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Elvia Wilk is a writer and editor living in New York and Berlin, covering art, architecture, urbanism, and technology. She contributes to publications like Frieze, Artforum, e-flux, die Zeit, the Architectural Review, and Metropolis. She's currently a contributing editor at e-flux Journal and Rhizome.
You know him. The Bitcoin bro who just can’t stop talking about how the financial system is in the midst of a drastic change; who rattles off statistics; who insists on using catch-phrases and technical-sounding terms to describe rather straightforward operations.
Here, Adam Caudill argues that these people are just one section of a cult whose beliefs and hopes, he says, are out of hand.
“While I’m a firm believer that a well designed cryptocurrency could ease the flow of money across borders, and provide a stable option in areas of mass inflation, the reality is that we aren’t there yet.”
As evidence that Bitcoin discourse has slipped from excited speculation to cultish loss of rational analysis, Caudill cites some hyper-superstitious tweets with outlandish theories about recent blockchain occurrences (including time travel). While he might be overestimating the earnestness and influence of joking tweets, there is a certain amount of what he calls “zealotry” that is undeniable.
And the downside is not too much fervor or speculation, rather that the very real problems (and possibilities) of cryptocurrency and blockchain are being ignored, and the frenzied energy leads to attacks rather than collaborative knowledge building and technological advancement.