Notes from the hippie van - Howey Test, Ordinals


Eagle, CO

Last updated on Jun 17, 2023

Posted on Jun 17, 2023


Howey Test
I started thinking about the Howey Test in the fall of 022.

As I wrote then, I think NFTs look like an investment contract. I still don't know what this means for NFTs. My gut feeling, albeit wishful thinking, is that regulations are going to be a good thing for crypto. I'm hoping they validate the industry and give consumers confidence.

However changing the public's view that crypto is fraught with fraud and scams won't be easy. I think it's going to take an app that makes people want to use crypto, ignore the noise. It can happen, I've seen it before.

Even still, crypto has some major hurdles to get past on the technical side. For example what Vitalik wrote in his seminal piece The Three Transitions:
"It will take hard work to avoid the greater complexity of payment infrastructure from turning into an opaque "tower of abstraction" where developers have a hard time making sense of what's going on and adapting it to new contexts. Despite the challenges, achieving scalability, wallet security, and privacy for regular users is crucial for Ethereum's future. It is not just about technical feasibility but about actual accessibility for regular users. We need to rise to meet this challenge".

Right now most wouldn't bet on crypto. IMO the Binance case is as important to crypto as United States V. AT&T was to the Internet. I remain confident it'll all work out for the best. Crypto is here to stay.

Ordinals are on my list to research. But so far, I don't understand what burning problems Ordinals solve or why Mary and John Q. Public should care about Ordinals.

What's bothering me most is the crypto world appears to be repeating their mistakes from the past.

Right now most of chatter (hype?) on Ordinals is coming from one project - Onchain Monkey.  From their website:

Onchain Monkey has misconstrued features as benefits. Everything they've written here doesn't sync with anyone besides the technerati, gamblers, or traders. There's nothing here for Mary and John Q. Public. In other words, Onchain Monkey is repeating the past few years in crypto.

Onchain Monkey is led by folks with plenty of experience in tech. It's mind boggling to me that their copy ignores tried and true rules of high tech product marketing.

I get it, Ordinals are early. But if Onchain Monkey can't simply describe the benefits of Ordinals to ordinary people today, one simple statement to make ordinary people want to use Ordinals, then are Ordinals just another hyped up crypto project destined for the dust bin? Let's hope not.

tty next time,

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