Iconic ‘Buy Bitcoin’ Sign Showcased Behind Janet Yellen Attracts Bids Over $140,000 at Auction

By Ben Knight April 23, 2024 In Bitcoin, Investing
Source: CNBC via YouTube
  • The famous  “Buy Bitcoin” sign that was flashed during a Congressional hearing has gone to auction.
  • The sign became a harbinger of Bitcoin’s rise into the zeitgeist, with the coin going up ~800% in the months following its appearance on TV.
  • So far, the bidding has pumped the sign’s price to nearly USD $150K, with one day remaining.

Here’s a tongue-twister: How many Bitcoin would you buy to buy a sign that tells you to “Buy Bitcoin?” If you answered “two Bitcoin” (yes, that wasn’t a rhetorical question) you’d be correct. The sign has gone down in crypto folklore since it was first sighted during a congressional hearing in 2017, and has somehow made its way to auction in pristine condition. And as the markets heat up following spot ETF approval and the Bitcoin halving, memers and serious collectors have engaged in a bidding war, driving the price of the crypto memorabilia to over USD $140K (AUD $217K).

Related: Bitcoin Halving Concludes, Slashes Miners’ Rewards Amid Fee Hike

Bitpaint vs Jeff: A Battle for the Ages

With barely a day left on the auction time, the price exceeding 2 BTC has shaken out most bidders – except two. Notwithstanding snipers looking to make a last-minute play on the sign, Jeff and bitpaint are the only bidders left. In fact, the sign was priced at 1.15 BTC the last time someone other than those two took a shot at the auction – 18 bids ago. 

The sign’s new owner looks like it’s down to a two-horse race. But its original owner was an intern by the name of Christian Langalis, who managed to sit behind Janet Yellen during a House and Financial Services Committee in 2017. Not to lose out on the opportunity for national television, Langalis whipped out a pad and pen to hold up a sign that has been etched into the crypto canon ever since:


Buy Bitcoin.

Langalis may have punted his chances of finding full-time work in the Government, and was promptly escorted from the venue once people realised his sign had been broadcast across the nation. But the “damage” was done. Langalis was donated over seven BTC from supporters across the world, and the price of BTC rose from USD ~$2,300 to $16K months after he flashed the sign.

However, according to Bloomberg, Langalis actually fumbled the bag a little. Barring a last minute bidding eruption, the sign appears set to fetch between 2-3 BTC – but mere weeks ago, he was offered 5 BTC for the original “Buy Bitcoin” sign. 

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That said, it’s hard to be too mad when a sign you wrote on a notepad in less than a minute is worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Ben Knight

Ben Knight

Ben Knight is a writer and editor from Melbourne with a passion for all things music and finance. He enjoys turning complex topics – especially the technical details of cryptocurrency – into digestible bites that anybody can understand. He acquired his Master’s in Writing, Editing and Publishing from RMIT in 2019 and has run his own creative writing business ever since.

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