Peter Howson is a professor of International Development and a researcher who’s worked around the world on projects related to environmental sustainability in the global south. We recently sat down with him to discuss his new book, ‘Let Them Eat Crypto’.
When he first heard about blockchain through his NGO partners, he bought into the hype that the technology could help solve some of the problems he was seeing in his field. But he soon discovered that instead of a solution, blockchain based crypto projects offer a vehicle through which the ultra-wealthy exploit the poor and enrich themselves at the expense of the most vulnerable.
Peter wrote the book, in part, to make amends for his initial enthusiasm about blockchain, and the conclusions he presents are a scathing indictment of the industry who promotes its spread. Howson disassembles cryptocurrency’s core narratives by putting their greed, flagrant hypocrisy, and utter contempt for other humans on display, and demonstrates that from green washing fraudulent carbon credits, to crypto colonizers displacing indigenous populations, to recruiting impoverished children into financial schemes, all of blockchain’s solutions are ultimately ‘Scammydocious’.
In the intervening years Stephen’s written dozens of articles and two books on the subject and has become one of crypto’s most prominent critics. He’s also become an activist against the well funded cryptocurrency industry and has challenged those seeking to exploit and defraud the public by organizing with others who are critical of the tech.
We sit down with Stephen to discuss his activism, the ever changing ecosystem of tokenized fraud known as cryptocurrency, and if we should let Sal burn it with fire or apply the law according to Adam. Tune in!
Investigative journalist Zeke Faux didn’t think very much of crypto, but when his friend Jay bragged about a Dogecoin ‘investment’ paying for a family vacation to Disneyland, he was determined to prove that Jay was not, in fact, Nostradamus. So when Zeke’s editor asked him to look into stablecoins, he yanked at the threads connected to crypto’s greatest mystery… What’s the deal with Tether?
Those threads dragged Zeke down a rabbit hole into a ripoff wonderland filled with colourful con-artists and the horror of human misery. From token luxury superyachts in the Bahamas to crypto’s forced labour camps in Cambodia, the first time author has chronicled the recent history of blockchain’s billionaires and the suffering of the victims on which their wealth depends.
One part detective novel, one part historical non-fiction, one part absurdist comedy. Faux has crafted an immutable ledger of the dark shadow that cryptocurrency has cast across our lives, a portrait that’s exciting, bleak, and funny in equal measure.
Adam and I have a casual conversation about what’s been happening in the world of social media. A lot has been going on and major social media sites are unraveling before our eyes.
From Elon Musk’s rabid attempt to progressively make Twitter more “functional”, to Reddit sacrificing the golden goose of loyal moderators and content creating users upon the alter of corporate profits, no platform seems safe from the greedy embrace of silicon valley’s techno parasites.
What’s going on? And where are for profit platform refugees going? In IO Radio #12 we talk social media meltdown, part of an ongoing discussion about the evolution, and devolution, of social media in the 21st century.
AmericanScream and I react to RFK Jr.’s Bitcoin 2023 keynote rantings in Miami. Kennedy equates public health measures during COVID to totalitarian oppression and argues that Bitcoin is important because it protects civil liberties from governmental repression.
In IO Radio #11 we discuss the democratic presidential candidate’s COVID obsession and anti-vaxxer status. Were the Canadian truckers freedom loving patriots, or whiny entitled far right anti-science nut jobs? Join us, and let us know if ‘Bitcoin solves this’™.
American Scream and I discuss the latest happenings on Reddit, including censorship of /r/buttcoin (gasp!), Reddit’s love of crypto, and the eternal sunshine that private for profit corporations bestow upon the world.
By the way, did you know the SEC is going after Binance? Join us for IO Radio #10 and listen to two grown men cry about how Admins have taken away their favourite toys because they’re big meanies who don’t want us making fun of subreddits whose most helpful posts are links to suicide prevention hotlines.
American Scream and I react to the “Biggest Bitcoin Ballers” panel discussion at Bitcoin 2023 in Miami.
Watch Saint Adam Back, joined by fellow cultists Jack Mallers & Matt Odell, preach the gospel of FOMO and evangelize the sacred tenant of HODL. How much fiat are you donating to the church of crypto? It might be time to sell your worldly possessions and become a Bitcoin monk, while some might pray, the truly devout DCA.
In IO Radio #9 we provide colour commentary while three of the world’s biggest con-artists try to take every last dollar you have and stuff it into their already overflowing pockets. The only thing on stage scarcer that the panellist’s sense of empathy is a real world use case.
To finish, we share a sneak peak of highlights from day 1 of Bitcoin 2023. Enjoy!
One of the largest Bitcoin conferences has started in Miami this weekend and we’re peeking into the livestream presentations and commenting — adding a bit of FACT CHECKING and logic, reason and evidence into the constant stream of marketing propaganda about crypto and bitcoin.
Tune in to IO Radio #8 and see just how insulated this bubble really is. Coolly observe or recoil with horror as you witness how both presenters and attendees are detached from reality, with no semblance of actual understanding of money, finance or how government works. The liberal sprinkling of right wing dog whistles are an added bonus.
Is Texas a crypto welfare state? We often hear that the crypto mining industry is good for the economy and the energy business. In IO Radio #5 we reacted to a propaganda video claiming that Riot and other crypto miners were good for Texas, but what do local citizens think?
American Scream and I talk to Jackie Sawicky – founder of the Texas Coalition Against Crypto Mining – her organization has boots on the ground in Navarro county and is trying to educate people about the lies and misinformation being spread about mining facilities being built and operated in Texas.
What’s at stake when a mining operation moves next door? According to Jackie it’s much more than you think. Communities are being exploited and people’s lives are are put at risk while municipalities give away electricity to private corporations who sell it back to the public at a huge profit.
Listen to the shocking story of what’s happened to the small rural Texas communities who’ve had bitcoin mining come to their front door, and ask yourself if government should be in the business of subsidizing the crypto industry.