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We fucked up. Big time

2 weeks after the FTX meltdown, I am still angry. At his enablers, the industry, and most of all, myself.

I’m angry at his enablers for pretending that they are not at all responsible for the disaster. They ignored all the well known red flags, endorsed and simped him to the max and helped spread his influence and reach far and wide. Now, they pretend they were completely hoodwinked when the truth is they were so eager to get in bed with him that they did not even care to ask about the lesions.

I’m angry at the industry for pretending that it is just one bad actor and trying to move on without addressing some core toxic cultural issues. This is not a disaster that any one group can build towards - this is literally an entire industry collectively endorsing, receiving favors and riding the cocktails of someone who then leveraged these endorsements, attention to essentially rob millions of people of their money. The only saving grace here is that he was exposed before he gained real deep seated power.

But mostly, I am angry at myself for staying quiet through all the garbage I’ve seen over the past few years, for blindly participating in their token games as a shortcut for building real communities and organic token interest base.

This is a critical moment for our crypto industry, where public trust is at an all time low, millions of people are very hurt, and we have collectively enabled one of the worst financial frauds in history, if not the very worst.

This is not an ETH DAO moment, not a mt gox moment and not even a luna moment. We are talking about top tier industry leaders like sequoia and paradigm both explicitly endorsing them and accepting their money, and many, many builders (including myself) accepting their money and encouraging their pumpnomics and many influencers riding off their coattails in a quest to gain favor and influence.

This is not an exchange failing - it is an dead octopus whose toxic rotting tentacles have entrenched into practically every single ecosystem, major protocol and liquidity provider. And we know they are not the only toxic octopus around - they are just the one who was able to combine a crucial mass of public awareness, asset creation and platform.

Yet, all I see around me is denial, avoidance and everyone trying to move on. I get it, the pressure to succeed is really high, users expect everything to pump, and there is intense amount of fud and we just want to get clean. B=

But, can we admit that our industry is sick? That we have an extensive range of bad cultural practices that are not sam-specific, but rather deeply embedded into the every single ecosystem out there.

Can we admit that for all our talk about decentralization, we have been building increasingly centralized decision making frameworks, letting power players dominate entire ecosystems and justifying that its ok because the tech is “decentralized”.

Can we admit shitting on the NYTimes, shitting on them for being soft is utterly hypocritical, since we did the exact same thing by being soft on SAF (Sam/alameda/ftx) through the entire 3 year rise, ignoring super obvious red flags, accepting his money/pumping at every level of the ecosystem.

Given the above, are we really going to pretend that we are not, all in one way or another complicit?

Are investors just going to say that FTX was a minor part of their portfolio, that their exposure is limited, and not take responsibility that their endorsement was the reason why many, many people trusted them and put their funds in FTX?

Are builders (myself included) just going to happily accept the pumping when it suited us and easy money when it was available, and pretend that we were not part of the skanky shit that happened because we are just pure and innocent geeks?

Are influencers just going to play the social game of simping popular people, gaining clout with their fanbase and taking photos in events while pretending they were completely hoodwinked.

I sure hope not, because that would be very hypocritical of us - We were very happy to take the money when the shit was going down, and now that this shit has happened, we need to take responsibility.

Personally, I commit to sharing more around the insider dynamics of project formation, fundraising and token creation works. It’s both more mundane yet more complex that people realize, and I have reached the conclusion that if more retail investors understand how the game works, they will both gain the emphathy of how difficult it is, but also the ability to ask the right questions.

If we want people to continue using our platform, being part of our communities, continue investing their hard earned capital in our projects - we need to handle this differently, and be individually reflective and honest about our addiction to the quick and the fast and the pump.

Because if Sam was here, he will tell you that he was just playing the game like everyone else - the only difference is that he played it too well, too fast and too hard.

We fucked up. Big time. Lets admit it, learn from this and commit to making some very hard but important cultural changes. Because a crisis of this magnitude will be a fucking terrible thing to waste.