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The Unbearable Uselessness of Crypto

Thanks to FTX's collapse, the world may have woken up to the grim reality that the crypto "industry" is nothing but a get-rich-quick lie, wrapped in hype, bobbing on an ocean of libertarian technobabble. Will anyone do something about it?

LONDON – Forgive the appalling cash management (or was it fraud?) that caught FTX with less than $1 billion on hand at a time when short-term liabilities were $9 billion. That sort of thing has also been known to happen to banks.

Forgive the opaque accounting, the incestuous loans with fictitious collateral, and the $8 billion that someone “accidentally” misplaced. Such mishaps occur as well in Russia’s Bratva, Italy’s Camorra, and Japan’s Yakuza.

Forgive the hyped-up database technology, for many purposes slower, more expensive, and more cumbersome than established, 30-year-old ways of doing things. Someone will someday find a use for all those blockchains.