“Blockchain is a solution in search of a problem.”
I don’t remember where I read those words, though it was probably right here on Medium. That’s because not long ago, before my feed became inundated with nonsense, Blockchain was one of the biggest topics on this platform and you really couldn’t get around it.
“Blockchain was going to revolutionize finance,” they’d say.
“Banks are going to be a thing of the past,” they’d say.
“Bitcoin is going to be the new global currency,” they’d say.
Fast-forward a few years and the situation is much less promising. Cryptocurrency — which is the only place Blockchain technology has really taken a meaningful hold in the public imagination — has had a running succession of problems.
First was the obvious one: people weren’t really using it as a currency, and instead were speculating on it. They’d buy it and hold it, waiting for the price to skyrocket, which made the stuff inherently deflationary and, therefore, useless. A lot of people made a lot of money on this gambit, which was promoted by some of the most dubiously influential people on the planet, but my mind mostly finds itself settling on the hilarious tales of people panicking upon the discovery that the Bitcoin they have on a thumbdrive they can’t find is worth millions of dollars.
The second problem stemmed from the first. Over time, cryptocurrency became inextricably associated with tech bros, their fintech cousins, conspiracy theorists, men’s rights types, Elon fanboys. In my own social and professional circles leading up to the (inevitable) FTX debacle, “crypto” had become shorthand for the aggressive, obtuse rebrand of male mediocrity we’ve all been suffering through since the Joe Rogan Experience first aired.
And then, of course, was the FTX debacle itself:
Maybe there’s a reason to be sad about the collapse of FTX, and maybe there’s not. I don’t really care… but here’s what I do care about: