Please click the link to listen to the 15th episode of my weekly crypto podcast ‘Two Minute Crypto‘. These are intended to be short, single-topic ramblings on some aspect of the cryptosphere. Comments and critiques welcome.
Welcome to Two Minute Crypto – Remember to Occasionally Re-examine Your Assumptions
This journey through the ever-shifting landscape of crypto is both engaging and exciting. If you extend your interest beyond price there is literally never a dull day. From project civil wars to announcements of new partnerships and blockchain initiatives – there’s a vast sea of information to tap into. However, in all this flow it’s very easy to take certain broadly accepted tenets as a given. Proof of Work at scale is enough to secure a network, decentralization is overtaking centralized institutions, banks are capitulating to the inevitable march of peer to peer currencies and Blockchain and crypto will change the world for the better. It’s this last assumption I would like to pick apart.
First to be clear – I would love crypto to the upend current models of inequality, to provide financial services to the unbanked, to facilitate free movement of capital even for those who have very little of it, to lessen corruption in all its manifestations in finance, supply chain and politics. All these things and more I hope blockchain will deliver.
But there is certainly no guarantee that much of this will come to pass. Who currently owns the majority of crypto – wealthy white guys – the very people gaining the most from the current model of economic and social activity. If crypto succeeds in bringing greater equality to the world it will likely be despite the current majority holders.
Sure, some cryptos are attempting fairer models of distribution through airdrops and the like but the real crypto wealth still lies with Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash and Ripple where significant coin ownership is extremely narrow. So blockchain might improve the lot of the many or it might end up being co-opted into financial legacy systems with rehypothecation and comingling becoming new bedfellows allowing another phase of inflationary lending utilizing bitcoin.
My point then is that crypto and blockchain are dynamic tech where everything even immutability is open to revision. Where this technology takes us over the coming decades is an entirely open question and in my opinion best viewed that way.
In the words of Isaac Asimov:
Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in a while, or the light won’t come in.
Thanks for listening.