Tribalism in crypto is not the answer, say Yusko and Ippolito

Crypto benefits from “a heterogeneous mix of different cultures and ecosystems and opinions colliding with one another,” Ippolito says


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“If you weren’t in crypto, you might just assume that it’s one big homogenous group of weirdos,” says Mike Ippolito.

“And it’s not,” he says, “it’s a very heterogeneous group of weirdos.”

The best known “tribe” in all of crypto is the Bitcoin culture, which tends to be motivated by macro monetary themes, Ippolito explains. This “OG” group is followed in prominence by the Ethereum crowd, which consists of a very different architecture and consequently, very different adherents.

The examples demonstrate just two of the many different cultures within crypto culture, he explains on the On the Margin podcast (Spotify/Apple).

Ippolito’s “least charitable” description of Bitcoin loyalists is “a little doomer,” he says. 

“They’re the survivalists. They’re the anarchists. They’re the libertarians,” replies Morgan Creek Capital founder Mark Yusko. 

Bitcoin resembles the gold community in the traditional finance space, Ippolito says, in that they want to see “consequences for the actions, especially of what central banks have been doing for the last hundred years.” 

The Ethereum crowd, on the other hand, tends to leave concerns of macroeconomics and political machinations aside, instead focusing on crypto as a novel form of money with a vast array of potential applications in finance and beyond. 

The sole apparent answer for monetary issues in the world today — that the Federal Reserve “can buy all the assets and squirrel it away in this box” — is a source of deep frustration for gold and bitcoin bugs alike, Ippolito says.

“The extreme of that is like, ‘Burn it down,’” says Yusko. “I don’t like that.”

“I like normalcy,” Yusko says. “I don’t want anarchy.” He continues, “Do not bring back Mad Max. That’s not what we want.”

Competition is good

Ippolito responds, “I am glad that there are multiple different ecosystems in the same way that I am glad, despite having a bias living in the United States, I love the United States.”

“I think it’s the best country in the world, but I’m really glad that it’s not the only country in the world,” he says. “If [the US] was the only country in the world, then it would stop being the [US] that we love and cherish.”

Ippolito argues that it’s “a very good thing to have many different countries and perspectives and ways of viewing the world. Same thing applies to crypto.”

Ippolito says “competition is good,” noting that if only one homogenous point of view dominates a culture, “then no one challenges that point of view.”

“That’s what keeps you honest.”

“A heterogeneous mix of different cultures and ecosystems and opinions colliding with one another is much better,” he says, than binary arguments where people would say, “my culture is the best and I want everything to be like my culture.”

“The idea that homogenous outcomes are superior — it’s like bloodlines,” Yusko says. “If everybody comes from the same bloodline, bad things happen biologically and genetically.”

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