I’m not a big fan of Nouriel Roubini (click here for more on that). But I have to give it to him. He recently came out with a spot on observation about how bro culture has infiltrated the blockchain space, a point that is not being made nearly enough.
In his written testimony last week for the Hearing on Cryptocurrencies and Blockchain at the US Senate Banking Committee, he argued that blockchain’s ideology is politically born out of the same mentality as libertarian right wing conspiracies or extreme left anarchism: all governments, central banks, moneys, institutions, banks, corporations etc are evil centralised concentrations of power that literally need to be destroyed.
“So the utopian crypto future will be one of libertarian decentralisation of all economic activity, transactions and human interactions. Everything will end up on a public decentralised distributed permission-less trustless ledger; or better millions of ledgers on computers that are now already consuming more energy than Canada to verify and confirm transactions without the use of evil centralised institutions,” he said.
The reality, however, is just the opposite. “A bunch of self-serving greedy white men – very few women or minorities are allowed in the blockchain space – have pretended to create billions of wealth out of nowhere while pretending to care about billions of poor and unbanked human around the world. It is a total pretence as crypto-land is the most centralised scam in human history where greed for Lambos and ostentatious consumption is greater than any Gordon Gecko ever,” he commented.
There is some truth to this. Coin Rivet CEO Sheba Karamat touched on this subject in a recent article. She noted that last month Coin Rivet attended a hugely popular blockchain and crypto event in London. “It was an absolute triumph when you consider the number of people we met and engaged with. Their enthusiasm for what we are doing in this space was an absolute delight to hear,” she wrote.
“What felt a little removed from delight, however, was the decision of a couple of exhibitors who chose to hire young women with legs up to their heaving bosoms in a pathetically lame bid to entice people to their stall,” she added. “Don’t get me wrong, these were very beautiful and no doubt intelligent young women who had chosen to work that day in catastrophically high heels and dangerously-low tops. They were doing it of their own free will and were, in no way, being forced to attend.”
“It’s not their fault. Really and truly, not their fault. The problem lies squarely with whoever it is around the boardroom table who lacks the kahunas to say “you know what, I think half-dressed models beckoning people to our product is a massive insult to the intelligence of the good people blockchain and crypto – let’s do something better instead, eh?”.
— Pauline Bernat (@PaulineBernat) September 26, 2018
Unfortunately, this was not an isolated incident. Check out this recent tweet from Lisa Short.
An interesting observation. Why did the circle of male suits and capital financiers leave the main room at #Blockchainunboundtokyo when the conversation moved to Satoshi is Female? The environment and conversation must change and quickly!
— Lisa Short (@lisagshort) October 15, 2018
As Lisa says, the environment and conversation must change and quickly. The optimist in me believes a change is gonna come. This is blockchain we’re talking about, after all, a technology with huge potential. The pessimist in me, however, sighs deeply and mutters, the more things change, the more they stay the same.