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Crypto Monopoly

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I spent some time on Hacker News coming up with an analogy for crypto, so I thought I would share it:

Crypto is like a family game of monopoly that gets a little out of control. There is this long-running game, and the family are really invested in trying to ‘win’. So much so that they were willing to pay with real money to buy monopoly money from one another just to keep playing. As the game progressed, the banker gave out more money as people passed go, but the agreed amount for the monopoly money remained the same.

Neighbours watching the game see the family playing the game and ask to buy some monopoly money seeing it will be more valuable in just a few throws of the dice. This increased demand for a limited supply of monopoly money, which saw the people already holding monopoly money profit more. This further attracted people to the game. Soon the whole neighbourhood is trading in monopoly money, and everyone who does sees a profit.

Off the back of this successful and profitable game of monopoly, others tried to replicate it in a nearby community. Services started popping up where people offered to hold the monopoly money for people, and would allow it to be exchanged for other monopoly monies. Secretly though, the monopoly exchanges were busy trading those people’s monopoly money so that they too could invest it further in the game. They justified it to themselves, promising they would return it as soon as they made it back.

Some of these exchange services played way too dangerously, and lost all of their monopoly money. This startled players of the game, and they decided to withdraw their monopoly money investment for real money they trusted before playing the game. This in turn triggered those exchanges that also gambled monopoly money to have to admit that it was no longer there.

Now to current day. More and more people get startled by losses and start pulling out to recover what they can, as promises of returning to the glory days of high value monopoly money never materialize. Most of the exchanges have their liquidity in other monopoly money exchanges, and as these ‘assets’ diminish, so do their own. Some hold real world liquid assets, but the people running the exchanges quickly pull this out for themselves.

It’s the future, and anybody left holding monopoly money once again has a token money for a game people stopped playing a long time ago. They hold onto it because they either couldn’t get out before it all imploded, or they delude themselves into thinking everybody will come back to the table and start playing again.

The monopoly game is over, and the family no longer talk to each other. Some of the family are now mega rich, but this was at the cost of the majority of players that joined the game, mostly those with smaller amounts invested and those who turned up late.

Hope you enjoyed!