I went to the NYC restaurant that makes wings for ‘Hot Ones’ and now I know why celebrity guests are always complimenting them

A chicken wing from Shorty's, the "Hot Ones" restaurant, getting hit with "The Last Dab" hot sauce.
“This is the last dab. We call it the last dab because we put a little extra on the last wing.”

  • For six years, “Hot Ones” has been hurting celebrities with hot questions and even hotter wings.
  • Much of the time, those hot chicken wings come from the same midtown Manhattan restaurant: Shorty’s.
  • Insider visited Shorty’s this week to find out what goes into a “Hot Ones” wing.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.
Like so many of my fellow Millennials, I’m a big fan of First We Feast’s hit YouTube talk show, “Hot Ones.”

"Hot Ones" host Sean Evans and singer-songwriter Olivia Rodrigo appear on a recent episode of the hit YouTube talk show.
“It’s the show with hot questions and even hotter wings,” host Sean Evans says at the start of each episode.

If you’re not already familiar, it’s a typical talk show format with a twist: Instead of a standard interview, it’s an interview conducted while eating through a gauntlet of 10 increasingly hot chicken wings.

Actor David Harbour appears on the YouTube talk show "Hot Ones."
David Harbour, of “Stranger Things” fame, was on the most recent season of “Hot Ones.”

The show is primarily filmed in a studio in Manhattan, and its wings usually come from a little shop in Manhattan named “Shorty’s.”

Shorty's is a restaurant with three locations in Manhattan. The 9th Avenue location is pictured here, which supplies chicken wings for "Hot Ones."
This Shorty’s location is one of three in Manhattan. It’s the one located closest to the studio where “Hot Ones” is filmed.

Shorty’s got a nice shoutout from Elijah Wood on the season 15 wrap-up episode. Wood called them, “Very good wings,” to which host Sean Evans replied, “Shout out Shorty’s!”

Elijah Wood appears on "Hot Ones," the YouTube talk show, in August 2021.
Sorry about the screenshot, Elijah!

I went to Shorty’s this week to find out exactly how good the wings are, but first I stopped by the iconic hot sauce shop that collaborates with “Hot Ones”: Heatonist, in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

Heatonist, in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, is the hot sauce shop that supplies hot sauces for the YouTube talk show "Hot Ones."
Heatonist is on Wythe Avenue, home to such Williamsburg staples as The Wythe Hotel.

Heatonist is a pilgrimage for hot sauce heads. The shop has collaborated with “Hot Ones” for years, and it sells several different “Hot Ones” branded sauces – including a recent iteration of the infamous “Last Dab.”

Inside Heatonist, the hot sauce shop in Williamsburg, Brooklyn that supplies hot sauces for the YouTube talk show "Hot Ones."
The store isn’t huge, but it’s absolutely stacked with hot sauces.

I was there for two specific sauces from the bottom and the top of spice mountain: The “Classic” hot sauce, and the “Last Dab” hot sauce, both made by “Hot Ones” and used on the show.

Two "Hot Ones" hot sauces from the Brooklyn store "Heatonist."
The store clerk at Heatonist also gave me two stickers with my purchase, including a sweet “Hot Ones” sticker.

After picking up the hot sauces, I headed through the Queens Midtown Tunnel to Shorty’s to pick up wings. Appropriately, Shorty’s sells an order of wings as 10 pieces for $14.

The inside of Shorty's, the Manhattan restaurant that supplies wings for the YouTube talk show "Hot Ones."
Due to the pandemic, Shorty’s is only doing takeout service. An employee told me that they still don’t know when they’ll reopen indoor dining to the public.

Another 25 minutes later and I was back in Brooklyn, wings still warm, ready to dig in.

A place of wings from Shorty's, the Manhattan restaurant that supplies chicken wings for "Hot Ones."
The wings came packed in two very unglamorous white takeout boxes. I also got french fries, because this is still lunch.

Critically, the wings for “Hot Ones” are ordered plain, and then tossed individually with sauce by a production assistant. The assistant, “pours hot sauce into one plastic bowl, places a wing inside, and puts another bowl on top to form a clamshell, which is then shaken vigorously,” The Verge reported in 2019. So I started by doing that!

A chicken wing being tossed in "Hot Ones" Classic wing sauce, the way that "Hot Ones" does it on the show.
This wing got tossed with the Classic hot sauce, which is surprisingly spicy given that it’s the least spicy sauce in the lineup.

As you can see, the “Hot Ones” saucing method is effective. Since Shorty’s wings are battered, then fried, there are plenty of little crags and crevices for the sauce to disappear into.

A chicken wing from Shorty's, the Manhattan restaurant that supplies wings for "Hot Ones," covered in Classic hot sauce.

The good news is that Elijah Wood is right: The wings from Shorty’s are, in fact, quite good. Since they’re battered with flour – rather than straight up fried, naked chicken wings – they’re more similar to fried chicken than standard bar wings.

Chicken wings from Shorty's, the Manhattan restaurant that supplies wings for "Hot Ones."
The chicken meat itself was juicy, and the exterior was uniformly crispy from the batter. If you were expecting standard bar buffalo wings, these are not those.

Moreover, the Classic sauce is pretty tasty unto itself. It’s a little sweet, a little garlicky, and surprisingly punchy from Fresno chilies. Definitely hotter than, say, Frank’s Red Hot or Tabasco, but not overwhelmingly hot either.

A chicken wing from Shorty's, the Manhattan restaurant that supplies wings for the talk show "Hot Ones."
It’s not too spicy to, say, slather all over a wing. I would even go as far as to suggest doing that!

Of note: “Hot Ones” uses different vendors for wings, and has in the past used different vendors in New York City. Sometimes guests want fish sticks, or vegan wings, instead of chicken wings.

"Game of Thrones" star Maisie Williams on "Hot Ones," in October 2019, eating vegan wings.
Maisie Williams, of “Game of Thrones” fame, opted for vegan wings instead of chicken wings on her episode, which aired in October 2019.

There was only one thing left to do after trying the wings plain and trying them with the Classic hot sauce: The Last Dab.

A chicken wing with "The Last Dab" hot sauce, from "Hot Ones," on it.
After tossing this one and getting hot sauce on my fingers, I made sure to be careful around the eyes.

Would it destroy me, like it had so many people much more famous and attractive than me?

Insider senior correspondent Ben Gilbert about to eat a wing with very hot sauce from Shorty's, the Manhattan restaurant that supplies wings for "Hot Ones."

Only one way to find out!

Insider senior correspondent Ben Gilbert eats a chicken wing with "The Last Dab" hot sauce on it.

In a shocking twist, it wasn’t that hot! It’s definitely spicy, and I definitely sweated profusely after eating it, and my lips hurt a bit, but it wasn’t the soul-destroying experience that I expected.

A "clean wing" that once had The Last Dab hot sauce on it from "Hot Ones," the internet talk show.
The flavor of this version of The Last Dab tastes strongly of cumin and comes with an immediate wallop of spice on the front of your tongue that dissipates in about 10 minutes.

It’s easy to understand why “Hot Ones” guests are so complimentary: The wings from Shorty’s are uniformly golden and crispy with juicy meat. They’re not too small, and not too big, and they held onto a good crunch even after a 25 minute car ride. They aren’t going to change your life, but they’re some of the better wings I’ve had in over a decade eating NYC wings.

A chicken wing from Shorty's, the Manhattan restaurant that supplies wings for "Hot Ones."

Got a tip? Contact Insider senior correspondent Ben Gilbert via email (bgilbert@insider.com), or Twitter DM (@realbengilbert). We can keep sources anonymous. Use a non-work device to reach out. PR pitches by email only, please.

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The luxury boats owned by some of the wealthiest people in tech, from a yacht so big it has its own support boat to superyachts with swimming pools and basketball courts

Jeff Bezos
  • Many billionaires like Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson enjoy spending their time on massive luxurious yachts.
  • The boats are decked out with amenities that many Americans can only dream of.
  • Here are some of the billionaires in tech who own private yachts.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Billionaires are often known for their luxurious lifestyles and high profile gadgets.

Some billionaires, like Elon Musk and Bill Gates, buy private planes to take control of the open skies – others purchase yachts to access the open seas.

From Amazon founder Jeff Bezos to Oracle cofounder Larry Ellison, and Google cofounders Sergey Brin and Larry Page, many leaders in tech have created their own mini vacation hubs at sea, decking their boats with amenities like gyms, spas, pools, nightclubs, and movie theaters.

If you want to find out what life is like aboard these multi-million-dollar yachts, some of them are available to rent out for a few nights or weeks at a time. For instance, late Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen’s yacht is expected to be available for rent for around $1 million per week, The Guardian reported. In the past, chartering yachts owned by billionaires like Alphabet President Sergey Brin has cost customers anywhere from $773,000 a week to $1.2 million.

Take a look at some of the yachts that have been owned by tech billionaires.

A mystery buyer bought a 414-foot superyacht that was once owned by late Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen for $278 million. Allen had the boat, which was named “Octopus,” built in 2003 for $200 million. Since the tech billionaires death in 2018, the boat has been listed for as much as $325 million.

The blue hull of the luxury yacht "Octopus" sits at the dock in London's Canary Wharf
Octopus in Canary Wharf, London, in 2012.

Source: SuperYacht Times

The undisclosed Scandinavian buyer is expected to charter the yacht for the first time in January 2022 via major yachting broker, Camper & Nicholsons. A price has yet to be announced for renting the boat, but it is expected to be around $1 million per week.

octopus paul allen luxury yacht
414ft luxury yacht ‘Octopus’ owned by Microsoft co-founder, Paul Allen, is moored to fuel up at Ege Ports in Kusadasi district of Aydin, Turkey on April 27, 2015.

Sources: The Guardian, SuperYacht Times

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is building his own 127-meter yacht, according to a book. The yacht is so massive it has an additional “support yacht” with its own helipad.

bezos
Jeff Bezos.

Source: Amazon Unbound: Jeff Bezos and the Invention of a Global Empire

Bezos has long been interested in yachts. In 2019, he was spotted aboard entertainment mogul David Geffen’s superyacht.

12686190635_8b47dfabbc_c
David Geffen’s superyacht

Oracle cofounder Larry Ellison owns a 288-foot yacht named Musashi that he acquired in 2013.

larry ellison musashi yacht

Source: Forbes

Ellison has owned several superyachts over the years, including the Katana, the Ronin, and the Rising Sun.

rising sun

The Oracle cofounder also has a knack for competitive yacht racing, and helped to found and back a racing team, called Oracle Team USA, in 2000. The team has found success and won several prestigious titles over the years.

larry ellison oracle yacht team usa

Source: Telegraph

Ellison previously owned a bigger, 454-foot yacht called Rising Sun, which was designed specifically for the CEO in 2005. That yacht reportedly has 82 rooms, a movie theater, a wine cellar, and a basketball court. However, Ellison sold off the Rising Sun to Geffen for a reported $300 million.

Larry Ellison

Source: Forbes, Boat International

Ellison’s boat, Musashi, is a sister ship to the yacht of another billionaire, former Sears CEO Eddie Lampert. However, the yacht, named Fountainhead, is often mistaken for belonging to billionaire investor Mark Cuban. “The guy who owns the boat tells everyone that it’s mine,” Cuban told Page Six in 2016. “It’s so crazy … I don’t even own a boat.”

Mark Cuban
Mark Cuban.

Source: Page Six

Ellison’s yacht reportedly influenced the decision of late Apple CEO Steve Jobs to get a boat himself. However, Jobs never set foot on the boat – the yacht was commissioned in 2008, but wasn’t completed until 2012, a year after his death.

Steve Jobs

Source: Business Insider

When Jobs died in 2011, his yacht – along with his $14.1 billion fortune – was inherited by his wife, Laurene Powell Jobs, founder and president of a social-impact nonprofit called the Emerson Collective. The 256-foot yacht in named Venus, and is worth $130 million.

laurene powell jobs steve jobs yacht

Source: Business Insider

Google’s cofounders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, are two of the richest people in the world. The two billionaires are known to splurge: In addition to each owning a super yacht, they both own private planes as well.

Larry Page Sergey Brin
Sergey Brin (left) and Larry Page.

Sources: Forbes, Business Insider

Page owns a yacht named Senses, a $45 million 194-foot boat that he bought in 2011 from a New Zealand businessman. The yacht has a private beach club with a Jacuzzi and sun beds, both indoor and outdoor dining areas, and a helicopter pad.

Larry Page superimposed with Senses yacht

Source: Boat International

Meanwhile, Brin owns a longer, 240-foot yacht that he bought for a cool $80 million in 2011. It’s reportedly one of the world’s fastest super yachts, and is equipped with a dance floor and open-air movie theater.

dragonfly yacht

Source: Business Insider

Brin’s yacht is named Dragonfly. The boat shares a name with Google’s once-secret project to launch a censored search engine in China. Google said in 2019 it had officially terminated the project.

Sergey Brin

Source: Business Insider, Forbes

But Brin and Page aren’t the only two high-powered Google figures with yachts. Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt owns a 194-foot yacht name Oasis. The yacht reportedly features a pool and a gym-turned-nightclub. He bought the boat in 2009 for a reported $72.3 million.

eric schmidt oasis

Sources: Business Insider, GQ

For Skype cofounder Niklas Zennstrom, his interest in yachts skews toward racing and competitive sailing. Zennstrom has gone through a succession of boats all named Ran, and his most recent purchase is the seventh in the series.

Co-Founder and CEO of Skype Technologies, United Kingdom Niklas Zennstroem
Co-Founder and CEO of Skype Technologies, United Kingdom Niklas Zennstroem listens during a plenary entitled ‘Digital 2.0:Powering a Creative Economy’ at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland,

Source: CNN

His latest yacht, appropriately named Ran VII, is the most technologically advanced of all of Zennstrom’s boats. The racing yacht uses electrical power, which Zennstrom says makes it “lighter, less drag, quieter, and most importantly it is environmentally friendly.”

ran vii 7 yacht niklas zennstrom

Source: CNN

The 40-foot yacht will compete in regattas through the racing team owned by Zennstrom and his wife, Catherine. The Ran racing team launched in 2008, and has won some prestigious regattas.

ran 7 yacht niklas zennstrom
The Ran racing team.

Source: CNN

Barry Diller, chairman of digital media company IAC, co-owns a $70 million yacht with his wife, fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg.

Barry Diller Diane Von Furstenberg
Diane von Furstenberg, left, and Barry Diller.

Source: Business Insider

The sailing yacht, named Eos, is 350 feet long with six bedrooms. The power couple has hosted many celebrities over the years – a few that have been spotted aboard Eos include model Karlie Kloss, actor Bradley Cooper, journalist Anderson Cooper, and singer Harry Styles.

eos

Source: W Magazine

For Jim Clark, the cofounder of Netscape, one yacht hasn’t been enough. Clark has owned boats for more than 30 years, and in 2012, he put up two of his sailing yachts for sale.

jim clark boat
Jim Clark, right.

Source: Business Insider

Clark listed the boats for a combined $113 million: the 136-foot Hanuman for $18 million, and the 295-foot Athena for $95 million. However, Clark has yet to offload Athena. Clark also previously owned a 155-foot yacht named Hyperion, and currently also owns a racing yacht named Comanche.

jim clark athena yacht
The yacht Athena.

Source: Boat International

Charles Simonyi worked at Microsoft until 2002, and oversaw the creation of Microsoft Office software. A few years before he left, Simonyi decided to purchase a yacht. He told the designer that wanted his yacht to be “home away from [his] home in Seattle.”

Charles Simonyi

Source: Boat International

The product of that conversation in 1999 is Simonyi’s yacht named Skat, meaning “treasure” in Danish. The yacht measures 233 feet long, and is unique with its nontraditional design and gray color. Skat features a matching gray helicopter, a gym, and motorcycles.

charles simonyi skat yacht

Source: Yacht Charter Fleet

Opulent British billionaire Richard Branson owned a yacht until he sold it in September 2018. The 105-foot catamaran sold for $3 million, significantly lower than the $9.6 million price Branson listed the boat for in 2014.

richard branson necker belle

Source: Business Insider

Branson, the founder of Virgin Group, bought the boat in 2009. He named it Necker Belle, a nod to his private Caribbean island, Necker Island.

Necker Island

Source: Business Insider

Additional reporting by Paige Leskin.

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Take a look at some of the lakes in California that have been swallowed up by the ‘megadrought’

California drought
  • California has been hit by a “megadrought” that has dried up key reservoirs in the state.
  • Entire lakes have shrunk exponentially, leaving yachts and docks beached on dry land.
  • Nearly 95% of the state is experiencing “severe drought” and is susceptible to wild fires.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

California is facing its worst drought in over four years.

Over 37 million people have already been impacted by the “megadrought” and nearly 95% of the state has been classified as experiencing “Severe Drought,” which puts the land in significant danger of wildfires, according to the National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS).

Last year, California land was consumed by over 8,200 wildfires – a number double the state’s previous record. This year, scorching weather has dried out reservoirs and made the state even more susceptible to breakout wildfires than the record 2020 season. NIDIS analysts call the outlook for the land “grim.”

california wildfire
October 15, 2017.

Water levels of California’s over 1,500 reservoirs are 50% lower than they should be at this time of year, Jay Lund, co-director of the Center for Watershed Sciences at UC-Davis told the Associated Press.

In April, scorching weather turned the San Gabriel reservoir lake bed to dust. The reservoir is not expected to see rain fall until the end of the year.

The drought turned the San Gabriel reservoir lake bed to dust
The drought turned the San Gabriel reservoir lake bed to dust

On Wednesday, the drought dried up a lake so much that it potentially exposed a decades old mystery, allowing officials to find a plane that had crashed in 1965.

A composite image showing Folsom Lake, California, at drought levels in 2017, and a sonar image of a plane underwater there.
Folsom Lake, California, under drought conditions in 2017 (L), and the sonar image of a plane there taken by Seafloor Systems (R)

The California drought has been caused by climate change which has pushed temperatures an average of about 2 degrees hotter, drying out soil and melting Sierra snow rivers, which causes less water to soak into the ground, as well as flow through rivers and reservoirs. The state also endured two unusually dry winters that didn’t bring needed storms to the area.

Officials are predicting the water level of Lake Oroville – a primary body of water that helps the state generate energy through hydroelectric power plants – will hit a record low in August. If that happens, they would need to shut down a major hydroelectric power plant, putting extra strain on the electrical grid during the hottest part of the summer.

Earlier this month, about 130 houseboats had to be hauled out of the lake as its water levels hit 38% capacity. The water levels are only at about 45% of average June levels, according to California Department of Water Resources.

House boats pulled out of Lake Orovill

It’s going to be a rough summer for boat owners in the state.

Pictures from the Associated Press show massive lakes have run dry, leaving boats and docks completely beached

Boats at Fulsom Lake

Experts say the drought could devastate local wildlife populations, as well as California’s tourism industry.

California drought

In April, Governor Gavin Newsom held a press conference in the dried up waterbed of Lake Mendocino. Where he stood there should have been about 40 feet of water.

“This is without precedent,” Newsom said. “Oftentimes we overstate the word historic, but this is indeed an historic moment.”

California drought

The month before, the California Department of Water Resources reduced farmers and growers to 5% of their expected water allocation in March. A move that has farmers leaving large portions of their land unseeded, while other have been forced to purchase supplemental water, which comes at a hefty cost. Supplemental water was priced at $1,500 to $2,000 per acre-foot in mid-May, according to a report from California Farm Bureau.

It has also made it difficult for ranchers to feed and water their livestock

California drought

As California temperatures continue to rise while water reservoirs fall, the state could be in for a devastating summer. From increased fears for wildfires to the impact on state agriculture and tourism, California residents are bracing for the worst drought season since 2014.

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How to use BitClout to bet on the popularity of influencers like Elon Musk on the world’s first crypto social network

Elon Musk's profile on BitClout
  • BitClout allows users to invest in celebrity fame by buying tokens that increase in value as the creators gain popularity.
  • The site traded over $225 million within a month of its launch and is continuing to grow.
  • Here’s what you need to know to get started on investing in creators on BitClout.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

BitClout, a cryptocurrency platform designed to operate as a social network, has already drawn in celebrities and investors from billionaire Chamath Palihapitiya to YouTuber Jake Paul.

The site has traded over $225 million within a month of its launch and is worth about $1 billion, according to a recent report from New York Magazine.

BitClout is designed to let people bet on the popularity of public figures by buying tokens associated with people’s profiles. Users can use BitClout coins to buy a Creator’s Coin and watch its value change based on the creator’s popularity on the site. The site started with 15,000 creator accounts preloaded from the most popular Twitter profiles.

At the moment, Tesla CEO Elon Musk has the most expensive Creator Coin, coming in at nearly $70,000. The Creator Coins gain or lose value depending on how many people buy coins associated with the profile, as there are between 100 to 1,500 coins in existence for each profile.

Individuals included in the 15,000 preloaded Twitter profiles can claim their account by tweeting their BitClout public key, found under the profile section, alongside #bitclout. The creator then receives a blue check mark next to their account name and can begin earning a percentage of the profits from the Creator Coins associated with their name.

Top creator accounts on BitClout
Top creator accounts on BitClout

Even people outside of public figures and celebrities can profit off their own Creator Coins, as well as generate money investing in other accounts. BitClout investor @Sigil told Insider, he invested about $150 Canadian dollars in his BitClout account and made thousands within three days. The 17-year-old was also able to push his own coin’s value from $0 to a market cap over $500,000.

How to set up your BitClout account

BitClout sign up page
BitClout sign up page

The first step to setting up your BitClout account involves keep tracking of a “seed” phrase for your account. The string of non-related words operates as a type of passcode or safety measure for protecting your account.

At this point, it is important to save a picture or write down your seed phrase, as the site will require the phrase whenever you need to log in or out of your account. The site warns that if you lose your seed phrase, your account, along with the money you put into it, will be lost forever.

BitClout seed phrase

The next steps to setting up your account involves providing a phone number and an email address, as well as verifying your phone number.

Once you have officially created your account, you can choose whether to buy BitClout coins immediately, browse Creator Coins to buy, or update your profile information by claiming a username and avatar image.

On your profile you can also set your “Founder Reward Percentage.” The percentage is automatically set at 10%, but can be shifted anywhere from 0% t0 100%. The Founder percentage allows you to keep a certain percentage of your Creator Coins. If a founder sets the percentage too high it can discourage potential buyers, but owning your own coins can also help push the value of your own Creator Coins up.

BitClout profile page

How to buy BitClout coins

The only way to buy BitClout is by using bitcoin. Thus, the first step is to download a digital wallet app or create an account on a desktop and buy bitcoin.

Once the wallet is set up, the next step is to go to the “Buy BitClout” tab on the site. Copy the address under “Send Bitcoin to this address” and go back into the wallet app. In the app, select “Send Crypto to another wallet.” Then, select the amount of money you want to convert into BitClout and hit “Continue.”

When the next page appears on the digital wallet, paste your BitClout address into the “To” field and select the preview button. You will see a preview of the transfer, as well as the network fee. If the amount is an appropriate number, you can hit “Send now” on the digital wallet.

It should only take a few moments, but the amount should then appear on your BitClout account, under “Buy BitClout.” If It does not immediately appear, you can also hit “Refresh” under “Amount Deposited.”

Buy BitClout page

Once the bitcoin has been deposited in your account, you can use the coins to buy BitClout coins. Prices for the coins fluctuate, but were $170 per BitClout on Friday.

Under “Step Two” on the page, type the amount of BitClout you want to buy or convert all the bitcoin by hitting “Max.”

Buy BitClout page

In order to convert to BitClout, you must exchange at least 0.0001 Bitcoin, or about $6.40, according to the current value of BitCoin. Once the number has been entered, you can hit “Buy BitClout.” Then a review of your purchase will pop up on the screen; hit the “OK” button to complete the conversion.

After you hit “OK,” you will get a screen showing your new BitClout balance.

How to use the BitClout site

On the site you can follow other accounts, like, comment and direct message, much like Twitter. The feed is designed to emulate the feel of Twitter, but also uses a creator’s market value to determine which comments are prioritized on accounts. All posts are public on the site’s general feed.

BitClout

Each action requires users to maintain some BitClout coins in order to pay the gas fees for each action which is recorded on the blockchain.

Users can also invest in Creator Coins by searching for the profiles and selecting the “Buy” button, which will be followed by a confirmation page.

While the most expensive Creator Coin on BitClout currently belongs to Musk, BitClout investor @Sigil argues the best way to make money on the site is to invest in accounts that are valued near zero.

“They can only go up and you can help push them up by buying into the account,” @Sigil told Insider.

When you create a profile, there are initially zero coins in existence, which makes the price for the creator’s coins $0. When a user buys into another account, BitClout mints the coins and sells them according to a price curve, making it more and more expensive as more coins are purchased.

BitClout price curve
BitClout price curve

The money you use to buy the coins gets stored in the user’s profile and adds to the value of the account. You can also sell the coins and the profile will buy them back from you, causing the account’s value to go down.

While BitClout has become increasingly popular since it was launched over a month ago, the site is already facing criticism

Many critics of the site have questioned the security of the platform, as well as the anonymity of its creator known only as @diamondhands. BitClout’s bitcoin holdings, which typically are secured on the blockchain, are held privately in servers, NY Mag reported. The site also does not currently have an option to exchange its coins for US dollars.

BitClout responded to doubts about its security on Twitter. “A rumor has been going around that BitClout is insecure,” @Bitclout_ tweeted. “Just wanted to say this is untrue full-stop. The dev community completed multiple audits specifically around seed phrase handling prior to launch, and the nodes have been running since last year without issue.”

@Sigil told Insider he doesn’t see BitClout as any different than bitcoin. When the first decentralized cryptocurrency launched it also did not have a way to directly convert the bitcoins back to US dollars.

For now, users can sell their coins on various Discord servers or via Twitter threads. @Sigil is also working on his own business to solve this problem by building his own trading site called BitSwap, a site that allows people to buy and sell BitClout for Ethereum.

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