Baseball’s hottest player is getting in on the cryptocurrency craze — even if it isn’t his idea.
A 22-year-old San Diego Padres fan has created his own bitcoin-style coin in honor of shortstop phenom Fernando Tatis, Jr. called, appropriately, the TatisCoin.
Carlsbad native Chad Hamner, a business and economics college student in the San Francisco Bay Area, said it took him about six hours to create. He joked that bitcoin, ethereum and other cryptocurrencies lacked one element that required him to get to work on his own coin.
“While these and other (cryptocurrencies) have their merits, they all lack one critical characteristic that is vital for a future economy: sex appeal,” he wrote in his original blog post announcing the coin. “This leads us to a natural conclusion: A Tatis-themed cryptocurrency.”
In an interview this week with The San Diego Union-Tribune, Hamner made it clear that the coin is a novelty and not for trading for money on cryptocurrency markets. For starters, he is giving it away for free. Hamner also created 1 sextillion coins, so he said if for some reason people start treating it like a valuable asset he would just flood the market to make it worthless.
It gets a bit technical, but the coin is on a “test” network, unlike an actual exchange where you can buy and sell cryptocurrencies. So, it couldn’t be traded for money if you even tried.
However, it is possible to trade or — more likely, bet — with TatisCoin among fans or whoever else wants to acquire some in a digital wallet.
Hamner is about to graduate into a tough COVID-19 job market so he’s a little nervous about media scrutiny. He’s hoping the Padres and Tatis — who didn’t respond to a request for comment — will get a kick out of it.
“Hopefully Tatis thinks it’s funny,” he said.
Hamner said he got the idea a few months ago when a friend told him about Dogecoin, an Internet prank coin that has taken on a life of its own. Dogecoin was founded as a joke in 2013, named after a popular dog meme, and has seen a meteoric rise in the past year and was valued at about $0.0583 on Friday afternoon. The founders have sought to distance themselves from the coin.
Hamner said he then got to work, with just one semester of an introductory programming class under his belt, and found some code online to create the coin. He said it took him about one hour of research, two hours programming and around three hours making the logo.
The TatisCoin, under the symbol $BEBO, was built using an ethereum test network. So far, Hamner said he has given out about 3 trillion Tatiscoins (mainly because he will give you a few billion if you ask). He has sent Twitter replies to the shortstop to see if he wants some TatisCoin but has yet to get a reply.
You can obtain TatisCoin by creating a virtual wallet through the program Metamask (it takes a while with password creation and using something called a backup phase).
Once that’s all done you need to select “Ropsten Test Network,” click “add token,” then “custom token” and add this into the token address box: “0xdb47c1438d6638dcef630118a819ca31c64cef30″. From there, you should have a wallet address you can send to Hamner on his Twitter account, @TheChamner. He will then send you TatisCoin. A more detailed explanation is available on his blog: gwynntelligence.com.
Crypto gags aside, Hamner said he is thrilled with the renewed excitement around the Padres and the new season. Petco Park was opened to 20 percent capacity Thursday for Opening Day but there is a hope more fans will be allowed in as COVID-19 cases go down. In addition to Tatis and star third baseman Manny Machado, the team has added several new players who have created even more excitement for fans, including Yu Darvish and Blake Snell.
“It’s so exciting,” he said. “This is probably the best Padres team in my lifetime.”
Hamner sells TatisCoin merchandise but he sells it at cost, meaning he doesn’t make any money off it. He has stickers, face masks, fanny packs, coffee mugs, phone cases, tote bags and shirts. He said he hopes to see merchandise in the stands or fans making joke bets with TatisCoin.
“I want Padres Twitter to make bets with no real stakes,” Hamner said, “like ‘I bet you 1 billion TatisCoin that…