Picking up the crypto pieces

July 12, 2022

While investors are fleeing the crypto meltdown due to a confluence of macro-economic turmoil and internal factors (e.g. TerraUSD), some companies see opportunities. Goldman Sachs is planning to raise $2 billion to buy up assets at a discount from crypto lender Celsius. In another example, Crypto exchange FTX has offered a $250 million bailout to crypto lending platform BlockFi, with the supposed aim to buy the company. Earlier it was already announced that FTX and Ripple are on the hunt for acquisitions. 

These developments could be seen as a sign that even though the crypto space finds itself in a pickle, and by some is even declared dead, key players with a healthy balance sheet still seem to believe in the fundamentals and are seeing an opportunity to position themselves for rosier times. Hence, is this the internet bubble moment for crypto, which suggests that a crypto boom is ahead of us? If so, the question still remains when to jump in; In its 13-year existence, crypto has not experienced a macro-economic situation like the one we find ourselves in now, leaving room for the possibility of more downward price discovery.

Burning questions:
  • To what extent is this crypto crash comparable to the internet bubble?
  • If so, when can we expect an uptrend? Will it be with the next Halving
  • Can we already spot the Amazons and Googles of the Web3 era during this crypto winter?

Series 'AI Metaphors'

1. The Tool
Category: Objects
Humans shape tools.

We make them part of our body while we melt their essence with our intentions. They require some finesse to use but they never fool us or trick us. Humans use tools, tools never use humans.

We are the masters determining their course, integrating them gracefully into the minutiae of our everyday lives. Immovable and unyielding, they remain reliant on our guidance, devoid of desire and intent, they remain exactly where we leave them, their functionality unchanging over time.

We retain the ultimate authority, able to discard them at will or, in today's context, simply power them down. Though they may occasionally foster irritation, largely they stand steadfast, loyal allies in our daily toils.

Thus we place our faith in tools, acknowledging that they are mere reflections of our own capabilities. In them, there is no entity to venerate or fault but ourselves, for they are but inert extensions of our own being, inanimate and steadfast, awaiting our command.
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2. The Machine
Category: Objects
Unlike a mere tool, the machine does not need the guidance of our hand, operating autonomously through its intricate network of gears and wheels. It achieves feats of motion that surpass the wildest human imaginations, harboring a power reminiscent of a cavalry of horses. Though it demands maintenance to replace broken parts and fix malfunctions, it mostly acts independently, allowing us to retreat and become mere observers to its diligent performance. We interact with it through buttons and handles, guiding its operations with minor adjustments and feedback as it works tirelessly. Embodying relentless purpose, laboring in a cycle of infinite repetition, the machine is a testament to human ingenuity manifested in metal and motion.
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About the author(s)

FreedomLab Fellow Arief Hühn headed FreedomLab from 2018 until 2023, directing our research and business endeavors with a special emphasis on the impact of emerging digital technologies on the economy, politics and society. He holds a master's degree in communication sciences from Radboud University Nijmegen and a doctorate degree in human-computer interaction from Eindhoven University of Technology.

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