Monday 19 July 2021 3:31 pm

Surf legend Kelly Slater is ready to ride the crypto wave

Multiple world champion surfer Kelly Slater says he’s contemplating creating his own cryptocurrency.

The 49-year-old legend of the sport says he’s been observing the progress of Bitcoin and Ethereum for years, and has become fascinated by the prospect of creating his own.

With 11 world championships under his belt, and decades of environmental campaigning, the veteran wave-master is itching for a fresh challenge. And it looks like the world of digital assets might be the one.

The Florida native has recently been focusing his attention on a wood recycling company, and it’s this leaning towards conservation and sustainability that is providing the basis of his embryonic cryptocurrency project, with the hope of linking a coin to his recycling endeavours.

“Because I’m so interested in crypto, and my partners are too, we’re brainstorming,” he said.

Reaching out to people

“But we’re talking out our ass right now, because we don’t really know what we’re doing, but I know people who do know what they’re doing, so I’ve started reaching out to people in the crypto world who make these things.

“We’ll see if there’s something we can do that’s a positive one, and not a fly-by-night coin where people are just trying to make a quick buck overnight.”

In an interview with the Gentleman’s Journal, Slater confesses to being “a hack at best”, but possesses an impressive understanding of blockchain and cryptocurrency, and their relationship to world economies.

“I think it’s interesting to have a currency – a storage of value – that isn’t controlled by a CEO or a government,” he professes.

“It’s an exciting, rare time for people to do their investing themselves.”

He also discussed his admiration for the Reddit sub ‘Wall Street Bets’, drawing comparisons to David and Goliath.

“I think it’s cool that people can take back the power if they want to,” he adds

“Sometimes a shake-up is good.”

However, despite his approval of r/wallstreetbets, one target for his disapproval is his ongoing spat with Tesla boss Elon Musk, who he describes as being “bad for crypto”.

Earlier this year, when the billionaire entrepreneur suddenly u-turned on his announcement to accept Bitcoin payments for his electric vehicles, Slater was left livid at apparent hypocrisy.

READ MORE: Bitcoin rocked by Elon Musk’s dramatic Tesla announcement

“So, a guy who owns an energy company doesn’t understand this stuff before he buys it?” he asked on Twitter at the time.

“Has no problem taking the profits. Does he have an issue with kids mining cobalt in the Democratic Republic of Congo to build batteries?”

“He could probably address and potentially help solve the real energy issues (68 per cent of the energy produced in the US, for instance, is wasted)… seems like a bigger issue to me which would solve any BTC problem.”

Musk aside, Slater still has high hopes for Bitcoin and the wider cryptocurrency space.

“I do hope that Bitcoin is more widely accepted by different industries and people and money managers, and it seems like it’s going in that direction,” he says.

“At the same time, it seems like there’s people coming in who aren’t in it for its purpose… it seems to me there’s some manipulation going on with it and I’m afraid that’s what happens with stocks and companies in that way.”