Mozilla blinked

As always, the only way to get a corporation to behave ethically is to create a PR disaster for their comms team:

Starting today we are reviewing if and how our current policy on crypto donations fits with our climate goals. And as we conduct our review, we will pause the ability to donate cryptocurrency.

I am happy for whatever part I played in getting them to rescind that terrible decision.

Cryptocurrencies are not only an apocalyptic ecological disaster, and a greater-fool pyramid scheme, but are also incredibly toxic to the open web, another ideal that Mozilla used to support.

So I hope that after they "conduct their review", the conclusion they reach is the obvious one: "Bury it in the desert. Wear gloves."

Please read the most recent thing I wrote about crypto grifters: "How The Cryptobros Have Fallen; or, the through-line from Assassination Politics to monkey JPEGs."

One of my favorite overall explanations of this nonsense is Blockchain's Two-Flavored Appeal: "Not surprisingly, the most enthusiastic bitcoin and blockchain proponents are the ones who understand neither databases nor economics."

Also highly relevant is "Cooling the mark out" an article specifically about antivaxxers, but also applicable to people who have been taken in by the cryptocurrency grift. They must continue to recruit others into the con even when it doesn't benefit them financially because that's the only way to save face.

And, of course I also recommend the entirety of my "Dunning-Krugerrands" tag.

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33 Responses:

  1. Cayce says:

    How could people who see this forest for the trees sustain this pushing-back? Start cursing at all our trusted organizations which dabble in this nonsense and cancel our memberships? I'm happy that your clout and others' helped getting the attention, but how could we go on?

  2. Dude says:

    As both an admirer of your work, Jamie, and someone currently using Firefox (as I have for a great many years now): kudos! I'm hoping to come by the Lounge (most likely Saturday), so I'll happily raise a glass to this very thing.

  3. Oh hell yeah, cheers!

  4. Dave Polaschek says:

    Nice work! Glad they’re at least thinking now.

  5. John Doe says:

    oKAy boomer

  6. Eric says:

    That Firefox/Goatse logo is a nice distraction from the fact that the real logo bears a stunning resemblance to Trump's hair.

  7. Cynicus Rex says:

    “Cryptocurrencies are not only an apocalyptic ecological disaster, and a greater-fool pyramid scheme, but are also incredibly toxic to the open web, another ideal that Mozilla used to support.”

    At risk of being pedantic, I prefer writing crypto“currencies” because “cryptocurrencies” is a misnomer giving undue credence to what they really are: a mix of multi-level marketing pyramid Ponzi schemes. It's so irritating that this charlatan industry has tainted the word crypto.

    Anyway, to those who enjoyed this piece, have at it:

    Money corrupts; bitcoin corrupts absolutely. Disregarding all of bitcoin's shortcomings, a financial instrument that brings out the worst in people—greed—won't change the world for the better.” —

    Web4 should run on LaTeX. The World Wide Web is broken: it is dominated by a handful of websites, nearly everything is financed by ads, bloated tech needlessly slows down surfing, NFTs and blockchain are digital cancer, et cetera. Stop it. Just stop it.” —

    • tfb says:

      The LaTeX thing is clever but interestingly wrong in practice. Most people who write a lot of LaTeX (I'm probably at the low end of 'a lot') do end up spending a lot of time worrying about fiddly details of things, because if you write a lot of maths, especially displayed maths, you have to. Yes, you can 'just write' the maths (and one of the joys of TeX is that you can very quickly get to the point where you can simply look at the hand-written original and type it in), but you then spend endless happy (er) hours mucking around with line breaks and alignment of broken expressions and so on.

      Of course if you just write text that probably is not true ... although even then you can spend a long time rewording things to avoid bad line/oage breaks.

      The real joy of it, though, is that it is very probable that something you write today will be typesettable in twenty years time or more

  8. Sylvia van Os says:

    The weird thing is, when I go to I still get a BitPay link and I've cleared my cache several times, and it is now almost 24 hours past "starting today [...] we will pause the ability to donate cryptocurrency".

    I've poked Mozilla about this on Twitter too, hopefully it will get a reply:

    I personally worry they're just hoping to get away with saying they stopped it without actually doing so, hoping none of us actually checks their donate page...

    • Sylvia van Os says:

      Okay it took almost a week but they finally removed the Bitcoin donation crap.

  9. jstewart says:

    I like The Case Against Crypto. The main thing it adds to what's already been said here is historical context. Private currencies have been tried before and they were disasters.

  10. Semi-OT, but that xkcd rec to "bury it in the desert, wear gloves" has always struck me as irresponsible. Burying something in the desert is a good way to ensure that one day somebody will be able to dig it up, bring it home, and start dicking around with it, with predictably horrible consequences.

    "Nuke it from orbit, it's the only way to be sure" has always been my motto.

    • Derpatron9000 says:

      You're right, using a nuclear weapon is less "irresponsible" than burying it if the goal is to hide it away.

  11. Jake says:

    At one time there may have been some stateless appeal to Bitcoin and for those who are unbanked. Unfortunately that value has attracted all shades of humanity including grifters. The stateless appeal is pretty much gone with tentacles of capital markets successfully entwined. Likely a slow death of one to three years or a very surprising mass adoption and green pledge. To find out which path just keep an eye on media sentiment.

  12. thielges says:

    Mozilla's about-face has made international news.

  13. As seemingly the only other Firefox user on the planet, it saddens me as it’s proof that FF is not long for this world. The chrome singularity engulfs all. On the other hand it’s understandable they tried this path when most of their funding comes from google.

  14. MattyJ says:

    I'll just leave this here because it totally makes sense:

  15. jwz says:

    Also I'm deeply disappointed that nobody seems to have noticed my <BLINK> joke.

  16. Dude says:

    Don't say "yes, cryto/blockchain attracts right-wingers, but..." and then immediately follow it up with the NRA defence of "a gun/crypto is just a tool - it's just being MISused by the wrong people".

    A gun is a weapon: designed for the sole purpose of firing projectile objects that destroy their target. Guns kill instantly.

    Crypto and blockchain are overrated "unicorn" tech that are nowhere near as secure as their hype men claim, whilst the process itself is environmentally catastrophic. Cryto/blockchain kills slowly.

    • sirpy says:

      This is not guns lets not get carried away. But yeah a gun is only a tool. All men creations are just neutral tools.
      Most blockchains are not environmentally harmful they work on proof of stake or other consesus mechanisms that dont require computing power.
      What is killing the earth is our economic system not blockchains and not you buying plastic straws

      • Dude says:

        A hammer is a tool, only weaponised if misused; a gun is a weapon, period.

        There's no such thing as "some" environmentally-averse block/crypto; it's all planet-killing (as proven with the links above, which are just the tip of the iceberg that is slowly melting).

        Block/crypto won't "save" finance anymore than the cloud "saved" computing by being an open door for people to steal info and documents with little resistance.

  17. Dude says:

    Amazing how your rejection of "binary thinking" is backed up by circular logic: fund green projects with worthless Monopoly money that wreaks havoc on the environment.

    That's like saying, "Hey, wanna stop gun violence and other crimes? Authorise The Purge!" Brilliant... just brilliant.

    • Rex D Stock says:

      I use my real name. Why don't you use yours? Your argument is flawed as there are some (not enough) crypto mining that's being done using completely renewable, true (Word Resource Institute and GreenPeace) standards such as geothermal power to power mines. Geothermal power that would have otherwise sat fallow given the love affair one sees with pv solar. Your analogy is appropriate for some things, just not what I said. I only reply to you because you give me an opportunity to respond to what I'm sure is a common misconception, one shared by the founder of Firefox, Dude.

      • Rex D Stock says:

        Surprised you didn't elicit the ubiquitous LOL, though I did see you employed an equally low-brow form of communication, the GIF. Again. Binary thinking kills, Dude.

      • Dude says:

        ...he said without an ounce of evidence to back it up. You think crypto is somehow green because of unused vaporware rather than the toxin-spewing methods currently used en masse for crypto-mining?

        Not that my name is hidden (you do know how Comments sections work, yes?), using your legal name to defend crypto just outs you as one thing: a crypto-bro - a species not known for its intelligence.

  18. Dude says:

    ...and whereas Mozilla had an apparent change of heart (making me feel better about being the only person I know still using Firefox - and I know folks who work at Mozilla), the infamously spyware-laden Opera has decided to dive head-first into this empty pool:

    "Opera launches a dedicated crypto browser"

    And its actual name is "Crypto Browser", a perfectly generic handle for an absolutely worthless product.

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