The History of Ultra Sound Money

The origin and evolution of ultra sound money
David Hoffman David Hoffman Mar 22, 20213 min read
The History of Ultra Sound Money

Dear Bankless Nation,

It’s Ultra Sound Money week. We’re kicking off the week by dropping our podcast episode with Justin Drake on ETH as Ultra Sound Money.

This might be the most ETH bullish episode we’ve recorded—which is saying a lot.

Watch it here:

Why This Narrative Matters

People don’t yet understand ETH as sound money. They think ETH is just gas. They think ETH has an unsound issuance policy. We think the Ultra Sound Money meme has the potential to redefine the narrative of ETH the asset.


Because it’s grounded in reality! ETH is a macro store-of-value asset that becomes scarcer as the Ethereum economy grows larger. Unfortunately, communicating this to outsiders and skeptics isn’t always easy.

This is why condensing information into the smallest package possible is so important. Making information memeable is good for comprehension and virality.

We truly hope you enjoy the Ultra Sound Money podcast as much as we did.

In this week’s Market Monday article, let’s go back in history and explore the roots of the Ultra Sound Money meme.

The History of Ultra Sound Money

Ultra Sound Money 🦇🔊  all started in the summer of 2020…

August 13th, 2020

In early August, Vitalik talked about "supersonic money" on Bankless’ State of the Nation. While the meme didn’t land right away, the core idea did: if fixed supply is sound money, then decreasing supply must be even better money.

Fast forward to 29:20 to hear Vitalik mention supersonic money.

And yeah…wow, our videos have definitely improved since this one 😅

August 31, 2020

Vitalik mentions supersonic money in a private Telegram chat and Justin suggests ETH as “ultrasound money” rather than “supersonic money”.

Telegram screenshot shared with permission
Telegram screenshots shared with permission

Justin’s liked reusing “sound” verbatim. While chatting with others about this meme, this was a frequent topic about why the meme is so well-received. It reuses the concept of sound money and amplifies it to a higher degree in line with Ethereum’s culture.

“With Ultra Sound Money, you can laugh at yourself with it. You just can’t take it too seriously; it’s a knock off ‘sound money’ while maintaining the Ethereum culture of a carefree, facetious disregard for norms… ‘oh, your meme is ‘sound money'? well ours is ULTRA sound money”

- Alex Fisher

Next Justin Drake goes to an Ethereum Foundation designer for help, giving the designer this prompt:

September 4, 2020

Justin makes attempt #1 of Ultra Sound Money.

Drake’s colleague, Dankrad, suggests using a bat as the logo which led to the following iterations:

September 10, 2020

A friend of Ethereum community member, Anthony Sassano, suggests adding boxes which leads to the final iterations of ultra sound money:

Justin replaced the speaker and bat with actual emojis found across various messaging platforms, and makes the first public showing of the Ultra Sound Money Meme:

Which receives the approval of Ethereum’s unofficial memelord, Ameen:

The last iteration adds in the theorized supply-caps at maturity, given accurate long-term security assumptions by both systems.

Which brings us to where we are today:

ETH is ultra sound money 🔊🦇. Pass it on.

- David

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David Hoffman

Written by David Hoffman

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Co-owner at Bankless. Optimistic storyteller of frontier technology.

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