Crypto Works… Except it Doesn’t

I feel the need to open this article with a disclaimer of sorts:

I do believe that the vast majority of crypto-skeptics are wrong. Well, the following statement is false: crypto is worthless because it doesn’t have any real value.

Something of the sorts.

Well, to paraphrase one of the great philosophers of our time, Tyrion Lannister from Game of Thrones, power resides where men believe in resides. Or something like that.

As a sidenote, money is almost as worthless. Gold is worthless.

Almost anything is worthless if you think from the perspective of a world war or a zombie apocalypse.

When all hell breaks loose, we tend to appreciate the things that help us stay alive… like food and water and stuff like that.

In any case. Crypto is worth just as much as anything else we’ve attached a narrative to and collectively decided it was worth “something.”

And as a means of investment, especially in the long run, it might work. After all, that’s what the vast majority of those who own Bitcoin seem to be doing.

But I am afraid that it will all come crashing down because we can’t seem to make crypto work…

There are hundreds of ambitious projects that try to change the world or decentralize finance (this is one trending term these days), and they sound brilliant in theory, expect they don’t work.

Try sending $10 of Ethereum from one wallet to another and you’ll probably spend twice as much on what normal folks call “processing fees.” Gas prices (this term makes me feel like I’m in a Mad Max movie) are ridiculously high, and the Ethereum network is a mess.

This just doesn’t make sense, and there’s nothing wonderful about it.

The NFT craze sounds like an interesting concept, expect it’s just a psychedelic trip of gaudy “art” and selfies and weird domains priced way too high.

Other projects are trying to create something different. Decentraland is a virtual world that looks worse than the first Sims. It’s now worth over a billion dollars.

Brave is another interesting example. Being paid to surf the web? Being paid as a creator? Fantastic. Exempt the platform is so poorly implemented, there are two different subdomains to login as a creator, one of which doesn’t work at all, and the other works from time to time.

And that’s just because of an infamous one-link login system that’s annoying to say the least.

Origin protocol is another interesting concept. Launching an online store for free? Integration with payment processors like PayPal and Stripe alongside all the major cryptocurrencies? Great.

Except it doesn’t quite work. Sometimes, just as it so happens with Brave, you can’t even login.

Of course, there are other bugs and errors, and after a while, it all feels like one catastrophic error waiting to happen.

And mind you… most of these ambitious projects are taking on titans like Google or Shopify.

I get it. It’s fun to be a rebel, but there’s got to be a viable alternative, otherwise there’s no chance for a revolution.

What else?

Corruption. A lot of it. But that’s to be expected, considering the insane amount of money that average folks are investing in these assets.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg, some of the more ambitious (and quite popular) platforms.

Most of the altcoins out there are completely worthless in such a way that they don’t even bother with a nice landing page.

But people keep investing money, taking advantage of what feels like a gold rush.

And I find it quite ironic that the vast majority of those who invest in these assets are too young the remember the dot com bubble and how it all came crashing down…

6 Comments

  1. Two of my complaints about crypto: you can’t use it anywhere and the price is too volitile.

    Even the crypto.com card which purports to be the first “crypto credit card” just takes your crypto, converts it to the local fiat currency, and then spends it. It doesn’t directly spend crypto. I mean it’s kinda the same thing but not; because crypto is supposed to be a stand-alone currency this conversion totally misses the point.

    And the volatility. Why would anyone want to spend bitcoin when the price could shoot up 10% the next day? And why would anyone want to spend bitcoin after it crashes 50% and you’ve taken a huge loss? One reason we use fiat is because it’s stable; you don’t walk into the store to find a loaf of bread $1 one day, 50 cents the next, and $3 the next day.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I didn’t even mention those credit cards (I believe Coinbase are also launching theirs) because the concept is idiotic.

      Most people are hoarding crypto like there’s no tomorrow, and, like you said, who would want to spend their crypto on stuff when the price could go up in the next few hours or so.

      Yeah, you could use stablecoins for that (Dai and the rest) but are they as stable as actual currency, backed by a country’s government? Some might say they’re not.

      Like

      1. I love the term “fiat currency” here. Crypto fans LOVE that catch phrase. A fiat currency is one without any hard assets backing it. Unless there’s some gold depository I don’t know about, every form of cryptocurrency is just a “fiat” as the dollar. As was rightfully pointed out in the beginning of the article, Bitcoin only has value because people believe it does.

        As far as I can see, the only two things keeping the bubble here from popping are that nobody’s hacked the blockchain YET, and people distrust government currencies even more than crypto.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Indeed. It’s been more than a decade and there’s not much real-world applicability to these crypto assets other than… well… being assets.

          And like you said… they only have value because people are fond of hating governments for some reason, which I’ve always thought of as kind of ironic since we all get the leaders we deserve. They are, after all, people just like us. We’d probably do the same, or even worse.

          But heck, it’s easy to judge from afar. I used to criticize every single app I use for its bugs and shortcomings until I started making apps myself, and I’d spend most of my time “squishing” one bug after another.

          The same for governments. They are trying to keep a monumental apparatus functioning.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve never used crypto, but I’ve heard it’s a real hassle. That said, there seems to be fundamental soundness to the model in that there is actual mathematical scarcity. I wonder if part of the excitement about crypto from the investor side doesn’t come from a growing awareness that the U.S. dollar is fundamentally unsound. When most dollars are digital, what controls how many of them are in circulation? Maybe there is a mechanism for this, but I don’t know what it is.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.