The midweek work crowd rushes in and out noisily at Caffé Medici, a hip single-origin downtown Austin coffee house shouting distance from the state capitol building. Everything here—from the boisterous business-casual crowd to the slightly-too-loud acoustic music to the worn-leather couch and frayed rug—feels like it’s straining for calm but failing. In this din, Jimmy Song stands out, not just because he’s wearing a cowboy hat and boots (not common, even in Texas) and is Korean-American, but for his unmanufactured stillness. The bitcoin maximalist, sipping a small latte from a paper cup, acts as if he’s in no hurry to go anywhere.
The Buddha stereotype may come to mind but it isn’t quite right; Song is lean and wears a black t-shirt promoting meat-heavy dinners. He looks much younger than his 40ish years. His serenity, springing from true belief at a time when many in the crypto industry have been, to put it mildly, freaking the freak out, is striking. He’s chill even when he potentially burns bridges while laying down apocalyptic smacktalk. Song is unsparing as he looks ahead at the future of bitcoin, in which he is heavily, zealously invested.