Annotating Sam Bankman-Fried's attempts to explain the FTX collapse.
"Is web3 bullshit?". A talk by Molly White on the Crypto stage at Web Summit in Lisbon on November 4, 2022.
"Blockchain solutionism". A guest lecture by Molly White at the University of Texas at Austin on September 21, 2022. This lecture was for a course in the School of Design and Creative Technologies called "Anti-Solutionism". There is also a Q&A portion at the end.
Introducing the Whitespace newsletter and my Patreon, and a little more on what's next for me.
A statement to the Financial Stability Oversight Council, pertaining to financial stability risks posed by digital assets.
People with funds locked in Voyager Digital have been sending letters to the judge presiding over the Chapter 11 bankruptcy case. These are excerpts from those letters.
Saying this about those who've just lost everything only excuses those who continue the narrative that crypto is a solution for people who don't have money they could afford to lose.
People with funds locked in Celsius Network have been sending letters to the judge presiding over the Chapter 11 bankruptcy case. These are excerpts from those letters.
A naive equation works well when estimating the value of small quantities of popular crypto tokens, but it's also being used to estimate values of illiquid tokens and the market capitalization of all of crypto. Journalists are publishing misinformation and uncritically repeating these figures, helping to prop up the belief that crypto is a far larger industry than in reality.
In the recent paper about "soulbound" tokens, Vitalik Buterin et al. write that they aim to build technology that is "acceptably non-dystopian". Do any of today's self-sovereign identity projects fit that bill?
Projects that seek to create new communities of marginalized people to draw them in to risky speculative markets rife with scams and fraud are demonstrating "predatory community".
All it takes to create a free-to-mint NFT is three complex steps and $100. The future of art is upon us!
Some digital artists who create NFTs, particularly those who were already trying to earn a living in digital art before NFTs came along, have described their interest in its "post-bubble" potential as the future of digital art. What they are describing doesn't require a blockchain.
Crypto is known for its toxicity towards outsiders. Similar attitudes are emerging from some who oppose crypto.
Axie Infinity suffered an enormous hack on March 23. What happened, and what does it mean?
Around fifteen researchers and critics have annotated a thinly-veiled cryptocurrency advertisement that ran in the New York Times. We try to provide the editorial scrutiny and critical perspectives that the piece so irresponsibly lacked.
"Abuse on the blockchain". A guest lecture by Molly White at Stanford University on March 7, 2022. This lecture was for two courses that run in parallel—POLISCI 243C: The Politics of Internet Abuse, and CS 152: Trust and Safety Engineering. There is also a Q&A portion at the end.
Cryptocurrency trading is experiencing a "Robinhood effect", where lower barriers to entry are combining with aggressive marketing and outside hype to draw inadequately informed traders into what is described as "investing", but looks a lot more like gambling.
The "off-ramps" from crypto—that is, the firms who will exchange your cryptocurrencies back into traditional currencies—are increasingly taking the position that is so common in discussions about privacy: "if you're not doing anything wrong, what do you have to hide?"
How straightforward is it really to transact anonymously with today's popular cryptocurrencies?
Originally published in the Wikipedia Signpost: Should the Wikimedia Foundation continue to accept cryptocurrency donations? One editor doesn't think so.
In the frenzy to attract venture capital funding and draw new users and investors into blockchain technologies, "how will this technology be used to harass and abuse people?" is going unasked. While blockchain proponents speak about a "future of the web" based around public ledgers, anonymity, and immutability, those of us who have been harassed online look on in horror as obvious vectors for harassment and abuse are overlooked, if not outright touted as features.
When I speak about the inefficiency of popular blockchains, or mention that we seem to be hurtling towards a "web3" so centralized it challenges big tech's firm grasp on today's web, or point out that somehow no one has managed to find a positive use for blockchains that wouldn't be better served by one of the many more performant databases we have available to us these days, I often hear "it's the early days".
If you go out seeking to learn why blockchains and the systems built atop them are apparently the future of our web, you’ll begin to see some common themes. These fall apart under further scrutiny.
Some of my thoughts on blockchains and the technologies built atop them.
An unrolled copy of my livetweets of the Cryptoland hell-video.
Transcript of a live Q&A session held by Rob Monster on September 16, 2021.
In the beginning of February, I made a commitment to myself to read at least two articles a week pertaining to diversity, inclusion, and belonging (DI&B). I believe constant learning on these topics, and their intersection with the technology industry, is not optional and is key to being both a good manager and team member, but also to being a conscientous participant in the industry.
Sexism is a systemic issue on Wikipedia, but the "Assume Good Faith" guideline is too often used to shut down any discussion of specifics.