“The entire crypto fantasy…” according to Jon von Tetzchner

The Co-Founder and CEO of the company behind the Vivaldi browser, Jon von Tetzchner, in a post on the Vivaldi blog:

The entire crypto fantasy is designed to lure you into a system that is extremely inefficient, consumes vast amounts of energy, uses large amounts of hardware that could better be spent doing something else and will quite often result in the average person losing any money they might put into it.

When you strip away the hype, these virtual currencies have very real repercussions for people, society, and the environment.  By creating our own cryptocurrency or supporting cryptocurrency-related features in the browser, we would be helping our users to participate in what is at best a gamble and at worst a scam. It would be unethical, plain and simple. 

We refuse to dress these scams up as opportunities. Instead, we encourage you to treat them with the skepticism they deserve. This may be a game for some curious crypto-investors and wealthy speculators, but for those unlucky enough to get caught out by the pyramid scheme, it could be devastating. 

You should read the full post for additional context, but there is a lot behind this blog post about Tetzchner and the Opera browser that Tetzchner also founded.

Tetzchner left Opera in 2011, the company behind Opera went on to not only fully embraced the crypto grift for years, including a crypto wallet in their browser they also got into, and I’m not joking, payday lending.

Opera subsidiary Opay has an usurious loan service called OKash that is for some reason still available in the Google Play store despite being banned from filing certain credit reports in Kenya for spamming the contact lists of borrowers who were unable to pay:

In recent months, for instance, consumers of mobile app Okash who delayed or defaulted on their loan repayments have had the unpleasant experience of having the service provider reach out to people in their contacts list in a bid to recover the funds.

“Hello, kindly inform XX to pay the Okash loan of Sh2,560 TODAY before we proceed and take legal action to retrieve the debt,” says a sample text message the service provider sends to people in one’s contact list. “We have tried calling in vain. This is the last reminder. Many thanks, Okash team.”

Opera’s disgustingly usurious subsidiary also used to have interest rates in the astronomical hundreds of percentages and short repayment periods, but they were forced to stop that by Google, supposedly.

There’s never been a better time to try out the Vivaldi browser. They probably won’t get involved in usury.