I know it's on Sundays when we can present our skeptical arguments about the project, but in the recent months I've been consumed by "negative" thoughts about the cryptocurrency scene and I wanted to try to start a discussion about the real usefulness, in scale, of cryptocurrencies like Monero (or even Bitcoin). This thread is not intrinsically about the Monero protocol, but about the objective of the project which in the end is also the objective of other projects on the scene.
The scene sells the idea that with cryptocurrencies, you can be your own bank. The question is
Who really wants to be their own bank?
Look around you. Do you believe that people today, compared to one or two previous generations, have more or less financial responsibility? Do you believe that people save more or less money?
I have the impression that fewer and fewer people are looking for responsibility, both personally and financially. Most people in the West acclaim larger governments, with more tentacles, regardless of the ideological inclination of left or right. Generations of young adults and teenagers are growing up with the idea that their money in the bank is "guaranteed" by the government. There is no notion of risk. Socially, current adults are like big children, crying fault at every opportunity, requiring big entities both private and public to take action for them or protect them from literally anything, including protection from "bad feelings" and other ridiculous things.
With that in mind, how can the scene sell the idea of being your own bank? How can we convince ordinary citizens, who are often irresponsible with their finances, with basically no technological knowledge other than accessing Instagram and Facebook, to use cryptocurrencies? What's even the use case for them? The moment someone mismanages their keys and lose their money, the person will hate cryptocurrencies and won't look back. And this is no fault of any project, because as Uncle Ben told us before, with great power [to control your finances] comes great responsibility [to keep it safe], but in the mind of the average user, we're comparing a system where money is "protected" from malicious people (and from the user himself), against a system that doesn't hold the user's hands when something goes wrong. What system do you reasonably think the average user will choose?
The use case
I have great difficulty in seeing a version of the near future (~5-10 years) where cryptocurrencies have any kind of relevant use. The only real case where this new money is really useful is in international peer-to-peer transfers. I, who am an immigrant and have above-average technological knowledge, enjoy the potential that cryptocurrencies offer to transfer money to my family in my home country without having to pay the horrible fees that other traditional financial services offer. Of course, this is only possible because I have been able to structure a process and a plan for these transfers to take place successfully, because at the end of the day my family is not technologically literate and they can't buy virtually anything with cryptocurrencies (which in this case is converted immediately to fiat), and fiat money is still and will remain king for a long time to come.
What the future holds?
My fear is that projects like Monero will never cease to be a small niche project, where a few thousand people use it to protect their financial privacy, increase their freedom, and maybe even buy some drugs. And all right, this is not necessarily the end of the world, but it is an unfortunate attestation of how contemporary society assigns value and importance to superficial things, it is a testament to how contemporary society is more than willing to abandon most of its freedoms (and therefore responsibilities) in exchange for stupid convenience, which preys in the innocence of citizens who in turn live with an abundance of narcotics and endless entertainment.
That's it. I know my ideas about the project and the scene may be clouded by negative thoughts. I also know that no one is able to predict the future, but having access to the information I currently have, that is the best prediction I can make, and it doesn't look very good.
via Monero: the secure, private, untraceable currency https://ift.tt/33d8GLJ