So over the weekend I executed my greatest troll ever, completely by accident.

TLDR: I made a joke about a technical limitation of Cardano, a bunch of NFT makers misunderstood it, and now there are copies of my Cardano troll embedded in the Cardano blockchain. 1/too many
Here’s the tweet, tossed off in response to an equally tossed-off Frank tweet. 2/16

If you monitor industry news, you’ll know this is NOT a joke about NFTs. NFTs are technologically dead simple. It would be downright absurd for a second-gen blockchain to not have them! 3/16
Instead, this is a joke about an issue which may prevent real DeFi from ever existing on Cardano. This has been widely acknowledged as “a stumbling block” requiring workarounds, even by Cardano devs and supporters. 4/16…
I find this funny, in a very trolly way. It’s an Ethereum competitor that maybe can’t do DeFi? That’s as bad as a 2nd-gen blockchain that can’t do NFTs. Hence the joke, which I’ve now ruined by explaining it.

Some people got it. Others did not.
To be clear, I have no animus towards Cardano’s technology and don’t really care about the competition between L1s. My work is mostly about crypto regulation and geopolitics.

I just find the UTX0 issue funny.

This is the sort of wonky, obscure shitposting that binds together a big portion of old-school crypto twitter. But the context has changed.

It turns out there’s a pretty big community of NFTers on Cardano, and they apparently don’t know about the UTX0 issue and missed the joke. They had a real field day telling me that Cardano has had NFT functionality since March!

Which, again, not my actual point. But they really took it to the limit: at least two of them minted NFTs of my egregious tweet. The threads are full of Z-grade insults, which I encourage you to peruse. 9/16

Now, I’ve been insulted online before, and when it’s for an actual mistake it’s like getting shot straight in the gut. When it’s based on a failure of comprehension, it’s more like being tickled for science – more amusing and enlightening than uncomfortable.

(I also just happen to be reading Jeff Guin’s excellent biography of Jim Jones, a charismatic leader whose insights included that “having enemies, real or imagined, was invaluable in recruiting and retaining followers.” Elizabeth Holmes applied the same insight at Theranos.)
On the other hand, though, these are NFT makers – artists! Should they be expected to follow the tech nuances of their chosen platform? In a perfect world, the answer should be no – the blockchain future I want is one where people don’t have to worry about the underlying tech.
On the other hand, this UTX0 thing seems somewhat serious for the long-term viability of Cardano, so maybe them not knowing about it isn’t great. To get to my ideal blockchain future, we have to make sure the L1s are actually built correctly. Remember EOS? IOTA?

But crypto is vastly bigger today than even a couple of years ago. And people have widely varied levels of engagement with these sorts of technical details. 14/16
Does this mean that supposed ‘professionals’ like me need to clean up our shitposting acts and go straight? Maybe. There are a lot of new arrivals these days who have some catching up to do. In-jokes aimed at other lifers aren’t doing them much good. 15/16
But at the same time, smart trolls (intentional or not) help expose flaws and, ultimately, harden systems – as long as enough people are actually paying attention. 16/16

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