The predatory communities of crypto
Crypto, when it comes down to it, relies on greater fools. As assets without any intrinsic value, the way to make money from crypto is to find a greater fool who will buy your assets from you at a higher price.
Molly White (who I’ve linked to before) has been on a crusade against so many parts of “crypto”. I do not think she is completely against all of the technologies or against every project — but she has done an excellent job writing cogent pieces on the many bad parts of the market and collecting together some of the most egregious scams.
She, more than anyone, has helped me to temper any of my initial excitement. I’ve long stated that I’m interested in, and even optimistic about, some of the blockchain technologies behind Bitcoin and other chains. And, that I think NFTs could be a good thing for digital art overall when the energy needed to transact decreases by many factors.
However, I’m increasingly worried that the entire market is so awash with fraud it may never recover. It is very sad to see. Crypto went from a technology that I encouraged my nieces and nephews to dabble in so that they could be prepared for a potential future where crypto was “a thing” to now I would tell people to stay away. That it is simply too hard to navigate safely or to keep up with potential fraud.
This latest piece by Molly sort of puts it over the edge. At the beginning, the hype around crypto and NFTs exploit someone’s greed. That’s fine. Most short term investments do that. But now the market is exploiting people’s deeply held beliefs, emotions, and identity.
Crypto went from fun to dangerous. And very quickly. I’m publishing this post long after I’ve made this opinion. So I’m overdue. And as of today, my advice is to be extremely cautious and skeptical of every single part of crypto regardless of who you think is behind the project or how well funded it is.