What’s the Real Point of ‘Crypto’ Anyway?
The breakdown is sponsored by nydig and produced and distributed by coindesk whats going on guys. It is sunday october 3rd, and that means its time for long reads sunday and a lot of you seem to really like the switch up where i read twitter threads. Instead of a specific one, single essay and so im going to do that again this week and we have a really fun variety of topics, so first were going to go hardcore, bitcoin a thread from the one and only alex gladstein about the crypto revolution and whether Its failing so lets dig in gladstein. Writes a media outlet asked me to answer. The question: is the crypto revolution failing once they saw my response, they declined to publish. They thought i would say no, but i said yes, the idea incepted by satoshi nakamoto of a peer to peer electronic cash system beyond the control of and corporations, can seem like a distant memory when scanning news about todays top cryptocurrency projects, dogecoin, which caught mainstream attention. After generating an 85x return over the past 12 months has turned corporate launching a new advisory board, starring ethereum creator of vitalik buterin and an individual representing the coins top promoter, elon musk, stable coins pegged to the dollar like usdc and exchange tokens like binance coin, are Issued and operated by companies that work closely with governments and enforce regulations and blacklists whats more zooming out stablecoins do more to promote the popularity of the us dollar abroad than usher in any kind of fundamental monetary upheaval.
The most popular projects built on ethereum are now either captured by special interest, see dyes problem with usdc or are coming under regulatory pressure. For example, the protocol star app uniswap is under investigation by the securities and exchange commission. According to the global defy adoption index growth. In defy has been primarily powered by quote experienced cryptocurrency traders and investors looking for new sources of alpha in innovative new platforms with large institutions, dominating transaction volume in nft land. The three most popular issuers by volume are regulatable companies, larval labs, art blocks and yugo labs. Not decentralized autonomous organizations, as for the most popular nft marketplace, openc, it is not a dow either, but rather a company whose head of product was recently accused of insider trading. Governments are now even entering the arena and creating their own cryptocurrencies called central bank digital currencies. The chinese communist party has already rolled out its govcoin to millions of people, while the eu has been vocal about the progress of its digital euro project, and even the us government has discussed the idea of fedcoin as a matter of when and how not. If, given the current state of affairs, is it fair to ask, was the cypherpunk dream a sham? Was it all for riches after all, in a game where principles were dispensable and where negotiations with the state and corporatization were inevitable? Few want to acknowledge this dilemma where the main impact of crypto web 3 and d5 has been to recreate a wall.
Street system of cantalon insiders enrich a tiny few institutions and vcs often at the expense of retail token buyers and extend dollar popularity globally. Can we still separate money and state and create an alternative system to corporate bailouts and mass financial surveillance? Where is satoshis political revolution? The answer is in bitcoin in a world where 1.2 billion people live under extreme inflation, bitcoins slow, but steady increase in purchasing power over time for its users has been a literal lifeline for millions. According to recent exchange data, there are millions of bitcoin users in major emerging market countries like india, nigeria and turkey. Today in any major urban area on earth, one can quickly find a buyer for bitcoin, either through centralized exchanges or peer to peer marketplaces. This is as true in havana as it is in gaza or minsk. The same cannot be said for dogecoin solana or amazon stock, and this is where the real revolution emerges. Against the backdrop of a world where most cryptocurrencies equities real estate and bonds have mostly benefited a small group of wealthy or connected insiders, so ive said before frequently that i think part of the problem of discourse in the crypto industry as a whole. If we take it as one industry is that we dont differentiate objectives very well, bitcoin has made a particular set of trade offs to be able to be the most censorship resistant, the most unconfiscatable, the most powerful alternative money system, the most powerful and most promising non State money system that exists, no other cryptocurrency – has made the same set of trade offs.
To do that, i think the issue for me personally comes if a cryptocurrency promises that same set of deliverables without the same set of trade offs, where i have less of an issue, is where some different subcategory of the industry is focused on entirely different things. However, as much as i believe its important to recognize that different cryptocurrencies dont really exist in the same stratosphere of objective, i have to concede that there is a reality of shared perception from the outside and for that reason it is important to draw distinctions to be More articulate about why some coin or another exists, or how nfts are different from bitcoin or how to help someone parse through the market and really understand and align their values with what theyre investing in. I love folks like gladstein for being so articulate about that, and i suggest you go read his piece is the crypto revolution. Failing you can find it on his medium page, gladscene.medium.com Music. This podcast is sponsored by nydig a firm thats, making bitcoin accessible to banking customers on main street and wall street alike as part of their mission to bring bitcoin to the people find out more at nydigg.com nlw, thats n y d. I g forward slash nlw Music. Next up lets stay on the revolutionary train and do a thread from alexei. Navalny lexi navalny is basically the only credible political opposition to vladimir putin. If something surprised me in the latest elections, it was not how putin forged the results, but how obediently the almighty, big tech turned into his accomplices.
The giants apple and google have complied with the kremlins demands and removed our app from their stores. My beloved youtube has deleted our video and the telegram messenger has blocked our bot. These programs, which putin calls extremist, only contained information about opposition candidates in your constituency by law and common sense. Each of us has the right to campaign for voting or not voting for any candidate. In our case, the very intention to organize voters in order to put competitive pressure on the ruling party was declared criminal and big tech agreed with this. This means that it recognizes the right of an authoritarian thief to subjugate the internet, turning it into an instrument for seizure of power. Its one thing when the internet monopolists are ruled by cute freedom, loving nerds, with solid life principles. It is completely different when the people in charge of them are both cowardly and greedy. One of the modern challenges is that false prophets now come to us not in sheeps clothing, but in hoodies and stretched jeans standing in front of huge screens. They tell us about making the world a better place, but on the inside they are liars and hypocrites. The media write that the kremlin forced big tech to make concessions by showing them a list of their employees to be arrested. If so, then, keeping silent about it is the worst crime. This is encouragement of a hostage taking terrorist. I know that most of the people who work at google apple etc are honest and good people.
I urge them not to put up with the cowardice of their bosses, so obviously very strong words from a person who is very inside the eye of the storm. I think the question of big tech in society is immensely difficult and immensely complicated. These are companies that have absolutely transcended the type of power that any private institutions have had in history. Unless you take the church to be a private institution, but of course its not as clear as them just having an opinion its that theres new mechanisms through which power is meted out through the algorithm through censorship decisions, it feels inevitable that something has to give. But i dont know what it is that i dont know whos going to be the one to do it to ask folks like balaji srinivasan. The answer has to somehow lie in crypto and permissionless systems, and i hope theyre right next lets take on another slightly dysfunctional political system, although one that, in the wake of alexey navalnys thread, certainly has problems that im more willing to deal with. But this one comes from adam cochran and he writes if you dont, follow us politics. Let me just say that this debt ceiling standoff is an utter show right now, political games are being played all over the spectrum and there is a significant level of disarray and divide here. Do i think the us government will default on its debt? No, that would be the most catastrophic thing to ever happen in modern finance and would impact the global economy for a century.
I think well avoid that, but ill say in my time closely following politics: ive never seen a game of political chicken that has had this big of a cost, and yet both sides seem genuinely willing to bring it to the line. There are two magical dates, both of which are rough. One is the end of this week, which could push the us government into a government shutdown, an extraordinary measure in which government operations are furloughed to save capital expenditure. Thats happened before on a few occasions: its not good, it hurts the economy and it damages the faith and credit of the us government. The other date is currently estimated to be october 18th thats, it thats the estimated doomsday date the one we think will avoid, but thats the day the u.s would run out of money. They would default on debt and keep payments like social security would fail. Once again, it seems like an impossibility of that happening as surely a last minute deal would be struck to avoid that moment, but the closer the u.s gets to that line, the more damage it does to the economy when you play with fire on a deadline, its Really easy for some complexity to trip up or delay the process, and it could have catastrophic results were just starting to get on the other side of a catastrophic pandemic that significantly damaged the economy. The economy shouldnt be held hostage in political games. Take the time to call your senator and express your frustrations about the games, they are playing with your livelihood economy and future.
There are a couple different responses from the bitcoin and crypto set. One is its all political theater theres, no way theyre gon na default on the debt. That seems to me to be the default. The second is the almost nihilistic bring on the default. Let the chaos reign. A third, i suppose, is being on one side or the other of the debate, but i wanted to share adams thread because obviously there is a big macro context that, whether we like it or not affects the shape of these bitcoin markets, and i think adams observation That we keep getting closer to the line. Every time we play this sort of political chicken is worth noting. Lets wrap up with one on the complete opposite side of alex gladsteins thread that we started with from jason janowitz called crypto punks will eventually trade for 10 million dollars each and heres. Why? For nearly a decade, crypto was a tool for financial innovation. Nfts created a tool for cultural innovation, crypto punk, symbolizes evolution from the financialization of crypto to the cultural revolution of crypto. The value of a collectors item boils down to four traits community story and passion ability to show off and personal joy. Vinyl records comic books, classic cars trading cards, fine art, its all the same, the stronger the sum of the traits, the more valuable the item community community is the most important aspect of all nft projects. There are very strong punk communities on twitter discord and in the physical world if and when twitter launches, nft ownership, verification, the punk community will get even stronger story and passion.
Crypto punks are one of the earliest examples of an nft punk symbolized being early and having faith in crypto and others laughed at us. There will be millions of nfts, but crypto punks will always be the og project ability to show off the first thing. Someone does when they buy a punk, is change their profile pic. We will soon live in a world with digital museums and smart frames in every home. Youll use your museums and frames to show off your nfts and digital art to your friends or youll, just print a picture of your punk for an extra hard flex. Personal joy, punk6529 said it best. Everyone likes having an nft it doesnt matter how valuable it is. Its an amazing experience right now there are only 200 000 nft holders. This will soon change as people experience the joys of nft ownership, just wait until crypto punks are shown off in movies tv shows and video games. Larval labs creator of crypto punks just signed with one of the largest talent agencies to bring punks to hollywood. This is the first time that crypto native ip enters mass media. Finally, one of the biggest drivers of punks is wealth, theres a lot of money being made in the world right now. Traditional financiers buying art, a hockney piece sold for 90 million dollars. A few years ago, crypto degens buy nfts right now. The entire crypto market cap is roughly two trillion dollars: bitcoin trades around 40k and eath at 3k at these market caps, most punks sell for between three hundred thousand and four hundred thousand aliens.
Zombies and apes consistently sell for one million when bitcoin hits 200k biology and olaf carson. We estimate that more than 50 percent of the worlds billionaires will come from crypto thats, a lot of new billionaires who owe their wealth to this new asset class. I bet they dont go buy that hockney for 90 million dollars. My bet is that they stick with digital native art that their entire community cares about. Crypto punks are the ultimate collectors item as crypto becomes the largest asset class in the world, where punks will become the mona lisa of our digital first world. This wont just happen for punks by the way board, apes, autoglyphs, fedenzas and perfect spectrum squiggles will be the monets vengos and picassos of the next hundred years. So whats the takeaway get involved, buy an nft which one, whichever one looks best to you, thats. It lean into your personal tastes, create a digital museum. Why wait for the future when you can experience it today? Some of you guys hate it. I know, but i love that we get to around in a space where we can reasonably weigh these two threads. These two poles of experience with whatever the cryptocurrency industry is in a single podcast and somehow they make sense together, even if in some ways in opposition to one another. My guess is that a lot of you are just hungry to figure out the future for yourselves. So i hope this helped – and i appreciate you listening until tomorrow, guys be safe and take care of each other peace, hello, listeners.
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