Texas Takedown: Nic Carter and David Hoffman Square Off for Karate Combat at Consensus

The influencers, representing Bitcoin and Ethereum, will enter the pit at the Consensus festival May 30, 2024. Fyre Festival’s Billy McFarland is also on the fight card.

AccessTimeIconApr 3, 2024 at 1:54 p.m. UTC
Updated Apr 3, 2024 at 2:32 p.m. UTC
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CoinDesk’s Consensus has seen plenty of heated blockchain battles over its ten year history. But 2024’s matchup in the Karate Combat Pit takes the dueling to a new level.

Crypto influencers Nic Carter and David Hoffman are set to go toe-to-toe on May 30 during this year’s conference in Austin, Texas.

“Influencer Fight Club 2” is the part of the increasingly popular Karate Combat series, essentially a no-holds-barred version of UFC without the (time-wasting) on-mat grappling.

Carter, co-founder of data analytics leader Coin Metrics and VC fund Castle Island Ventures, will represent Bitcoin, while Hoffman, the founder of media platform Bankless, will fly the colors for Ethereum. The bout is two rounds of two minutes each, with a third round scheduled if a tiebreaker is needed.

Also on the card is Billy McFarland, the infamous Fyre Festival entrepreneur, who squares off against Alex, better known by his handle @shillin_villain.

“I’m very confident,” said Carter, via X DMs. “I’ve never trained in martial arts before this and I don’t think David has either. But we are both very fitness focused – which makes us a good matchup.”

Both fighters have hired trainers to work on basic fighting skills and they’re preparing hard around other day-to-day commitments.

The friends have a side bet where they’ll donate $10,000 to the winner’s chosen open-source development group. Carter’s choice is the Bitcoin Core, which maintains the Bitcoin network. Hoffman’s is Protocol Guild, the equivalent organization in the Ethereum community.

When the news leaked on X last week, several commenters made fun of the fighters’ physiques and mocked their fighting skills. But the two are undeterred.

“At the end of the day, it’s me and David that are taking the risk and getting in the ring and all they can do is watch,” Carter said. “If they want to fight they can try and get in the undercard, they are welcome to reach out to Karate Combat. But David and I aren’t claiming to be amazing fighters. The objective is to entertain and take on a new challenge, not to begin decorated fight careers.”

“It’s been funny to hear all the haters who want to fight us,” adds Hoffman. “I have no interest in fighting anyone but Nic Carter.”

This is the 46th Karate Combat event and the second under the banner “Influencer Fight Club (IFC).” The first, featuring Ben “BitBoy” Armstrong and meme coin creator “More Light,” in Mexico City in February, drew hundreds of thousands of views on YouTube. BitBoy beat the more-fancied More Light in a match full of aggression and flanging fists and arms.

Karate Combat founder ONLYLARPING said he wants the format to “be the first official sport of Web3.”

“It makes sense to partner with the biggest and best conferences in the world and the most entertaining influencers and founders.”

Research by Karate Combat found that a large percentage of its audience don’t enjoy sports unless there is a side-bet element to it. The platform has a no-loss gaming feature, where Karate token-holders plump for a winner and are given a small share of the prize money if they pick the right horse. If they pick the loser, they don’t give up anything.

The Karate Combat series at Consensus features six influencer fights and 10 more conventional bouts involving professional fighters. The action begins May 30 at 7 pm local time. Weigh-ins take place May 29 at 5 pm on the Town Square stage.

Edited by Bradley Keoun.


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Ben Schiller

Ben Schiller is CoinDesk's managing editor for features and opinion. Previously, he was editor-in-chief at BREAKER Magazine and a staff writer at Fast Company. He holds some ETH, BTC and LINK.

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