Like pretty much any societal phenomenon, cryptocurrency is not without its flaws, transient and fundamental. For swaths of people, these flaws far outweigh the pros. They denounce cryptocurrency outright and even go on to broadcast why others should follow their example. Nonetheless, their criticisms are often worthy of attention, for they can help any crypto insiders make the industry better. Let us introduce you to some of the more prominent crypto critics and their talking points.
A long-time unyielding crypto critic, David Gerard is also a published author of “Attack of 50-Foot Blockchain” and “Libra Shrugged: How Facebook Tried to Take Over Money”. His fidelity to this point of view is explained by the fact he decries the very design of cryptocurrencies.
For one, the idea of private money free from regulations simply does not work in practice. While it’s true that some people use crypto to escape real oppression from the state, it does not exclude others from pivoting to lawlessness. In an ironic twist, the tool designed by libertarians ends up being used to trample on other people’s freedoms. Being a musician, he also criticized applications of blockchain technology in the music industry for the same reasons.
from earlier this evening - Crypto collapse: Coinbase’s billion-dollar bloodbath, Hodlnaut goes down, Celsius, Voyager, 3AC https://t.co/nxn5ho10kn— your #1 source for absurdist true crime 🐍👑 🌷 (@davidgerard) August 11, 2022
Gerard runs a newsletter with Amy Castor which more often than not touches on the topic of crypto. Considering his background, no surprise it can come off as biased, but the criticisms are well worth noting.
Molly White is known in online circles as a creator of the account and website “Web3 is going just great”. The project documents various ‘fails’ of the blockchain/web3 industry, such as hacks, exploits and scams — of which there are (un)surprisingly a lot.
checked out gitcoin's new "passport" blockchain-based decentralized identity project— Molly White (@molly0xFFF) August 12, 2022
step 1: connect your facebook, google, or twitter account pic.twitter.com/gRv8pgjrzC
White is a software engineer and has other genuine criticisms with crypto, in addition to it being rife with fraud. Particularly, she often notes how the services that promote decentralization fail to deliver on this premise. Another issue is how the users fail to understand it in turn, which can be attributed to both misleading marketing and lack of education on the topic.
Another software engineer and White’s and Gerard’s fellow member of the Concerned Tech collective, Stephen Diehl is equally unrelenting. Like Gerard, he runs a blog and wrote a book with crypto criticisms: “Popping the Crypto Bubble”. Unlike Molly White, he chooses mainly an economic angle to criticize crypto instead of leveraging his expertise as a software developer.
CFTC investor protections are completely inappropriate for regulating crypto. Because crypto assets are not commodities, their supply is created ex-nihilo, and the demand is not driven by any consumptive value.— Stephen Diehl (@smdiehl) August 11, 2022
They are a near perfect vehicle for creating manipulated markets.
What does he have against crypto? Firstly, it is a solution in search of a problem. All it has built so far is worse analogies to more effective technologies. Secondly, the name “cryptocurrency” is misleading because crypto tokens do not function as money. Volatility and the lack of supply elasticity are the fundamental reasons why it can’t be a reliable store of value or medium of exchange. Finally, the crypto economy is only repeating financial collapses of the past, wildcat banking being one of them. The US has a history with private money and unregulated banks, which ended in massive losses to the economy and public trust.
One of the few anonymous crypto critics, Bitfinex’ed has some unpleasant things to say about crypto as a whole. However, this persona is wholly focused on “uncovering the Tether fraud”. There are indeed sketchy things going on with the most popular stablecoin: legal trouble, dubious backing, questionable communication from the team.
Of course this would happen, just like I said, Bitfinex/Tether are under criminal investigation. Literally everyone knows this.— Bitfinex’ed 🔥 Κασσάνδρα 🏺 (@Bitfinexed) August 10, 2022
And institutionalized investors continue to allegedly send billions of dollars to them.
h/t @oleh86 pic.twitter.com/X3IKigtuUX
The user is self-aware enough to understand they almost single-handedly perpetuated the so-called “Tether FUD” for years now. At the very least, their findings should tell you enough about the way the crypto industry works by design. But if we’re being completely honest, it’s not like traditional finance has no bad actors in positions of significant power.
Finally, a person who has been vocally against crypto but does not dedicate a huge part of his online presence to it. Kelsey Hightower’s areas of expertise include computer science, DevOps and journalism.
One day people will realize most investment schemes are designed to have people playing musical chairs against each other, and those who control the music will always have a seat.— Kelsey Hightower (@kelseyhightower) July 25, 2022
One of the things he is critical against crypto for is that it more often than not abuses people who were done wrong by the more traditional institutions. It’s not a secret that a lot of crypto investors do it to escape a rat race of the grift economy. To retire early or provide for their loved ones, albeit in non-conventional ways, just because conventional ones don’t work for them. Both critics and defenders agree that shortcomings of real-world institutions played a huge role in the rise of crypto. Where defenders stop and critics keep talking is that crypto is only the extension of these failed systems.
What Do Crypto Apologists Think?
All of the above is enough to understand crypto critics have a bone to pick with the community. But what do crypto natives think about these opinions? We asked the PR manager from our team, Mila, who is a crypto enthusiast herself. Is the criticism valid or overblown?
“From my point of view, people's criticism and fears about cryptocurrency are caused by the lack of knowledge or refusal to learn more about crypto and blockchain. People are always afraid and feel skeptical about things that they poorly understand. Blockchain is a fairly new and complex technology. However, in my opinion, this technology promises to stay here for a long time, as its capabilities can help improve economics, the banking system, Internet space, and other spheres. Frankly speaking, if you want to be a financially literate person today, take a closer look at crypto! A cryptocurrency is just a tool, a technology that you can dive into, study its principles and use, or criticize without any background, based on the opinion of the majority. My advice for those who want to better understand the crypto world is to investigate our blog, follow our social networks, and pump up your knowledge!”Mila, ChangeHero's PR manager
After all, pretending crypto is flawless is a fool’s errand. It is in the community’s best interest to listen to valid points of crypto critics. With their input, fixing legitimate issues in the industry and community is possible.
Why not follow Mila’s advice and follow our social media accounts? We post daily updates and useful tips to help you navigate the crypto space.