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“Discussions of new technology tend to age badly,” John Oliver mentioned as he opened Sunday evening’s episode of Last Week Tonight, “so that said, tonight we are going to talk about cryptocurrencies,” a subject that mixes “everything you don’t understand about money” with “everything you don’t understand about computers.”
Oliver spent the subsequent half hour offering his tackle Bitcoin mania, and — although followers of particular person initiatives might disagree — he largely struck a balanced tone on the ecosystem as an entire.
For a mass media program, the section gave a decent high-level description of how blockchain expertise works, in addition to its capability to “possibly improve security, efficiency, and trust.”
However, Oliver famous that the cryptocurrency ecosystem additionally has a seedy facet, as evidenced by pump-and-dump schemes, preliminary coin providing (ICO) scams — and sure, Bitconnect.
Oliver introduced up these examples, to not denigrate the ecosystem or decide it by its worst actors however fairly to remind his viewers — whose demographics largely align with these of cryptocurrency buyers — that no person is aware of with certainty how this experiment will end up.
“Who knows? Maybe EOS is going to be the next Google. I don’t think it is, and I certainly don’t think it can be worth over a billion dollars at this point, but I could be wrong. I’m absolutely not, but I could be,” Oliver mentioned in what was in all probability his least charitable comment of the section.
All issues thought of, mass media depictions of cryptocurrency have come a great distance since a hitman (performed by Jamie Fox) mentioned he needed to be paid in “untraceable bit coins” in the 2014 comedy Horrible Bosses 2.
And, as many social media customers have famous in their assessments of the Last Week Tonight episode, Oliver has some extent. Unfortunately, many buyers have invested massive sums of cash in cryptocurrency and blockchain-related initiatives with out taking the time to analysis what precisely they’re shopping for.
Oliver simply desires them to watch out.
“The point is, if you choose to invest in the cryptocurrency space, just know that you’re not investing. You’re gambling, which is fine, but you should know that that is what you’re doing,” he concluded, shortly earlier than actor Keegan-Michael Key used a spot-on parody of Bitconnect promoter Carlos Santos to encourage buyers to behave responsibly. “The important thing here to remember is that this is a brand new, very complicated space, and literally no one knows how it’s going to develop. So you need to be careful.”
Featured picture from Shutterstock.
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