No, not you, dear reader. Just the undifferentiated mass of people in the world who constantly talk about how Cryptocurrencies are the future of money. Yes, that's right, my opinion of cryptocurrencies is even lower than when I wrote it's a self-perpetuating scam and people's ability to avoid being scammed (and thereby avoid Bitcoin) was woefully inadequate.
Yes, because it's no longer self-perpetuating. And by this I do not mean that all crypto-currencies have collapsed. No, what's happened is that people realized it's hard to make a non-Bitcoin cryptocurrency popular enough to really cash in on the scam, and they started operating the scams more explicitly and actively. The scale and layers of this scam are difficult to overstate: people should be embarrassed to have ever trusted these institutions, and their lawyers should probably be ashamed that they're making representations to the court that conflict with even a basic analysis of the legal challenge against them. I mean, if they can successfully confuse the judge, it might be legally successful, but I suspect the prosecutors will be pretty proactive about making sure that's not happening.
I cannot figure out why people are obsessed with the slowest databases ever made, or pretending the worst distributed hash table design in history is some great bulwark against the oppressive "having to follow the law" of modern finance. American finance is extremely internationally competitive, and is really generally quite free. I cannot think of a legitimate reason to exist outside of this system except for marijuana-industry businesses, or perhaps pornographic-industry businesses, if those issues have persisted.
The rampant incompetence of bitcoin exchanges has persisted (losing tens of millions of dollars at a time), and added to that are a number which fold because their founders steal from them. The once-farcical pump-and-dump attempts of people trying to cash in on hype have been replaced by real life fraudulent operations. Everyone who does business with these companies ought to be constantly interrogating their interaction, and every customer of modern banking products ought to avoid any business that has anything to do with cryptocurrencies.
It's not too dissimilar to my critique of cryonics – any sufficiently attractive target for scammers will grow to be dominated by them, because actually providing a service is essentially overhead, and a competitive disadvantage in that environment. And now the biggest cryonics firm (or one of the biggest) is run by someone obsessed with a creepy immortality cult. Seriously – the exact company very prominent "rationalists" were specifically recommending and saying, you have to be an unserious dolt if you don't do the obvious thing and sign up for cryonics here, yes, that place has been diverting itself onto the path of creepy faux-enlightenment stuff that makes less sense than becoming a Level 5 Laser Lotus.
I think in many ways the claims made in the fantastic Kalzumeus piece are understated. He is thinking about the current situation, the legal and systemic problems at work with Tether and it's associated entities. But let's imagine this at one extra level of abstraction: to compete in this scam-filled environment, they essentially invented the idea of a "stablecoin". That was in service of one of history's most massive scams. That sounds like a remarkably efficient scam-production ecosystem. Is it even possible that you'd hear of any idea which is good that isn't a scam at this point, when ideas have to compete with "I'll fix the volatility of the market and make transactions easier and make tons of guarantees"? No. Any idea that would be popular enough to hear about in the modern cryptocurrency world will either be a scam, or... not good enough for someone to talk to you about. It won't show up on message boards. It's possible all the genuinely good ideas that will come from cryptocurrencies have already been had – people have been inventing digital banking products for a while, and most of the innovation doesn't really point in the "crypto" direction.
This is an industry that, as Patrick McKenzie explains, "produced substantially no value in the world". And he predicted everything about what was going on with Tether pretty much as soon as it happened, WAY before there was any public acknowledgement of it.
The next time someone says "blockchain" to me I'm just going to make a fart sound and walk away.