The Crypto Con 0
Hal Crowther tries to make sense of the crypto-con. He focuses on Sam Bankman-Fried, whose FTX crypto exchanged failed suddenly and spectacularly, but his serves to cast light on the entire–you can’t call it an industry, can you?–endeavor.
His article is well worth a read. Here’s the opening (emphasis added):
The collapse of the FTX cryptocurrency exchange and the arrest of its founder is a tragedy for thousands of blockchain believers, who may never recover most of the money they bet on this amorphous wealth-of-the-future scheme — a scheme I confess I could never grasp. How did the word “mining” attach itself to the creation of cryptocurrency, some kind of energy-profligate computer exercise that failed to make sense to me no matter how much I read about it? (True, it’s an area where my lack of insight is exceeded only by my lack of interest.) But now, thanks to the FTX disaster, bewildered neo-Luddites like me may never be obliged to figure it out. Paul Krugman of the New York Times, our only working journalist with a Nobel Prize in economics, appears to have written cryptocurrency’s obituary in a recent column. Dismissing “the rolling debacle that is crypto,” Krugman declares that “after all this time, nobody has come up with significant real-world uses for cryptocurrency other than money-laundering.”