296 Comments

I bought a lot of bitcoin and ether a few years ago. rode it up to the highs and down to where it is now. still hodling, with money that I don't need right now. still waiting to become a crypto millionaire! have no idea whether it'll go to a million or zero. Bought it on principle, because I hate the fiat system, which has made a lot of rich financial criminals and a lot of very poor people.

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I'm a financial advisor and my husband, against my advice, put about $50,000 of "emergency fund" money in stable coin that was at that time "guaranteeing" an 8% return and was "backed by the US Dollar." We argued. I told him nothing pegged to the USD could return 8% in a .5% interest rate world. I asked him where that 8% could possibly be coming from if the dollars he used to purchase the coins were staying in USD to back the coin. I explained to him that cryptocurrencies don't generate revenues or earn profits from which that outstanding return could be paid. I told him that if it looked to good to be true, it wasn't (true). Eventually he decided to listen and got out. This was months ago. When the collapse came, he thanked me.

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I'm in 'tech' and was an early adopter back when BTC was somewhere around 1700. I was in West LA when gangs of developers were just learning the development backend for ETH, as a database head I was interested in the immutability of blockchain which is of keen interest to anyone who understand financial audits. I also have decades of experience in enterprise software and lived through the original dotcom bubble. I was sitting next to a kid who threw $40K into ETH and didn't care a whit about the technology. Maybe ETH was worth $100? Never really followed it. I have attended 2 other crypto conferences in LA and they are a mixture of hype, fascinating tech, and sketchy speculators. When I finally attended a class for smart contracts, I found the programming language behind it far too juvenile to be taken seriously. In the end I made about 15x my investments, but it was always play money.

I remain interested in the blockchain itself and the problems of zero-trust that the technologies resolve, and having been a bonded developer for Wall Street firms, I understand that blockchain tech can yet revolutionize accounting, especially the ridiculous problems associated with the provenance of tranches of derivative investments bundled for sale with no institutional transparency. All financial institutions could improve their governance and auditability with such things like immutability in transactions. That does not change the market dynamics of the greater fool theory or the greed and hype possible with impenetrably dense code.

I still hold BTC, LTC, ALGO & ADA. on a variety of exchanges including Kraken and Coinbase. The majority of my funds are still in BTC in an offline hard wallet. None of this exceeds about 20% of my 401K. (now). My trading strategy with coins generally has been to place small bets on volatile (small cap) ones and convert them to BTC and LTC (large cap). I never intended to cash in before retirement.

I expect that brick & mortar 'old school' banks who are, let's say, SWIFT-dependent will FUD all crypto and will be incapable of building more secure algorithms and test them as well as BTC has proven, and the entire validity of the crypto-based financial instruments will always be considered with derision. That doesn't change the math. It also doesn't change the economy of the US in which the sins of 2008 have not been rectified, and will generate new schemes. While those who can will throw money & legislation at problems, it still won't change the math.

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Ever sent a wire transfer? I just sent one last week from the US to Mexico where my fiancee currently resides. It has still not arrived. I could have completed the transaction with crypto in 30 seconds. Sure, there are scams and worries about getting the digits right but the current system is broken and, shall we say, catering to the lowest common denominator.

Crypto allows people who have been unable to participate in financial markets to finally have a say, purchase goods otherwise not available to them, and diversify their assets away from self(name your country here)-inflicted political instability. And it took the free market to create it. I don't think it is going anywhere and we are still in the very early stages. Governments should not like it, it takes away a lot of their power.

I have invested disposable income into the crypto spaces, concentrating on blockchain/infrastructure coins and BTC/ETH--the top two are not the only chains out there.

And a side note: I don't see ETH going to proof of stake any time soon even though they keep touting the great "2.0!" -- all the miners will lose their gas fees which have been quite high lately.

Stay frosty...and diversified!

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There are people investing in Bitcoin because of the cypherpunk ethos of a money that isn't in control of any person, people, or organization. I am one of those people as I have realized anyone controlling issuance of money has near ultimate power.

Then there are the rest whom are investing not for a better future, but simply to make money. Unfortunately it seems most people have fallen into this trap. There have been and will continue to be an innumerable amount of scams which are attempting to trap these people. These scams will be constantly failing and causing hardship. The recent failure is just another in a long and ever-growing list.

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Nomenclature correction: Bitcoin and Shitcoins are the correct words.

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There is Bitcoin and then there is everything else 'crypto'. If you have not read it already, I would recommend The Bitcoin Standard: The Decentralized Alternative to Central Banking (Saifedean Ammous) & Vijay Boyapati Essay: The Bullish Case for Bitcoin as starters. All other crypto will likely be more speculative/start up, regulated as securities.

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Check out Lyn Alden’s excellent post mortem on the crypto crash.

https://www.lynalden.com/digital-alchemy/

Bitcoin is being lumped into this mess but it’s weathering the crash well. Price dropped partly due to Do Kwon dumping tethers btc reserves in a desperate attempt to save the “stablecoin”.

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Call me slow, but I have spent many hours in the last two years reading about cryptocurrency and still don't quite get it. A full-blown Matt Taibbi investigation of this obviously significant craze would be *extremely* valuable to me. I'm squicked by the weirdly intense paranoia I detect in the interviews I've read with its leading promoters.

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Re, your commenters here so far. you are seriously going to have to double and triple check everything you hear or risk your story being filled with faults and mistakes. Feel free to let me connect you to some macro experts that also have invested in crypto the last few years. At least you wont get your ears filled with shyte. Start with Raul Pal / @RaoulGMI

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Matt, I’d talk to Jimmy Song if you’d like a Bitcoiners perspective on why stablecoins and sh*tcoins/crypto don’t work. @jimmysong on Twitter. Also highly recommend Jameson Lopp @lopp has some good explanations, not to push BTC but it’s one way to learn why stablecoins are a scam.

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Dropped an email. I work in crypto space and been an investor for 3 years. Stablecoins are inherently risky! They can be compromised, can lose its peg, block a user's transaction in said stablecoin, treasuries not verified, and non of this is FDIC insured.

Crypto is full of scams and VC pumps. Stick to BTC/ETH

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I got an unexpected bonus at work and used some of it to buy Cardano, just for giggles. I didn't put all that much in, certainly not enough to cry about, but I'm also not giggling.

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There are multiple sides of crypto. The emphasis right now is all on the financial market. That’s a powerful segment but the more important part is the concept of the immutable ledger and the influence that will have well beyond the financial world. This short term explosion is reminiscent of the dot com bust. The interwebs needed a reset to figure out what were truly viable markets and what is a fad. The same thing is happening here. This is gonna have several people running for the hills but there is a ton of opportunity right behind this implosion

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I’ve invested a few times in the crypto space. I’m now on the sidelines due to central banks starting to create their own Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDC). I believe after regulations are instituted all cryptos will go to zero. Governments don’t want anonymous transactions and the creation of CBDC’s will never allow for that type of anonymity imo. Especially with the new global tax group announced that nobody has been talking about over the last year.

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Matt. I “invested” 50k in bitcoin in the fall of 2019 at around $4,000 per. Sold next year for around $8,000 per bitcoin. Bought a new fishing boat with the proceeds and haven’t bought any since. IMO it’s a classic Ponzi and an unbelievable waste of energy to run all the mining computers.

Cheers, Jay Bee

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As for stablecoins, you might investigate the assets these stablecoins pretend to have. The trouble is, there is no guarantee that the issuers have on hand the assets they say they do. Tether once claimed to have $69 billion in real currency to support that amount of its coin in circulation. Yet no one who went looking for the money was able to find any evidence of it. After being sued by the state of New York, the company revealed it had been loaning money from its reserves to prop up an affiliated cryptocurrency exchange that was hundreds of millions of dollars in the hole.

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All crypto-coins should just be called by one name: The Barnum, because there is s sucker born every minute.

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I suggest reading about the great Tulip mania of the Dutch Golden Age to gain an understanding of what can happen when something finds it’s true value in a hurry. Which is not to say that randomness can’t make you many crypto millions if you happen to get lucky before true value is found, but every blip in crypto is underpinned by anti-fiat fervour, which makes it’s true value awfully hard to pin down.

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Bottom line is that huge numbers of scams/centralized web3 nonsense are riding the coat tails of real decentralized tech innovation like Bitcoin. The fake stuff uses broken incomplete tech combined with centralized AWS services to create the appearance of a working decentralized ecosystem. There was a thread by @jack late last year that addressed this and some for the underlying tech problems. Luna/UST was obvious nonsense from the beginning- backed by bitcoin, WAT? USDC is generally considered the gold standard of backed stablecoin. I like Max Keiser for Bitcoin maxi content- try blockchain socialist, doomberg, and paris marx for skeptic content.

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I’ve been buying and holding since 2013 when I first took an online course on bitcoin and blockchain. I’ve been steadily buying, diversifying into different projects, and reading the white papers for some of the more interesting ones as they come out, and following along with a lot of the drama This is the third of the 4 year bust cycles I’ve been through and I’m still buying through the next one. I’ve had a few bad experiences but it’s been overall a positive for me. I can definitely provide some historical/ technical background info

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Yeah, I put like a total of 4k into various cryptos. I accept it's super volatile and have lost money due to the market going wherever it wishes seemingly. My mistake was staking etherium for etherium 2.0. Once you do that, you're locked in and can't pull your money away when the market turns sour because you're waiting for the network upgrade to cash out. You don't want to hang around too long with crypto. You wanna just buy low and sell high and then get out. I understand this is a precarious situation to be in. It's almost like gambling. If you want to invest for the long term, don't do crypto. The real money is in either making a coin and convincing people it's valuable, or by owning an exchange and reaping those sweet sweet fees.

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It's about time you did this. Track down Bitfinex’ed on Twitter https://twitter.com/Bitfinexed

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I'd say my main motivation for diving into crypto was the search for an 'escape hatch' from the FED's system of financial repression. I'm still waiting to see how the FED/SEC responds to this challenge to their monetary hegemony, and hopeful the independent crypto (not the Central Bank kind) will thrive. There is lots of great info out there on You-Tube, Medium, and in the Discord forums. Check out https://www.coindesk.com/ or Bankless (https://newsletter.banklesshq.com/) for more info.

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I am a very low stakes investor in BTC and ETH: Hedging against the dollar and wondering where the bottom is as all the excess liquidity washes out from the Fed-driven quantitative easing bubble. Looking forward to your report!

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Check out the SEC vs. Ripple lawsuit. Lots of evidence of corruption from former SEC officials and people associated with Ethereum in bringing the suit. Holders of the cryptocurrency XRP that is associated with Ripple filed suit to intervene in the lawsuit- represented by John Deaton. Deaton started @cryptolawus to document all case filings.

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How do you know if someone is into crypto?

Don’t worry they’ll tell you.

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I bought some BTC/ETH/LTC back in 2017, when those were the only coins traded on Coinbase. About six months later I started trading across exchanges, and within another six months I was sitting on eight-figure hedged derivative positions despite my real net worth sitting in the low five figures. Had some wild swings over the next few years but mostly ended up ahead.

The IRS audited one of my tax returns which included a $4.5M 1099 from Coinbase as well as over 25,000 individual trades that I definitely did not report correctly. Ended up being a pretty funny story actually.

I've got an MBA but I'm also currently pursuing a PhD in cryptography, so I have a pretty good understanding of both the economic and technical sides of this area. My research advisor was recently approached about a proposal for grant funding from Algorand, which also turned into a rather funny story about the love/hate relationship that many academic cryptographers have developed with the "Crypto" space.

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May 23, 2022·edited May 23, 2022

I and my significant other have a less than 0.25 bitcoin. We will probably never sell it unless we are in dire straights. If the bitcoin (small b) price gets into the millions, it will probably be because of hyperinflation and/or a collapse of the Dollar. Or, maybe it will even aid in a Dollar collapse.

I like Bitcoin (big B) mainly because it is an end run around the corrupt fractional reserve fiat banking system. It banks the unbanked.

I highly recommend this guy: https://www.youtube.com/c/aantonop

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Bitcoin maximalist here. I've bought it at 4K and I bought it at 50K. Current DCA is around 11K. It's been a best investment of my life in terms of ROI by far. But I believe it will only go higher as currency achieves its destiny and de-centralizes. I won't sell at any price and intend to give this as my inheritance in the digital form.

But yeah, investing in this sector will make you taste your blood. It felt a lot better at 65 than 28. But if you can stomach that kind of volatility, long term returns are attractive.

Stablecoins are a fraud. you want something tethered to US dollar? USD is not enough for you. So I would get out of all of it.

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You had to have Bitcoin to shop on Silk Road. BTC was under $100 back then, but in a matter of weeks rose to $1100. I lost about 3 BTC in the MtGox theft and bankruptcy. The bankruptcy court is setting the value at $700.

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I have some investment in crypto. Mainly Bitcoin and Ethereum, and small amounts in ADA and Litecoin.

There are two things I’m watching out for in this space – the introduction of a central bank digital currency (CBDC) from the Fed, and the Tether Stablecoin.

Tether has been known for years to be a scam and not actually pegged to the Dollar. It’s literally a bomb that can take damn near everything in this space to Zero. Imagine what you saw happen to Luna but vastly worse.

The thing is, I expect the Tether bomb to blow right after the Fed announces a CBDC. This will be a deliberate act of sabotage by the masters of the universe in the crypto space because it’ll essentially clear the field for the Fed’s CBDC.

So for all of you HODLers, as soon as they announce that, it’s time to finally sell.

Around this time, I‘s also bet that Congress will somehow find it in them to work together in a bipartisan manner and put in place severe restrictions on Cryptocurrencies, making it effectively inaccessible for 90%+ of Americans.

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May 23, 2022·edited May 23, 2022

Fwiw I've found Chris Dixon of a16z and Michael Saylor have robust philosophies and holdings (their opinions carry weight) if you are looking for whales to talk to

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Been dropping about a thousand a month split between Bitcoin and Ethereum for a little over a year. So far still slightly ahead of the game. The overall trend still looks good, if a lot more volatile than I anticipated. Buying below $40K looks like it will beat inflation long term, but I could (probably?) be wrong.

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I'd recommend reaching out to @BennettTomlin for generally well-researched critical takes on the industry.

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article by Martin Armstrong explains Crypto and what to expect https://www.armstrongeconomics.com/world-news/cryptocurrency/can-cryptocurrencies-survive-wwiii/

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well well well. how are all of those cryptos / stable coins working out for all of the crypto Ponzi scheme lovers? lmao

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I would love to hear a story about it because I really don’t get it

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Crypto currency is a scam. While any nation's fiat money is backed by that nation, crypto is nothing and has nothing backing it. It has "value" only as long as backers are willing to pump real money, that fiat currency that crypto backers find so offensive, into it. It's a f'ing joke.

What should happen is that the same ideas that surround crypto be applied to real fiat money so that transaction and transfer costs can be reduced from what they are due to profit seeking banks being in control. That would make sense, not this crypto nonsense.

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Jun 2, 2022·edited Jun 2, 2022

Attn: Matt

Please forgive ... this is unrelated to Crypto. Rather, it relates to your Tweeted request for a novel-worthy story. We could not reply on Twitter for specific security reasons .

I believe I have a candidate story which corresponds to your specifications and likely personal interest.

Featuring:

RUSSIA: It involves an American businessman who arrived in Sobchak/Putin's Leningrad of 1990, by special invitation and migrated to Moscow (all during the time you also resided there).

PRAVDA: the American engineered the first contract for advertising with Lenin-founded, КПСС-owned Pravda. This relationship led to ....

KGB: The American befriended his undercover KGB interface at Pravda and after the August Putsch, proposed a meeting at Lubyanka, leading to an extraordinary business contract to to develop special projects with KGB, (approved by Primakov himself).

Project #1? The packaging of the long-classified Lee Harvey Oswald Moscow/Minsk surveillance files (into a Book). CIA? Not amused.

SOVIET PREMIER: the cachet of KGB enabled the American to also develop a relationship with Gorbachev's Premier Ryzhkov, for whom the American wrote a business plan for a major consulting group.

ASSASSINATION AT THE RADISSON: Remember Paul Tatum of Radisson Slavyanskaya? This American was one of Tatum's confidantes. Up until Tatum ran afoul of Luzhkov and the Chechens and was machine-gunned at Metro Kievskaya.

Intrigued? If yes, can share more on: games.end<AT>protonmail<DOT>com

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I recommend reading Richard Maybury early warning report on this and many other subjects. basically, it seems a scam to me. unless you can actually make untraced digital transactions what is the advantage? i bought a small amount of bitcoin which is now only a fraction of the worth and had to report everything about it on taxes. if anyone knows a way to get around that, I'd like to know it.

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- you could do a lot worse than check out Lex Fridman's interview with many of the major players in this field...including the head of Microstrategy and Vitalik Buterim (founder of Ethereum)

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May 27, 2022·edited May 27, 2022

MBA, CFA, MS in Finance. I thought crypto was a scam until a couple of years ago when I was finally convinced about Bitcoin. After dipping my toes in with BTC I started trading other coins and NFT's for a year or so. I did make a good chuck of money in alt coins, but then lost all of those gains this year. After a couple of years I'm convinced that BTC is here to stay and not a bad long term inflation hedge, but the easy/quick money is gone. Everything else crypto is either a scam or similar to a moonshot angel investment.

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I was a crypto journalist back in 2014. I did a few interviews, wrote a couple articles, and lost money in the Mt. Gox and Cryptsy debacles. Left crypto for a while, just watched from the sidelines, then returned in 2021.

My experience has been a mixed bag, but there's no denying that you can make a small fortune literally overnight with minimal amounts of work, so crypto is here as long as there is electricity.

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You might look into the Cardano Ada project and that ecosystem. It's sometimes called a shitcoin, but it's not; lots of good mathematicians and programmers behind it. Unlike BTC and most others, it's not based on proof of work, in which 'mining' is heavily energy intensive; rather it's proof of stake, so coins are not mined but minted. Uses much less electricity. BTC has an obvious advantage in terms of scarcity, and I'm not heavily into any of them, but I did buy Ada when it started taking off and continue to buy this dip. As others have said, the whole crypto ecosystem has tended to follow BTC up and down and Ada is no different...so far.

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I bought when the price was 260. Sold after it fell from 20k in 2018 because I didn't and still don't believe in its fundementals.

Please look into these questions if you get the chance:

- how can and will blockchain be used in the future (central bank digital currency, audit and surveilance)?

- can an immutable blockchain ever respect privacy?

Thanks for looking into the topic!!

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Glad you're going to write a story here. The key is...there's Bitcoin...and then there's everything else. Once you realize that BTC is decentralized, the opposite of say, the Fed or all the venture backed cryptos that pre-mine to investors and then dump for a healthy profit on the public, just before they tank, you realize what's really going on. I dabbled briefly in Ethereum but got out...the centralized control is not attractive to me. To each his own.

The BTC story is both simple and complex. Most genius is simplicity and BTC and its second layer for small transactions, are a revelation and are one of the few modern developments that give me hope for honesty in monetary policy. I own BTC and GBTC (a fund that owns BTC for those that needed it in a retirement acct).

GBTC is another example of govt creating more problems than it solves. As a trust, it holds BTC but is less liquid because it can't yet be converted into an ETF...meanwhile, the govt HAS allowed futures as an ETF. How does that make sense? GBTC, until recently, was one of the few ways to easily add a small percentage of BTC into a retirement fund.

If you want to read a great, quick primer, I'd go for https://www.layeredmoney.com by Nik Bhatia. The historical summary of the various money layers and how they operate, and came to be is a useful primer to where we are now.

Finally, like any movement, there are both hucksters and true believers. My analogy here is the recent claims that those who refused the mrna vaccines are "anti-science" or "anti-vaccination" - no some of "us" are very healthy adults and realize that, using simple math, our chances of surviving covid/mild symptoms are better than getting a shot with highly questionable data. Most of us have been vaccinated many times for a variety of vaccines with long periods of testing. The data for vaccination in health adults and children is the opposite of compelling. Interesting note, Pfizer CEO allegedly is not vaccinated. Mmmm. Along with many employees. Makes you wonder, doesn't it?

Stablecoins is yet another rabbit hole but suffice to say this...just like banks, I believe stable coins need "sufficient" reserves/assets to back their activities. We know that even regulated banks don't have "sufficient" reserves without the fed's injections when the sh!t hits the fan. See 2008 when they appeared hat in hand, explaining how fed inaction would melt down the financial system (and their bonuses and properties on Long Island). Should have taken the Icelandic solution (let them collapse).

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I wonder how many who follow Taibbi also know/pay attention to Yanis Varoufakis. Very different, (Varoufakis: "I'm a socialist..."), yet similar in important ways (that complete sentence: "I'm a socialist who hates socialists"). In short, they both think for themselves and--when they treat a topic seriously--back up what they say with evidence and logic that is hard to argue with on a sound basis. Their detractors tend to spout emotion, not reason.

Varoufakis' most recent lengthy treatment of crypto, NFTs, stablecoins, DAOs: They carry exactly the same problems as fiat money based on the gold standard or currency boards: a fundamental economic fallacy called "composition." They are already features of oligarchy, not tools to overthrow it. The technologies have utility only *after* a radical/revolutionary economic change.

"... just like gold, Bitcoin is eminently… abandonable (once it has done enormous damage). Put differently, either Bitcoin will never take over from fiat money or, if it does, it will cause huge unnecessary pain (before being abandoned)."

https://www.reddit.com/r/yanisvaroufakis/comments/uo4uud/yanis_varoufakis_on_crypto_the_left_and/

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Found out about Bitcoin in 2016. When things started really popping in 2017 aped in. Clearly there was a lot of tension during crypto winter when I went down 50% but I was a true believer, sweated it out, and have never looked back. Can't wait for next 2 years, hoping to match performance of past two years.

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Bitcoin is unique. This is very important to understand.

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