Jackson Palmer created Dogecoin out of laughter and by chance. In 2013, he published an ironic tweet saying that Dogecoin – which did not yet exist and was based on the “doge” meme, the image of a Japanese Shiba Inu dog that was very popular at the time – would be “the next revolution.” After several responses encouraging him, this Australian based in San Francisco combined with his knowledge about Bitcoin and launched it.
Dogecoin was one of the first “meme stocks”, values that rise or fall due to the virality they reach on the network. Today it is the eighth most valuable cryptocurrency on the market, with a capitalization of 25,000 million dollars. “To be honest I never thought of turning it into a project,” Palmer admitted to this newspaper in 2014. Its “absurd” origin made it more fun.
Palmer had not commented on Twitter for a long time. He has deleted all of his tweets multiple times. This Wednesday he reappeared to make a long statement. “They often ask me if I will return to cryptocurrencies or share my opinion about them again. The answer is no, but in order not to repeat myself I will explain why,” begins Palmer. What follows is a harsh criticism of the crypto industry.
“After years of studying them, I believe that cryptocurrencies are a hyper-capitalist, inherently right-wing technology built to amplify the wealth of its defenders through the combination of tax evasion, little regulatory oversight and artificially imposed scarcity. Despite its claimed ‘decentralization’ , the industry is controlled by a powerful cartel of rich people who, over time, have incorporated many of the institutions of the financial system that they intended to replace, “says Palmer.
The Dogecoin founder goes on to claim that “financial exploitation” already existed, but that cryptocurrencies are made in order to “make the profit funnel more efficient for those at the top” and leave the vulnerable unprotected.
“Cryptocurrencies are like taking the worst parts of the capitalist system – corruption, fraud, and inequality – and using software to limit interventionism – audits, regulation, taxes – that protects average people. If you lose your password, it’s your fault; yes you fall for a scam, it is your fault. If a billionaire manipulates the market, he is considered a genius. This is the type of capitalism that cryptocurrencies have facilitated since its inception, “he defends.
Palmer says goodbye assuring that he does not want to participate in more public debates about cryptocurrencies, that they do not fit with his political vision and that he does not have the energy to discuss more. “I applaud those who continue to ask questions and express the skepticism that all technology should be the object of,” he concludes. “New technology can make the world a better place, but not when it is disassociated from its political or social consequences.”