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Making sense of web3 & crypto. Introduction to key concepts and ideas. Rigorous, constructive analysis of key claims pro and con. A look at the deeper hopes and aspirations.


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Awesome sensemaking for crypto/web3

Awesome rigorous evaluation of crypto/web3, etc. Contributions are welcome.




Ponzi aspect

Crypto and energy consumption



  • Is The DAO going to be DOA? - 2016-05-16 - by Dan Larimer (founder of BitShares and much else). Larimer sets out most of the basic critiques of DAOs as governance innovation extremely well:

    Fancy technology can obscure our assessment of what is really going on. The DAO solves a single problem: the corrupt trustee or administrator. It replaces voluntary compliance with a corporation’s charter under threat of lawsuit, with automated compliance with software defined rules. This subtle change may be enough to bypass regulatory hurdles facing traditional trustee’s and administrators, but it doesn’t solve most of the problems the regulations were attempting to address.

    What The DAO doesn’t solve is all of the other problems inherent with any joint venture. These are people problems, economic problems, and political problems. In some sense, The DAO creates many new problems caused by its ridged rules and expensive machine-enforced process for change.

    The DAO doesn’t solve the “group trap” where by losers subsidize winners. It disempowers the individual actor and forces him to submit to group decision making. It doesn’t make raising money cheaper for companies, it just adds blockchain-enforced bureaucratic and political processes.

  • DAOs and the nature of human collaboration - 2021-08-12 by Marin Petrov. A critique of DAOs and technosolutionism.


Non-fungible tokens.

Specific use cases


Twitter users

Whilst these users may not solely discuss crypto or web3, they do discuss it regularly, and have consistently provided well-written critique.

Tether, and other stablecoins

Central Bank Digital Currencies

  • Money and Payments: The U.S. Dollar in the Age of Digital Transformation - provides a high level overview of the current state of central bank and private sector currencies in the US, and identifies risks and challenges with the implementation of a central bank digital currency. From the paper summary: "The paper summarizes the current state of the domestic payments system and discusses the different types of digital payment methods and assets that have emerged in recent years, including stablecoins and other cryptocurrencies. It concludes by examining the potential benefits and risks of a CBDC, and identifies specific policy considerations."

Trading/Market Microstructure/Security Risks

Former bitcoin enthusiasts turned skeptics

Religious skeptical angles


  • Sujato Bhikkhu on Crypto by Sujato Bhikkhu. A monk explains why crypto is incompatible with the teachings of the Buddha from both moral and spiritual dimensions.


What is blockchain, web3, etc.

Best intros/overviews of blockchain, crypto, web3, etc.

Iron-manning the pro arguments

Here we collect the best theses for why blockchain/crypto“currency”/web3 is supposedly important/interesting/world-changing.




  • Sean Bonner: Why Web3 - 2021-10-26 - by Sean Bonner. "Web3 upends the power structures we’ve grown accustomed to and puts artists and creators back into the drivers seat…Web3 offers a future where people are in charge of their own identities, not beholden to the whims of data hoarding corporations. People control their own accounts, own their own futures…So if you are asking “Why Web3?” The answer is simple. Web3 is the future."

Fat protocols


The previous generation of shared protocols (TCP/IP, HTTP, SMTP, etc.) produced immeasurable amounts of value, but most of it got captured and re-aggregated on top at the applications layer, largely in the form of data (think Google, Facebook and so on). The Internet stack, in terms of how value is distributed, is composed of “thin” protocols and “fat” applications.

This relationship between protocols and applications is reversed in the blockchain application stack. Value concentrates at the shared protocol layer and only a fraction of that value is distributed along at the applications layer. It’s a stack with “fat” protocols and “thin” applications.

Fairer governance

Can support more democratic, distributed governance, e.g. cooperatives (somehow). Can save Democracy.

  • If I Only had a Heart: a DisCO Manifesto - Dec 2019 - A joint publication by, the Transnational Institute and Guerrilla Media Collective. "Value Sovereignty, Care Work, Commons and Distributed Cooperative Organizations. The DisCO Manifesto is a deep dive into the world of Distributed Cooperative Organizations. Over its 80 colorful pages, you will read about how DisCOs are a P2P/Commons, cooperative and Feminist Economic alternative to Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs). The DisCO Manifesto also includes some background on topics like blockchain, AI, the commons, feminism, cooperatives, cyberpunk, and more."
  • Wired: The Father of Web3 Wants You to Trust Less - 2021-11-29 - Gavin Wood, who coined the term Web3 in 2014, believes decentralized technologies are the only hope of preserving liberal democracy.

Fairer Economy


History of speculation, manias, etc.


This is a section for links that haven't yet been reviewed and/or allocated to a particular section.


Other suggestions

  • New topic concerning the psychological harm, such as: gambling, greed, cultism, etc.


Making sense of web3 & crypto. Introduction to key concepts and ideas. Rigorous, constructive analysis of key claims pro and con. A look at the deeper hopes and aspirations.