Considering recent incidents on Mozilla and Ubisoft, why do people hate cryptocurrency so much?

Torrid
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Speaking as someone who worked for a crypto company, went to the hugely expensive crypto conferences etc.

And ignoring the environmental impact (we should all realize at this point the insane amount of energy that crypto uses. And I really don’t care that some of them are optimizing. There’s so many of the damn things now that it hardly matters)

1: hardware sustainability. I’ll admit, I whined over this primarily because I wanted a nice graphics card to play games and render animations, and now that’s too expensive to happen any time soon.

But, we’re also running into a situation where the physical resources to make this kind of hardware are becoming a bit more difficult to obtain. You think this is just bad for the people who want (need, at this point) phones, computers etc, but it’s also bad for crypto fundamentally. This gap is created now between the people maintaining and updating the blockchain. Only the wealthy few will be able to afford the “farms” required for this

2: it’s a Ponzi scheme/pyramid scheme

I know. This is the one people hate to hear, because it ruins the entire philosophy crypto is supposed to be built on.

It goes hand in hand with the innate value of each coin or token. A coin’s value is so closely tied to the amount of fiat that people have invested in it that it’s impossibly for it not to become a Ponzi scheme. In order for it to be a legitimate currency, it has to actually be pulled from fiat markets and be used independently.

That’s not going to happen though, because they are already making a great deal of legitimate money

Joe Bidet
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A few hypothesis:

Because “cryptocurrencies” (i prefer to refer to them as “cyber-ponzi”)…

  • …are a purely speculative asset, similar to the wild unregulated globalized finance that is ruining the world and increasing inequalities?
  • …are controled in vast majority by a techno-elite of (mostly white) men with access to computing power and extra capital? (thus replacing one elite by another)
  • …are an ecological catastrophe?
  • …are a model based on universal mistrust? (we tust nobody so we ALL have to re-do the same cryptographic operations)
  • …make some un-knowledgeable people fall into ponzi-like schemes where they actually do lose some money?
  • …make some companies immensely rich, that profit on the hype (exchanges, Ethereum, NFT wind-sellers/“minters” etc.)
  • …devoid the concepts of cryptography and decentralization to put them entirely at the service of commercial/financial interests? (what is “crypto” again…?)
  • …turn otherwise educated and smart people into biggots sounding like they are coming straight out of a cult? (it’s not new about us nerds, but in that case when linked with means of subsistance and/or of getting rich is getting particularly deeply engrained)
  • … drive the price of electronic components at record high, somehow at the exact opposite of narrative of “democratizing blah blah…”
  • … made some assholes like Musk and others even more immensely rich…?

Will keep looking for some more, I am sure we can find them :)

@Thann
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are any of these not true for fiat currencies?

Only one I found:

drive the price of electronic components at record high

Joe Bidet
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  • … because in most cases they are not even anonymous :)
Joe Bidet
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don’t get me wrong, i think none of the above should be a reason to hate for hate is a sterile, damaging emotion… but rather reasons to oppose them, to fight them wherever they are, and to explain patiently to everyone why, until the last speculator and their last naïve prey are left all alone in that world, and shamed…

no need to justify. “hate” is just the laziness of reflection (automatism) and lack of vocabulary.

Because we’re in a middle of a climate disaster and crypto wastes astounding amounts of energy. Bitcoin mining in particular consumes more energy than is used by entire countries. So, while there’s nothing inherently wrong with the idea of digital currency, current implementations are an environmental disaster.

@vi21
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Ubisoft uses Tezos, which is not energy-hungry, so they may have other reasons to hate.

I don’t really have an issue with crypto solutions that are energy efficient. I do think the benefits of cryptocurrencies are largely overstated, but if people want to play with this stuff then who am I to judge. However, stuff like Bitcoin is causing real and serious harm in the real world, and that’s a problem.

@nutomic
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Here is the actual source for that article, and its a lot more nuanced than “Bitcoin uses more energy than some countries”. You have to keep in mind that it is only an estimate. And according to their estimate, gold mining uses more energy than Bitcoin mining. And the global banking system surely uses much more, considering how many millions of people it employs.

Yeah for sure, but I think the overall picture is that bitcoin is needlessly energy expensive. A proof of stake system would work much better in terms of efficiency.

I was thinking it would be great to base a cryptocurrency onsomething like folding@home. Instead of just doing meaningless computation, you’d find something like new protein folds which is actually useful. And this kind of work can’t be automated easily, so the work to actually mine things would be a human effort. And if this led to somebody figuring out how to do this automatically that would be great too cause we’d be advancing science that way. Having a science coin would be really cool. :)

@Peter1986c
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Was it not that a few years ago, a BOINC team had tried to fake results, to get more BOINC points (and reach higher in the performance charts)? And that (IIRC) was not even about earning Gridcoins as incentive to fold/crunch one such example. Although Gridcoin pools have misused BOINC project as well: example.

So the main goals of distributed scientific computing would certainly get into some kind of danger there, if people fake WU results already without extra incentive (from the actual BOINC projects) to do so.

You could require manual verification of the results before the coin is validated. The whole point here is to limit the rate of coin creation after all. You could create a pool of coins using the known protein folds, and then new ones can trickle in slowly as they’re certified.

@Peter1986c
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Perhaps, but that seems like a lot of extra resources required to make that work. And now already I have the gut feeling that some of the smaller projects are mostly there because the scientists could not get a supercomputer from their institute. And even if the latter were not to be the case, I still think that most projects (certainly WCG) are primarily meant to be used philanthropically.

My main point here is that it would be better if the work needed to make crypto currency function actually had some purpose to it. It doesn’t need to be the specific example I gave, but I’m sure it’d be possible to come up with some meaningful computation that could power the underlying processing.

@Peter1986c
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I see. Indeed, in that way you are right.

@vi21
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deleted by creator

@Jeffrey
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I’ve been using and following cryptocurrencies since 2014, cryptocurrencies today are no longer trying to make decentralized currencies. Today, most cryptos are hyper-speculative “get-rich-quick” schemes with virtually no practical and legal use cases. The environmental impacts of cryptos have been discussed ad nauseum, so I won’t beat this dead horse. What I find most insidious is that the crypto ecosystem at its core is no longer an effort to create a decentralized currency, but to commodify literally everything in the world. e.g. Grid Coin, Sweat Coin, Ethereum NFTs such as Propy.

I started with libertarian views, but I have been overwhelmingly convinced that this universal commodification and market making is incompatible with ethical and equitable resource distribution. Most cryptos I am aware of are fundamentally regressive designs that favor early adopters and wealthy investors by disadvantaging the average user.

Below are my notes on various consensus algorithms: Proof of Work = Fundamentally unscalable, incredibly wasteful. Proof of Stake = Fundamentally regressive. Byzantine Fault Tolerance = Federated / Centralized, this defeats the purpose of crypto. Proof of Capacity = Fundamentally regressive. Proof of Burn = Fundamentally wasteful and deflationary. Proof of Activity = Hybrid POW & POS, incredibly wasteful and fundamentally regressive.

Proof of Elapsed Time = Probably the most promising, but currently very rare.

overflow
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Lots of reasons: perception of energy waste of proof of work, misunderstandings such as all coins are proof of work/all coins are intended as replacements for fiat/that you must use centralised exchanges/that everyone who likes it is a libertarian/all smart contract platforms are just ethereum but with cheaper fees and much more,insertion of blockchain into contexts where it makes no sense, hate of money in general due to being anti capitalist, hate of the idea of non-state controlled money, hate of highly speculative nature, hate of VC culture and hate the redefinition of decentralisation to mean blockchain

it’s peak capitalism

  • ponzi scheme.
  • cause of GPU shortage.
  • ecological disaster.
  • backed by nothing. What the hell is driving value ? (Elon is not a response)
  • fees between transfers.
  • does not scale anyway, fees even bigger.
  • increase of wallstreet goldenboy wanabee with their binance dashboard. (there is a “W” in the trend blah-blah)
  • a new shitty community of coach/connoisseurs emerged
  • clearly… a gambling game.
RED Vulpix
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I’m talking specifically in the context of types of cryptocurrencies most cryptoheads are fans of. These don’t apply to things like China’s Digital Yuan.

In no particular order:

  • Horrible for the environment.

  • Is partly responsible for the ongoing hardware shortage and scalping epidemic.

  • The epitome of capitalism: Playground for investors, essentially giant virtual casinos. Most cryptobros seem to be fixated exclusively on the idea of making quick money without having to do any actual work.

  • Riddled with outright scams.

  • Unregulated, extremely unstable, and therefore almost useless for real financial transactions.

@gun
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I really only dislike proof of work. Otherwise I think crypto is cool.

poVoq
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It is an open question though what an better alternative would be. Proof of Stake comes with it’s own set of problems and is pretty much the opposite of what the original cryptocurrency idea was all about, and proof of time/space is nearly as wasteful as proof of work.

Dessalines
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How is proof of stake as wasteful as proof of work? The main issue is electricity / energy use that scales up as the network does with proof of work systems, because validating transactions require intensive CPU work.

poVoq
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I said “proof of time/space” is nearly as wasteful, see Filecoin.

Dessalines
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ohh my bad, I hadn’t even heard of that lol. I’ll check it out.

It’s what the IPFS people made to cash in on their software… Doesn’t really have a good use case honestly

@gun
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Proof of work isn’t even close to what original cryptocurrency is about because whoever controls the mining pools controls the blockchain. If you are going to give control of the blockchain to whoever owns crypto vs. whoever owns the most compute, I would think the former is closer to the original idea. I don’t know too many details but I think DPoS looks promising. There’s probably no perfect approach though.

poVoq
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The original idea of crypto-currencies was they anyone could participate in the infrastructure. Proof of Work allowed this for many years on pretty standard PCs. Yes today there are the huge mining pools, but that is still better then an oligarchic system of who got in the earliest and was best at manipulating the system since then aka Proof of Stake (which is ironically exactly how normal money in capitalist society works).

RED Vulpix
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Maybe it worked for a little while, but it clearly doesn’t anymore, and there is no real solution to make POW and co. sustainable, either environmentally or in terms of control of the infrastructure.

Then again, POS gave us NFTs and shit like that.

Basically, trying to improve cryptos is trying to polish a turd either way.

@gun
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No, I don’t think it is better at all, when you look at, in bitcoin for example, just how much of the mining is done by a handful of pools. They are both of the same form. They are both capitalistic, and so you can say there is a stake in proof of work. Instead of using crypto, miners use compute as a stake they invest for the chance of getting the blockchain reward.
The difference is what is at stake. In PoW, compute being the stake means lots of energy waste and harder for gamers to get their 4k 60fps raytracing fix, among other issues. Also I’d venture to bet that the distribution of compute resources is much more unequal than the distribution of currency in these PoS coins.
Again, neither are ideal, but they are the same in form.

@aeroplain
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Because I cannot find a single use case where it’s actually practical.

@nutomic
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Try sending money to someone in a different country. Its extremely expensive and slow using traditional banks. With crypto you pay a few cents and its almost instant (depending on the coin).

Joe Bidet
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Ah! So it’s an ecocidal ponzi-scheme that replaces a financial elite by another one, is full of scams, gives false hopes of decentralizaion and anonymity, raises de price of electronic components worldwide… buuuut… it makes some of them save a few bucks every now and then. I guess it makes it OK then… :)

@nutomic
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I agree that cryptocurrency (and particularly Bitcoin) has lots of problems today. But it has a lot of potential, like replacing credit cards controlled by two major corporations. Unfortunately, it seems that everyone who works in the space is only focused on making short-term profit, and creating more problems through that.

Joe Bidet
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It had this potential for 10+y. Sometimes it is just time to call something “a loss” and move on… and try to fix what’s fixable…?

@nutomic
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If we are talking about Bitcoin specifically then I agree completely, I moved on from it years ago because its just badly managed. Its sad that no other crypto project has managed to replace it yet in terms of visibility and usage.

Dessalines
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Proof of Work is the real culprit there, a lot of the 3rd generation (or whatever we’re on) cryptos use Proof of Stake, which doesn’t waste energy and destroy the environment by solving pointless math problems to validate transactions.

Dessalines
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Exactly, for 99% of cases, its a solution without a problem.

The only place where its useful is as @nutomic@lemmy.ml stated, where you need to send money to someone in a different country. But even then you have to deal with a not always easy hassle of converting it to your country’s currency.

@tracyspcy
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disintermediation in finance is one of important aspects of cryptocurrencies

Salamander
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I don’t hate it. We need a digital asset that serves the function of physical cash for digital transactions. Crypto offers a very elegant solution. From what I have read, the nano foundation (nanocurrency) is currently the most focused group pushing to make this a reality in practice. I think that people dislike crypto because most of its value comes from speculation. People buy it because they think that the price will go up. The technology is far from perfect but I think that we need to start somewhere.

@tracyspcy
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hm… it seems there is kinda power behind pow hysteria, I doubt that forces that push this narrative are about ecology or something like that, I suppose they just want to aggresively promote pos as alternative to pow. And transition to pos also eqivocal as it transfer all power over blockchain to very tiny group of super wealthy people… of course pow almost has same problem, but at least it requiries hardware not only money, that makes manipulation a bit harder.

Interesting topic about waste of energy in general, what is effective use of it? Are server farms working to provide tiktok videos or instagram photos to millions could be consider as effective use of energy or as energy waste?

@null_radix
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It is a deterritorialization force.

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