Are cryptocurrencies entertainment?

I’ve been thinking a little bit lately about why the cryptocurrency market has not completely collapsed on itself. What most innovation-averse pundits miss is that if there were no underlying intrinsic benefits to the pyramid that’s being built, it would have already imploded like a house of cards.

To be sure, much of the value in the market comes from speculation; a belief that in the near future digital currency will be easier to use, more stable, and more capable of handling the scale required to be a global financial solution.

In the short-term however, I think most if not all cryptocurrency developers are missing something in the environment: the fact that some unknown percentage of their value comes from entertainment. Dog-e coin, stupid as it is, realizes this.

There are definite and obvious parallels to be made to the world of sports. When you browse you see a ranking of market caps of digital currencies. When I browse it, I see the league standings of a new form of mass entertainment.

Imagine that every coin on was a sports team in the NFL, NBA, Premier League, etc. It each has dedicated (perhaps feverishly) followers who despise most other coins/teams and will publicly disparage them at any opportunity. Each coin has its own unique set of branding attributes - colors, logos, designs, websites, clothing, and more - that contribute to the overall resonance the coin has with a user. I know that even though I love Peercoin for its technical fundamentals, part of the love comes from how the logo, colors, and community make me feel when I use it and communicate that desire to others.

If you change your vantage point of the marketplace to include entertainment, perhaps even the term “speculation” doesn’t fully encapsulate what’s happening right now with crypto valuations. I view a portion of the value created as just pure gambling - a concept that has been associated with sports since the first caveman threw a stick further than his friend and won some shiny rocks as a bet. People love to bet on their selected team, even when it’s not the rational choice - heck, Junkcoin has a half million dollar valuation today. I think the positive utility gained from gambling as a form of entertainment, even when you lose, is not being fully considered in discussions of value.

I hope this thread can stimulate some out-of-the-box thinking on what exactly cryptos can be, and where their value in the marketplace is derived from. If we can make strides to make Peercoin more “fun” and simple to use (continual improvement of branding elements, especially the GUI of the Peercoin client) it will create more lifelong supporters in the entertainment niche of the marketplace. And I truly believe that the coins that can bootstrap their value with entertainment in the short-term stand a chance of gaining the critical adoption levels required to transition into a true currency (defined as a widely-accepted medium of exchange).

So, what you’re really saying is that Peercoin needs to become a major sponsor of an NFL team.


Actually, in all seriousness, I like the analysis and analogy that you provided. I’ve always felt that working along side a crypto community is akin to being a team member of a start-up, but it’s equally valid for the analogy of a sports franchise supporter.

Interesting thoughts. I think you’re right, there is a sense of belonging, lot’s of speculation and a belief that there will be a better future (digital currency).

I agree with Ben that it feels like being part of a start-up with lot’s of promises and opportunities. It feels good to be part of a growing (and winning) team. It also originates from the madness the banks left us and which still needs to be solved somehow which won’t go without consequences (inflation, confidence issues etc.)

The good part is that this looks very similar as when other technological breakthroughs came through. Who remembers the first car (oh, nobody), the first TV (small audience maybe?)?

But seriously, when the first computers came, there were many battles (TRS80, Sinclair etc) and the Atari / Amiga battle, then came the internet, with all the .com companies fighting each other.
I think this is just the next wave of some disruptive technology (also keep an eye on 3d printing), which will be mass adopted in the next years to come in one way or the other.

It is clearly building from a movement (Bitcoin) to a competitive environment (now with 50+ altcoins mining for their lives, which seems to be profitable for some and a driver), to a more functional environment which we will see this year (payment processors, advanced wallets, mobile wallets and all kinds of financial services alongside) with real intrinsic value (seen the Bitcoin vault insurer underwritten by Lloyds?) and serious investments and markets.

Although coins like Dogecoin have some entertainment value, I think it is a bit tricky in the long term to make a lot of fun out of financial services as most people tend to be very serious about it. Having said that, it can help to attract the early adaptors we still need. Once mass-adoption comes into play, I think you have to be a bit more conservative in the basic services, but making some fun in the marketing and advertisements won’t hurt. In other words a technically sound wallet with some nice logo/mascot or recognisable sounds which relate to the marketing of the coin, could make a big hit.

I definitely agree with the entertainment value, and I also thought of this while looking at (and I really laughed at Cat Coin, CAT). I confess the entertainment value is a big part of the appeal for me (but honest, I’ve only owned PPC, BTC, NMC and XPM, that’s plenty for me!).

Also, like Cybnate, the current varieties for the newest big tech novelty made me think of the much larger variety of computers in the 80’s, but the difference is, there is not much entertainment value in keeping a Timex-Sinclair alive, along with the TRS’s and Atari’s etc, whereas obviously there is, for, say, Doge and CAT. (I do have a Timex-Sinclair 1000 that is kept purely for entertainment value, though.) And of course there would have been far more investment needed to keep the computing varieties alive, so most of them were doomed, whereas the coins stay alive or even resurrect repeatedly, so they are not so easily killed. So I think we’ll have a bunch of coins for a long time, perhaps indefinitely.

But there is some effort needed by merchants and exchanges to support a coin. There is no problem with having 4-5 but the vast majority won’t support 70. Just as a merchant may support Visa and MasterCard and Discover and American Express, but not 60 other card varieties. Many only take Visa and Mastercard, just as some may eventually take only PPC and XPM ;). So while the variety is entertaining, it is also serious, and there is potential for competition, and significant losses for players, for sure.

And the analogy of sports teams etc is useful, too, because it shows the importance of keeping a very polished image for our favorite coins, and thus increase fan support. There are already coins that are well-supported in illegal uses, and while our coins could be used in those same ways, I think it would help to promote more broadly-appealing uses. One easy thing may be to get charities to post PPC wallet addresses on their sites. I think recruiting merchants is much harder, because for a variety of reasons it is just not very practical at the moment for mainstream merchants selling material goods to accept cryptocoins, so primarily they would do it to make a political or philosophical statement. And they have to worry about their image as well, so the image of the coins they support on their websites is important.

I like the charity idea not just for promoting our image, but because for me making a donation with a credit card has the big minus of having to leave name and address, so then they waste part of my donation to send mailings to me for the rest of my life. If I only make a small donation, there is no use for having to disclose my identity. So this is a genuine logical use for cryptocoins that benefits both sender and recipient and is truly better than than using a credit card (unlike the case of making a purchase, say, on, unless of course the BTC were obtained illegally; the truth is that at this time, for purchasing material goods, credit cards are better for most customers that have a credit card).

I’m still pondering why you think there is more entertainment value in keeping an Timex-Sinclair 1000 or a say 1000 Dogecoins.
Regarding the coins, the current coins may not exist in 5-10 years time, but might be replaced by something better, smarter or more attractive.

Slightly off-topic:

  • Main consideration for merchants is probably indeed a political or philosophical statement, but don’t underestimate the number of people not being eligible for creditcards. For the merchants this can be an unexplored new market especially for relatively low-value goods. There is also an opportunity, if cryptos become more useful in the future (e.g. lower fees or more convenience), then they are already ahead of the competition.
  • Another market for cryptos is overseas transactions. With cryptos this can be done much cheaper as you won’t attract all the bank fees. This will be even more profitable if you can order the goods with Peercoins, instead of going from fiat to Peercoin and back to fiat in overseas country as I still have to do now. A truly global business, anyone?

for sure cryptos are entertaining as hell. We have villains (the government, pirate@40,brucewagner, luke-jr), hero’s (satoshi, sunny, max keiser) adversity (mining, exchange rates, scammers). Now if someone would clue hot girls in on crypto’s i’d never leave my laptop.

Like the comparison on villians, heroes and adversity. And I think they already invented sexcoin, so feel free to add that to your collection. I would recommend to still leave your laptop though :wink:

We have actors for sublime aspirations (idealists who are in for a currency free from manipulation by the 1%, for the 99%), for sins (drug dealers, gamblers, botnet operators…), and for mundane needs (merchants, speculators, hackers, entrepreneurs, savers for retirements, government bodies). Free-wheeling and wild. Hollywood stuff.

Absolutely yes. Crypto currencies have a big space in entertainment. Sports, online games, casinos and even illegal activities currently use e-coins for payments. There are also other demands like what I’ve read here: On a serious note, I wouldn’t be surprised if other alternative coins will emerge. I guess we’re just gonna have to watch the hype and demand over crypto currency.

Great analogy :smiley:

I have to say I don’t follow football (the real one, the one you play with your foot ;P) as much as before I was into cryptos…

its entertaining watching Fiat burn or rather be demasked for the non representation of value it is, rather (fiat) being the shackles of servitude due to central bank/bank/politics or wage slavery. Cryptos and peercoin in a way invisible to Fiat powers releases forever from that servitude

I get no end of entertainment from that

One way to spend cryptocurrencies is through entertainment. Casino gaming is one very good example. With these crypto coins, you can obtain fast and easy transaction. It’s no wonder that thousands of gambling sites adopt this e-coin with no hesitation. BetCoin™ for example is just one of the existing gambling sites I’m talking about.