This Academic Says Crypto Is Centralized

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Alex Dovbnya

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Catherine Flick has made a compelling argument that the cryptocurrency industry is actually getting even more centralized with the proliferation of NFTs


Catherine Flick, a senior lecturer in computing and social responsibility at De Montfort University Leicester (DMU), believes that the cryptocurrency sector is not actually decentralized, Business Insider reports.

In fact, she argues that the industry has a “colonialist mindset,” pointing to the fact that centralized entities typically rely on cheap labor.

Flick claims that many artists that have created popular collections of non-fungible tokens are underpaid. Many NFT critics argue that artists are still unable to make money in the sector and have control over their work due to tech opportunism.

While Yuga Labs, the company behind the Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) has managed to make millions of dollars, Seneca the lead artist behind the collection didn’t get her fair share. After she complained about the unsatisfactory compensation to Rolling Stone in a recent interview, a broader discussion about the role of artists in the NFT space ensued.

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The influence of venture capitalists

Following the launch of ApeCoin, the cryptocurrency that was airdropped to BAYC NFT holders, some opined that venture capital firms of the likes of Andreessen Horowitz benefited the most from the token launch, which underscored the centralization of crypto.

Flick has stressed that most people are left “holding the bag” in crypto, while early adopters are among the only beneficiaries.  

NFTs are now even more centralized

Earlier this month, Yuga Labs also acquired the CryptoPunks collection from Larva Labs. The fact that one centralized entity controls the two most popular NFT collections triggered a wave of criticism from those who are worried that Web3, the term that refers to the next iteration of the internet, isn’t even remotely as decentralized as it is supposed to be.

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