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@mapehe
Last active Nov 28, 2021
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What would you like to do?
don't know why i wrote this

Rant: I'm sick and tired of cryptobros.

I'm gonna go out on a limb here and claim that the general interest in cryptocurrencies is directly proportional to the BTC/USD rate.

Remember the 2018 bubble, when everyone made delusional claims along the lines of the blockchain will replace the internet? It got so big that even a bunch of companies bought the hype. Cash was thrown at business projects that made no goddamn sense: I distinctly remember asking the Finnish MD of a major financial organization how their blockchain proof-of-concept was supposed to work. They managed to convince me they didn't have a clue.

At 2021, we're witnessing another crazy bull run. This time around your local NFT snake oil salesman is namedropping web3 and digital scarcity, but it's really the same old stuff. Let 1BTC = 1ETH = 0USD and, I assure you that DeFi, DAOs and meme tokens disappear from the Forbes back to the fringes.

The obsession with the BTC/USD rate reveals how empty the hype is: There simply is nothing else to be interested in. Nobody cared about the tech then, nobody really cares about the tech now.

Yeah, Bitcoin achieves a distributed consensus between unreliable actors. That's a tricky problem and the solution is pretty genius. For a lot of people, it's just not that relevant: If you can trust your government and your banks to a reasonable degree, it's much simpler to run things the centralized way.

Yeah you can run distributed apps on Ethereum. Why do that though?

There is an enormous influx of technologically illiterate people who aren't even pretending they are after anything other than a quick buck. I try to watch TV and I see Matt Damon on a crypto ad suggesting that trading dogecoin is about as groundbreaking as being the first person on Mars. Oh, by the way, even though climate change is a very real existential threat for our species, we are spending a country's worth of electricity on meaningless SHA-256s, because we're too greedy to quit.

It's all so messed up and I just miss simpler times.

@joshchernoff

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@joshchernoff joshchernoff commented Nov 24, 2021

You should turn this in to an NFT... 🥁
Sorry, could not help myself.

Though if you think this is all somehow new, look at how long ago the Wyckoff distribution was established and why it was published.

@panphora

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@panphora panphora commented Nov 24, 2021

Couldn't agree more. I've tried to make sense of it myself and this is the best I've come up with:

When the human species senses a momentous shift on the horizon, human capital and energy is spent to "partition" the space in people's minds ahead of time. This looks from the outside like a speculative bubble, but helps prepare us for a generational shift.

After the "bubble" pops, the true adherents who have gone so deep into the new wave they can't get out, lead the charge into the future, with some of them eventually coming out the other side intact — the explorers who risk everything to bring back value to the tribe.

We see this over and over again as the world adapts to one major shift after another. And we'll see it again. I agree crypto isn't inherently valuable now, but I wouldn't be surprised if (like the internet before it) it became the default 20-50 years from now.

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@cwkoss cwkoss commented Nov 24, 2021

I've seen these attitudes a lot recently, and they always remind me of the attitudes critics had towards the internet in the early 00's.

"I'm sick and tired of these internet bros

Remember the dot com bubble, when everyone made delusional claims along the lines of the internet will replace retail, offices and social interaction?

Yeah you can sell things on the internet. Why do that though?

There is an enormous influx of business-illiterate people who aren't even pretending they are after anything other than a quick buck."

Yeah, there is a lot of crap in the 'blockchain' space. But there are several gems that are going to significantly impact the future of human life. No one knows for sure which ideas are the winners yet, but I can't understand how people can think its a flash in the pan that will die out and we'll go back to business as mid-00's usual.

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@conorpp conorpp commented Nov 25, 2021

Yeah you can run distributed apps on Ethereum. Why do that though?

Ever try to get a better rate on your mortgage? It kind of sucks. With a decentralized app your mortgage rate could automatically lower in a proper debt marketplace. Just one compelling example, it's not all NFTs and garbage.

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@mapehe mapehe commented Nov 25, 2021

Thanks for your comment @conorpp, that's an interesting example.

Could you elaborate on how such marketplace would benefit from being decentralised? Why wouldn't something resembling a stock exchange (a centralised brokerage) cut it?

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@conorpp conorpp commented Nov 25, 2021

In theory, you're right, a centralized solution could work.

  • 3rd party lists mortgages for sale to make market
  • buyer buys mortgage
  • 3rd party (or another party) takes custody of funds & waits for settlement
  • paperwork, need to change where/how funds are sent from the debtor

These steps can be automated with a distributed app and cuts costs.

Also centralized exchanges tend to monopolize and charge lucrative fees. Look at the CME, or at Google's Ad exchange. I think in an ideal world, an exchange is more beneficial to consumers when it can charge little-to-no fees.

@Xavicat14

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@Xavicat14 Xavicat14 commented Nov 25, 2021

"I am right, the market is wrong"

Saying bitcoin is not relevant to a lot of people when more than half the world is suffering double digit inflation rates...really ?
_If you can trust your government and your banks to a reasonable degree, it's much simpler to run things the centralized way._

It's not. When the money supply is controlled by a central authority it always gets corrupted. Bitcoin allows monetary sovereignty for individuals.

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@poostang poostang commented Nov 25, 2021

"I am right, the market is wrong"

So that means if the price goes down, which it will, that we are right to say blockchain is garbage? Price has nothing to do with the underlying problems of the wasteful computation that is mining. "Securing" the network by competitively wasting resources.

@paullouisageneau

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@paullouisageneau paullouisageneau commented Nov 25, 2021

@mapehe I feel exactly the same, and I know a number of software engineers who feel the same too, despite being far from luddites: the tech is backwards, the speculative mania is ridiculous, a lot of people will lose money gambling, and proof-of-work contributes to destroying the planet. Except, I don't miss "simpler times", whatever that means. Sure, cryptobros shilling stupid tokens and parroting the same hackneyed propaganda are a cancer, but following the endless litany of scams and ridiculous fails littering this absurd speculative bubble is an inexhaustible source of dark humor for me.

To me, cryptocurrencies and NFTs are really the product of our times, at the intersection of cargo-cult of buzzword-filled innovation, startup-style technological solutionnism, bubble-prone economic environment, desperation of younger people in the current western economy, uncontrollable diffusion of fake news, development of the alt-right movement, and growing defiance towards institutions. There is something deeply wrong about them which mirrors something deeply wrong about our society.

Could you elaborate on how such marketplace would benefit from being decentralised? Why wouldn't something resembling a stock exchange (a centralised brokerage) cut it?

Cryptobros like to invoke decentralization as a miracle cure for any problem. They basically pretend technology can fix social problems just by removing centralized governance, which is at best a very immature belief, at worst a ploy to put them in charge. Stephen Diehl calls it decentralized woo. I wouldn't mind if the Web3 crowd didn't steal the "decentralized" word from actual Internet re-decentralization initiatives like the Fediverse to change its meaning to "built on an inefficient blockchain-powered anarcho-capitalist speculative marketplace".

@unrelentingtech

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@unrelentingtech unrelentingtech commented Nov 25, 2021

Burn It With Fire!

Nicholas Weaver and Stephen Diehl have already said almost everything there is to say, but I have one thing to add…

One new infuriating thing is all the greenwashing. “But OUR blockchain is carbon negative!” because they use proof of steak stake and buy carbon credits or whatever. Questions of PoS security and whether these projects are even decentralized aside, the BIG question is – isn’t it absolutely ridiculous to view one cryptocurrency in isolation? The monetary value of whatever “green” coin is based on exchange! Exchange with BTC and other titans, as well as fraudulent “stablecoins”. It’s all derived from the BTC/USD “rocket”! Without it the value of your greenwhatevercoin would be $0.000000001. We have to always look at the buttcoin economy as a whole, and as a whole it is the opposite of green.

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