Dec 6, 2022

In the year of crypto winter, the critics have been proven right more often than wrong.

Video transcript

In the year of crypto winter, the critics have proven right more often than wrong and that's why it's important to feature one of the most famous crypto skeptics in Coin's most influential list. This year, our next guest runs a well known blog that chronicles the many scams hacks, hiccups rug pos missteps and cringe of crypto and Blockchain. Joining us now to discuss is Molly White. She's a Wikipedia editor and creator of Web Three is going great. Welcome Molly to the show. Congratulations on making list. So how did you become interested in writing specifically about crypto scams and hacks? And what a year for it to be writing about that? Yeah. Um Well, so towards the end of last year, I was just noticing there was so much hype around crypto and this new term Web three. And so I started to do some research into it and I was finding that alongside all of these stories about people becoming enormously wealthy overnight, there were a lot of things going wrong in crypto that just weren't being highlighted in sort of the mainstream media or in even crypto media. Um to the extent that I thought was necessary for people to make sort of informed decisions when they were deciding. Is this something I should be getting into? Um, and so, you know, I sort of went with my natural instinct as someone who has, you know, edited Wikipedia for a really long time. You know, if it feels like there's something that needs more attention, um, might as well just do it yourself. Right. So, I uh started the blog towards the end of last year to try to just add sort of a, a little bit more of a critical perspective to a very positive hyped uh you know, media landscape. So, Molly, uh you know, the the world, the anti crypto if you will uh sphere is broken up between crypto and crypto critics, where, where would you fall in, in, in those two camps? Uh Are you skeptic or a critic? I use the two terms pretty synonymously, you know, I am both critical and skeptical of crypto. Um I don't, I don't draw a huge distinction between the two terms honestly. OK. Ac there are critics who say we, we like the technology or we think that there's hope in the technology, but we think the way it's being applied is bad or, or the things that are being sold to us are not necessarily keeping in, in the spirit of what crypto is all about that. It's just centralized finance trying to put on uh sheep's clothing. Whereas the skeptics say the technology itself is terrible. It's useless. Um, get a spreadsheet, um, where you, you know, you, do you have a, do you have a, you know, where do you lean? Right. Do you think the technology is, is ok. Uh, just, just the people in it suck or, or the technology itself sucks. I think the technology is quite a bit less, uh, impressive as it is, you know, made out to be. Um I think, you know, it is an interesting technology that is probably not as revolutionary as it's being made out to, to seem by a lot of the crypto proponents who are, you know, very motivated to make it seem like it's something that it will be world changing and, and, you know, completely change the landscape of the financial world. Um When in reality, I don't think it is actually quite as promising as they make it out to be. Now. Who, who among your cohorts do you like to follow a lot? I mean, are there any, any other critics and skeptics that, that you think people should be reading that you, you enjoy and that you uh uh interact with that you think uh have it? Right. Absolutely. Um I think cast PNC and Bennett Tomlin are pretty incredible. They run a podcast called Crypto Critics Corner. Um There's David Gerard and Amy Caster who are doing some pretty great work right now. Uh following a lot of the sort of FTX and, you know, uh black and all those different collapses, but they've been following this for years and years. Um Jacob Silverman and Ben Mackenzie are doing an interesting project right now that I think will be promising to follow. Um There's honestly a really long list and there's people within the crypto industry who are also doing some really incredible work as far as calling out scams and, and things like that. And Zach X BT I think is probably the biggest name among them. He does really incredible research. So it's a long list. What are your biggest revelations or criticisms this year? And do you feel validated in what's happened in the last six months? By contrast, you know, when we are seeing a bull rally, you know, what are your thoughts when that's happening? Yeah. Um I mean, I think that the collapses of the past year or so have been really illustrative of a lot of the issues that some of us have been pointing out for a really long time. I mean, the the crypto industry is full of things that are, you know, they might look good on the surface, but right under the, you know, under where everyone can see it, there is a lot of really shady stuff happening and I think people recently have been really trying to point to FTX as an anomaly, you know, as a total scam that is not, you know, it's totally separate from the rest of the crypto industry. And I, I think that's really misleading. I think that a lot of the disasters that we've seen over the past year or so are actually quite, uh, you know, illustrative of the general crypto industry and that there's probably a lot more, uh, companies like FTX out there that we just haven't, you know, been able to, uh, discover yet. Well, what kind of, what kind of, uh, pushback do you get? And who, who's generally, uh, who's been your biggest opponent if you will? I, I mean, you know, when you talk to the, the guys like Bennett and yeah, there are specific crypto Twitter guys who, who hate them and, and uh are, are, are nasty but, uh who do you find, uh, you know, or what, what type of, uh opponents do you come across? I mean, it kind of runs the gamut. I think there's a really large range of people who don't like the kind of work that we're doing. Um, ultimately, it tends to be people who feel like we're threatening the bottom line, you know, in some way. So it's often people who are running crypto projects themselves. Uh People who have large financial ties to crypto, uh people, you know, who maybe are up to some shady business who don't necessarily want people paying too much attention to what they're working on. Um It's, it's honestly a lot of people, venture capitalists actually are another big one. There are a lot of V CS who are, you know, promoting crypto projects, who are investing in crypto projects, who are talking about how crypto is the future of everything who really do not appreciate uh a critical perspective from people who are saying maybe this really isn't the, you know, revolution that you think it is. And you know, maybe these retail investors should think twice before funneling their money into your projects that are, you know, ultimately, uh enriching you at their expense. All right. Finally, Molly, what's your outlook for the crypt industry next year? I think it's gonna be more of what we're seeing today. You know, I don't think that the uh, disasters are over necessarily. I mean, even during the bull run of last year, there were disasters every day that I was covering. But, you know, I think that the fallout from some of the big disasters that we've seen this year, you know, Luna and Brier's Capital FTX, you know, it's been a protracted collapse this year and I don't think we're at the end of it.

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