crypto today has a heavy chandelier problem
half a century ago, at the height of soviet prestige, central planners in moscow grappled with the problem of how to measure and incentivize rapid progress.
weight quickly emerged as an imperfect but practical measure of industrial output.

a steel mill’s performance can be measured by the tons of steel it produces.

target tons of output, incentivize factories to achieve the targets and the economy will grow.
observers at the time gushed about the stunning growth statistics such a policy produced
yet realities on the ground quickly diverged from the rosy aggregates. when output was measured by weight, managers were incentivized to produce heavier products, even if it made the product useless
the more tons of chandeliers a moscow factory produced, the more the factory earned
the chandeliers grew heavier and heavier. eventually they began to pull ceilings down, killing and maiming people
we have no centrally planned diktats enforced at gunpoint in crypto.

but our own system has created outcomes just as dumb in pursuit of rosy aggregate statistics.

too much talent and capital inside crypto today has been deployed to produce heavy chandeliers
few protocols generate profits today. so observers rely primarily on activity metrics to judge traction.

transactions, active addresses and TVL have emerged as our “not perfect but good enough” metrics of progress.
we have concentrated capital and labor to produce these metrics at scale.

projects that generate these metrics (and have positive first and second derivatives) are rewarded with more funding, glowing press coverage and soaring token prices.
whether these metrics reflect “real usage” or solve an actual problem is irrelevant. whether the metrics themselves are even “real” is often also unimportant.
when khrushchev discovered that factories were producing chandeliers so heavy they pulled ceilings down, he exploded at a group of soviet planners:

“who needs [these metrics]?! To whom does it give light?!”
the best talent in crypto should refuse to work on heavy chandeliers

they deserve real problems, with real impact

they deserve to work on something that will give light
thread is just a teaser

full piece analyses sybil dynamics, specific metrics games being played, the implications of scaling maturing, and reaffirms an ethos for the future
i owe intellectual debts to many, particularly: @hasufl @nic__carter @VitalikButerin
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