Crypto: The Rigged Poker Game

Imagine a poker game. Imagine all the players putting their money in the pot, but only one player wins that money. It’s a zero sum game…one player wins, but the rest lose.

Now, imagine a referee for that poker game. His fee is to take money from the pot during each round. The game is now no longer zero sum for the players…it’s negative sum for the players because the amount of money that is available to the players to win is less than put in.

There will still be a winner in each game, but even though there’s a winner, it’s overall negative sum for the group of players involved. And for any person to keep making money, you have to recruit new players to play since some players will eventually lose their money.

Now, there’s another twist. The players aren’t putting cash into the pot. They exchange their cash for chips, and play with the chips. But unbeknownst to them, the casino taking the chips is pocketing some of the money, and thus the chips aren’t fully backed 1:1 by $.

Thus, the amount of chips that are being played isn’t reflective of the real $ that went in…there’s more chips than real $, meaning some players will get screwed when they try to cash in their chips. And hold tight, because it gets worse.

Some of the players have hidden cameras so they can see other players’ cards. This puts them at a distinct advantage over the other players. They consistently win more often, wiping out many players along the way (while simultaneously recruiting new ones).

On top of that, these players are in cahoots with the casino. They advertise how much money they’re making at this poker game. It’s the poker game of the future. They encourage others to play. But nobody hears about the players that are losing.

This game continues as long as there’s new players to keep playing the game. The small number of players with the hidden cameras or the most chips are able to just keep taking from all the new players. The games don’t stop until there’s not enough new players.

And remember, this entire time, there’s still a ref siphoning money out of the pot each and every game. So you’ve got a rigged game where there’s a few winners (the ref, a few players) and many losers (all the other players).

Would you play a poker game like this? Most would say no. But that’s the game you play if you invest in crypto. The miners are the refs. The crypto exchanges and whales are the players with a lot of chips or hidden cameras. The chips are Tether.

Keep this in mind whenever you think about putting your money into crypto. You’re playing a rigged poker game under the guise of the “future.” Eventually, it can only end one way for most players. No one can say when it will happen, but it will happen.

DISCLOSURE: Given the massive systemic risks in the crypto ecosystem, especially in regards to Tether, I own some long-dated BITO, MARA, and MSTR puts, as well as a small MSTR short position.

DISCLOSURE UPDATE 01/23/2022: I have closed out my long-dated MSTR and MARA puts. I continue to hold BITO puts and a small MSTR short position. I may re-enter new short positions on any crypto market bounce.

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