On the date of drafting this post (it's been sitting in my drafts for a while), the previous day was a slow day for me. I did some yard work in the morning, before the sun reached its zenith in the heat of the day. However, it was still hot enough to fry the capacitor in the lawnmower before 10:30. (Those components really don't fare well when exposed to heat and there's no place to mount a fan or heat-sink in the motor compartment.) In the afternoon, a thunderstorm thwarted my plans to finish the job (which required a second pass over the lawn, given how thick and tall the grass was before I started).
Photo of the grass after the first pass with the mower, following a thinning with the weed-eater. (The tuft against the wall is the height of it before I started cutting/thinning it.)
A few minutes prior to writing this, I logged on to one of the antisocial media sites which I frequent, to find that a so-called "friend" (now a former friend) had left me a link to a blog post titled The Case Against Crypto, by some twerp named Stephen Diehl (with the comment "I think you'll like this; it's good"). While I'm not pleased that Diehl has spewed such nonsense out onto the Web (especially since people not only read it but considered it truthful and valid), I appreciate that I now have something about which to write. So, let's get to work deconstructing his nonsense, yeah?
TL;DR: Blah blah, FUD, blah blah generalisations, blah blah environmental damage, blah blah more FUD. In banksters and the 1% we trust.
These days so much of my free time is booked with calls to explain to people outside the software industry why crypto assets are such a destructive force and why I support forceful regulation to halt this financially corrosive enterprise from spreading further into markets.
Crypto assets are only "destructive" to fiat economies and markets. This isn't accidental, but by design, so that we move away from flawed fiat systems. As for regulating crypto, that's a losing battle. Governments have been attempting to do just that and failing miserably. They have neither the capability nor resources. (One possible thing they could attempt is to tax any fiat capital for which a person might sell their crypto, through income/capital gains tax. However, since we all know that once you go crypto, you never go back and only losers convert their crypto back to fiat, this isn't a practical/viable option. Much of the proposed regulation is based on FUD, which is definitely not a sound basis for decision-making, particularly where laws are concerned.)
The technology does not solve a real problem.
Well, which technology and which problem? There are thousands of cryptocurrencies, each aiming to solve a specific problem. However, you don't specify even one, which leads me to suspect you've done no research and have no goddamn clue about what you write, but are just echoing FUD you've picked up somewhere.
The real world has fundamental constraints that make the technology unworkable, whenever it has to interact with the outside world the benefits of decentralization disappear and the solutions end up simply recreating slower and worse versions of processes and structures that already exist.
Again, no specific examples of cases or scenarios are given to support your generalised statements. Generalisations are generally wrong.
Despite that, for the last thirteen years these projects have done nothing but scam people by creating synthetic asset bubbles for gambling and destroying the environment. There are fundamental limitations to the scalability of blockchain-based technologies, and every use case is better served by another simpler technology except for crime, ransomware, extralegal gambling, and sanctions evasion; all of which are a drain on society not a benefit. Taken as a whole the technology has no tangible benefits over simply using trusted parties and centralized databases.
Um, how about "no", you crazy FUD-spouting bastard?
I once saw a comment (concerning Raptoreum or Solana, I forget which) that "every cryptocurrency is a scam until it gains popularity/traction". I think it was on Reddit, although it might have been here. Besides, if you got scammed, it was your fault. No, really, it was. You didn't do your own research and pay attention to the warning signs. Instead, you let your greed and gullibility steer you straight to the bait. Sure, some currencies and tokens are rug-pulls and scams, but not all of them. Painting with a broad brush, much? Come on, now. This is the fucking Internet; what do you expect?
As for the whole "destroying the environment" BS: Here, have a link. In fact, go one better and read the previous post I wrote about crypto FUD, in which I pointed out that the USA is the world's second biggest consumer of energy (behind China), despite having less than 5% of the world's population. Crypto mining, by comparison, uses less than 1% of the world's energy. Here's another fun fact: Not all cryptos are mineable (only those that use proof of work, which is, admittedly, not as efficient as it could be). Crypto, though, is far more efficient and better at conserving energy than Fiat. (I'd like to take this opportunity to give a shout-out to S. Saurel for all his posts that debunk FUD. If you're not already following him here, I highly recommend that you do.)
As for solving a particular problem: Certainly, I don't earn enough from my posts (both here and on Noise.cash) to make a living off it, but I have earned a small amount of crypto from them. It is theoretically possible that with a high/large enough follower count, I could achieve that. The fact that I'm looking for a job that pays me in fiat is not because I want to be paid in fiat (I can't stand the stuff of transferable debt), but because it is currently the only viable way to keep me afloat (assuming I somehow manage to find employment in these strange days, bien sûr). If I could abandon it and go full crypto, I would at the drop of a hat.
Centralisation, particularly when it comes to power and finances, is bad, really bad. It leads to amassing of wealth for the rich few (greedy banksters and venture capitalists, your so-called "trusted parties"), who discriminate against the masses (usually referred to as the great unwashed or proletariat).
How centralised financial systems and/or organisations work (Capitalism)
This is not innovation, this is technical regression and flirtation with ecological disaster in a time when we cannot afford to gamble our planet’s fate on pyramid schemes and dog memes.
Doge is a shitcoin, the value of which, in any given month, bounces up and down as much (if not more than) an overenthusiastic excitable Japanese hunting dog. You have a point there. As for environmental impact, I've already addressed that point above. However, I don't see you offering a possible solution, since moving to a more energy-efficient system (see previous link to S. Saurel's post) obviously isn't enough for you. What do you suggest we do? Oh, that's right; you don't suggest anything, just criticism.
“Cryptocurrencies” aren’t actually currencies, and cannot fulfill the function of money.
You're missing the point. Crypto isn't money, nor is it intended to be, so stop trying to compare the two. Fiat (money) is a store of value, of transferable debt and subject to inflation and manipulation by centralised federal/national entities. It's a tool of opression and subjugation. Cryptocurrencies aren't; they're better than money. They're tools of individual freedom and self-governance (anarchy). They're not encumbered by those problems. Of course, giving people the means to govern themselves and their finances comes with its own problems, of course. Let's not pretend otherwise.
Money exists to exchange for goods and services in an economy. It is created to mediate the exchange of goods so that we have a common unit of account we can trade instead of bartering goods directly. Money needs to have a reliable and stable value compared to a domestic basket of common goods and services; in order to achieve that the supply of the money needs to be controlled by a monetary authority which can expand or contract the supply according to market fluctuations.
False. Money exists to make you a slave to the wage, sold into debt bondage in democratic slavery. It is created so that a centralised few can gain financial wealth while the poor work hard and earn a pittance to remain poor (instead of getting poorer). Its value doesn't remain reliable or stable, since governments print more of (expand the supply) it in a cavalier fashion, causing it to devalue. In contrast, a fixed supply of a particular crypto is established at the start and its value remains fixed throughout time (reliable and stable). It is not subject to devaluation like fiat is. Yes, the market is subject to corrections when you look at it compared to fiat, but 1 BTC from 2003 = 1 BTC from 2023, always. Fiat, however, is a different matter. $1 USD from 1820 doesn't have the same value as $1 USD from 2020.
It is also perfectly possible to buy goods and services with crypto. The difficulty/shortcoming in doing so is not a fault of crypto, but of so many merchants that are not yet willing to accept it as a form of payment. In time, that may (and hopefully will) change. In the mean time, there are crypto banks (such as CEX, crypto.com and Luno) offering crypto-backed credit cards.
A dynamic money supply is a fundamental necessity for a modern economy. A small amount of inflation discourages hoarding and incentivizes investment into productive enterprises which grow the economy and produce prosperity. Conversely a static fixed money supply encourages hoarding, and is inflexible in times of crisis because it does not allow intervention. Economies do not stabilize themselves and require active intervention to curb recessions.
Again, false. The money supply need not be dynamic in any way, nor does inflation discourage hoarding. Hoarding happens anyway; inflation just means that one has to work harder and hoard more each year in order to have the same amount of value as the previous year. Crypto, by comparison, reverses this trend: The value goes up each year (at least, in terms of fiat, not that anyone who's moved to crypto should care about that in an ideal world, since there no longer is any fiat in an ideal world).
There's a whole lot more hogwash to unpack and counter in that post, but I think I've covered enough. Any more and I'll likely end up repeating myself. (I've probably done that to some extent already in my refutation, since repetition is that to which FUD spewers resort when they don't actually have any valid points with which to argue).
If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem. Stop spreading FUD. Instead, just admit that you don't know anything about cryptocurrencies, do some reading and educate yourself. Working as a software developer doesn't automagically give you any knowledge of — or insight into — cryptocurrencies, even if you know the workings of cryptography.
This post was brought to you by the infinite stupidity and technophobia of people on the Internet who should know better than to mess with African honey badgers. The honey badger will end you, because the honey badger does not give a [email protected]@k! Now [email protected]@k off and have a nice day; I've got work to find and do so I can earn some fiat!
Post thumbnail image copyright Social Engineer