A collection of recent Twitter polls conducted by Vitalik Buterin, co-founder of Ethereum, asked his followers for their opinions on his ideas. In this series of tweets, he asked formulaically, if his ideas seemed to be more conservative/liberal, authoritarian/libertarian, capitalist/socialist, or individualist/collectivist.
The results were interestingly inconsistent. For example, 58.7% of Buterin’s voters said that his ideas lean toward capitalism (against 41.3% socialism). Contrastingly, 66.2% of voters said his ideas are left-leaning (against 33.8% right-leaning). How is this possible? How could he ask essentially the same question, on the same day, to the same group of people, and get opposing results? As is tradition in the crypto world: it’s time for speculation.
Now, Twitter is by no means a prestigious institution of well-informed political minds. However, it is certainly a politically charged environment, in which one would expect, at the very least, that users know their rights and lefts. Could it be a mix-up? My opinion is that these inconsistent poll results are NOT due to the limited knowledge of the average Twitter user. My theory is that cryptocurrency doesn’t live on one side of the spectrum; instead, cryptocurrency is the entire Venn Diagram.
Is cryptocurrency a tool for Big Tech to fatten their digital pockets? Yes. Is crypto a lifeline to the unbanked, and undocumented humans of the world? Yes. Will crypto allow law-abiding citizens to hedge against inflation? Yes. Will crypto help criminals evade taxes? Yes. Will crypto allow the IRS track down tax evaders? Yes (they have a bounty on your privacy coins). Let’s not forget, China, the leading communist-leaning government, has been testing a central bank digital currency. These aspects of crypto seem like they’re completely incompatible with one another, and yet, they all seem to be true.
Personally, I’ve heard cryptocurrency be described as everything from ultra-capitalist neo-colonialism (see Cardano in Africa), to a socialist-utopian scam, which will be buried under regulation by federal governments and banks. These contrarian views are so complex and philosophical, the only solution is to think in simpler terms. Cryptocurrency is math, and nobody owns the Arabic numeral system (in spite of the name). Math is the original decentralized software which allowed humans to rise from hunter-gatherer communities to civilizations. Perhaps crypto is just the newest iteration of math, which is primed to transform our classical ideas of politics and wealth, just as it did millennia ago.