Cryptocurrencies have long been a narrative of populist revolts against the financial system established. After all, Bitcoin was created in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, and Satoshi Nakamoto advocated that we should create a fairer, more accessible financial system free from interference from a handful of central bankers.
Unfortunately, what I see is that the underlying problems that lead to institutional rigidity in the real world are also plaguing cryptocurrencies and leading populists to view cryptocurrencies as pure “decentralized casinos” or “get-rich-quick schemes.” There is a grudge against crypto elites — that is, industry insiders and professional traders — who control the narrative on crypto Twitter to enrich themselves at the expense of retail investors.
Let’s look at a few examples of what causes real-world populism and see how they manifest themselves in cryptocurrencies.
1. The delegated agent problem: The powerful elites make mistakes without bearing the consequences.
I like this quote from my first friend in the crypto space, Alex Pruden, who served in the U.S. Army for almost 10 years as a Green Beret: “A soldier who loses a rifle is worse than a general who loses a war.”
Over the past decade, our senior generals have been lying to Congress and the American people about how far we’ve come and how we’ve “won” the war in Afghanistan, when in fact the Afghan army has been just a corrupt paper tiger we support, and once we withdraw, they will give in to the Taliban.
Twenty years later, the war is costing nearly $300 million a day, killing more than 2,400 Americans.
Most of the public outrage and the focus of mainstream media attention – is the chaos at Kabul airport during the botched evacuation and retreat of our allies. Not surprisingly, as our commander-in-chief, President Biden bore the brunt. However, what happened to those generals? After their service, they quietly got multimillion-dollar jobs with defense contractors and held prestigious positions in think tanks and…