Last year, in an article titled “The Left Should Talk About Cryptocurrency,” the left-wing culture writer Hussein Kesvani argued that Web3 and Ethereum-adjacent cryptocurrencies would “inevitably” change the world—for good or ill. As such, he said, it was up to leftists to reclaim the technology from libertarians and anarcho-capitalists appropriating socialist terms and ideals. Such appropriators include crypto influencer Li Jin, who, despite being a venture capitalist, claims to be a student of Marx and tweeted last year that DAOs were the “next step forward in the labor movement.” 

The left, as you can imagine, abhors this kind of thing.

In his article, Kesvani called on the left to come to grips with crypto’s rudiments so as to make a more compelling case than the VCs. “I believe that imagining different futures requires some understanding of crypto and blockchain technologies,” Kesvani wrote. “Not just for functional reasons, but to also interrogate the language and terms of reference in which the new internet is being built.”

As Web3 received a boom in mainstream attention, this all played out, with something of a rift emerging among the left—that is, among the old-school, strictly anticapitalist left—over whether cryptocurrencies are fit for purpose as a technology. Many of the more old-school thinkers, who have only recently discovered Web3, spurned it as a kind of endgame financialization of everything, an expression of a rent-seeking class that would put a market price on oxygen molecules, albeit cloaked in the language of…


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