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Alex Hardy 🦊🦔 @CantHardyWait
, 20 tweets, 7 min read Read on Twitter
My latest Medium Post:

Crypto Shenanigans™️: A New Framework for Analyzing Scams

Below is a tweetstorm summary, but please check out the post and let me know what you think!…
1/ Words matter, & some words are so distorted from their original intent that they lack any meaning whatsoever.

In politics, it's "Fake News"

In Crypto, it's "Scam"

Let's look at why words matter, what "scam" even means, & a new framework to analyze these acts.
2/ Why do words matter?

Reputation 🗣️ and Asymmetry 📈📉.


A "scam" gets perpetrated by a "scammer"

When someone is associated with a scam, they suffer reputational harm.

In the Internet age, reputation may be our most valuable resource…
3/ Asymmetry:

Reputational attacks are easy to commit & difficult to defend.

It's easy to tweet charges that get seen by millions. And the accuser rarely suffers harm for false accusations (no skin in the game)

But attacks take massive amounts of ⏳ & 💸 to debunk

4/ Today, reputation is both more important and more fragile than it’s ever been. We must be precise on the meaning of a “scam.”
5/ The government often uses the word "scam", let's see how they define it.

Oh wait, they don't! 🤦‍♂️

The closest unlawful acts are 'fraud' or 'misrepresentation.' These usually require intent and are fact-specific. This is close to the original meaning of a scam.
6/ Betting on the state to coherently define a scam is a losing proposition.

But the state defines laws — not morals. And often the link between the two is tenuous.

After all, there are plenty of things that are lawful but unethical and ethical yet unlawful.
7/ Today, let's take back the power of the pen, and define a scam ourselves.

When most people talk about a scams, they mean 1 of 3 things:

Category 1: Deliberate fraud

Category 2: Crypto Shenanigans™

Category 3: Literally everything
8/ Category 1: Deliberate Fraud

These are "scams" in the original meaning of the term. The perps knowingly deceived others for their own enrichment. Examples:

🔴 Pump & Dump

🔴 Exit Scam

🔴 Ponzi & Pyramid Schemes

🔴 Dishonest Exchanges

These acts put people in jail. 🚨👮‍♂️
9/ Category 2: Crypto Shenanigans™

These aren't necessarily illegal or even unethical.

It's shady behavior that makes your skin crawl -- moral hazards and gray areas.

They're more “bad looks” than “bad acts.”
10/ Who commits Crypto Shenanigans?

💰Venture Capitalists

📈 Exchanges

💻 Projects

Here are some examples and their *very* uncharitable real-world analogs.

I'll purposely strawman for dramatic effect.

The facts in each case matter.
11/ VC Shenanigans

🔴 Paid Shill / Talking Your Book = 📸 An IG #Influencer promoting their Matcha or SoulCyle without writing #Ad or #Spon

🔴 Dumping on the Public = Selling ice to an Eskimo
12/ Exchange Shenanigans

🔴 🍆💦Casual Ex(change listings) = AMZN selling products with asbestos

🔴 Fractional Reserve = Banks 🏦 pre-FDIC

🔴 Allowing 2FA via SMS = Selling a 🔫 without a safety

🔴 Not batching transactions = Polluting the commons

🔴 Surveilling customers
13/ Project Shenanigans

🔴 Premines = A BigCo CEO serving as the only member of the compensation committee

🔴 Nonsensical valuations with limited or 0 “investor” rights = The Tulip Bubble 🥀

🔴 Founder cashing out = Selling a house 🏡 w/ a rotting foundation & skipping town
14/ Transparency & disclosure can excuse Crypto Shenanigans.


Because we’re all Sovereign Individuals who know that adults with sufficient info may enter consensual agreements.

Sunlight is the best disinfectant.

Caveat Emptor.
15/ Category 3: Everyone’s a scammer.

TL;DR: When hyperbitcoinization [inevitably] happens, anyone who caused (tricked?) you to part with your bitcoin has irreparably harmed you.

They should've known better.

Check out @bitstein's seminal post:…
16/ So when we say "scam," different people mean different things.

But let's return to Category 2 for a moment.
17/ Here's an ugly truth about Crypto Shenanigans

If Bitcoin is the only project to gain mass adoption, then it’s an extinction-level-event for VCs, exchanges, & other projects.

In order to succeed, let alone justify their existence, they need a winner other than Bitcoin. 🧐🤔
"It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.”

-Upton Sinclair
Huge thanks to everyone who gave feedback on this concept:

@arjunblj @gabebassin @3Bayless @BMBernstein @MartyBent @jchervinsky @spencernoon @stephendpalley @tonysheng
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