Watch Dan Olson explain blockchain, bitcoin, ethereum, NFTs and what feels like hundreds of odd acronyms behind the latest series of scams. It’s 2 hours and 18 minutes of dense descriptions, all to expose the guts of a gigantic grift. It’s information-rich, but good god, how depressing. Keep that crypto away from me!
I learned a lot, but also forgot even more instants after it got machine-gunned into my ears. The gist of the story is that blockchain is bad and inefficient, and cryptocurrency relies on buying intangible assets on the basis of their potential, and that potential is simply the likelihood that later adopters will pay early adopters more for those hypothetical assets, and that NFTs are a gimmick with the sole purpose of selling more crypto. If you want the summary without all the painful background information, just listen to the last 5 minutes. What’s so attractive about crypto?
Buy in now, buy in early, and you could be the high tech future boot. Our systems are breaking or broken, straining under neglect and sabotage, and our leaders seem at best complacent, willing to coast out the collapse. We need something better. But a system that turns everyone into petty digital landlords, that distills all interaction into transaction, that determines the value of something by how sellable it is and whether or not it can be gambled on a fractional token sold via micro-auction, that’s not it. A different system does not inherently mean a better system. We replace bad systems with worse ones all the time. We replaced a bad system of work and bosses with a terrible system of apps, gigs, and on-demand labor. So it’s not just that I oppose NFTs because the foremost of them are esthetically vacuous representations of the dead inner lives of the tech and finance bros behind them, it’s that they represent the vanguard of a worse system. The whole thing, from OpenSea fantasies for starving artists to the buy-in for Play to Earn games, it’s the same hollow, exploitive pitch as MLMs. It’s Amway, but everywhere you look, people are wearing ugly-ass ape cartoons.
Yeah, you to can start your weekend with a dystopian vision of the future, where Elon Musk and Peter Thiel increase their wealth at your expense and by marketing your privacy.