Welcome, friends! Today we welcome a very special guest, the very person who came up with the idea for a Banano coin, the original shitposter, father of Bananochan and friend of orangutans, Anemone! Get yourself a cup of warm tea and enjoy the read, there are many interesting stories from the Banano history books ahead.
Asmodeusz: Alright, so starting of, thank you for agreeing to the interview, I appreciate it Are you feeling better with the covid stuff? Anemone: Yeah, I've been back to feeling 119% since last week Asmodeusz: 119% sounds better than I expected! That's good to hear, I think the community has been missing you for the past ~two weeks, so it's good to have you back. Could you introduce yourself to the readers and briefly say what is your role in the community, please?
Anemone: Sure, I'm Anemone, one of Banano's core team, the jungle junta, and my roll here is that I'm Banano's CSO, which stands for chief shitposting orangutan of course. I essentially act as a community manager, a meme maker, sometimes as a designer, and I have the distinct honor of having made the meme that inspired Banano to be made. It's hard to briefly describe what I do here, since it's a little bit of everything. But at the end of the day my job is what some might call a dream job - to hang out, vibe with chat, make memes and inspire others to do the same, answer questions, and just try to make people laugh and have a good time. Asmodeusz: I think you're actually one of the most inspiring members of the community, especially as a creator of Bananochan As far as I know, you're also the person who created the official Banano logo. How did you come up with it?
Oh, and why Anemone? I know it's a small flower that can have many different colors, so is it your favorite flower?
Anemone: Well let's start with that last one since the story of the logo is tied in with the story of the genesis meme and the founding of Banano. Anemone has always just been a collection of letters I really appreciated- I've just always loved the flow of the letters, writing it, saying it, other people not being able to pronounce it. So it's been a tag of mine for a long time. My first profile pic on discord was a horrendous ms paint drawing of a sea anemone, which I've always been fascinated by. The Anemone flowers I actually discovered later in life, after I had already been going by Anemone for some years. I actually have a white one from Japan growing in my garden and it's certainly one of my favorites. It's always the first to bloom after a long winter and really brings me a simple kind of joy.
Asmodeusz: It definitely has a nice ring to it! I'm still not entirely sure if it's pronounced like Pokemon or like alimony. Can you dive a little bit more into the logo and creating Banano?
Anemone: I guess to really get an understanding of the start of Banano we need a bit of set up. And I need to give a little more backstory into my start with cryptocurrency and the space as a whole. Back in 2016, like a lot of people I was introduced to Crypto through a Reddit post about Eth, and, to cut to the chase, it started a year long obsession researching the space, the technology, and all the new coins popping up which culminated in me discovering Nano, which at the time was still called Raiblocks. I had been doing some investing in various delegated proof of stake coins and Nano for me ticked all the boxes: fast, feeless, eco friendly. So I immediately did what one shouldn't do and went all in. Back then there were only two exchanges where one could buy Nano: Mercatox and Bitgrail. I'm sure some readers may recognize that second name, Bitgrail infamously was a small exchange which experienced a hack in late 2017/early 2018 to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars, wiping out everyone who had currency on the exchange. Well, out of my two choices I had chosen wrong and by the time my transaction to Bitgrail had cleared- it was already too late and withdrawals had been suspended. A few days later I learned the reason withdrawals had been closed- I had timed my buy almost perfectly to the exchange hack, and never saw that money again. As news of the hack was unfolding many of us had taken to the Nano discord to figure out what was happening, to share experiences, and commiserate over the likelihood our investments were gone forever. But that's when something really interesting started to happen. One great way to process and work through grief, from my experience, is with humor and people on the Nano discord we're doing just that, making memes and making each other laugh in those dark times. And what's more, other users were tipping them Nano for being funny - microtips from a few cents to a few dollars, but it was something. So I joined in, and every day I just worked through that loss, making memes and getting tips. This ended up being an inspiration to us as a usecase for Banano but I'm getting ahead of myself.
So after a few months of memeing in the Nano discord for tips I had an idea for a meme, an imagined meme currency, called Banano. Banano wasn't a name I came up with, it had actually been used by a small group of people around the discord to refer to Nano's testnet, but I set about making it a (fake) reality, as a joke. I had no expectations it would be a real thing. I threw together a logo in about 5 minutes on my bed, two interlocked bananas (69, nice) in the shape of the Nano "N", came up with a few dumb taglines like "not a shitcoin until digested" and "don't let your memes be dreams" and posted it. The response was quite good so I kept riffing on the same format, making more Banano memes. Sometime within the next few days a fellow Nano discord user reached out to me. His name should be familiar to readers as one of Banano's Co-Founders, ChocolateFudCake. He told me he really liked the meme, asked if it was mine, and told me he had been toying around with the idea of forking Nano into a meme coin for real. He had already set up a testnet with Banano's other founder ReneSQ and all they were missing was an identity. He asked if we could make it Banano and I pretty much immediately agreed, gave them the rights to use the logo- and joined on as their first shitposter. Technically- the Banano logo predates the currency if only by a few weeks.
Asmodeusz: I absolutely love this story, just don't want to interrupt :)
Anemone: It's started as a joke, a shitpost, to process grief and people made it real. Truly one of those beautifully weird things that can only happen on the internet.
Asmodeusz: This story shows exactly what values have been present in this community from the very beginning - support, turning a tragedy into something positive. I may be overreacting, but it's a fantastic story that inspires all monkeys. And, somewhat similarly to Doge, it inspires to do good every day.
Anemone: Yeah, we always kept that idea of microtipping as a usecase, generosity and good humor as a usecase as a core of what Banano stands for, the coin has evolved to be so much more but it owes a lot to those roots. And we took a lot of inspiration from the early days of Doge. If Doge is Do Only Good Everyday, then Banano is Be Always Nice and Nurture Others. Asmodeusz: The tipping part is one of the most unique features, although I see many newcomers misunderstand how it's supposed to work. We can all be greedy sometimes, but the whole point is to receive and give back. I love the acronym by the way!
Anemone: One of the reasons every one on the Banano team is given a monthly tipping allowance is so we can lead by example- we always hoped we could inspire others to be generous within the community at large and foster a culture of generosity that would be robust enough to survive pumps in the coin's price and the people that can often bring.
Asmodeusz: I believe that its working, there are many users who tip each other to thank for help or to reward a nice meme. The tipping culture is definitely alive!
Lets change a subject a little bit to something that brought you the biggest following and fans (I think), Bananochan. How did the character come to life?
Anemone: As with everything of mine, it started with a shitpost, one that I ended up putting waaay more effort into than anyone, including me, expected. High effort shitposting, it's a bit of an oxymoron but it's something of a way of life for me.
I was inspired to come up with the character after being reminded of a truly ancient (by meme standards) format where people would take inanimate objects, programs, protocols, brands, whatever and make it into an anime girl, always denoted with the Japanese honorific chan (ちゃん) which is usually used with girls. Some of the first were internetexplorerchan, earthchan, and wendyschan. We weren't even the first Crypto to do it, I'm pretty sure Monero has a Monerochan. Anyway that was right around the time Vtubers were starting to blow up on YouTube and I got to thinking how fun it would be if Banano had its own anime girl personification- and so I got to work on designing the character of Bananochan.
Believe it or not I had no idea how to draw anime before this- but I felt I had to make it a reality so I learned to draw Anime style through YouTube tutorials and imitating artists I liked
About a year in and I'm still drawing Bananochans every week, we have probably hundreds of Bananochan emotes on discord, pages and pages of fan art, and she's even made her way over to Reddit after being immortalized as pixel art by the community on r/place this year.... and maybe soon she's coming to Jungle TV.
Asmodeusz: I don't think there's anything wrong with being good at shitposting or just more lighthearted art. Especially if it's done in high quality like Bananochan. Vtubers seem to still be quite popular so the trend hasn't died down and the community really loves its' own anime girl and all the emotes and memes with her. Jungle TV is implementing more emotes directly from Discord, so I suppose Bananochan on JTV is inevitable.
Anemone: I think a lot of it comes back to the culture of discord and social media in general. Anime emotes have always been a thing, and some are truly hilarious and it felt like a great way to open Banano discord up to that vast untapped potential. With anime emotes you can have a reaction suited to any mood, any feeling, any situation and I think that's really powerful on a text based platform like discord. And I think users really appreciate there being a Bananochan reaction for anything they're currently feeling. I've always been a bit of a weeb too so it was an excuse to really dive in to that culture, and from a side I had never experienced, that of a creator.
Asmodeusz: Oh, I'm certain you're not the only anime enthusiast on our Discord, there seems to be a pretty large group of them! Do you have any specific plans for the character's future?
Anemone: Plans for the characters future? In a perfect world I want everything. Give me the Bananochan anime, the Bananochan jrpg, the dating sim, the Vtuber, the plushies. But I'm just one person, and my effort is high but my means are modest- so my plans are really just to keep drawing her, keep riffing with the community, and see what comes of it. I don't have much concrete plans except I want to keep developing her and sharing what I make with her fans.
Asmodeusz: Have you thought about Bananochan NFTs?
Anemone: It's definitely been on my radar from the very start. I don't know when, but I can say there will be Bananochan NFTs. And for those who can't wait for a Bananochan NFT, they should check out Cryptomonkeys! SoggyApplePie and I actually collaborated on a Bananochan themed Cryptomonkey NFT, "Monkeychan". She's absolutely my favorite of all the Cryptomonkeys and I feel so blessed to have gotten to work with Soggy to make it come to life.
Asmodeusz: Maybe once the NFTs directly on Banano network are fully functional and tested, you could release a collection there? I'm sure there will be a lot of people interested and since it's a cute/funny anime girl, there would probably be collectors even from outside the Banano/CM communities.
Anemone: I know there's still a lot of work to be done to get Banano NFTs to a fully operational and stable state so I won't promise anything on that front yet, but of course my preference would be releasing on Banano!
Asmodeusz: Are there any other events/project you're looking forward to? How about the drawing contest?
Anemone: There's a few I'm excited about, but it's still a bit too early to talk about them yet, I have some plans for later in the summer. Sorry but I'll have to leave you in some suspense on that one.
Asmodeusz: It's all good, some thing need to be disclosed at the proper time.
Can you tell me what the "Adopter of orangutans" part in your profile means? I actually haven't heard anything about that yet.
Anemone: Sure! Back when the bull market was really kicking into high gear I thought it would be cool to use some of the Banano I had acquired over the years from tips and my Junta salary to do some good in the world. That was around the time people over on r/wallstreetbets were adopting great apes with their stock yolo proceeds and I thought it would be cool to do something similar. So I cashed out some of my Banano to USD and used it to adopt 3 orangutans through The Orangutan Project (https://www.theorangutanproject.org/) all in all I made two adoptions of a little more than 10k Banano at the time, the second one was for a mother son pair so it was a two for one! I think I have the certificate kicking around, I adopted them all in Banano's name.
Asmodeusz: Wow, I had no idea this was even a thing! That actually sounds amazing! Does that mean it was a one time thing or do you have like a monthly pledge to provide food and other things for them?
Anemone: It was a one time thing, but enough to put them in jungle school for a year where they are rehabilitated before returning them to the forest to live out their days in a wide swath of sanctuary land. I still get regular updates about them from the Refuge, all three are in good health and adapting and growing well.
As for why orangutans? They've just always been my favorite ape. I mean look at this guy
Asmodeusz: I could genuinely watch the whole monkey driving a golf cart 10 hours compilation, so I see what you mean lol. On a more serious note though, this is fantastic, we should definitely make this a bigger thing in the community, although we are kinda saving the rain forests currently.
Anemone: I do too, I'd love to see more initiatives on that front. I know with current crypto tax laws in my country doing crypto to fiat to then donate at volume unfortunately doesn't even out, but I hope I can inspire people to make some of their own personal initiatives. And I hope some day crypto tax is more conducive to this kind of necessary and good work. And hey, maybe someday Banano will be big enough that these kinds of charity's want to accept Banano directly.
Asmodeusz: That would be one of the best use cases we can hope for I think! Is there anything else about your interests that you would like to share?
Anemone: Hmm, well, there isn't much I don't share with the jungle already. So instead I'd just tell your readers to come find me in the Jungle on Banano discord. I pop in time to time to share parts of my life both crypto and non-crypto related. The Banano community is like my family and we always have more seats at the table.
Asmodeusz: Thank you so much for your time, I really enjoyed talking with you and especially learning about the beginning of Banano and the community.
Anemone: Absolutely. And thank you for your questions Asmodeusz. You're a great interviewer and it's been a bunch of fun.
I hope our readers enjoyed the conversation, because I surely did! It was a pleasure to learn and discuss the humble beginnings of Banano and some of the personal endeavors of Anemone. Please make sure to show him love the next time you see him on Discord and remember to support the Bananochan project!