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Reminder: crypto isn’t solarpunk. It’s cyberpunk.

Listening to a recent episode of the Solarpunk Presents podcast reminded me the importance of consistently calling out cryptocurrency as a wasteful scam. The podcast hosts fail to do that, and because bad actors will continue to try to push crypto, we must condemn it with equal persistence.

Solarpunks must be skeptical of anyone saying it’s important to buy something, like a Tesla, or buy in, with cryptocurrency. Capitalists want nothing more than to co-opt radical movements, neutralizing them, to sell products.

People shilling crypto will tell you it decentralizes power. So that’s a lie, but solarpunks who believe it may be fooled into investing in this Ponzi scheme that burns more energy than some countries. Crypto will centralize power in billionaires, increasing their wealth and decreasing their accountability. That’s why Space Karen Elon Musk pushes crypto. The freer the market, the faster it devolves to monopoly. Rather than decentralizing anything, crypto would steer us toward a Bladerunner dystopia with its all-powerful Tyrell corporation.

Promoting crypto on a solarpunk podcast would be unforgivable. That’s not quite what happens on S5E1 “Let’s Talk Tech.” The hosts seem to understand crypto has no part in a solarpunk future or its prefigurative present. But they don’t come out and say that, adopting a tone of impartiality. At best, I would call this disingenuous. And it reeks of the both-sides-ism that corporate media used to paralyze climate action discourse for decades.

Crypto is not “appropriate tech,” and discussing it without any clarity is inappropriate.

Update for episode 5.3: In a case of hyper hypocrisy, they caution against accepting superficial solutions---things that appear utopian but really reinforce inequality and accelerate the climate crisis---while doing exactly that by talking up cryptocurrency.