“Mark Cuban isn’t getting paid as a celebrity to promote this stuff,” Palmer said. “He actually has kind of been indoctrinated into believing that these things are the future.”
The Adobe developer accused Cuban and other significant cryptocurrency backers and investors, including as Marc Andreessen and Chris Dixon, of running a “grift.”
“They actively see it as an ongoing way to extract profit. It’s not like they’ve been paid once off to promote something — it’s that they want to be the ones that are in control or have ownership or a large stake in this kind of extractive, grifty system of cryptocurrency,” Palmer claimed.
Palmer’s allegations were refuted by Cuban in a statement to Insider. “Sounds like the same thing that has been said about every new technology I’ve been involved in,” he said.
Before the article was published, Insider contacted Andreessen and Dixon for comment, but they did not answer.
However, Dixon, who oversees the crypto fund at Andreessen Horowitz, stated in August that he views cryptocurrencies as a method to wrest control away from big companies. The fund, which Andreessen co-founded, has backed more than 50 cryptocurrency startups. Andreessen has previously referred to crypto skeptics like Palmer as a “great gift” to his company.
Cuban claimed earlier this year that 80% of his present investments, which are not featured on the ABC program “Shark Tank,” are connected to cryptocurrencies. Palmer claimed he hasn’t made any money off Dogecoin, despite helping to build the digital currency, which peaked in 2021 and has a $7.84 billion market value, in an interview with the cryptocurrency blog Decrypt in 2018. According to him, he has always viewed cryptocurrency as more of a “hobby.”
Palmer also addressed the role that well-known figures like Matt Damon and Kim Kardashian have played in popularizing cryptocurrency. Nevertheless, he stated that in his opinion, the function of actors and artists in the cryptocurrency system is more transactional and less of a “grift.”
“They promote what they get paid to promote,” Palmer said. “I think that the actors don’t have a moral compass when it comes to that, but it’s their job. That’s what they do. It’s not surprising to me.”
In June, as the value of cryptocurrencies fell, Damon was made fun of online. People criticized the actor on social media for his Super Bowl commercial for the cryptocurrency exchange Crypto.com, which advised viewers that “Fortune favors the brave” just months before cryptocurrencies lost more than $2 trillion in value.
The meme currency’s co-creator has long held a pessimistic view of cryptocurrencies as more and more traditional financiers have come to accept what was previously an alternative to the established financial system.
“Back in 2013 — or even when crypto was first coming out in 2008 — there was a portion of it that was actually a response to Wall Street and the overarching capitalist system,” Palmer said.
“What really turned me off was that I quickly realized that the people that were building these systems —building Bitcoin and building all of these cryptocurrencies — didn’t necessarily want to replace a corrupt capitalist system. They more so wanted to be the ones in control of an alternative capitalist system. The gripe for most people in crypto isn’t that Wall Street bankers were exploitative or had unfair power, it’s that they want to be the unfair power in the system and they want to be the ones that are able to extract large profits from people instead of Wall Street bankers,” he added.