The holidays are around the corner, so time to prep some answers for noisy relatives.
The other day I was interviewed by a university researcher about crypto culture. One of her questions was about our *why*. Why do we build these immutable, permissionless technologies?
Before I answer, a little side quest:
Crypto is not FTX. Crypto is not Celsius. Is crypto Luna?
Confession time, I didn’t know what Luna was before it went into shambles, just that I didn’t trust 20% APY on fiat. I’m not an American citizen, so I couldn’t use Celsius, and I don’t trade much on CEXes, so no need for FTX.
I also don’t find any of these three projects or companies particularly interesting. They don’t have anything to do with my personal *why crypto*.
On to the *why*. For me, crypto is (1) prepping financial, communication & governance infrastructure and (2) experimenting with new forms of finance, communication & governance.
There’s no killer app in crypto (yet). At first sight, there’s no apparent need for any of the stuff we’re building, especially not for those residing in stable, developed nations. But maybe there will be one day, and perhaps while we’re running all these game theoretical experiments on the future of finance, communication & governance, we will discover something new.
What could that be?
—> more transparent systems within existing governments where budgets & their spending can all be inspected on-chain. The same goes for companies & NGOs.
—> new governments in the cloud, think network states, or think country X is being physically invaded by country Y, but decides to continue its existence in cyberspace
For this, we need more than just immutable ledgers to do the accounting work; we also need decentralized storage, communication & governance systems. Something that cannot be shut off, neither by the good guys nor by the bad guys. For me, that’s web3.
I’ve no idea where the idea on web3 took the wrong turn, and it became jpgs and VR mini-games. And I don’t know when people started thinking that crypto is equal to gambling on centralized exchanges, but all of this has very little to do with my personal *why*.