Weekly Crypto Twitter Roundup, Jan. 21: of Basic Copyright Literacy and Synthetic Wombs
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Weekly Crypto Twitter Roundup, Jan. 21: of Basic Copyright Literacy and Synthetic Wombs

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1 year ago

Elon Musk, Serena Williams, Vitalik Buterin and others have been the subject of some pretty harsh Twitter memes this week.

Weekly Crypto Twitter Roundup, Jan. 21: of Basic Copyright Literacy and Synthetic Wombs

The New Year’s celebrations are behind us and we are well into 2022, which means it is time to get back to our weekly crypto Twitter roundups!

And, boy, has it not been a good beginning of the year for the crypto market: all major coins are still maintaining their continuous downtrends that started after a brief peak last November.
After suffering yet another sharp drop-off today, Bitcoin (BTC) is presently at $39,189, down 15.5% from Jan. 1 and 40.8% from the current all-time high. Others aren’t doing any better: Ethereum (ETH), at the moment at $2,889, is down 22% and 40.1% over the same periods, and Binance Coin (BNB), at $429, is down 16.5% and 36.4%, respectively.
Overall crypto market cap is at $1.839 trillion, down 16.7% from the beginning of the year and 38.2% from the previous all-time-high.
The crypto winter keeps chugging along and we are here to see how the crypto Twitter is dealing with it through the power of memes and conversation.
Let’s kick off on a high note, with possibly the most ridiculous story of the past months: that of Spice DAO. This decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) was created in order to crowdfund the purchase of one of the physical copies of filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky’s infamous Dune “Bible” at the Christie’s auction house.

Despite Christie’s initially estimating the value of the artwork/script book at €25,000-35,000, the $750,000 worth of ETH that the DAO has managed to secure turned out not to be enough to successfully outbid the competition.

As a result, one of Spice DAO’s cofounders has had to spend more than $3 million of his own money in order to avoid the fate of the similar ConstitutionDAO and secure the purchase of the “Bible” — with the ultimate goal of selling its contents as non-fungible tokens (NFTs), as well as producing derivative works in the Dune universe, all based on the intellectual property rights that the purchase of the book has conferred on the DAO:
Unfortunately, it seems that nobody had told Spice DAO prior to the auction that that is not how IP copyright works: the entire contents of Jodorowsky’s “Bible” are already available online for free, and the overall rights to the Dune universe belong to the estate of the original book’s author Frank Herbert (with rights to movies and TV shows having been bought from it by Legendary Entertainment in 2016).
Looking to frame the situation in a positive light, Spice DAO has made quite a pivot, tweeting, essentially, that the purchase of the book was actually not the point of the entire venture, but a mere step on the way towards building a strong community and creating an animated series based on an entirely new IP not related whatsoever to Dune:
Moving on, the frequent, flamboyant Twitter activity of the sitting president of El Salvador (which became the first ever country to adopt BTC as legal tender last year) Nayib Bukele has predictably secured him a place in this week’s roundup.
This time, Bukele has achieved crypto Twitter fame by saying “EL SALVADOR [doesn’t give a f*ck]” in response to a report that the Moody’s agency has downgraded El Salvador’s sovereign debt due to the country’s involvement with Bitcoin:

While Bukele’s proudly defiant message has resonated with many a crypto enthusiast, some analysts offer a differing evaluation of the importance of Moody’s sovereign credit ratings.

Although questioning the precise methodology of Moody’s, Fatih Bahadir Haspolat, a former economist at Turkey’s Ministry of Development, had called such ratings “one of the most important elements in directing global capital flows” in his paper.
Three-time Pulitzer prize winner Thomas L. Friedman had said that “Moody's can destroy a country by downgrading its bonds” — sort of making the whole affair sound like something a president of a country should be giving a f*ck about, regardless of how unfair or misguided the ratings might be.
Besides Bukele, another commonly present theme in our recent roundups is the ongoing tug-of-war between the two opposing forces of people who are trying to make NFTs a thing and the people who hate NFTs on the grounds of the latter’s perceived lack of utility and their harm to the environment.

Here’s a couple of tweets that perfectly encapsulate that epic struggle: one of the longest-running, best-selling manga magazines Shonen Jump had made quite a nebulous announcement this Tuesday, teasing more news to come on Wednesday.

In a telling display, the subsequent tweet, which for some unknown reason clarified that the secret news wasn’t an NFT drop, has managed to garner more likes and retweets than the original announcement:

Some actual NFT deals announced by the famous voice actor Troy Baker and tennis superstar Serena Williams were met with a similar kind of enthusiasm this week:

While at the time of Barker’s announcement last Friday the detractors were still willing and able to articulate their problems with NFTs:

By the time Williams had made her reveal (this Thursday), their remaining willpower and presence of mind was only sufficient for some reaction memes:

To lighten the mood, here are a couple of harmless NFT-themed tweets by the famous lasagna-loving, Monday-hating cartoon cat Garfield and a crypto industry influencer:

In the meantime, prominent YouTube influencer Logan Paul had bought no less than 20 of the NFTs dropped by Irene Zhao as part of her IreneDAO collection.

In what might be construed as poignant commentary on how the crypto space tends to misunderstand the connection between what NFTs are advertised to represent and what they actually are, commenter Keyboard Monkey has highlighted that Paul’s purchase does not entitle him to anything more than owning several tokens on the ETH blockchain:

Speaking of Ethereum, the cryptocurrency’s creator Vitalik Buterin has also made waves on crypto Twitter, both as an unwitting meme subject…:

…and in person, by taking part in a conversation, started by Elon Musk, about the looming global birthrate crisis and synthetic wombs:
Some — notably including a number of women excited by the possibility of not having to personally carry a child — have supported Buterin’s argument. Others have pointed out the perplexingly robotic tone and content of the discussion between tech entrepreneurs, even though it concerns one of the most human experiences out there, which is giving birth to and raising children:
While we’re on the topic of robots, especially ones residing at the bottom of the uncanny valley, the crypto metaverse startup Decentraland has made its presence felt by hosting a bona fide rave on the sands of its virtual island:

You be the judge of how exciting it looks and sounds, but some of the commenters have already voiced their unambiguous verdicts, such as: “looks like absolute dog sh*t.”

If you’re looking for some less anemic VR action, here’s a meme by a crypto influencer making light fun of the Goldman Sachs (which predicted a $100,000 target for Bitcoin earlier this month) employees:
Finally, Twitter itself (more specifically, its paid subscription service Twitter Blue) had announced this week the launch of a new feature that allows users to upload NFT images as profile pictures on iOS.
This drew criticism from Elon Musk, who has pointed out the imprudence of spending the time of software engineers on adding crypto features of questionable usefulness while the platform is suffering from much more critical issues — which, in turn, drew criticism from other commenters, who have pointed out that Tesla was equally prodigal with its resources when it implemented the support for Dogecoin payments earlier in January:

And that’s it for today. Here’s one final meme that, in a sense, reflects the chaotic nature of this week’s crypto markets and Twitter conversations. And we will see you next Friday!

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