Someone Tell John Oliver He Got The Whole Cryptocurrency Thing Wrong

in bitcoin •  10 days ago

I admit I'm a big fan of John Oliver. I entertain the thought that I've been a fan of him even before he was all famous and shit.

But I have (very) mixed feelings about his latest segment of Last Week Tonight, one in which he talks about "Technology". Basically, he talks about blockchain and I was just about to write that he also talks about Bitcoin, but I refrained myself from writing that. Because he doesn't.

He talks instead about the visible, iceberg top of the crypto phenomenon that stirs the feelings of uneducated, sensationalist and, let's admit it, quite sad and unconsolable people. He talks about that part that seems spectacular and unpredictable, the same way I imagine someone was talking about John Ford model T as "a threat to our good ol' horse stables. Ain't that a drag?".

Below I'm sharing the full segment from YouTube:

In all honesty, his humor skills are stable, which is a feast on itself, but the object of those skills, at least on this occasion, seems blurry, biased and a bit "audience hungry". As someone who worked as a radio anchor for 7 years, I understand very well the need to "stay afloat", which, more often than not, implies picking and sticking to "twisted views", just so "we keep staying in our ratings".

I don't have expectations on anybody, so I can't say I'm disappointed about this episode, but I would say that I laughed better in the past.

I'm a serial entrepreneur, blogger and ultrarunner. You can find me mainly on my blog at Dragos Roua where I write about productivity, business, relationships and running. Here on Steemit you may stay updated by following me @dragosroua.

Dragos Roua

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he is just another deep state puppet ...

Wow... i was just watching that video when i saw your post come up.

Honest question: Would you feel the same way if the show did the same with banks or other financial institutions? (He probably already did that, im just too lazy to look for it).

Here is a big problem in cryptocurrency world: There is too much bias around. Most of people who deal with cryptocurrencies have it.

Ok, he didn't went on wich are the fundamental advantages of bitcoin and other positive aspects of it, but why would he?

His show is exactly about using fair arguments to make fun of things that don't make sense. And a lot of things in the cryptocurrency world don't make sense.

And he actually did agreed with the most solid arguments towards cryptocurrencies and blockchain.

He made fun of aspects that have reasons to be made fun of. Moon, Lambo, Hodl... These are fun terms, and deserve to be made fun of.

And he talked a lot about EOS, and if this would be the reason that gave you mixed feelings don't be. He actually have a point. (BTW i do have some EOS)

EOS is only a promisse so far. There is nothing yet. May be awesome, may be a flop. It's not possible to know yet, and yes, we are all gambling on promisses.

It was a really good show. Brought up a lot of issues that exists in the cryptocurrency community, but everyone just want to ignore and not talk about it because they are too busy shilling the new altcoin.


I don't think the problem is the high level of "bias" in the crypto world. I don't think there's more "bias" in crypto than in religion, for instance.

What I find repelling in this show (I usually enjoy all John Oliver stuff) was the mix of ad hominem remarks with unsupported claims. By ad hominem I refer to what he said about Brock Pierce (what's the link between the man's wedding and crypto? just the fact that he has a shitload of money?). And by unsupported claims I refer to his opinions about EOS (it could have been any other crypto) which weren't backed by any other arguments than: "I can't be wrong". This mix, as laughable as it is, is not a good place to look at crypto from. It ridicules it and it makes it look small.

The reality is that there are more than $200 billion moving around in crypto every day, which is an enormous amount of money, and that should be taken a bit more seriously. When you bring on the table only extremes, from scams like BitConnect and yet to be launched projects like EOS, you miss a lot from the big picture and send a very twisted message.

This is a slippery slope, like I said.


Oh believe me... there is much bias as in religion. Some people even look like religious zealots when you say something bad about their "amazing coin".

By ad hominem I refer to what he said about Brock Pierce

Well he is making fun of a guy that looks funny. Using that argument, it would means that he can't make fun of Putin or Trump because they are ad hominen arguments

It ridicules it and it makes it look small.

Actually, it amplifies what is ridiculous on the cryptocurrencies. Like almost everything else, it have its flaws and we can't only laugh when the flaws of things we don't like are pointed at.

which weren't backed by any other arguments than: "I can't be wrong".

Not exactly. His arguments are based on the fact that EOS is at this moment at a fundraising status with no real product to show. Only promises. Like he said, we only have their words on it. If delivered might be something awesome, but what if they can't do what they promisse? Lots of amazing projects failed because the team couldn't deliver what they promisse.

As a the first example that comes to my mind take the game Mighty No. 9.

Huge hype around it, amazing well known developer behind it, and it floped. Badly. They didn't got even close oof what they promised.

@dan is a great guy with a good history of projects with sucess? Sure he is. The concept of EOS is amazing? Of course! But isn't only that what will make EOS sucessful or not.

200 billion moving around in crypto every day, which is an enormous amount of money

Yest there is. But there is also a huge amount of money going to new pyramid schemes everyday, and to crowdfunded projects that will definetly flop.

The only real measure that will matter in the cryptocurrency is if the promisses will be fullfiled. Or else that money will go out as quickly as they came in.

you miss a lot from the big picture and send a very twisted message.

But aren't all jokes a twited message? Some of them have a deeper meaning, others don't.

We don't have to be offended by jokes. We find them funny or we don't, as long as there is no prejudice involved, wich in this case, he covered the positive aspects quite fairly.

My friend sent me this today. I am also a fan of Oliver but when we said "I am going to talk about bitcoin, blockchain and cryptocurrency" I felt like it would be saying to him "Hey, John, come listen to me describe the basic elements of comedy." I appreciate him trying to use his brand of humor to educate otherwise uninformed viewers (I find myself among them with most topics he covers). However, I didn't feel like I had a spare 25 minutes to have a 30,000 ft explanation of a topic I understand well.


"Hey, John, come listen to me describe the basic elements of comedy."

Actually, that was hilarious. I think you could show John a trick or two :)


Haha, thanks! =)

I watched the episode right after it was uploaded. From what I understood, he pointed out the good in Bitcoin and others as well as the bad side of them. He made fun of Bitconnect like ponzis, pump and dump, and EOS. He praised Blockchain technology and how company are using it in good ways or abusing it just to get shot term exposer and profits.

He promoted sensibility and responsibility, aware potential investors to not to put in more than they afford to lose. I enjoyed the show and think he did a very good job.

toata lumea isi da aiurea cu parerea in ziua de azi !

I prefer humor to hatred. He started from some facts, maybe exaggerated or slightly distorted (we seem to like that when it refers to something we don't agree with), and made fun of them. If there are some lessons to be drawn from his show, let's do that. It is how regular people see cryptos these days. As you pointed out, he is interested in the ratings.

Ha! I just posted the exact same video and mentioned that I was quite impressed :D I expected him to make much more fun of something he doesn't understand, but instead I found it was quite well researched - for a mainstream no-coiner audience. Dan, his office guy must have taught him well.

Yes, it was sensationalist, but I also found it quite balanced. He didn't say it was bad, or you're an idiot if you get into it (which I expected, tbh). I thought he actually gave a pretty balanced overview for absolute beginners.

I did like the end where he replaced Bitconnect with Responsibility ;)
Take responsibility is the right message, no?


Take responsibility is the right message, no?

Obviously. But he also got a pretty strong stance against EOS (it could have been any other major token, because he had just general remarks), he mocked Brock Pierce for making his wedding on Burning Man (since when this is laughable?), and, overall, he mixed personal remarks with "unbiased" opinions. That's a very, very slippery slope.

You are an educated person and still got a few red flags from him, now image somebody who doesn't have the time to get educated and gets his "opinion" from that. For that person, crypto will be something to be afraid of. Which, tbh, is quite the opposite: our current situation and its potential fixation into a perpetual status-quo is what we should be afraid of.


I agree about the eos part, I didn’t like that either and thought, well, let’s review your “I could be wrong but I’m not”- statement in a few years. That was judgmental and part of the “audience hunger” you mentioned.

As for the rest I’m not worried. I got into crypto precisely because someone was warning me about it ;) Their passionate against-ness was what got me interested in the first place.

We never know how people take the info we present to them. For some people, John Oliver’s presentation might be just what they need. For others not. But luckily there are loads of other people spreading the crypto message in different ways so it can reach different people.


We never know how people take the info we present to them.

VERY well put :) I liked that!

I laughed a lot...! It is not so bad a word about caution in this world. Of course it would be even better to have serious discussions for general public about why some cryptocurrencies are truly expected to have considerable value in the long term.

Deep onion is the shit bro!

I like the video. He was not negative or misleading. Just simple. I dont think he got it wrong.

Most coverage in the media focuses on the controversial aspects. I may watch this later.

BTW John is from my home town, but I've never met him.

I also generally enjoy John Oliver's humor even on issues I don't necessarily agree with him on I can usually get a chuckle out of some of his jokes.
I haven't watched this segment yet (I don't usually get to Last Week Tonight until Monday afternoons haha), but I'm very curious now.

As soon as I saw that John Oliver was doing a take on cryptocurrency I had a feeling that it would be sensationalized to an extent. Like a lot of the whole story would be missing. I guess the only good thing is that it at least keeps crypto on people's minds...for good or bad.

This is exactly the reason why I'm not watching television anymore. It's all propaganda and brainwashing. People have stopped thinking and became zombies.
I don't know who's more stupid. The people like this guy talking trash or those people who repeat this trash without even knowing what they talk about?

John oliver has got quite a good humour but he wasn't upto the mark on the last episode. Anyways maybe he would had been unprepared for the show because of some reason.

strongly agree with you Thank you for your share. keep it up and well done

Good Sir

Sometimes when tv personalities get it all wrong its always painful especially if you're a real fan of them. Maybe he need a better understanding of the topic.

yeah.. you are right. nicely stated through your post. you understood it deeply.@upvoted @resteemit

Just finished watching the episode...
Despite of the fact that I always loved his show, I can't say that I am not disappointed.

The rich whales are getting into crypto as we speak, behind the curtain...
''The whole idea is to trick as many (little people) as possible , (that's us), into believing that cryptos are just a passing fad. Don't you believe it.''

Thank you sir for your kind information!

i Agree with you tnx for upvote

these people will never understand the technology behind it they just see the top things

They say,A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.

good idea tnx for upvote

Agree with you, nevertheless, I have to admit I liked this episode just as I liked many of his other episodes :)

I so hate when people talking without know what they are talking about
this is so annoying


He does know what he is talking about. He only brought up the shitty aspects of cryptocurrencies that most of people involved shut their eyes for.

Sir @dragosroua, Thank you for your share. keep it up and well done :)

Did Oliver mention anything about Brock's involvement in DEN in the early '00s and the pedophilia scandal?

As an EOS holder I wish Brock wasn't such a public figure for EOS. He's a PR liability. Especially now with all these Hollywood sex scandals. Unfortunately he likes the spotlight too much.


Nope, but he did say "just Google Brock if you want to find out more"...

He do not understand anything


Actually, he seems to undertand a lot more than a lot of people i have seen around.

appreciate you,sir...
"we keep staying in our ratings".

Haha he was just in his thought
counting my cash