Monday, October 31, 2022

The Crypto Story

Joel Weber (tweet):

There was a moment not so long ago when I thought, “What if I’ve had this crypto thing all wrong?” I’m a doubting normie who, if I’m being honest, hasn’t always understood this alternate universe that’s been percolating and expanding for more than a decade now. If you’re a disciple, this new dimension is the future. If you’re a skeptic, this upside-down world is just a modern Ponzi scheme that’s going to end badly—and the recent “crypto winter” is evidence of its long-overdue ending. But crypto has dug itself into finance, into technology, and into our heads. And if crypto isn’t going away, we’d better attempt to understand it. Which is why we asked the finest finance writer around, Matt Levine of Bloomberg Opinion, to write a cover-to-cover issue of Bloomberg Businessweek[…]. What follows is his brilliant explanation of what this maddening, often absurd, and always fascinating technology means, and where it might go.

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Crypto is 100% a scam. But it's also a religious cult. And that, I believe, explains its persistence.

Beatrix Willius

Yesterday I watched a video on "crypto queen" Ruja Ignatova. Apparently the crypto currency OneCoin was a total scam. It was a multi level marketing and money laundering scheme without any blockchain whatsoever. The woman vanished a couple of years ago. What I find absolutely incredible is that the currency still exists now with the name of One.

I've only read parts of the article (because I've read, watched, listened to stop much about crypto and "web3" over the last few years that I'm dock of it) but it seems like a very level headed take that desperately tries to find SOMETHING interesting about crypto.

Ultimately it seems to come down to "you can do some clever new finance hacks" (like hyper automated front running).

Which is true. As a finance speculation index, Bitcoin works. Ethereum is fine as a "the trixiest coder get a payout" platform.

I really don't think they'll form the backbone of a new kind of web though.

"desperately tries to find SOMETHING interesting about crypto"

That's the centrist position on Crypto now. "Surely, it must be good for *something*, right?"

But then the reality is that whatever that "something" is that people come up with, a centralized solution is always cheaper, faster, more convenient, and just plain better.

Agreed 100%.
I like the running gag: "Surely it can't be that stupid? You must be explaining it wrong."

Satoshi's paper on Bitcoin forgot a huge flaw. Decentralized requires replication of everyone's data to stay in balance. Then consensus afterward. Sounded great 14 years ago, but has become completely unsustainable, wasteful, a tech fail.

It was a good proof of concept. But they ignored the bit where you're supposed to throw it all out once the concept has been proven, and design a proper way of doing it.

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