Anyone that’s been larking about with crypto projects for the last several years will understand when I say crypto has numerous problems. The now infamous Blockchain has been associated with numerous promises across industry, and while many intelligent and capable people have tried to build out new and innovative products outside finance and other money spinning tech solutions, few if any have managed to successfully apply the technology towards a social good.
There’s no shortage of projects promising to greenify this or reduce-inequality that, but the issue of course is that of taking an open source decentralized protocol, and then swiftly applying traditional capitalistic values to it.
We’ve all seen this story play out before with the internet itself. It’s still playing out now. What was lost when we moved the majority of the planet’s inhabitants off of an open and free internet and onto a wholly captured, “badly regulated” all encompassing set of privately held surveillance machines. What was gained?
Those are questions for whose answers you will have to determine for yourself but I see the exact same story occurring with Blockchian, which is essentially just another kind of internet in my mind. I like to over simplify, it helps with my thinking.
Many of the very early adopters and tinkerers of Blockchian ideas and so by default cryptocurrency ideas used to write and speak at extended length about the somewhat utopian qualities afforded us by being able to adopt these new fresh immutable value transmitting networks.
There was a sense of a new fresh wowness amongst those early Reddit threads, this is pre-crypto twitter so in those days there was an extremely heavy emphasis on the technology and getting to grips with its possibilities. That, and numerous stories of scams and fake projects.
While those days of fantasy have not entirely vanished they appear to have been drowned out by the crypto Twitterati. This is a class of Altcoin speculators born out of those early days with little to no prior knowledge of economics or finance, now at the tippy top of the hodl-pyramid which crypto has become so widely known for.
I have observed technically savvy persons almost overnight become financial advisors, economy designers, fiscal policy experts and even trying to become politicians; purley off the back off their early riches inherited by contributing almost nothing of value apart from some dumb money early on.
With riches comes power, power that must be wielded or it will go to waste. Crypto is not blockchain and blockchain is not the solution to all of our problems, no matter how many hightech suffixes you fasten to it. Although inseparable technologically or financially speaking, it’s worth separating them by ideology in order that they show themselves for what they truly are; the end users.
Without a clear description of the end user we can easily mix the two in our minds and start to gain a warped sense of what’s both practically possible and what’s socially beneficial. We can practice the same train of thought in the regular global economy, while everyone operates in the economy, well almost everyone. There are some people that have many magnitudes higher influence over how the economy operates, and indeed if it operates at all.
Stop, stop, enough with the conspiracy theories Rich!
Yeah! I know, as soon as you read that line you were about to leave, about to switch off to this maddening tirade of incoherent chatter. Well if you don’t mind i’d like you to stay as i have something important i want you to know about what’s motivating my current film project The Fakefluencer.
You don’t have to agree, you don’t have to like, share and subscribe, you don’t even have to keep reading. But by the off chance you think like I do, and believe the crypto economy is doomed to repeat the errors of its predecessors’ capitalistic ways; and only a piece of fictionalised satirical entertainment can adequately address such a quandary, then hold up for a moment.
Blockchain and Crypto end users.
What type of person or organisation would benefit from a blockchain? Who are its primary users? What are their expectations?
I see two primary end users of blockchains. Those looking to make more efficient their current business practices, money transmitters, financial service providers, banks etc – those institutions that have become bloated; reliant on too many external service providers that are ever more greedy and know it.
They need to automate some costs away and bring them back in-house to cut costs and appear innovative at the same time. The primary value is in reducing operational costs, hence the explosion in proprietary blockchain solutions. While that’s understandable from a business perspective, blockchains are not really that much more efficient in terms of practical operation, but they are when it comes to making more efficient networks of trust.
The second end user type is more on an individual level, they believe they are using blockchains to become their own financial institution, the highly anticipated and perceived economic freedom I spoke of earlier. This is the crypto blockchain user, they are almost entirely wrapped up in the fantasy of becoming their own bank, indeed many even launching their very own brand of programmable money.
At one extreme we have business as usual, with plenty more efficiency and cheaper operational costs, just like a cost cutting exec would like it. At the other end we see an extreme liberal sentiment attaching itself to the subjective derivative value often spouted by crypto kings and queens on Twitter.
Do you see any similarities?
They both fall into the category of “same same but different” as in, having the illusion of being new and innovative approaches, but with the results being the same. Exchange blockchain for database, and crypto for gold (or some other meaningless representation of value) and you pretty much have the current economic system as it has always been.
Sure it might be a bit faster, and you can try build cool shit out of it, but you could say that about gold’s derivative products. How much of gold’s speculative value is because of your grandma’s shiny gold nose ring? When someone designs a new piece of gold jewellery it doesn’t tank the gold market if the product doesn’t sell in vast quantities.
Market forces are fake/cool/weird/interesting
The Fakefluencer film is set to premiere on April 2nd 2021, and you can reserve a ticket to the premier as well as go behind the scenes of the production right now by visiting: https://www.thefakefluencer.com/freeticket
Producer – Bitjoin Studios