I listen to a lot of crypto podcasts. I also follow many of the most popular crypto twitter accounts, and I can’t help but feel like almost all of them have forgotten what crypto is really about. They’ll go on and on about Do Kwon, or what the price is going to do, or about the latest bridge hack, instead of what we should be focusing on, which is how to build a truly decentralized cryptocurrency network that can’t be censored and scales to serve the entire planet.
I don’t care about rainbow charts, or what Michael Saylor just did. What I do care about is how we can ensure crypto’s survival, and to me that’s only going to happen by winning enough hearts and minds so that it’s impossible to shut these networks down.
For example, there’s been a lot of concern regarding the sanctioning of Tornado Cash transactions in the Ethereum ecosystem. People are wondering whether or not staking pools run by centralized entities such as Coinbase and Lido will be forced to censor transactions to remain compliant with the US government.
If they do, it defeats the entire purpose of crypto as far as I’m concerned. To me the only way crypto can be viewed as a success is if it remains uncontrollable by any central authorities, and the only way to achieve that is through sufficient decentralization.
Throughout history we have witnessed many groups of people win their freedom by standing together in opposition to tyranny. People who marched in solidarity to seek their basic human rights. I think if crypto is going to succeed, it needs to gain the support of the masses, and although millions have been introduced to crypto, I’m afraid that the vast majority of them have almost no understanding of what it’s for, or it’s true purpose.
It wasn’t always this way, but that’s what you end up getting when the entire industry pivots away from the original goal and turns into a giant casino peddling false narratives and impossible yields.
Maybe you’re thinking to yourself who am I to say what crypto’s true purpose is supposed to be, but it’s not me that’s saying it. It was Satoshi Nakamoto, the inventor of Bitcoin, the one that started it all, whose first sentence in the white paper states: “A purely peer-to-peer version of electronic cash would allow online payments to be sent directly from one party to another without going through a financial institution.”
What he goes on to describe is a system that would make it possible for us to be free of having to rely on trusted third parties or central authorities by enabling us to transact peer-to-peer. Peer-to-peer means from me to you, not from me to a centralized exchange to you, or from me to a lightning network hub to you.
Unfortunately most people seem to have no interest, let alone understanding, of what difference any of this makes. They’ve had to deal with financial institutions their entire lives and can’t imagine a world where you wouldn’t have to use them.
I believe that in order for crypto to succeed, we must somehow find a way to make people see how it can improve their lives. Not just by making them rich, but by making their lives better. This is, of course, easier said than done. I know this because I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve had the these conversations with people in real life only to have it end with them asking, well what about XRP?
But that doesn’t mean I’m ready to give up. That’s part of what this blog is all about. These articles are my way of attempting different approaches to solving the problem. I just hope that one day I can finally figure out the right one.