A hilarious new cryptocurrency themed video has surfaced on YouTube. It starts with a man walking through the desert and being lucky enough to stumble upon a lemonade stand. He says “Perfect, I am dying out here, how much?”, and the man running the Lemonade stand responds “1 dollar worth of Lemoncoin, which is approximately 1,000 Lemoncoins”.
The man pulls out a US dollar bill, and the Lemonade stand operator aggressively responds “Get that centralized currency out of my face, this is 2018, I only accept cryptocurrency here, preferably Lemoncoin.” The man responds “I do not have whatever a Lemoncoin is.” The Lemonade stand operator explains “Lemoncoin is my utility token, it does not have a lot of utility yet, but we are working on it. One day it might go to a dollar.”
Although this video is certainly comedy oriented, it speaks the truth. Many dApps on the Ethereum network and other blockchain platforms force users to buy the native token of the platform. This is done in order to increase demand for the token and raise its price, with the tradeoff being a worse user experience. Further, initial coin offerings (ICOs) often make false promises of a cryptocurrency’s future price in order to get people to buy.
Another important point is that, while blockchain technology is highly useful and futuristic, it is not healthy to integrate blockchain technology into everything. Many platforms integrate blockchain technology into goods or services and try to hype it up, even if there is no benefit of using blockchain technology for that good or service.
The man trying to buy Lemonade says “Cool. I do not have Lemoncoin.” The man running the Lemonade stand says “Fine, I also take Bitcoin or Dogecoin.” The man tries to trade his Shiba Inu for a glass of lemonade at this point, but is refuted since the man running the Lemonade stand says it costs at least 200 Doge. This Siba Inu is obviously the man’s beloved pet, but clearly, he is so thirsty, due to being in the middle of the desert, that he needs the lemonade more than his pet.
The man who is now frustrated and desperate says “Ok fine, how do I get Lemoncoin, why is this so difficult?” The man running the Lemonade stand says “Think about it, it is the future of business, a trustless system without third parties. So to get Lemoncoin, I just need you to create an account on this third party exchange.”
A sketchy man in expensive furs then walks up and asks for bank information, passport, social security number, and a selfie. The man trying to buy lemonade says “I thought you said this was a trustless system.” This is the reality in the cryptocurrency space, converting from fiat to cryptocurrency is essential to enter the space, but exchanges and companies usually collect a full spectrum of know your customer (KYC) information before selling cryptocurrency due to government regulations. This is in drastic contrast to Satoshi Nakamoto’s vision of an anonymous and trustless form of money.
The man surrenders to this breach of privacy since he is so desperate for a cool drink, but then is informed it will take 3-5 days to process his application. This means the man, who is desperate for a drink, will not be able to get any lemonade when he actually needs it, even though it is sitting right in front of him and he has the cash to pay for it. He says “This is ridiculous, you are telling me if anyone wants to buy lemonade they have to go through this process?” The lemonade stand operator responds “This is the future of business, I already got like a dozen customers” when in fact there is no one else around and this frustrated customer is the only one there at the time.
That last part of the video really solidifies the point the video is making. Even if someone has money and desperately wants to buy a good or service with cryptocurrency, they have to wait days to get their cryptocurrency when using an exchange, making the process much more difficult than using regular cash. Cryptocurrency is designed to be secure and instant, but many of the centralized exchanges that exist are defeating that purpose.
Overall, although this video is hilarious, within 2 minutes it brings forth some bitter truths about why blockchain platforms will have a hard time gaining mainstream adoption. Indeed, many Ethereum dApps that have received tens of millions of USD of investment have far less than 1,000 users and a constantly declining user base.
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