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Why Progressives (Shouldn’t) Hate Crypto

Chris Campbell

Posted January 06, 2022

Chris Campbell

Everyone hates crypto.

Well, obviously not everyone.

But it’s one of those rare things where the hatred and love transcends tribal ties.

I have conservative and progressive friends that love crypto… and ones that hate it.

Today, as part of our intermittent “Everyone Hates Crypto” series, I’ll dive into more reasons why many progressives hate crypto…

And perhaps why they should reconsider.

Perhaps.

How the Light Gets In

One of the biggest critiques on both the left and right is the rise of financialization…

And how crypto will only make things worse.

Yesterday, I showed how crypto can actually give individuals the opportunity to definancialize their lives.

In short, crypto can empower the individual users by reducing complexity, insecurity and by adding transparency to a traditionally opaque system.

Better yet, with crypto, projects can be organized, coded and designed explicitly for social good from the ground up. And we can know precisely where that money within the system is going — down to the micro-cent.

Whether it’s do-gooder DeFi, collectively-owned DAOs, or not-for-profit NFT projects…

Anyone at any time can audit for themselves the books. It doesn’t take any specialized knowledge, either.

Blockchains are radically transparent.

By comparison, all traditional institutions — central banks, Wall Street, the corporation, governments, NGOs, supranational organizations, and even major charities — are heinously murky. 

And another thing…

Unlike traditional tech platforms, crypto allows opportunities for everyone who provides value to a network to also capture the value they create, rather than it getting sucked straight to the top.

This is entirely within the progressive ethos.

Networks are sustained and built largely by their users. Thus, the users should be able to benefit from its growth.

Seizing the Memes of Production

On Facebook, for example, you get likes, followers, and hearts in return for providing value to the network.

That’s great, if you’re into that sort of thing.

But there’s no way to share in the growth of the network that you helped grow.

Crypto allows opportunities for users to take provable ownership of a network effect through tokens. The value of a network’s token goes up based on the network’s users, supply, demand, potential future value of that network, actual practical value, etc.

Rather than a tech platform like Facebook reaping all the benefits, users get to as well.

In traditional finance, this model would be prohibitively expensive and complicated. In crypto, it’s relatively simple.

(One example: the popular NFT platform Opensea just air-dropped hundreds of millions of dollars of $SOS tokens to users based on how much they used the platform last year. Far from a heavy user, I claimed and cashed out mine for a few thousand bucks. A nice surprise.)

Building the New Models

Progressives cheer the CEOs who give their employees more control, more transparency, more money, and more say in the direction of the business.

And yet…

The most successful crypto projects share those values and thrive on them.

Crypto allows for individuals to dream up, create and organize new systems from the bottom-up… without interference from “The Man.” 

There are two quotes that come to mind to wrap this up. All of my progressive (and conservative) friends appreciate them.

The first is from the futurist Buckminster Fuller.

He said: “You never change things by fighting the existing reality.

To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”

And the second is from Yuval Harari in his book, Sapiens:

“Money is the apogee of human tolerance. Money is more open-minded than language, state laws, cultural codes, religious beliefs and social habits. Money is the only trust system created by humans that can bridge almost any cultural gap, and that does not discriminate on the basis of religion, gender, race, age, or sexual orientation.”

Crypto, done right, is an infusion of these two ideas. 

And here’s the thing…

If we refuse to create the future by rejecting the most powerful tools ever put into humanity’s hands… the future will be created for us using those same tools.

And it will be far from ideal… or progressive.

A final thought from Bucky Fuller:

“We are called to be architects of the future, not its victims.”

Chris Campbell
For Altucher Confidential

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