Dogecoin co-creator Jackson Palmer has called “cryptocurrency an inherently right-wing technology.”
“After years of studying it, I believe that cryptocurrency is an inherently right-wing, hyper-capitalistic technology built primarily to amplify the wealth of its proponents through a combination of tax avoidance, diminished regulatory oversight and artificially enforced scarcity,” Palmer wrote in a Twitter thread posted Wednesday afternoon.
“Despite claims of ‘decentralization’,” he continued, “the cryptocurrency industry is controlled by a powerful cartel of wealthy figures who, with time, have evolved to incorporate many of the same institutions tied to the existing centralized financial system they supposedly set out to replace.”
Palmer went on to say that the cryptocurrency industry uses “shady business connections, bought influencers and pay-for-play media outlets” to create a cult-like belief that one can “get rich quick” from the currency. This allows the industry to “extract new money from the financially desperate and naive,” he added.
He added that the industry’s use of technology prevents others from auditing, taxing or regulating the industry in ways that could prevent corruption, fraud and inequality. “This is the type of dangerous ‘free for all’ capitalism cryptocurrency was unfortunately architected to facilitate since its inception,” he wrote.
Palmer also wrote that he no longer engages in public discussions about cryptocurrency because powerful leaders and retailers in the industry will “smear” any “modest critique” of the technology rather than engage in a “good-faith debate” or “grounded conversation.”
While he said that new technology can make the world a better place, he said it cannot when it is “decoupled from its inherent politics or societal consequences.”
Palmer and Billy Markus began the Dogecoin cryptocurrency in 2013 as a joke. The two software engineers sought to poke fun at cryptocurrencies by naming the currency after “Doge,” a popular meme. The meme uses an image of Kabosu, a real-life Japanese Shiba Inu dog, and superimposes broken English exclamations in multicolored Comic Sans font on top of it, usually to humorously express admiration or discomfort.
While other cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin and Ethereum, were created to only be available in limited quantities, Dogecoin was created to be widely available. Nearly 10,000 new Dogecoins are mined every minute, according to Coinbase, one of the United States’ five most popular exchange websites.
Dogecoin has fallen in price over the past couple of months following its all-time high of $0.73 on May 8, CoinMarketCap data shows. As of July 14, Dogecoin has a price of $0.197.
Newsweek contacted Markus for comment but did not hear back before publication time.