When I consider the ultra-speculative component of the cryptocurrency complex, I can’t help but have mixed feelings. On one hand, cryptos like Floki Inu (FLOKI-USD) are incredibly dangerous, best left to gamblers who know what they’re doing. But on the other hand, what’s wrong with pulling the lever of a slot machine?
As one of the earliest proponents of virtual currencies at InvestorPlace, I’m not going to trash the sector. Indeed, with cryptos dramatically changing my life, I will always have a sense of gratitude toward decentralized protocols and economies. At the same time, I get bored with a one-track mindset.
Therefore, I don’t view it as a character flaw to challenge deeply held assumptions, even when they are assumptions that I hold myself. And that brings me to what I most appreciate about Floki Inu: It’s really a breath of fresh air.
Too many times, I hear people on social media talk about how decentralization and the blockchain will save the world, particularly in the arena of democratization. Indeed, the World Economic Forum published an article by Stephen Stonberg, CEO of Bittrex Global, about how cryptos are “democratizing the financial world,” particularly in African countries.
“For example, if you were living in Nigeria, you would have seen your net worth drop by nearly 50% since 2016 as the Nigerian Naira dropped from roughly 200 Naira per US Dollar to nearly 400 Naira per US Dollar by the end of 2020.” However, if your assets would have been diverted to stablecoins (dollar-pegged cryptos), you would have protected yourself from devaluation.
Further, with the advent of tokenized stocks, you can buy fractional shares of tokens for as little as $5. While this sounds like an initiative that could improve people’s lives, arguably proponents of Floki Inu are having none of it.
Floki Inu and the Democratization of Casinos
Of course, I can’t speak for the entire community of Floki Inu supporters so I won’t. But from my observation, people who wager on FLOKI do so only in the hopes that someone else will come along and buy their tokens at a higher price.
That’s really what it boils down to.
Sure, we can go into the details of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and developing a currency for a metaverse ecosystem. As well, we can talk about the merchandise marketplace called FlokiPlaces and the content and education platform called Floki University. All great stuff but let’s be real. If there was no possibility of making money with these decentralized endeavors, very few would participate.
So I’m totally fine if people want to speculate on Floki Inu, so long as they know what they’re getting involved in. Just like I wouldn’t stop someone from going to Las Vegas and having some fun, people have every right to participate in FLOKI.
I’m okay with it because the underlying premise of Floki Inu is so absurd that it acts as its own disclaimer; as in, if you buy this, there’s a 99% chance you’ll lose money over the long run. Then, again, even Vegas has its share of absurd wagers, as the 2,000 or so prop bets available ahead of yesterday’s Super Bowl evidenced.
If anything, my frustration is directed toward proponents of “legitimate” cryptocurrencies that disseminate this idea of promoting global financial democratization. Let’s go back to the World Economic Forum article. It mentions participation in tokenized versions of popular securities for a few bucks a pop, something that citizens of developing countries can afford.
What a patronizing concept!
How condescending that we citizens of developed nations receive sage advice about only directing a small portion of our portfolio into cryptos, while Nigerians must put all their wealth into stablecoins or other blockchain-based assets.
Is that really democratization?
Despite having covered Floki Inu extensively — what is this, my 56th take on the token? — I’m not finding too many faults with it, so long as you’re honest with what it is and just as importantly, what it isn’t. You can call it guilt-free gambling if you like.
But for other crypto projects, the line between enthusiasm and false advertising is blurry. While decentralization is an interesting concept, it will not by itself lead to social equity and democratization. If, using the WEF’s example, Nigeria as a whole owned a large portion of a popular crypto — let’s say 25% — then we’re talking about democratization.
But if its people are receiving on average only fractional equity of a tokenized version of a blue-chip stock, that’s not democratization, that’s exploitation.
I suppose that’s why I can’t get too riled up about Floki Inu. Here, participants out of their own volition are exploiting themselves.
On the date of publication, Josh Enomoto did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.
A former senior business analyst for Sony Electronics, Josh Enomoto has helped broker major contracts with Fortune Global 500 companies. Over the past several years, he has delivered unique, critical insights for the investment markets, as well as various other industries including legal, construction management, and healthcare.