Molly White Thinks Web3 is Going Just Great

Molly White interview image
Reimagining the Internet
Reimagining the Internet
Molly White Thinks Web3 is Going Just Great
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Molly White thinks web3 is going just great and this week she tells us about the wash trades, rug pulls, and the opportunity for abusive airdrops on the blockchain. In her fascinating and often hilarious account, blockchain’s early days are past.

Molly White is a developer at HubSpot a long-term Wikipedian, and one of the most vocal critics of Web3 online today. In this interview, we reference her blog posts “Abuse and harassment on the blockchain” and “It’s not still the early days” as well as Moxie Marlinspike’s post “My first impressions of web3.”

Transcript

Ethan Zuckerman:

Hey everybody, welcome back to Reimagining the Internet. I remain Ethan Zuckerman. I am thrilled to be here today with Molly White. She’s been a Wikipedian for more than 15 years as GorillaWarfare, which perhaps anticipated her interest in the Bored Ape Yacht Club, serving on the very important Wikipedia Arbitration Committee. She’s the author of the informative and funny Web3 Is Going Just Great website, which uses the static timeline generator she’s written, to keep track of bad news about NFTs, cryptocurrencies, and the various absurdities of the crypto world. Molly, thank you for being with us.

Molly White:

Thank you.

Ethan Zuckerman:

So Molly, it’s clear that this Web3 thing is going to the moon. What inspired you to start Web3 Is Going Just Great?

Molly White:

Yeah. So I had sort of known about cryptocurrencies and various blockchain projects for a while, and was sort of apathetic about them. It wasn’t really my interest, but I figured I’m not hurting anyone. But as sort of towards the end of 2020 into 2021, I started seeing more and more of them, and people who are not super techy, starting to put their money into it and that kind of thing. And I started to realize that there was sort of a lot happening in that space, that was actually starting to harm people in very real ways. And it wasn’t just like, oh, some software engineer who thinks blockchains are interesting, puts a couple of 100 bucks into it and then loses it all.

It was becoming this thing where your average person was being encouraged to put money into it and then getting absolutely scammed. And so I sort of decided to start highlighting just project after project, after project that I was seeing, that was either just a terrible idea to begin with, or something where they set it up, they convinced a bunch of people to pour their money into it. And then they took off with all of it.

Ethan Zuckerman:

It’s interesting in a funny way that it took that long for someone to create the sort of resource that you’ve created. At this point, Web3 Is Going Just Great is an almost comprehensive archive of rug pulls, various different scams where people issue cryptocurrencies and then just disappear. This stuff has been going on as early as 2015, 2016. I remember writing a piece for WIRED Magazine with my colleague Chelsea Barabas, talking about how crypto scams in Kenya had started becoming something that was ripping off at random individuals. What do you think happened around 2019, 2020 to really mainstream this within the United States?

Molly White:

Well, I think we had sort of the crypto bubble of 2017 or so, where Bitcoin really took off and then kind of petered out again. And I think that really interested people who are interested in cryptocurrencies specifically, financial investments and speculation, but it wasn’t necessarily as interesting to the lay person who wasn’t super techy.

And I think starting in yeah, like you said, 2019, 2020, we started to see these projects that were sort of marketed towards your average person who didn’t necessarily know what a blockchain was, who didn’t really care how Bitcoin worked under the hood. But they were told that if you buy this Ape JPEG you might make it big, or if you buy in on this new software project, that’s called Web3, it’s going to be the next iteration of the internet. Then you’ll get in early and you’ll make all this money. And so it began to sort of be marketed towards this very broad audience.

Ethan Zuckerman:

I was driving home from my teaching job at UMass Amherst, and I teach pretty late at night. And I stopped at one of the few places that was open on my way home, which was a sketchy looking liquor store. And as I was heading into the liquor store, I realized that advertised on the door for it were Bitcoin, lottery tickets and cigarettes.

I think someone has observed that money generally doesn’t need to advertise itself, but there is something about lottery tickets and Bitcoin being advertised in the same way on the door of a shady small town liquor store. Is there something going on in society at the moment, that makes NFTs and crypto investments so appealing to people?

Molly White:

Well, I do think that cryptocurrencies very much appeal to the sort of libertarian ethos and I feel like increasingly towards the almost right wing idea that we’re being canceled, the big tech is taking our money or suppressing our speech. And so with cryptocurrencies, you’re not going to be allowed to do that. They don’t necessarily always understand why they’re not going to be allowed to do that, or if that’s actually true, but that’s sort of how it’s being presented to a lot of people. And I think that in sort of today’s political sphere, has become very appealing to some people.

Ethan Zuckerman:

You’ve done this really fairly thankless work. First of all, thank you, right? It actually is an enormously helpful site. I’m sort of wondering what you’re learning about patterns from reporting on dozens and dozens of scams that seem to have some common ground between them. Is there sort of the standard crypto scam story that’s emerging at this point, or are there other sort of news patterns that are just feeling increasingly familiar to you in doing this work?

Molly White:

I would say the rug pulls are feeling very repetitive at this point. And in fact, sometimes it’s actually the same people. There are a couple of entries on my website where the same group has created two or three projects and scammed them every single time, and is just repeating the same story.

Ethan Zuckerman:

Explain a rug pull to users who are not regular readers of your site.

Molly White:

Sure. So a rug pull is basically when someone creates a new project, it could be a new cryptocurrency token, it could be an NFT project, and they get a bunch of people to put their money in. And then they suddenly drain all of the funds that are in what’s called the liquidity pool. And it means that the coin or the NFTs suddenly have zero value when the buyers expected them to be something they could trade on.

Ethan Zuckerman:

Right. And the theory behind this is, it’s essentially a pump and dump, in the way that you might buy a penny stock extremely cheap and hype it up, then sell it at the peak of it. How do people keep falling for this?

Molly White:

I think hope. They see occasional stories of coins or NFT projects that launch, and then just take off. And people who bought in at a $100,000 are now holding NFTs that are worth several $100,000. And everyone thinks that could be me, I could win the lottery basically. And so it’s that same thing, where the actual chances of that happening are very slim and there’s an additional feature to it that the lottery doesn’t have. Which is that the person behind it could just make off with all the money and then you’d have no chance of making it big. But I think people just really hope that this might be the one.

Ethan Zuckerman:

You made an argument that Wikipedia, which you’re a very dedicated and engaged member of, shouldn’t accept payments in cryptocurrency, part of your argument there was the incredible concentration of wealth within the crypto market. Can you talk a little bit about that concentration, and then maybe more broadly, why you think Wikipedia shouldn’t be siphoning off some of that wealth for good purposes?

Molly White:

Yeah. I mean, I think the best example of this is with Bitcoin, which is one of the most popular cryptocurrencies. They talk about how the 1% of Americans hold the majority of America’s wealth. The same is true with Bitcoin, except it’s for like 0.1% or maybe even 0.01%, I’d have to double check. It’s even smaller and it’s even more highly concentrated, but the same tiny number of wallets hold a vast majority of Bitcoin. The same is true, it’s very centralized among the miners. There’re a very small number of miners doing the majority of Bitcoin mining.

And so it’s an odd situation where cryptocurrency in its early days was sort of presented as this very egalitarian thing. And it was going to upend the financial system. And we wouldn’t have these handful of people just who are staggeringly rich, and it would sort of distribute the wealth. And it hasn’t done any of that. It’s actually been worse than the current US dollar.

Ethan Zuckerman:

Yeah, I’m going to quote from a very knowledgeable blogger named Molly White, who says that, “0.01% of Bitcoin wallets collectively own 27% of the Bitcoin in circulation, equivalent to 232 billion.” That number is almost certainly out of date, because it changes all the time. And that’s quoting a Wall Street Journal article about Bitcoin’s 1% as well as an Igor Makarov of Blockchain Analysis of Bitcoin market.

So there’s this myth of egalitarianism involved with this. What seems to really be going on is that, there’s a very different 1% now using the Occupy language rather than using the actual numbers. One of the ways that many people heard about Bitcoin quite early on was the Silk Road, which was a dark web marketplace for everything from forged passports to heroin, which relied on the fact that Bitcoin, if you set it up in certain ways is tied to the identity of a wallet, but not necessarily the identity of a human being.

Ethan Zuckerman:

At the same time, Bitcoins are vastly more traceable than cash. In fact, because you have a permanent ledger of all of these things, it’s not at all hard to see where these things go. Why do you think people’s understanding of these base technologies is often so far from the reality associated with them?

Molly White:

I think a lot of things are very different in idea than they are in practice. And as technology has advanced a little bit, we’ve increasingly been seeing things that are around chain analysis, where it’s difficult to do just as a human being, but you add a little bit of software to it and you can actually sort make a lot of inferences around which wallets might be tied to another, or who is transacting with who.

And so I think the idea of everyone having just a wallet, that’s just a string of characters and it doesn’t have your name on it, it sounds great. But then when you realize that every single movement with that wallet can be traced, is actually not that hard a lot of the time to sort of make inferences around who is who.

The same thing when it comes to actually converting a Bitcoin into real money that you can spend, you have to do that somewhere. And a lot of the time, those exchanges ask you to provide your personal information because they have to comply with the anti-money laundering laws. And so suddenly your wallet’s tied to a real person, and everything sort of falls apart.

I also sometimes wonder how much the average person understands around how public these things are. We’ve been seeing a string of sort of high profile purchases of NFTs by celebrities, where there’s this big splash in the media where Justin Bieber buys an NFT and it’s this big thing. And then like a couple of days later, someone digs into the records and they see that, oh, that’s weird. The money to buy that NFT actually came from the NFT project, and it was a wash trade.

We’ve just seen a couple of those. And it’s sort of one of those things where it’s like, are all of these celebrities suddenly getting into shady things because cryptocurrencies are involved? Or are they not realizing that shady things that they’re used to doing are actually very visibly traceable now?

Ethan Zuckerman:

So the Bored Ape Yacht Club. And I’m sorry, I was actually just looking because it was finally revealed one of the artists who had actually drawn some of these illustrations. These had become a very particular form of tech symbol. They are cartoon avatars of chimpanzees wearing various human garb. Part of the language around NFTs is that they’re designed to support the arts. Although one of the interesting things about this of course is that, no one seems to know the names of any other people who’ve actually created the Bored Ape images.

They were made a little bit on an assembly line, but there’s a number of artists who also have been sort of eliminated from the process and all the mythos around it. These apes can now sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars on these various different exchanges, except maybe it’s possible that they are not in fact selling for hundreds of thousands of dollars. How does a wash trade increase the value of something like a Bored Ape?

Molly White:

So the thing about a Bored Ape is it’s really… I mean, as with many assets, it’s only worth what someone’s willing to pay for it. There’s nothing about it that’s inherently valuable in the way that a bar of gold has some value in that it can be used in electronics, or in jewelry, it’s just a picture. And you might love the art and you might think the art is great, but the actual value comes from the fact that someone’s willing to pay some amount of money for it. And they’ve become sort of a status symbol.

But what people are doing is they’re creating new wallets that are not tied to their existing wallets, or at least they’re trying to keep them not tied to their existing wallets. And they are creating these purchases between the wallets that they control. And so if they have a Bored Ape that’s worth a $100,000, and then they sell it to another wallet that they control that’s worth $150,000, or for the value of $150,000, then it looks like someone thinks that, that JPEG is worth $150,000. And so they can sort of artificially inflate the price by doing that. And we’ve been seeing that. I mean, that’s rampant in the NFT space. It’s constant.

Ethan Zuckerman:

This is one of the things I think again, that maybe non obvious to people who are only casual observers to this space. One of the hugest problems within the cryptocurrency and NFT world is what people call the civil problem, which is the idea that you as one human being might have two or maybe dozens or hundreds of different identities.

And so for instance, if you own Bored Ape number 101, and you can simply sell it from one crypto wallet to the next, all of which you control, you could in theory, spiral upwards in value on this until someone else comes in and says, obviously, Bored Ape 101 is the hottest thing out there, I’m going to pay $800,000 for it. Why doesn’t this happen all the time in conventional financial markets? And why is it happening so often in crypto financial markets?

Molly White:

Well, there’s legislation and actual restrictions around wash trading where it’s not actually a legitimate thing to do. But with cryptocurrency being so unregulated, and some of these things are actually touted more as features than as bugs, there isn’t the same thing. And so I think we’ll begin to see more tests of which laws can be applied to the crypto space.

As I’m looking at the stuff with the celebrities, there are actual laws by the FTC around endorsing projects that you’re getting financially compensated for. They appear to be being flouted by a lot of celebrities here who are saying, oh, I love this NFT. This is the hot new thing. And then you look and it’s like, oh, they just got a huge amount of money from that one project and they never disclosed it. So I’m curious to see if the FTC is going to step in and start trying to regulate these things. Or if they’re going to just be like, ugh, this isn’t worth our time. We don’t think we can delve into this.

Ethan Zuckerman:

One peculiarity in this space is that the regulations can sometimes have interesting and unintended consequences. It seems like right now, the hottest thing going on are DAOs, these distributed autonomous organizations. Where people are buying governance tokens, they’re basically tokens that allow them to have a voice in the future of this organization.

My understanding is that this has something to do with the regulation of creating coins that were just supposed to have monetary value. And that creating these tokens that have governance value rather than just a pure monetary value was a way of trying to contain this incredible explosion in coin offerings a few years back. Is there a danger that as we’re regulating this early market, that what we end up doing is just shaping the behavior so it gets even stranger and weirder?

Molly White:

I think it’s already being shaped in that way. I mean, we’re seeing that over and over again. And the DAOs that we’re seeing, the DAOs are doing very, very weird things. I can’t tell sometimes what things they’re doing, because they are trying to circumvent existing legislation, and what they’re doing because they just think that some activities aren’t illegal when cryptocurrencies are involved.

Ethan Zuckerman:

Give us an example of weird DAO behavior that strays into the realm of illegal, if it were not cryptocurrency, and quite probably illegal, even though it is cryptocurrency.

Molly White:

Yeah. So a great example is something called Spice DAO, which was created a couple of months ago I think. And their big plan was they were going to raise all of this money to participate in an auction to buy a storyboard book for an adaptation of Dune, the movie. Or rather the book now a movie, Dune. There was a sort of storyboard for this movie that was never created, and they wanted to buy this.

And they had this idea that if they bought this book, they could somehow now create I think, animated sort of versions of this storyboard. And I don’t understand how that thought process worked because when I go to the bookstore, and I buy a book, I don’t think that I suddenly have licensing rights to go create an animated show off of it, that’s not what buying a book means. And because there was a cryptocurrency involved and there was a DAO involved, that seemed like they just sort of didn’t consider that.

Ethan Zuckerman:

You wrote a piece recently about fear of harassment of marginalized populations due to decentralized and Web3 technologies. Can you take us through that argument a little bit?

Molly White:

Absolutely. So one thing that really worries me about a lot of these sort of promises that Web3 is going to be the future of the web, that it’s going to replace things. The idea that cryptocurrencies might replace standard currencies that we use today is that, a lot of the actual technology behind this is very prone to abuse. And so for example, when people talk about building decentralized social networks for example, or on top of the blockchain, that’s been a big one recently in Web3.

They talk about how they’ll be uncensorable, and you won’t have those pesky moderators taking down your posts, but on sort of the flip side of that, it also means that if someone does post something that’s truly horrific, and if they store it to the blockchain, then it’s there forever. And there’s nothing you can do about it.

And the only solutions that people have really presented to those problems are sort of antithetical to the whole idea, which is that, oh, well then the centralized platforms would step in and they’d just not show that particular piece of content and it wouldn’t be a big deal. But that’s the whole idea, is that it’s not supposed to be centralized. There aren’t supposed to be just a couple of large platforms that are built on top of the blockchain that have the sort of power to say, what does and doesn’t appear. And so you can’t have it both ways.

Ethan Zuckerman:

I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a technological development that is more ideologically divisive than Web3. I have people who I love and respect who hate Web3, possibly even more than you do. I have people that I love and respect who have gone all-in, and keep trying to persuade me that there is something here and that I should be paying attention to it. I myself have been trying to temper my, I hate all of this, please don’t ever say Web3 to me, to try to understand whether there are projects in the space that I have some sympathy or enthusiasm for. Any thoughts on why this feels more like a religious dispute than a technical conversation?

Molly White:

Well, I think a lot of the problems that people say that they’re trying to solve are very, very close to people’s hearts. They’re talking about oppressive governments, they’re talking about unequal distribution of power and technological projects. They’re talking about banking the unbanked, which are all very, very-

Ethan Zuckerman:

Worthy.

Molly White:

Yeah, worthy projects that people care really, really deeply about. And so on the one hand, some people see… If they believe that blockchains and Web3 and everything is a solution to that, they see the people who are skeptical or critical of Web3 as, well. You don’t want to bank the unbanked, it’s like what’s wrong with you? Or you want to keep all the power on the internet in the hands of Amazon and Google and all that? And people get very, very defensive about that.

There’s also the fact that money is involved, and people get very, very passionate when money is involved. When they think they can either become very wealthy off of it, or they think that other people could become wealthy off of it. And then on the flip side, I think why people are seeing it as such a strongly negative thing is that, it’s become just… There’s been example after example of how it’s been used in a very predatory way, in a way that’s actually very abusive to people, that’s harming artists and other creators on the web.

And so I think the issues that are at stake are very, very personal in this space, in the way that they might not be, if you’re talking about my sequel or some other development in the technological sphere.

Ethan Zuckerman:

Well, let me try a question that builds on that. And I’ll say, this is a question that is literally keeping me up nights. You and I come out of some of the same traditions in this space. I am also Wikipedian, although not nearly on the scale that you are. I’ve been involved with open-source software development, which I know that you are involved with.

I sort of firmly believe that the way we tackle some of these problems, the way that we tackle how terrible social media can often be is through open-source software, cooperation, people working together, a great deal of volunteer labor, the creation of public goods. And frankly, there’s a lot of us lined up in that camp, but two really interesting things. One, we don’t actually have all that much money, particularly compared to these people who can create imaginary internet money out of thin air. And for some reason we are not very cool at the moment. And there’s an enormous-

Molly White:

Speak for yourself.

Ethan Zuckerman:

Well, all right, fair enough. I have never been very cool. You seem like you may be extremely cool. There is an enormous amount of interest and excitement about Web3, around NFTs, that I’m going to say is not flocking to Wikipedia or open-source software development at the moment. Any thoughts on, is that correctable? And what does it mean for different visions of the web going forward?

Molly White:

There is nothing I would love more than to somehow harness the excitement that you see in some of these Web3 communities that are sort of emerging, and sort of redirect that to something that didn’t have a blockchain built into it. I’ve tried to take the opportunity when I can, to listen to some of the people who are very big on Web3, and who do really think that this is the future of the web. And just sort of listen to what they’re saying and why they care so much about it, and why they believe so much in it.

And the excitement is palpable and contagious. And I very much love that. It makes me sad that it’s going towards things that are so, I think harmful. But I think there is just a very big issue with open-source and volunteer projects, that there isn’t much financial incentive to getting involved in them.

What financials incentive is there is often controlled by fairly large corporations. And also, if you add financial incentives to projects like that, it often turns them really, really bad. I’ve had a couple people say, well, why doesn’t Wikipedia introduce a cryptocurrency, and then every edit you’ll get cryptocurrency for it. And then people can pay people based on what’s a good edit and what’s not.

That idea horrifies me, because the idea of adding a financial incentive to the project of building a free encyclopedia, I think would absolutely just destroy it. Because it’s just a totally different mindset. It’s a totally different incentive structure. And I think that’s a big problem is that, money doesn’t necessarily mesh well with that, even though people think it’s the obvious solution.

Ethan Zuckerman:

There do seem to be people who are trying to do, again, what seemed like good intentions within this. I only have a very limited understanding of Getcoin, but I think it is similarly trying to channel magical internet money over towards open source development. People involved with Filecoin, who are trying to support the InterPlanetary File System, which as a distributed storage system strikes me as not a terrible idea, although it absolutely does get into the problems of, what if someone puts up revenge porn and there’s no way to ever delete it?

I share your fascination with that question of how we could sort of channel people. I guess the other thing that I’m fascinated by is something that you have said, which is, “These are not early days.” It’s very common when people critique the Web3 world and sort of say, when are you going to get off of proof of work? Which everyone agrees is an environmental disaster. When is the theory of moving to proof of stake? The response is, “Well, these are early days. We’re all thinking about that, we’re all going to fix it.” Why are these not early days?

Molly White:

Well, I mean, in the technological world, things move incredibly quickly. You can’t necessarily say that something from 2010 is early days, I don’t think. And people talk about a lot of these technologies as though they were created a month ago, and they’re still in alpha, and they… We’ll work out the kinks as we go, but that’s not the case.

A lot of these things have been around for years and have had opportunity after opportunity to say, okay, so now we’re going to start thinking about harassment on the blockchain. How are we going to do something about that? And it’s just not happening. And so people keep saying, oh, it’s early days, it’s early days. You can’t be too harsh on it because it’s early days. And it’s like, if we don’t fix it in these early days, it’s going to be there forever. It’s going to be permanent. And you’re going to try to build this whole new web off of severely flawed technology.

I don’t think it’s a legitimate argument, both because the technology’s been around for so long that it can’t reasonably be said to be early days, at least not in a technological lens. But also because early days is exactly when these things need to be addressed.

Ethan Zuckerman:

Coming back to Moxie’s recent essay about his encounters with Web3, he points out that technology moves incredibly fast and protocols move incredibly slowly. We’re still dealing with a world of unencrypted email for the most part, which is not how anyone would build that system these days. It strikes me that part of what happens in all of these things are that, people hold on some of those core ideas of the protocol incredibly hard. And the notion of unalterable ledgers seems pretty central to any of these projects because it is one of the ways that you deal with fraud.

But unalterable ledgers are also an incredible challenge when you’re dealing with harassment or sort of bad behavior. I don’t know really how you get out of that one. One of the things that I really admire about your work, Molly, is not only is it smart, and snarky and comprehensive, it’s constructive. And I love that you’re actually sort of writing software to try to make this space somewhat less awful. Can you talk a tiny bit about allmybotsgone?

Molly White:

Sure. So-

Ethan Zuckerman:

Yes, I did read your GitHub repo before I came to talk to you. I’m that kind of interviewer, yeah.

Molly White:

Yep. So I’m fairly active on Twitter, and a lot of my conversations around crypto have happened on Twitter. And there’s this phenomenon in the past, I don’t know, year or so. Where, if you say the magic words of, it’s like a combination of talking about various cryptocurrency wallets and exchanges, that you summon these hoards of scammers, their bots, basically that are trying to scam people into giving out their secrets to their cryptocurrency wallets, so that people can steal their currency or take all their NFTs or whatever it is. And they pretend to be the support system for something like MetaMask or Coinbase or these big exchanges. And it’s exhausting.

If you post a tweet that mentions MetaMask, you’ll get four or five replies that are saying, oh, same thing happened to me. My wallet was hacked too, come click on this Google form and put your details in here, and we’ll help you. Which is not, they’re clearly trying to steal people’s money. And Twitter for their part seems to be doing very little about it. It’s been going on for a very long time. And it’s just extremely exhausting to have to wade through.

Ethan Zuckerman:

Wait, Twitter allowing abuse to remain, but they’re so progressive.

Molly White:

I too was absolutely shocked.

Ethan Zuckerman:

They’ve got hexagonal avatars for NFT holders. They’re clearly on the top of the game around this.

Molly White:

Clearly. Yeah. They are making some choices over there for sure. But anyway, so what I did is in my spare time, I sort of put together a Twitter bot that sort of turns out tweets that say things like, “Oh no, my MetaMask was hacked, all of my Bitcoins are gone.” And so these bots all flock to it and they reply in that way. And then the bot goes through and reports each of them as spam. And so far, it has reported over a thousand accounts as spammers. Hard to say whether Twitter is actually doing anything on the other end to deal with them, but I figured I could sort of… That’s what I can help with at least.

Ethan Zuckerman:

It would be a great study on the long term, to try to figure out whether Twitter is responding to those reports, which are probably a very good way of sort of identifying coordinated bad behavior. Are you ever tempted to use your knowledge to make yourself profoundly wealthy, and give it all to Wikipedia? Do you ever get the sort of sense of, given how much time you spend understanding this field, that Yada just drops some money in a cryptocurrency wallet and look for it to go up, perhaps just avoiding all of the folks who end up as the worst offenders list on your site?

Molly White:

Well, I would say I have terrible luck from gambling. Every time I’ve tried to play poker, I just get the worst hands. So I have no faith in my ability to choose the correct cryptocurrency, despite how much reading I’ve done about it, and actually make a buck off of it. Every once in a while when I’m writing about one of these scams, someone will… There was one today. There was a currency that was so clearly shady from the beginning. And yet they had an ICO that landed them $2 million.

And there’s times where I’m like, “Boy, it would be so easy to just put together a little project and grab a couple of mill and run away.” But I just don’t have the stomach for it. I don’t know, I’ve always been a little bit more motivated by spreading knowledge and that kind of thing. And so when people have tried to get me to see their side of things and understand the cryptocurrency space, a lot of the arguments have been that, well, you’ll make a lot of money off of this. And personally, that’s not super tempting to me when I see all of the harms that are happening in this space.

But I do know for some people, they’re willing to sort of overlook it and just try to make a buck. I can’t blame people, people need to make money. And if you’re not very well off, you might actually make it big on cryptocurrency. There are people who have, but I tend to see that as the exception rather than the norm. And I think the number of people who are actually turning $5 into $500,000 is probably not as big as a lot of people seem to think it is.

Ethan Zuckerman:

Molly White, this has been such a pleasure. Thank you so much for being with us.

Molly White:

Thank you for having me.