- A recent Financial Times Magazine article interviewed several of the early crypto superfans who have since lost their illusions.
- Dogecoin creator Jackson Palmer is perhaps the most prominent display of a space-activating crypto contributor.
- But the most vocal crypto supporters are not discouraged. Twitter’s Jack Dorsey says bitcoin will create “world peace.”
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Crypto has a lot of detractors, but it’s those who were once inside the tent that generate the most interest – and anger.
This is the result of a recent Financial Times Magazine article that interviewed several of the early crypto superfans who have since been disappointed with the industry.
The FT spoke to an anonymous figure nicknamed “Neil,” who in 2014, fresh out of college, joined Coinbase, then an obscure crypto startup. Neil, a computer science student, was first drawn to the idea of virtual money as a programming problem to be solved.
But he quickly got carried away by the revolutionary ethics of the early crypto scene, which promised to tackle the bad, old financial system and replace it with something better.
This spirit still lives on in some of today’s most vocal crypto proponents. Take, for example, Twitter’s Jack Dorsey, who at a conference in July said bitcoin’s ultimate ambition is to “create world peace.”
Or take Michael Saylor from MicroStrategy, which has over $ 5 billion in bitcoin. At the Miami Bitcoin conference in June, now famous for the announcement that El Salvador would officially adopt bitcoin, Saylor called the cryptocurrency “the supreme property of the human race”, saying it “fixes everything” .
In 2014, this degree of hype was less common. Yet for Neil, the relative obscurity of crypto brought a certain freshness, a feeling of operating from the underground.
“I think nerdy guys like me got fooled because bitcoin made us feel cool, like Revenge of the Nerds type thing, so we were encouraged not to ask ourselves tough questions,” he said. Neil told the FT. “And then the non-techies got screwed because they didn’t understand the technology.”
Chris DeRose, a computer consultant turned bitcoin evangelist, was also enchanted by the early crypto culture. In 2013, he quit his job to become a crypto podcaster, telling the FT that he loved the culture of open discourse that then fueled the bitcoin and crypto communities.
But as crypto has become more mainstream recognition, DeRose has seen debate give way to dogma and uncritical hype.
“If you watch ‘what is bitcoin’ online, you’ll see a gigantic amount of decontextualized literature and media snippets that paint a pretty picture,” DeRose told the FT.
“However, if you look at bitcoin off the screen, you will see a drop in adoption by merchants, no evidence of blockchain deployment or effectiveness, and most importantly many promotional events offering cures for all your customers. evils, ”he added.
But perhaps the most publicized display of a crypto contributor activating the space has to be Jackson Palmer, the dogecoin creator who in July tore up the crypto space in a Twitter thread.
In the thread, Palmer called the crypto an “inherently right-wing hyper-capitalist technology” that uses a “web of shady business relationships” to “extract new money from the financially desperate and naive.” He likened it to a cult and a get-rich-quick scheme, and said he was leaving space.
Yet despite these detractors, in many ways crypto enthusiasts have won. With each passing day, more and more high-priced companies make forays into crypto, rejecting scams, hacks, and high volatility.
Billionaire investor Leon Cooperman, 78, summed up the times earlier this week in an interview.
“I’m saying if you don’t understand bitcoin it means you’re old.”