Within the cryptocurrency space, we have created a certain amount of prophets whose words we listen to intently. Unfortunately, these prophets are not as useful as we like to believe. For new people entering the space, or those who we see as critical of the space, there are often torrents of abuse hurled towards them. However, we should be more introspective towards those already viewed as pioneers.
Roger Ver has obtained the title Bitcoin Jesus. Already, this should be changed to Bitcoin Cash Jesus. Ver is no longer a fan of the original BTC chain, promoting BCH instead, as well as being a fan of Dash as well. Yet, many media outlets still view him as the first port of call for expertise around the cryptocurrency ecosystem. With so many fingers in different pies (Ver has invested in numerous crypto start-ups as well as being involved in various altcoins), when Ver is speaking, he is often saying what’s best for him, not what’s best for the ecosystem as a whole.
Ver, to his credit, has been a great evangelical for the early days of crypto. He should be given respect for that. However, clearly in recent years, the value he has provided the space has severely diminished to the point where he is ostracised by a large portion of the community. His Bitcoin Jesus moniker needs revoking.
Another prophet in the space is Vinny Lingham. Known as the Bitcoin Oracle, he has long been a useful guide for all things crypto. Much of the time he spends on Twitter seems to be spent saying “I told you so” in so many words, like your annoying uncle who always thinks he’s right. This is despite many of his predictions never coming to fruition. He has also been critical of the ICO craze as well as other altcoins. The hypocrisy here is what grinds my gears. Lingham is the CEO of Civic, an identity based blockchain who ran their ICO in 2017. The price does not make for pretty reading.
Both Ver’s and Lingham’s respect from media outlets comes from their early adoption of cryptocurrencies. However, it has been a while since either of them have had anything useful to say.
If you’re thinking of accusing me of bias or going after easy Bitcoin Cash targets, then you’re wrong. There are issues within the traditional Bitcoin camp with idolisation. During my thesis, much of my research included looking into Nick Szabo. A pioneer in the world of cryptocurrency, he is the creator of the idea of smart contracts as well as an early form of Bitcoin called BitGold. If you read Szabo’s recent tweets, you can see that this is a man on the fringes of what is termed the alt-right.
His anti-Muslim rhetoric is, to put it bluntly, disgusting. I am unsure whether Szabo has ever lived in a multicultural society, but I know I have. Many of my friends growing up came from a variety of religious and economic backgrounds. The anti-immigration rhetoric thrown around by Szabo is a simplistic argument to an extremely complex issue. His fetishisation of Trump, to me, is surprising considering anyone with two brain cells can work out Trump has a minimum of one. All of this is even more surprising considering that Bitcoin is a global currency aimed at removing borders and the idea of the State itself. Szabo is clearly an expert in the world of cryptography. His personal views, however, are that of an angry, basement-dwelling 12 year old.
Critical thinking is an essential tool in the world of cryptocurrency. There are many smart people within this space. However, don’t be afraid to disagree with the ideas you see. Don’t be afraid to come up with ideas of your own either. Yes, you will be heavily criticised if people don’t like your ideas, believe me. Even the prophets in this space are wrong all the time anyway in my opinion, so I wouldn’t worry.