It’s no secret cryptocurrency has seen an explosion of popularity in recent times. As bitcoin prices soar in the wake of the pandemic and NFT trading continually pushing the popularity of ethereum, many aren’t sure when the crypto bubble will finally burst.
Enter what crypto-bros have dubbed the ‘nocoiner’- the adversary to the crypto-bro in almost every sense. Where fans of cryptocurrency have been reveling in the novel normality of digital currencies, nocoiners are those who are doubtful of the long term success of such models and, most importantly, don’t have any cryptocurrencies of their own to their name. And to crypto-fans, there isn’t much that could be worse than that.
As the term was coined (pardon the pun) by fans of crypto themselves, it was originally conceptualised as a derogatory term for those who simply aren’t savvy enough to understand the real opportunity posed by this new frontier of currency. In crypto-positive spaces, they’re often imagined to as dull friends or family members too indoctrinated into the hivemind of normie society to get truly redpilled to the truth of current economics.
Despite the belittling origins of the word, however, many crypto skeptics have reclaimed the label for themselves as a banner of pride. To skeptics, there is nothing more flattering than a neat little label that signifies their lack of involvement with what some see as a harmful, pointless scam.
It’s no secret that every big name in Hollywood and their mother has been jumping on to the latest iteration of the crypto-doge-NFT-techno-coin-wallet fad, not only investing large sums of their own money but urging their fans to likewise do the same (Kim Kardashian’s shilling for Ethereum Max springs to mind). Understandably, such endorsements have left a bad taste in the mouths of many, as some warn of the scheme’s gradual transformation into something much more sinister, primed to prey on the regular population while the rich have their fun and line their pockets.
This is, of course, all built upon the back of a market that was volatile to begin with. While experts hesitate to call crypto an outright scam, they do tend to caution against investing in it too heavily. Martin Schmalz, a University of Oxford economics professor, explains:
“What’s different from a Ponzi scheme is that the market also has recovered many times from this. It’s just very volatile.”
And, of course, this is without even broaching the question of energy usage- a fatal flaw that’s haunted all manner of crypto since its proliferation first began to gain some traction. In a world currently facing a dire energy crisis, some have rightfully pointed out that maybe moving to a currency that consumes a reported 91 terawatt-hours of electricity a year (more than some entire countries) maybe isn’t the smartest move. We’re already sinking, maybe we shouldn’t start shovelling our way down even faster.
To crypto or not to crypto- that is the question, and it seems to be a question we’re nowhere near answering. As climate poisons, crashing markets, and celebrity sponsorships adorn our 2022 zeitgeist, we find ourselves more divided than ever. On the bright side, at the rate we’re going, we’ll all be choking on the noxious fumes of our planet’s dying air soon enough, so at least it’ll be easy to get some peace and quiet.