 2023.
But that’s not the only time Cobie has used his considerable influence for good. Over the summer, after Crypto YouTuber Ben Armstrong (aka BitBoy) filed a lawsuit against another YouTuber who had called out Armstrong’s questionable practice of shilling shifty projects, Cobie rallied together a legal fund for the defendant – sending in $100,000 of his own money. BitBoy later dropped the case.
With over 700,000 Twitter followers, Cobie’s has become one of the most-watched accounts. He shares useful news, validates worthwhile projects and calls out shifty behavior. His podcast regularly features crypto royalty such as Vitalik Buterin and Zooko Wilcox. While his income and crypto holdings are unknown, Cobie has gone independent as an “influencer” after working at U.K. neobank Monzo and touring as a semi-pro musician.
And while he’s known as much for cracking jokes on Twitter, Cobie has also cultivated respect as a writer. In his SubStack this year, he covered serious topics ranging from broken tokenomics models to problems of decentralized voting.
Cobie started off this year with a small rebrand, deciding to forgo his longstanding Twitter handle, CryptoCobain, and avatar, a picture of Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain with BTC-stylized glasses. He said the real Cobain, who committed suicide in 1994, would have appreciated the earlier, punkier days of Bitcoin, but crypto has changed.
Cobie struck a similarly reflective note the night FTX was hacked. After a year of bankruptcy announcements, hacks, lawsuits, depressed markets, it seemed there was little else good left in the industry. At the end of a three-hour broadcast, Cobie and Ledger realized the FTX-sponsored “Up Only” likely needed a new backer. It could’ve been their last show.
“What a stupid f**king industry,” Cobie said. But there he was the next morning, tweeting.
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