In her New York Times column, Tressie McMillan Cottom explored cryptocurrency, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and their current appeal.
The Strange Allure of the Blockchain – the series starts with a summary of the blockchain and its widespread popularity:
What fascinates me is how widely crypto and NFT talk has diffused, and so quickly. It is not often that I hear the same branding from lower-income people of color that I also hear from high-earning white peers with advanced degrees.
Wealth Inequality Drives the Appeal of Crypto – the second piece asks what social problems blockchain technologies solve:
There are a lot of people making a lot of money on crypto and NFTs. For those of us who aren’t among the extremely wealthy, the idea that we could join them is a seductive one that has become a cultural phenomenon. And in an atmosphere of economic precarity and wealth inequality, that pull is supercharged.
Crypto and the Power of Folk Economics – the series ends with a piece on the danger of using household finances as a metaphor for other kinds of transactions:
…you can see why we like thinking about a system as complex as the budget in simple terms. Doing so makes us feel informed and in control. Knowing just enough to use a system is more than sufficient for everyday life. But oversimplifying complex financial instruments and the obscure rules of markets makes us vulnerable.