The Best Arguments Against Bitcoin, Cryptocurrency and Blockchain

David Golumbia
11 min readMay 8, 2022

More Blockchain Garbology

Since I published “Blockchain Is Garbage,” I’ve had many requests for collections of the best critical arguments about Bitcoin, cryptocurrency, blockchain, and more recent developments like NFTs, the metaverse, web3, and so on. This is my attempt to provide a curated, annotated selection of the best critical work on these topics. Future sections will cover topics like the metaverse, economics, finance, the political philosophy associated with crypto, and others; I intend to update this list regularly. Please contact me on Twitter with suggestions.

Sections:

  1. Technologists Who Criticize Crypto & Blockchain Technology
  2. Criticisms of Blockchain‘s’ Impact on the Environment
  3. Criticisms of Web3, the Metaverse, & NFTs
  4. Wide-Ranging Critical Videos

1. TECHNOLOGISTS WHO CRITICIZE CRYPTO & BLOCKCHAIN TECHNOLOGY

Experienced computer scientists & engineers explain why blockchain is bad technology

Nicholas Weaver is a former Computer Science lecturer at UC-Berkeley, now a consultant, who has been one of crypto’s most trenchant critics since the beginning. He has among other things built and used blockchains and other underlying tech. The crypto promoters have never mustered even a mildly convincing response to him.

  1. Weaver’s recent intro CS class on crypto (Feb 28, 2022): https://cs161.org/assets/lectures/lec12.pdf (slides), https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J9nv0Ol-R5Q (lecture)
  2. The Web3 Fraud,” Usenix (Dec 16, 2021)
  3. The Best Thing to Do With Crypto? ‘Burn It With Fire,’ Says This Super Skeptic,” Mark Yarn interview with Weaver, Breaker Mag (Apr 4, 2019)
  4. Risks of Cryptocurrencies,” Communications of the ACM (June, 2018)
  5. Blockchains and Cryptocurrencies: Burn It With Fire,” lecture at UC-Berkeley (Apr 20, 2018)
  6. Weaver’s Twitter account is very good.

David S. H. Rosenthal is a technologist and computer scientist with decades of experience whose expertise is rarely challenged by…

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David Golumbia

Professor, Writer on Digital Studies, Language, Theory