18 Apr Hype(r) – Bitcoin cont…
It all started with an article I read about the 2022 Bitcoin Conference in Miami, the headline grabbed me outright, “We’re a cult: Inside Bitcoin’s Shameless Hypefest”. Further intrigued by the guest speakers, like Jordan Peterson, who represent a particular brand of sensationalism and outrage, I dug deeper.
Some attendees of the conference are self-confessed, out and proud, Bitcoin cult members, who believe that Bitcoin can change your life and it is not just a financial shift, it is a libertarian movement that closely follows personal and political views on freedom and individualism. Quick reminder, Bitcoin is the leading global brand of cryptocurrency. Click here for a refresher on Bitcoin and Bitcoin mining.
Wanting to stay upbeat and meet Bitcoin where it’s at but feeling perturbed by the “shameless hypefest” that felt like a naughties dance party where ravers showed their commitment through fluro costuming and beats per minute dance moves, I was genuinely exhausted by overstimulation.
The downtime I took to digest the craziness of the crypto movement, led me to a podcast countering the hype surrounding Bitcoin as a global movement for change based on decentralised economics. Is there a happy medium from these 2 extremes? What I learned from the Ezra Klein interview with Dan Olson is so much, yet I feel like again, with everything I learn about cryptocurrency, that I have more questions than answers after an hour and 20 minutes of attentive listening and note-taking. Here are the highlights or lowlights, depending on where you stand?
That the feeling of participation in the Bitcoin community is something that is fresh and primed yet edgy and risky and creates its own vibe for further and increasing participation.
The complexity of Bitcoin and generally, cryptocurrency, increases the value.
Bitcoin is functionally useless according to Olson but I just went to the local farmers market and Bitcoin was accepted as payment. That seems functional? If things turn bad, remember, you took a gamble and no-one is going to help you when the hype is dead. The community of players are excited as more and more people feel the energy and get on board but what happens when people start losing?
Ethereum keeps threatening to take over the Bitcoin monopoly with the proof-of-stake technology that will see less environmental impact of bitcoin mining but so far, it’s not happening. And, the natural environment will lose as a result.
Bitcoin scams are rife and survivors will be the same survivors of every other financial crisis, uber wealthy, mercenary meanies. The victims will be the same too, people that didn’t fully understand what was happening around them but were desperate for a class upgrade from working class to idle class. They couldn’t get off the ride quick enough.
There was another podcast on the Ezra Klein show spruiking the benefits for a future with cryptocurrency. It is hard to stay objective on the benefits and pitfalls of cryptocurrency but the goals of decentralising banking and trading mean nothing when warehouses are being built and collaborations and co-operatives formed to operate blockchains at an industrial scale. Individuals will find it increasingly difficult to keep up and ultimately become vulnerable to digital attack. Traditional banking won’t save the user when they trip up. And, unfortunately, “capitalism and crypto capitalism are the same thing”.
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