This has hit a tipping point for me, where I think it's worth discussing. FOCUS: What has your experience with Crypto, NFT's and other Web 3.0 initiatives (such as Meta) been? For me, I recall seeing blockchain as a pretty interesting concept. I thought of it as "digital DNA" that could combine all the information available on complex things like airplane parts and maintenance, or sets of financial records. The Bitcoin usage felt...pointless, but ok. It exploded, surprisingly, and I recall hearing about the emerging 'crypto-bros' in Puerto Rico, as the government attempted to lure them there with tax shelters. Many of them seem to be classic fraudsters, and one of the actors in the Mighty Ducks was profiled as a crypto-bro who specialized in video game economics. I swear to God, someone wrote that down as evidence that this person should be heeded and respected. I then recall seeing different "coins" showing up and in the early phases of the Gamestop stock market lunacy, as financial institutions wanted to use some of these coins as collateral to protect them from losses, and essentially take on larger gambles with less protection in "hard" assets. In seeing the proliferation of coins, and in seeing the Matt Damon commercials...somebody has to be putting hard and serious money into getting these coins to be taken seriously as currency. The question is why? What problem does it solve? Was there serious and reasonable concern that a currency without a government attached to it would be somehow superior to the major government-backed currencies? Or is it just enabling some nefarious shit? If I was a legal weed dispensary and I had thousands of dollars in cash I couldn't bank, or a boutique porn producer who Visa, Paypal or Mastercard won't touch, I'd be paying attention....But I think more realistically, if I'm an options trader, I can use fabricated currency to make bets with less consequences than actual currency. If that's the case, then yeah...I can see a few investment houses sinking millions into making these coins seem legit, in an attempt to gamble on them for billions. The NFT's seemingly came out of nowhere. I get the idea: digital "collectibles" that will have a tremendous market, because anyone on Earth can buy them or sell them. However, it seems to ignore the fundamental rule of collectibles: they can't be easily replicated, much less effortlessly copied. A digital certificate saying "this image of a monkey is worth $250K" is so unfathomably stupid, I want the drugs people took that believe this would work. Inside a closed system, like a video game where replication can be prevented, they make sense, but so what? Until we have a game or "metaverse" like in "Ready Player One", it's just adding jargon to "game token". Then Facebook, the great internet satan, rebranded as Meta, and it started to make a lot more sense. People have online presence, rife with data. Smart devices populating smart homes, and businesses with assets that have an online presence (think interactive museum display, for example) can all populate a digital space together. Blockchain is a way to collect, secure and distribute meta-data. Coins can serve as a way to transfer value between the digital realm and this one. NFT's are a way to create scarcity and thus create value in the digital realm. It all makes sense, in a "Zuckerberg had a dream where he was himself as a robot and the robot started a business" kind of way. I'm steering wildly clear of this stuff, but it seems like some of the Silicon Valley folks have started believing their own bullshit a little too deeply, and this all seems very insular to their world. So far, it seems the ink spilled has to do with the rags to riches tales, or the absurdity of their failures. Web 1.0 is something I'm nostaglic for, because it wasn't ruled by giant corporations, algorithms or bots. Web 2.0 has some benefit over the initial phase, but some really dramatic downsides (see: social media's impact on things like mental health and democracy). Web 3.0 sounds like Salvador Dali got a class full of down's syndrom kids on acid to re-design the Sims and sold it to bankers who wanted to launder money.