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.
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.
An odd post on the /r/Buttcoin subreddit led us to look into FileCoin and the man making serious allegations about the file storage crypto project. We talk to Kevin Mauro, creator of the website dukedupe.com, to find out why he’s willing to go so far as to drive a van around Duke University to call attention to their endowment’s supposed connection to FileCoin. Is crypto incentivizing the distribution of harmful, illegal, & exploitative material online or are innovative technologies being criticized based on speculation & circumstantial evidence?