2 min read

The goddess Nemesis is a monetary phenomenon

I've had my eyes open for a while now to the generational long-con that has confiscated wealth from my generation (and particularly the one that follows mine), to grant it to the current crop of first-world boomers entering retirement just as the world is starting to really burn. We didn't start the fire, Zoomers.

I don't think there was a definitive start to this theft, nor a concerted effort to build a decade-long wealth robbing machine. Rather, just an unfortunate confluence of events timed with technological developments that made the onset of globalization inevitable, and corporate incentives unstoppable in accelerating them.

From a monetary and economical angle, the past 15 years (essentially the entirety of my adult experience) have been particularly bad. I can't believe I rationalized at the time the bailout of Cypriot banks - or more accurately of its creditors - through the confiscation of deposits. So deep was my indoctrination in the system that created the crisis, which it later tried to explain in insincere neoliberal jargon. 0% interest rates benefited a narrow class of capital holders once more at the expense of people whose only aim is to live happy lives and procreate.

Which brings us to this strange point in time, as practically every asset class seems to be collapsing in price simultaneously. I suppose political actors thought the can could be kicked a little further down the road, when they had all died and wouldn't have to answer for it. Rising interest rates are the elastic twang of a decades-long wound on the normal operations and transactions in an economy. They're taking purchasing power and asset values with them in an orgy of value destruction. Inflation is truly an unstoppable, and first and foremost monetary, phenomenon.

Crypto is at a point where the regular world is falling apart. Geopolitics are shifting in an important way. Inflation is at historic highs. The world's most powerful country is on round 2 of a string of senile leaders over the age of 70, neither particularly interested in ruling anything. This should be our industry's great moment of vindication.

Instead we see liquidation cascades and BTC/ETH under their 2018 ATHs. What went wrong? In the midst of a bear/bull cycle that produced some incredible innovation from 2019-2021, we also got the greed and the centralized leverage overspills from the normal world. 2022 was supposed to be the year of the Merge but instead we got a garden variety mediocrity shilling a self-referential counterfeit dollar to retail investors and then blowing everyone up. How many more landmines have 0% rates lain in other places?

Crypto should be taking advantage of this moment in history to take all of the market share and put rentier extraction in finance out of business. ICOs were the leverage bubble of the 2017 cycle. That we're having to wait to unwind hedge funds with criminally reckless risk management practices and centralized brokers apeing bets with customer deposits is our industry's current sin.

The Greeks believed hubris was an outrage to the gods, a violation of the natural order. The winged nymph Nemesis was ever watchful for these sins and enacted swift and merciless retribution to the sinners.  The carnage in crypto prices right now, when they should be taking advantage of this point in history, is nothing more than Nemesis doing the rounds.

But what's left is still just as glorious and promising as when the price of ETH was measured in four-figures. Decentralized, uncensorable infrastructure. Permissionless credit from elastic balance sheets with sound fundamentals. 2% interest rates when banks would charge you 7%.

Nemesis is busy reaping the harvest of hubris, rich and deep this cycle. From the clearing, the opportunity to right generational wrongs and bring to life the decentralized financial infrastructure that won't be able to rug future generations.