To be your source for balanced
insights and education
on decentralized finance and technology.
Very few subjects have the capacity to divide opinion as thoroughly as cryptocurrencies (Crypto) and decentralized finance (DeFi).
Bitcoin, the behemoth of the crypto world, is variously viewed as an unstoppable train set to bring equality and opportunity to all or a runaway train with the potential to bring down the global economy.
At government level, some countries are looking to ban cryptocurrency outright (e.g., China), others are seeking to fully embrace the technology (e.g., El Salvador) and many more are rushing to create legal, tax and regulatory frameworks around this nascent technology/asset class.
Central banks from countries representing over 90% of global GDP are looking into developing their own “version of cryptocurrency” known as CBDCs (Central Bank Digital Currency) to capitalise on the many accepted advantages that digital currencies offer.
And, while financial institutions are often the source of the strongest voices of criticism in this area, the following chart indicates that many of the largest players are now investing heavily in it.
With so many conflicting viewpoints, and seemingly contradictory positions, it is hard to know what to believe or where to look for reliable information on this topic.
It is for this reason we will delve into decentralization, cryptocurrencies and the related products and issues and attempt to offer balanced views and insights into the present and future of this disruptive technology/asset class.
When opinions are this polarised, you can rest assured that the truth lies somewhere in the middle. To get a feel for where the middle-ground lies, let’s first examine the extremes together:
Crypto Community: Jaccuse!
Dear Crypto Proponent,
The hype around rapid innovation and rocketing revenues within the Crypto ecosystem is blinding you from recognising the potentially critical flaws in the application of underlying technology and business models and from embracing your responsibilities towards the broader community.
Technology and technology-based industries do not exist in isolation and are not immune to the same scrutiny and obligations that apply to other activities and industries within society.
It is time to take stock and look at your nascent industry to acknowledge and address the obvious flaws and blind-spots.
Potentially Critical Flaws
Energy Consumption: Proof of Work is very energy hungry, with energy consumption on an annual basis currently comparable to Thailand’s. Estimated cost of energy per bitcoin transaction: USD 173.
Transaction Times: Blockchains sluggish transaction times lag way behind comparable payments systems like Visa. Bitcoin: 5 transactions per second. Visa: 1700 transactions per second.
Scalability: Blockchain scalability is severely limited due to the inherent restrictions imposed by block size and block generation time (for blockchains wishing to retain security/decentralisation.)
Volatility: Cryptocurrency price volatility prevents effective use as a stable day-to-day currency. Future forecast: Up, down, up, down (repeat)
Impact on the Broader Community
Political and Economic Stability: The widescale adoption of cryptocurrencies could severely hamper central bank efforts to set monetary policy, cause liquidity risks and destabilize economies.
Criminal and Geopolitical Implications: Cryptocurrencies provide a vehicle for money laundering & tax evasion and undermine enforcement of international sanctions (UN, OFAC, ...).
No Inherent Worth: Rising prices don’t mean sustainable value, utility and growth. With no inherent worth, the cryptocurrency bubble will see many lose investments.
Investor Protection: Cryptocurrencies are largely unregulated. It is difficult to distinguish genuine investments from scams and if funds are hacked/stolen, often there is no protection in place.
Now is the time for an honest examination of technology and the implications of your activities within the Crypto ecosystem on the broader community.
Your “Code is Law” mantra is very nice and catchy, but it is time for you to acknowledge and embrace the reality that “Law is Law” and you must live within it.
And while you’re at it, please stop pretending that all projects within the Crypto space are decentralised, and oh so worthy.
If you believe that you can effectively address some or all of the accusations levelled above, we are waiting to hear from you.
TradFi Community: J'Accuse!
Dear TradFi Proponents,
Just over 50 years since the world’s dominant reserve currency, the US Dollar, untethered from the Gold Standard and we are now firmly entrenched in an era of the debt-based monetary policy.
Government and private debt are surging to unprecedented levels and inflation is rising quickly in many parts of the world as quantitative easing continues apace – having seemingly transformed from a measure of last resort into a ready tool for governments to overcome budgetary restraints.
It is high time to take stock, acknowledge and address the obvious flaws and blind-spots in the global financial system and devise the necessary corrective actions.
Potentially Critical Flaws in the Financial System
Governance: Financialised capitalism in the form of a central bank lead, fractional reserve banking system, inevitably leads to the enrichment of the financial sector and the “1%”.
Dishonesty: The global financial crisis exposed the fraudulence/fragility of the global banking sector. Trillions of dollars of worthless securities were sold as if they were as safe as US Treasury bonds.
Debt: The current global financial system is built on a house of cards. Its continuation is dependent on ever-increasing debt - rather reminiscent of a Ponzi scheme.
Inflation: How many Dollars are there in circulation? The more fiat currency that is printed and in circulation, the more diluted its purchasing power.
Impact on the Broader Community
Political and Economic Stability: When there is no handbrake on money creation, inflation gathers pace, purchasing power diminishes, and the likelihood of social unrest and war greatly increases.
Criminal Activities: International banks pay billions ($) each year in fines for failing to control / facilitating client money laundering and tax evasion.
Investor Protection: Banking bailouts/quantitative easing mean that taxpayers underwrite the global financial system. Profits are privatised, losses are socialised.
Trust: A system that facilitates absolute censorship (closing bank accounts and stopping payments – as recently witnessed in Canada) undermines personal freedom and trust in the financial system.
Now is the time for an honest examination of the reasons for clinging on to a global financial system that is not fit for purpose and is heavily weighted in favour of a minority of the global population.
In short, it is time to embrace change rather than trying to protect a failing system.
If you believe that you can effectively address some of all of the accusations levelled above, we are waiting to hear from you.
The Crypto Community
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