‘Scam, pyramid scheme, environmental disaster’, Vivaldi CEO on cryptocurrencies

Vivaldi browser is the latest company to take stand against cryptocurrency. It said it won’t provide cryptocurrency wallets in its browser because it doesn’t want users to participate in crypto trading – something CEO Jon von Tetzchner describes as “at best a gamble and at worst a scam.”

For the uninitiated, Vivaldi is a freeware, cross-platform web browser, a company founded by Tatsuki Tomita and Jon von Tetzchner, who was the co-founder and CEO of Opera Software.

The development comes a week after rival Mozilla announced accepting donations via cryptocurrencies but swiftly backtracked, saying the policy would be paused and reviewed. As for Vivaldi boss Tetzchner “cryptocurrency is more than a pyramid scheme posing as currency,” adding that “cryptocurrency has been touted by many as a revolution in currency, the future of investment, and a breakthrough technology.”

He also criticized the way digital coins are sold to budding investors. “Since cryptocurrencies are too volatile to be used as an actual currency, people treat it as a sort of investment scheme,” he writes. “The problem is that to extract actual money from the system you have to find someone willing to buy the tokens you are holding. And this is only likely to happen as long as they believe they will be able to sell them on to someone who’ll pay even more for them. And so on, and so on.”

On environmental disasters

For Tetzchner, the energy consumption of cryptocurrency mining is another major concern. “The energy usage of Bitcoin alone is staggering, consuming as much electricity as some countries. And this is likely to keep increasing as the technology behind it does not and cannot scale in any reasonable way,” he wrote in a blog post.

“While so many of us are trying our best to reduce our carbon footprints, it feels counterproductive to indulge in technology that undoes that hard work,” he adds.

Tetzchner believes that 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.”

Although other browser such as Opera, offer support for cryptowallets, the Vivaldi boss says there’s no chance Vivaldi will go down the same path. “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,” he emphasized.

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