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Is Crypto a Force for Good or Evil in Our World?
Too much of the coverage of the cryptocurrency industry in 2022 focused on the winter market and the spectacular frauds we saw unravel. This is to be expected. As we wrote, if it bleeds, it leads. But Coindesk has written a good reminder that not only are those frauds not endemic to the crypto space, but the crypto space itself has been a force for good through its existence and especially in the last year. From Coindesk:
Crypto has been more victimized by association fallacies in recent history than any other technology – scandals including Mt. Gox, Bitconnect and now Sam Bankman-Fried and FTX taint a whole industry, whatever its part in the catastrophe. Take the instinct to see nefarious patterns where they don’t exist and combine it with default bias (preferring the devil you know to the devil you don’t) and you begin to see why the adoption curve for cryptocurrency is so fragile.
In 2021, crypto was at an all-time high and it finally felt like people were starting to see crypto as a force for good. Now, one bad actor is on the verge of undoing more than a decade of Web3 progress. The actions of one have overshadowed the incredible impact that crypto has had on society, and the number of lives that it has saved since its inception.
Crypto has saved people suffering from the fiat crisis in Lebanon, Venezuela and China – providing a way for the average person to buy food, water and medical supplies necessary to survive. Crypto is sparking crucial conversations around banking the unbanked and empowering women in places such as Afghanistan to control their own financial accounts without male guardians.
In the charitable sector, crypto is one of the fastest-growing donation methods, with the most generous donors of any investment community. Blockchain-based decentralized IDs are saving refugees from losing their life savings or being separated from their families. Crypto is leading the way on privacy and transparency simultaneously, shielding human rights advocates from retribution by tyrannical regimes, while creating a fully transparent Bitcoin blockchain that has lived for more than a decade without a single record being altered.
FTX was bad. But crypto is one of the greatest forces for good on the planet. If we allow the narrative to continue on this path, the association fallacy will snowball, systematically erasing any memory of more than a decade’s worth of positive crypto impact. So, what can we do about it?