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The Cryptopians: Idealism, Greed, Lies, and the Making of the First Big Cryptocurrency Craze

Laura Shin

Top 10 Best Quotes

“Retirement meant that you were spending the money you had saved up, independence meant that all you were spending was just the interest on your money,” Vitalik wrote. “It was as if your contribution to society were complete, and you had fulfilled your debt to this world and could now peacefully live off the proceeds of your work until the end of time.”

“the main power struggle was basically between the business guys and the developers over profits for themselves versus tools to help others, greed versus altruism. This played out as a debate over whether to structure Ethereum as a traditional for-profit start-up or a decentralized network.”

“Whether or not he actually was on the autism spectrum, everyone saw he couldn’t read social cues or body language or between the lines—even when someone was taking advantage of him. Vitalik was more honest and pure than the others. If someone said something to him, it wouldn’t occur to him that that person was lying. This gave others an opportunity to push their own agendas forward. Some observers felt Vitalik had no idea what was really happening.”

“What was so revolutionary about it was simple, really. Previously, whenever someone sent something on the internet, he or she was always sending a copy. So, if Alice sent Bob a PDF, photo, or text message, she always had a copy of that PDF, photo, or text message. With bitcoin, for the first time, she could send him something online, and everyone in the world could be certain that she no longer had the item (in this case, a bitcoin), that Bob now had it and therefore Alice could not spend a copy of it elsewhere.”

“Vitalik, being less interested in a title or in ordering people around than in conducting research (or learning Chinese), said sure and gave himself the title C3PO.”

“Perhaps because of the easily grasped visuals, the crypto community labeled this theory the “fat protocols thesis.”

“It was like the biz-guys-versus-devs debates of early Ethereum. Again, the dev prevailed.”

“In June, ICOs raised around $620 million—and July 1 was the start of one of the buzziest ICOs, Tezos. The project, which had also received investment from Tim Draper, was seen as a potential competitor to Ethereum, with two features that improved upon it: formal verification, a way to mathematically prove that smart contracts would behave as the developers intended, to prevent DAO attack–like situations, and built-in governance, right on the blockchain, to manage questions like whether to fork after the DAO. It would go on to raise a record $232 million.”

“Earlier that spring, in Switzerland, their lawyers had determined that the instrument they would be issuing in the crowdsale, due to the decentralized nature of the project, would not be considered a security. Not being issued by a central body, it would not be taxed as if it were a product, which would incur VAT, but the money coming in would still be seen as an investment for tax purposes. It also helped that what they were issuing had utility in itself and that its success would rely not on the performance of third parties but on user acceptance of the protocol.”

“ERC-20 tokens, which became a class of tokens that, because they were in a standardized smart contract, could be added easily by exchanges, wallets, and so forth.4”

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