Ranting about nonsense


The other day, I went on an Icelandic language podcast called “Bitcoin byltingin”, or “the Bitcoin revolution,” in which I tried to explain that 13 years after its conception, blockchain technology has proven revolutionary only insofar as it has revolutionized the efficiency of scams, facilitated ridiculous volumes of societal harm, and accelerated the rate at which we burn our planet.

Of course, I largely failed. Not so much at explaining these things, but rather at doing so in a way that anybody would actually care about. Currently there are three types of people in the world: people who think blockchain stuff is amazing, people who think it is shit, and then the other roughly 7.7 billion people who either haven’t heard of it or don’t give a shit either way. The first of these groups is unlikely to change their mind, since that would imply rejecting untold riches that they have been promised and some of them have even obtained, and the other two groups probably won’t listen to this kind of podcast.

So why did I do the podcast? In part because it was a chance to get my utter disdain on the record, for the purpose of having “I told you so” rights in the future. And in part because there is a tiny chance that somebody might actually change their mind. In which case, it’s a win. Oh and there’s also a small amount of personal joy in shitting over bollockschain stuff.

I will admit though, I was surprised to learn that the hosts weren’t actually your run-of-the-mill coinbros who talk up all the bullshit gimmicks and scams that are going on. Nope: confusingly, they only talk up one of the bullshit gimmicks – the original one.

As a result, mocking NFTs didn’t really have any effect. And that’s what I had largely prepared for. I guess I should have done my homework. Oh well.

Instead, we ended up having a civil conversation about how Bitcoin is essentially a bet on the future security of SHA256, the definition of money (which Bitcoin is not), and whether it is justifiable for something that has no practical use, is massively inconvenient for most people and very few actual users to be responsible for almost one 1000th of all electricity consumption globally.

I should probably dig up a link to the episode before I post this.