How crypto goes to zero

If everyone stopped using it. That, in five words, is how crypto would go to zero. Still, the journey is more interesting than the destination. The death of ftx, an exchange declared bankrupt on November 11th after a spectacular blow-up, will encourage some people to turn their attention elsewhere. What would have to happen for everyone to give up?

An answer requires a sense of how the industry works. At crypto’s base are blockchains, like Bitcoin and Ethereum, which record transactions verified by computers, a process incentivised by the issuance of new tokens. The Ethereum blockchain validates lines of code, which has made it possible for people to issue their own tokens or build applications. These include stablecoins, which are pegged to real-world currencies, and tokens like Uniswap, which manage decentralised-finance (DeFi) protocols. Major chains and a handful of Ethereum-based tokens, like stablecoins, account for about 90% of cryptocurrency value. Big businesses have been…

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