Steem: Creating a Community of Temporarily Embarrassed Millionaires?

in greed •  6 months ago


Let's face it: most people here at Steem are cryptocurrency enthusiasts. The blockchain is the foundation of this social media experiment. This raises the question: what's going to happen if crypto shoots the moon again and creates even more new-money millionaires? Are we going to buy that Lambo or actually spend the money responsibly?

New-money is notoriously bad at money management. How many once-famous rappers are now broke? What about professional sports players? What about actors? Even our president is no exception:

Trump-owned businesses declared bankruptcy no fewer than six times between 1991 and 2009.

Also on this list are Mike Tyson, Michael Vick, Curt Schilling, 50 Cent, and Nicolas Cage.

How did Nicolas Cage lose his money?

  • Several supercars, including a rare Ferrari and the Shah of Iran’s Lamborghini
  • Rare jewelry
  • A shark
  • A crocodile
  • Two king cobras
  • At least one dinosaur skull
  • A collection of pygmy shrunken heads
  • A private jet
  • A pyramid tombstone in a New Orleans cemetery

Seriously... mind-blowing. It's very obvious that money goes to people's heads when they have too much of it. Hell! Money goes to people's heads even when they have none. How many acquaintances do you have that live paycheck to paycheck but still buy extremely frivolous things? I know quite a few.

tyson tiger.jpg

We are conditioned from birth to be consumerists. If we have money, we're constantly encouraged to spend it no matter how irresponsible the purchase may be. Spending money lavishly seems to be encouraged at every turn. From the media to commercials to our very social status, the exposure to this toxic culture is inescapable.

We live in a disposable society where goods are no longer built to last. Quite the opposite, they are built to break so you have to replace the item. Even fashion was created solely for the need to get people to buy more clothes. When something is no longer functionally required, a social construct is generated to create demand.


Unfortunately, the only way for crypto to moon is to break away from this cycle of impulsive behavior. Ironically, the very thing that people want: getting rich and being able to spend money on whatever they desire, is the exact reason why the blockchain is being held back in the first place. How can we expect to usher in a superior open source collaborative economy if the members of the community refuse to correct their mistakes and diverge from the old paradigm? It's quite a conundrum.

In the end, cryptocurrency will only be truly valuable if we can come to consensus about who deserves money and who doesn't. In order to do this, an extremely corruption resistant reputation system must be put into place. This reputation system would measure an individual's fiscal responsibility. The more responsible you are, the more money you get. It is in this way that we can close the loop of corruption that so deeply wounds everyone on the entire planet; the poor most of all.

I'm not saying financially irresponsible people shouldn't get any money. Everyone deserves food, water, and shelter. However, we have to put people in check who would buy a gold-plated shark tank just because they could. The way going forward is clear, but the time it takes to get there is completely obfuscated.

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getting rich and being able to spend money on whatever they desire, is the exact reason why the blockchain is being held back in the first place

I don't actually see the blockchain being held back, maybe regarding the prices, but in market dynamics people will always be "greedy" and try to do the best moves to achieve a higher return.

But returning to the blockchain being "held back", I think the opposite is true, the blockchain as a technology is growing and getting better every passing day, with new ideas being developed, and current projects being improved and refined. The blockchain is in full force even if the market doesn't show it.

In order to do this, an extremely corruption resistant reputation system must be put into place

I don't know how can something like that be achieved, a lot of corruption and illegal activities are done using crypto currencies.

This reputation system would measure an individual's fiscal responsibility

How could something like that be implemented without violating that individual right to privacy?

Either way, I think it is a matter of time for high prices to return. We all know crypto is very volatile and we are seeing the ugly part of it right now, but nothing last forever and the next bull run should eventually come.



How could something like that be implemented without violating that individual right to privacy?

If you want to be in control of millions of dollars perhaps it should be assumed that you waive your right to privacy when it comes to those funds. You make good points. This post is a hopeful prediction of the distant future.

I'd be a smart spender. I care more about free time and traveling than material things. If I could travel more freely I would be happy.


I could see you as a time traveler. Dr. Who would be proud.

With great power comes great responsibility and that's true with short term earned wealth as well, which is often utilized to achieve one's pitty dreams. It is a matter of psychology to understand why short term earned money is wasted and I am not saying it's wasted by all. I am sure many have invested the money and are quite successful today. In the end I wanna say I enjoyed reading your post. It was good to see a reflection of the world in your writing.

I don't get this Lambo fetish people who run into huge piles of money have. Sure, I am not one of them, who knows what I'd think if I would? If I'd keep my head on my shoulders, I probably would price higher a totally different type of car.

Had no idea of the extravagant lifestyle of Nicolas Cage. I wonder if I could watch another movie with him without picturing him surrounded by a zoo.

I woke up one morning and picked up the phone. The new routine to clear the clouds of the night and sharpen the head for the day. I usually start with some news. But that day I opened my Steemit feed and started reading... this very post! Didn't expect to read such an insightful piece. It rekindled my hope for our community. Thank you

Actually I would say that Trump sound money management. Bankrupting a business is not the same as personal bankruptcy. That is the mistake most make. For the wealthy, bankruptcy of a business is just a financial tool. Nothing more. Sometimes a business comes out of it, other times you just liquidate.

Often, the company is bankrupted after they pillaged for everything of value and nothing is left. Eddie Lampart is doing that with Sears right now. Piece by piece he is selling off until there will be nothing left.

Personal bankruptcy is when they start taking your shit to sell it off to pay creditors. When you have enormous wealth, that is often the result of being a dumbass.

Although I will say Schilling at least went bankrupt because he was funding his business...and the market turned on him. Bernie Kosar was in the same boat on a real estate development where he had $30M tied up when the market turned.

So they are only partial dumbasses....although I bet they did drive nice cars.


I still want to see his taxes.

I want to upvote this; unfortunately I have spent all my VP for today. Case in point. I'll come back tomorrow. This was great.

I agree - those in the new money category often eschew continued wealth creation and instead choose to play status games (generally via purchasing luxury goods à la Nicolas Cage) that may have played a significant role in our evolutionary past but that nowadays, I would submit, are utterly trivial with respect to status.

Unfortunately, conspicuous consumption and planned obsolescence are staples of our consumerist society. In my case, minimalism has been an effective counterbalance; however, even if the legitimization of cryptocurrencies as an asset class generates unprecedented wealth for the multitude, I do not envision a majority of them escaping from the high time preference mindset that fosters said staples.

And yet, who knows? If incentives are aligned properly and principles are prioritized above instant gratification, then fiscal responsibility may very well become the rule and not the exception.


I assume that the best cryptocurrencies are the ones that will distribute their money the most intelligently. It wouldn't be smart to give resources to people who are going to spend it on a Bengal Tiger.

That being said I think crypto will have to be mainstream for a decade before we see any truly amazing systems. The road is long and slow.

You raise great points and while I agree, thisbis the first revolution of a technology that is not centralized by a government or an organization which can lead to be distribution of wealth. While we cannot control what these new wealthy will do, at least it could help with the distribution to those that did not have access previously. Another issue is that if we just invest and cryptocurrencies and hold, adoption will never come and therefore will never have a great use case in the future. This is an important difference with STEEM as engagement itself is the transaction.

I'm buying the shark-tank...