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“A big population of people have willingly self-identified that they have substantial disposable income, poor judgment, low social literacy, a high tolerance for nonsensical risk, and are highly persuadable.”
– Dan “FoldableHuman” Olson1)

A cryptocurrency, or crypto, is a digital, decentralized, encrypted asset meant to be used as a medium of exchange, except most investors in crypto are actually holding and speculating,2) so you get desperate articles and scams insisting that people will eventually “use” it someday.

Brief history

“The Times 03/Jan/2009
Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks”
– Bitcoin's genesis block

In the late 2000s, the U.S. housing bubble burst and caused the Great Recession. While foreseeable, banking leadership wasn't punished4) and took their controversial bailout. Two factions would form: the anti-capitalists understood that the system was corrupt and led Occupy Wall Street, while hyper-capitalists blamed government intervention and conceptualized an “unregulatable” decentralized currency.

Therefore, Bitcoin went live in 2009 and etched in the “genesis block” as a reminder of said events,5) yet remained niche amongst ideology-driven libertarians. By the mid 2010s, alternative coins like Etherium would help propel crypto into the general populace, allowing Bitcoin to peak at $19K in 2017.6) It would crash in 2018,7) but we would soon begin to see the rise of a crypto community on Twitter.8)

During the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a resurgence as people fussed over NFT sales and celebrity endorsements, letting Bitcoin peak at $68K in 2021.9) As focus shifted,10) it'd fall to $16K in 202211) with FTX's bankrupcy12)13)14) and the U.S. SEC's lawsuits against Binance15) and Coinbase.16) Then, the tone flipped as the U.S. SEC approved of Spot Bitcoin ETFs,17) explaining the current rally.

Look, I don't want to be stuck editing this section for every damn hype rally and correction it goes on.
This shit will probably stay as long as the media keeps acknowledging its existence.

Basic information

Always remember: Invest at your own risk! This is a highly susceptible market where you can fall victim to common fraud tactics and become the fool in greater fool theory. Also, check your local laws.

The blockchain, mining, and its ecological impact

Why are the good GPUs out of stock?
I'm just trying to build a new PC here...
      ∧_∧   (´<_`  ) Fucking crypto miners.
     ( ´_ゝ`)   /  ⌒i
 ̄\  /   / ̄ ̄ ̄ ̄/| |
 ̄ ̄| /   ./ NZXT / | |
 ̄| |(__ニつ/____/  | |____
田| | \___))\  ̄(u ⊃
ノ||| |       ⌒ ̄

The blockchain is a decentralized activity log, being a public distributed ledger using a consensus mechanism, typically proof of work (PoW) or proof of stake (PoS) which are both equally inefficient. Proof of work is inherently wasteful by design as all miners waste electricity18)19)20) solving the same problem, while proof of stake is a complex, inefficient, unbalanced lottery with less waste.21)22)23)

As for mining, it simply requires a good processor,24) a mining pool, and a wallet to take your cut, but this isn't the early 2010s anymore, so you would probably just spike your electric bill and increase the price of electricity for low-income families in your area. Several billionaires have already found out that you can buy a ton of processors and run mining farms in countries with cheap electricity until a crackdown happens.

Wallets, exchanges, and the issues of using crypto

“We had problems when we started accepting cryptocurrencies as a payment option. 50% of those transactions were fraudulent, which is a mind-boggling number.”
– Gabe Newell25)

There are many types of wallets for cryptocurrency, each with their own level of implied security. Most of the wallets that get advertised are typically custodial wallets, but there are wallets where you can actually “use” your wallet to exchange goods, transfer money, or take advantage of a wallet's initial anonymity and conduct a wash trade (i.e. send money to yourself). That said, the main four wallet types are:

  • Custodial wallet - A dormant wallet that acts like a stock portfolio, but carries some risk as you let a third-party handle them. Popular examples are Cash App, Coinbase, Robinhood, etc.
  • Desktop wallet - A wallet that keeps your wallet's keys on your desktop. Some popular examples are Atomic,26) Electrum, Exodus, Sparrow, Specter, Wasabi, and so forth.
  • Hardware wallet - These are secure, physical flash drive wallets, but they cost around $60 to $200, so you have to be invested. Examples include Coldcard, Jade, Ledger, and Trezor.
  • Paper wallet - It's a piece of paper with your keys written down or a QR code. As secure as it sounds. You can generate a paper wallet using Bitaddress or WalletGenerator.

Some crypto exchanges, despite the risk of hackers,27)28) have prevailed like Coinbase or Binance, and many Bitcoin ATMs now exist. However, the more successful exchanges usually ask for your personal information due to anti-money laundering KYC guidelines which risks the de-anonymization of your wallet. From there, you find a contradiction with the blockchain: “everything is public, nothing is private.

In addition, cryprocurrency has extremely limited usability in the real world, so you probably won't be using it to pay for anything important or tangible (e.g. clothing, food, gas, rent, transit, etc.) unless you're willing to deal with highly volatile transaction fees,29) often billionaires with nothing to lose. Due to this limited usability, we've ended up with the NFTs phenomenon to double the speculation.

Usage as a ransom fee and in telemarketing scams

In the 2010s, there were increased reports of people encountering ransomware, a type of malware that's designed to hold the victim's computer hostage for a ransom fee. These types of attacks would ask for gift cards or MoneyPak as payment, but following the success of CryptoLocker in 2013,30)31) more modern ransomware like WannaCry and Petya have begun asking for cryptocurrency as payment.

Furthermore, telemarketing scams, including refund scams and tech support scams, will ask victims to purchase an unusual amount of gift cards. However, these scams are more thoroughly documented, so it's known these cards get laundered over a crypto exchange, losing almost half of its value.32) So if you wonder why India has a 30% tax on crypto,33) it's probably meant to combat cybercrime.

Pretentious junk

Decentralized finance (DeFi)

Decentralized finance” (DeFi) is a term for blockchain-based ledgers which intend to remove third-party intermediaries (e.g. banks) from financial transactions, relying on a decentralized application (dApp) to execute smart contracts that record the transaction on the blockchain and, in theory, the money would be sent over. While it does remove third-party service fees, fees and interest rates may still apply.

As a reminder, a blockchain is a public decentralized activity log, which brings us back to that “everything is public, nothing is private” issue. In addition, these systems have frequently been targeted by hackers and fraudsters that seek out cryptocurrency.34)35) While said term intends to encompass theoretical “non-crypto” projects, the term “DeFi” is almost exclusively used in cryptocurrency circles.

Non-fungible token (NFT)

A “non-fungible(interchangable) token” (NFT) is an encrypted URL given “artificially scarce collectable” status. These went viral in early 2021 after high-profile sales allegedly occurred,36) but memes are finite37)38) so the market died out within three months,39)40) forcing the grift to shift its focus onto… bearded lions, lazy pixel artwork, suspiciously racist monkeys,41)42) and out-of-touch memes that stemmed from Reddit.

Due to the copious amounts of misinformation regarding the subject, it should be noted that you technically won't “own” what it represents,43)44)45)46) the asset can vanish,47)48) and anybody can just “steal” them.49) Furthermore, most NFTs sell for under $100 with outrageous fees between 72.5% to 157.5%,50) the market is notoriously known for art theft,51)52)53)54) and it has fraud and spam issues.55)

List of notable or relevant cryptocurrencies

Since the initial Bitcoin boom, a plethora of new cryprocurrencies or “altcoins” have emerged, attempting to ride on Bitcoin's success. However, there's 2,000,000+ of these things and many of them happen to be “shitcoins” that aren't worth mentioning, so this section will only cover notable ones that have probably been in the media to some degree or cryptocurrencies that are relevant to subjects I've written about.

Cryptocurrency Release Status Notes and remarks
Bitcoin BTC 2009-01-09 Coincap (Price USD) The big one. Many talk about replacing it, but this has yet to happen.
Litecoin LTC 2011-10-07 Coincap (Price USD) The first potential alternative, though it has struggled to maintain relevance.
Dogecoin DOGE 2013-12-06 Coincap (Price USD) Named after Doge. Began as a joke,56) then TikTok57) and Musk happened. It's still not on the moon yet!58)59)
Monacoin MONA 2013-12 Coincap (Price USD) Named after Mona. An actual Japanese60) coin, but it's otherwise not relevant.
Monero XMR 2014-04-18 Coincap (Price USD) The most unique one, noted for its privacy. Probably illegal in some jurisdictions.
Tether USDT 2014-10-06 Coincap (Price USD) Bitfinex's stablecoin. $1 USD ≈ 1 USDT. One of the largest stablecoins so far.
Ethereum ETH 2015-06-30 Coincap (Price USD) The second big one. Best for AMD mining.
Bitconnect BCC 2016-02-15 Discontinued. A verified Ponzi scheme,61)62) died 2018.
Cardano ADA 2017-09-24 Coincap (Price USD) The first major proof-of-stake coin.
Susucoin SUSU 2018-06-26 Not being tracked. Named after Susukino. A very sad project by Ron Watkins, most notably has a dead board on 2channel.
USD Coin USDC 2018-09 Coincap (Price USD) Circle's stablecoin. $1 USD ≈ 1 USDC. Typically second largest to Tether.
Solana SOL 2020-03-16 Coincap (Price USD) The largest proof-of-stake coin, often said to be an Ethereum alternative.
Shiba Inu SHIB 2020-08 Coincap (Price USD) The so-called “Dogecoin killer” which saw very aggressive advertising on Twitter.
Libra/Diem Cancelled Cancelled. Facebook's own attempt at cryptocurrency, died 202263)64) for many reasons.

Evaluation and critique

In short, I'm really tired of hearing about cryptocurrency in general. The trend has overstayed its welcome65) and the ideal times to enter, specificially the early 2010s or the 2020 Dogecoin TikTok,66) has long passed. Below is a short recap of how insane “crypto mania” was during the COVID-19 pandemic, prior to Big Tech pivoting to AI/ML, since I've wasted a lot of hours hearing about it.

  • Twitter is not real life. It's probably the most useless cryptocurrency gauge after it became their unofficial home,67) the prior owners embraced it,68)69)70) and an exchange chipped in 1.13% of a $44 billion acquisition.71) The whole thing is just shamelessly astroturfed to hell now.
  • Gorillaz never sold those NFTs. This was huge news during the big NFT fad,72) but not many know that they got so much backlash73)74) that the NFTs ended up being silently cancelled.75)
  • Discord founder Jason Citron would present cryptocurrency integration as a proof of concept,76) and people fucking hated it.77)78)79) Also, MEE6 is a horrible bot,80)81)82) but that's not new.
  • Square Enix attempted a shift towards NFTs,83)84)85) selling off several IPs,86)87) but aborted the decision and ousted Matsuda.88) (As a side note, Final Fantasy XIV was never affected.)89)
  • Mozilla took crypto donations since 2014,90) but the public's reaction to crypto had gotten so bad, people noticed91) and they indefinitely shelved the donation method in 2022.92)93)94)
  • Gumroad attempted to go into NFTs,95)96) then the platform went into damage control and sent many unprofessional replies to critics.97) Many alternatives rejected NFTs in response.98)99)


  • This is not financial advice. This is merely an educational and informative article.
  • All that aside, the most important things that you would probably need to know is:
    1. The market runs on hype and speculation, despite what crypto nerds claim to keep it relevant, so you should always be skeptical and don't fall for the most basic investment scams.
    2. If you must buy in, identify the support level. Do not become the greater fool and succumb to FOMO by jumping in when you see tons of hype, as it usually indicates that you're too late.
    3. Know when to quit. Crypto nerds tend to be susceptible to groupthink, responding to criticism with FUD or make embarrassing self-affirming “holier-than-thou” speeches.
  • Kabosu (Doge)100)101) and Balltze (Cheems)102) promoted NFTs. Nelson (Walter) refused.103)
  • Any crypto investor who unironically say “gm” (good morning) is probably in too deep.

See also

  • Web3 - “The internet, decentralized!” (Doesn't elaborate further.)
  • Coin360 - Cryptocurrency heat map. Similar to the stock market heat map.
  • Fear & Greed Index - An ominous gauge calculating the general mood around cryptocurrency.
  • Web3 is going just great - News feed on the “future of the internet” that some claim.
"Line Goes Up – The Problem With NFTs" (January 21, 2022). YouTube.
However, there is the opinion that “crashing the entire economy” was the punishment.
"The Crypto-Currency" (October 10, 2011). The New Yorker.
"Bitcoin Bounces Back After Falling Below $33,000" (January 24, 2022). The Wall Street Journal.
In February 2022, the Russian intervention in the Russo-Ukrainian War had forced the focus to shift onto the war. Bitcoin was at $38K when it started, had a minor rally, then dropped out in May 2022.
"Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index". Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance.
"Bitcoin's growing e-waste problem" (December 2021). Resources, Conservation and Recycling.
"Crypto cannot easily be painted green" (January 6, 2022). Financial Times.
"How Green Is 'Green' Bitcoin Mining?" (September 22, 2021). Vice.
Crypto mining used to rely on CPUs until people noticed that GPUs were faster, so miners now run bots to snag high-end GPUs in bulk, much to the dismay of anyone remotely interested in PC building.
"Why Cryptocurrency Exchange Hacks Keep Happening" (July 15, 2018). The Wall Street Journal.
"The scammer who betrayed his boss" (June 3, 2021). YouTube.
"Classic memes that have sold as NFTs" (June 20, 2021). Mashable.
"What Are NFTs, Anyway? One Just Sold for $69 Million." (March 11, 2021). The New York Times.
"Memes for Sale? Making sense of NFTs" (May 19, 2021). Harvard Law Today.
"Someone Made a Pirate Bay for NFTs" (November 18, 2021). Vice.
"They even signed it. Very intellignece." (December 14, 2021). Twitter.
"DeviantArt Protect: 80,000 NFT Alerts Sent" (January 4, 2022). DeviantArt.
"Dogecoin On The Moon * Update 2024*" (January 4, 2024). Reddit /r/dogecoin.
Bitcoin is often credited towards the Japanese-style pseudonym, Satoshi Nakamoto, but many people have pointed out that it's more likely that they were not Japanese, as their British English was perfect and a sleep pattern of 2–8pm JST would be unusual, compared to 5–11am GMT or 12–6am EST.
"Facebook’s Cryptocurrency Venture to Wind Down, Sell Assets" (January 26, 2022). The Wall Street Journal.
"The Crypto Backlash Is Booming" (February 4, 2022). The Atlantic.
"Jamie has confirmed the NFT’s aren’t happening" (June 4, 2021). Reddit /r/gorillaz.
"probably nothing" (November 8, 2021). Twitter.
"Discord developers: Please do not support NFTs" (November 8, 2021). Reddit /r/discordapp.
"probably nothing... @MEE6NFT" (January 6, 2022). Twitter.
"gm 👋" (January 6, 2022). Twitter.
"dont lie" (February 5, 2022). Twitter.
cryptocurrency.txt · Last modified: 2024-05-26 01:31:13 by namelessrumia