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Why Everyone Hates Crypto

Chris Campbell

Posted January 04, 2022

Chris Campbell

We begin today’s Altucher Confidential with an old David Letterman clip from 1995.

In it, Letterman is interviewing Bill Gates about the Internet.

David Letterman: I can remember a couple of months ago there was a big breakthrough announcement that on the internet, or on some computer deal, they were going to broadcast a baseball game. You could listen to a baseball game on your computer. And I just thought to myself, does the radio ring a bell?

(laughter)

Bill Gates: There’s a difference. It’s not a huge difference.

David Letterman: What is the difference?

Bill Gates: You can listen to the baseball game whenever you want, too.

David Letterman: Oh, I see. So it’s stored in one of your memory deals and then you can come back and a year later —

Bill Gates: Exactly. That’s the RAM that we talked about earlier.

(pause)

David Letterman: Do tape recorders ring a bell?

- Bill Gates on Late Show with David Letterman, November 27, 1995

Letterman was echoing popular sentiment at the time. Most people didn’t get it. Why do we need the Internet? It didn’t make sense.

They had lots of questions.

What’s email? What’s the “@” sign mean? What does “www” mean? What in the world do you do with it?

You can go back and watch old news clips from all the major outlets. They totally missed the point. They overlooked the forest for the twigs. They had ZERO clue that the Internet would radically transform the world.

In fact, it wouldn’t make sense to them for years.

Three years later, in 1998, Nobel Prize winner Paul Krugman wrote this:

“The growth of the Internet will slow drastically, as the flaw in ‘Metcalfe’s law’ — which states that the number of potential connections in a network is proportional to the square of the number of participants — becomes apparent: most people have nothing to say to each other! By 2005 or so, it will become clear that the Internet’s impact on the economy has been no greater than the fax machine’s.”

As time went on, the skepticism didn’t die down.

It grew. Right alongside the hype.

At best, it was just a nerdy plaything. At worst, it was dangerous. To some, it was a den of scammers and pornographers. To others, it was a way for the government to trace and take 100% control of our lives.

Meanwhile, government sentiment ranged from skeptical to alarmist to exploitative.

At one point, for example, the U.S. government thought they could control email. Officials floated the idea of creating a centrally-controlled monopolized email service that everyone would have to pay to use.

How’d that work out?

(It’s not unreasonable to expect, I suggest, CBDCs will meet a similar fate.)

History sings in rhymes.

Today, many people — and governments — feel the same about crypto. And for most of them (not all), you can boil it down to a similar argument:

It’s More of the Same… But (Way) Worse.

In our age of hyper-politicization, we tend to make everything a “left vs. right” issue…

This one isn’t.

The hatred (and the love) for crypto transcends politics. A lot of people on the left hate crypto. A lot of people on the right do, too.

While crypto has a lot of fans in the tech world, a lot of techies hate crypto. Despite its futurist feel, many futurists hate crypto.

Many industry heads — no matter the industry — hate crypto. A lot of hipsters hate crypto (because a lot of “crypto bros” are indeed annoying). Though crypto could revolutionize gaming, a lot of gamers hate crypto. A lot of government officials… for a lot of obvious reasons… hate crypto.

Bankers. Beggars. Bootleggers. Baptists.

Everyone hates crypto. 

The more popular crypto becomes, the louder the haters will become.

Expect it.

Why Everyone Hates Crypto

All of this is why we’re starting a new intermittent series called, “Everyone Hates Crypto.”

Starting tomorrow…

I’ll show you why progressives and conservatives hate crypto.

(Sometimes for different reasons. Other times for the same reasons.)

I’ll also dive into why techies (like Jack Dorsey) hate Web3. I’ll make the case for why the gaming industry hates the metaverse.

I’ll show you why many artists hate NFTs. I’ll show you why some futurists believe crypto will usher in a techno-dystopia.

And, of course, I’ll show you why government officials hate crypto.

I’ll show you why they’re wrong… and even how they could be right.

Stay tuned.

Chris Campbell
For Altucher Confidential

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