The Crypto Community Is a Mess
What could be a step forward for society is devolving into an off-putting war with clowns on both sides.
Crypto is yet another polarizing topic these days. Some people are trying to figure out what the hell is going on with it, while most everyone else seems to have already made up their mind, and they usually don’t like to have their decisions questioned.
As for me, over the past few years I went from not caring much about blockchains and crypto, to being 100% behind it, to now being afraid of it.
First of all, the tech is great
Those who deep-dive into the problems and possibilities of cryptocurrencies, blockchains, Bitcoin, and smart contracts can find very interesting implications about the future of governance and finance.
I love following Vitalik Buterin’s blog to see what kinds of problems need to be tackled to make future infrastructure more secure, fair, and inclusive for everyone - not just crypto-bigots (pun intended) and oligarchs. It’s a joy to think about possible solutions and try out prototypes using web3 tools.
That we can weaponize cryptography to enable trustless services seems both like a natural progression from the militaristic origins of modern cryptography, and a huge innovation - kinda like the internet itself. It gives me hope that we can find a way to organize society to tackle our most pressing issues.
The community though... holy shit
What I’m currently seeing, as to the real world manifestation of these innovations, fills me with dread. It’s feeling more and more like the jerk-offs who ruined our current system are being replaced with their ideological offspring to create an even worse one.
Influencers are trading absolutely useless non-fungible tokens for hundreds of thousands of dollars, proclaiming the joys of their hedonistic excesses as if it’s a good argument for others to join in. NFTs are intrinsically useful for a variety of things in a blockchain-ified world, like, I don’t know: tickets, identifiers, certifications, and deeds. But pictures of bored apes aren’t tickets, and they don’t integrate with any kind of system to be of any utility. We can clearly see that. These people are clowns.
Then we have the Bitcoin priests, with their slicked back hair, black t-shirts, and jeans.
And they’re all making sure we know that anyone who doesn’t get on board is going to die - and anything other than Bitcoin is blasphemy. They're so insecure about it that they've decided to become like the Spanish Inquisition. God help us if they ever “win”, but really they are desperate salesmen for something they don’t seem to actually understand. It’s all a bit like the movie trope of a primitive tribe finding a lighter and thinking it’s some kind of magical wand, and re-organizing their entire social structure to worship it as a very quiet but loving god - with skeptics getting stabbed to death by shrieking acolytes.
Besides them, we have shitcoin hustlers making useless apps that either enable the excesses of the influencers, or are straight up scams to steal as much money from people as they can. I guess they’re savvy and unethical clowns. They’ve been raking money from naive crypto-bros since 2017, and while they were just basic ICO scammers I wasn’t very concerned. Now, they’re basically the face of Ethereum.
Enter: Our guardian angels
Finally, as if all these creeps weren’t enough, the elite hegemony have noticed crypto and have seemingly decided to try and co-opt it. The mainstream media and its sympathizers constantly pump out smears about how crypto is useless and evil. Bitcoin is killing the planet, man! And hackers buy drugs with it! Often, they mock blockchain technology itself, acting as if it’s ridiculous that anyone would find it useful for anything - after all, it’s just a glorified database, right?
Meanwhile, every central bank in the world is furiously trying to develop its own blockchain-based coin. You can look at their progress on this CBDC tracking map. Ostensibly, they simultaneously believe cryptocurrencies to be useless and evil, but also the future of money. A great way to exert maximum control over finance, and in turn: all of us.
These particular clowns aren’t trying to help anyone. They’re just trying to destroy any possibility of an open-source, decentralized, and for-the-people solution. What they’ve done is taken all of the focus away from the real threats, and made us argue about whether or not Bitcoin uses too much energy.
It's like we're in the eye of a storm
There's no doubt that this situation has been influenced by our recent past, with the seemingly endless stream of calamity and political strife. It's also influenced by how we see the future - and many people think the future is generally bad. I guess the crypto enthusiasts are just trying to maximize their bottom line or take refuge in ideologies that they hope will win out.
But I think their current behavior is self-destructive. Do we want decentralized systems and a new economy, or do we want more dollars and clout? All this posturing and money chasing is delegitimising and distracting. Pretty soon, the central banks will waltz in and “save” us all from ever making a bad choice again.
Something needs to change to re-align the vision for the technology before the inevitable clamp-down by states and existing institutions, and before it gets taken over by psychopaths. Otherwise, this is in danger of devolving into a huge dumpster fire for everyone.