Like clockwork came the cries of “FUD”
from the Crypto Twitterati.
FUD, for those who don’t know, stands for “fear, uncertainty and doubt.” The crypto community has long used the pejorative to describe what they see as falsehoods or exaggerations spread by opponents of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology to scare off investors, regulators and the general public.
And that’s fine, I suppose, if you’re talking about deliberate attempts to spread ill will. But the knee-jerk way in which supporters of crypto resort to the “FUD” cry and other dismissive responses to any critique or expressions of concern about the space also reveal a worrisome immaturity in this space.
Too often, journalists, especially my team at CoinDesk, are targets of these responses when those reporters are simply asking the tough questions that any good media organization must ask to get to the facts.
Now, with the failings of two key systemically risky enterprises – Celsius and the Terra Luna project – roiling the crypto markets, it’s my hope that people in this industry can finally appreciate the value of asking questions and finding failings. Kicking the tires on projects and holding people accountable for flaws within them is how the industry will improve and grow.
That’s true, whether it’s to explore what, if anything, must be done to upgrade blockchains to post-quantum proofs or whether it’s to expose the serious, vital questions that smart analysts are asking about the viability of Terraform Labs’ UST stablecoin or Celsius’s high-yield returns.
Without wanting to pile on or indulge in “told you sos,” it’s worth pointing out how, over the past three years, CoinDesk reporters have covered Terraform Labs and Celsius and the responses they’ve received. The hard-hitting coverage has been relentless, as have the efforts to dismiss our line of questioning as FUD. Here are but a couple of examples:
The point here is that as journalists struggle to get to the truth, the people they are seeking answers from too often abuse the emotional connection their community of token holders have with their projects. They stir up the tribe to obfuscate and intimidate. It is ugly behavior and it looks bad for the industry.
More importantly, this lack of appreciation for fact-finding runs counter to the antifragile ethos
of open-source systems. Crypto is supposed to be constantly improving and advancing, precisely because the bugs and flaws in its code and design are exposed and are subject to discussion and debate. Out of that process comes progress.
Now that the flaws of the Terra Luna and Celsius projects have been exposed in the most painful way, let’s hope the community uses this opportunity for some of its own introspection.
Let’s assign “FUD” to the dustbin of history.