What’s in a prison nickname?

Like anywhere else in the world, people in prison really enjoying creating and using nicknames.  Yankton has it’s fair share of typical prison nicknames.  Killer, Chainsaw and Tiny (who is obviously huge) to name a few.  I was here for roughly one hour before I had a nickname.  One of the first inmates I meet tells me I look like an old friend of his who used to sell heroin…and so it begins.

Him: Hey, you look like a guy I used to know who sold heroin

Me: Oh, great story

Him: Yeah, he only accepted bitcoin as payment for drugs

Me: Hmmm, Interesting

Him: I’m going to call you bitcoin. Bitcoin, bitcoin, bitcoin

Him again: Hey guys, this is my buddy bitcoin

That was it.  Game over.  Can’t shake it.  I have since had people come up to me and ask questions about different types of crypto currency, how much crypto currency I have, what crypto they should buy, and the list goes on.

The other weird thing about nicknames is people always remember them.  That’s not the case with your real name.  I’ve had people engage me in conversation that I haven’t met but they’ll start out: “Oh, hey Bitcoin, I saw this article in the paper today….” and then we’re in the thick of it.

Like any good nick name, it morphs into new versions.  A guy I play pickle ball with likes to call me Bit for short.   Some other people call me Coin.  The other day “Yo, coin, whatchu been doin?  Let’s talk philosophy, you been reading anything new?? What’s good my man, fill me in.”  A lot others call me Laney, but the Bitcoin thing is definitely here to stay.  Literally, TODAY, someone in the line for chow hall starts talking to me “hey, bitcoin, what’s up?  I haven’t seen you for a while.”  Then the guy behind him chimes in: “You’re bitcoin?!  Man, I was wondering who that was, good to put a face with a name.”

Talk about the butterfly effect.  Years ago some guy in Montana decides to sell heroin and only take bitcoin for payment.  Fast forward to 2021 and I end up in South Dakota with people calling me Bitcoin because we look similar…

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