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The Betrayal of Cashing Out

After a New Yorker profile on Beeple revealed that the NFT-megastar converted $53M worth of ETH into USD from the sale of his record-breaking “Everydays: The First 5000 Days,” some members of the crypto community seemed to feel betrayed.


“Beeple rugged us like a 2017 ICO scam,” said EthHub co-founder Anthony Sassano in a tongue-in-cheek post on Twitter.

To be sure, Sassano’s post is clearly a joke, but the sentiment it reflects goes beyond mere humor for some members of the crypto community.

After all, this is a space where people are tied to their bags, both financially and technologically. For most of the world, turf wars between maximalists of competing blockchains would be the stuff of dystopian cyberpunk fiction. For us, that’s just Tuesday.

So certainly a person who makes their money on a specific platform with a specific cryptocurrency should be actively supporting that platform’s continual success, right?

Doing Things Right

Like come on, even Lindsay Lohan understands this. She’s not just making her own NFTs to make bank. She’s reinvesting her profits into the NFT community and building up her own personal NFT collection and supporting other female NFT artists at the same time.

In a similar vein Elon Musk, has put his Bitcoin where his mouth is, following his massive Tesla Bitcoin bull run with an announcement that Teslas can now be purchased directly with Bitcoin. Moreover, he plans to retain any Bitcoin received from Tesla sales, with no plans to convert to fiat. 

Compare that to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, who seems to be doing everything in his power to avoid mentioning Ethereum by converting his $2.9M tweet NFT from ETH to BTC before donating the proceeds to the Give Directly Africa Fund charity. I mean, the charity part is nice, but why not just convert the ETH directly? What does the BTC conversion step accomplish? This must be a high-level backstab to ETH, right? RIGHT?

Living in a Bubble

Working in such a fast-paced fin-tech space surrounded by futurists, billionaires, shillers, and all kinds of maximalists, it’s always important to keep in mind that we’re in a social bubble.

In spite of all its benefits for finance, tech, decentralization, and larger-scope visions of the future, crypto is still an incredibly volatile, speculative asset class. And the cold, hard truth is that the vast majority of people are not comfortable keeping 90% of their new worth in an asset class like that.

Beeple can pull out $53M USD to secure generational wealth, while still not “betraying” the space that gave him that wealth in the first place. He’s going to keep making NFTs and bringing mainstream attention to the space in droves. That kind of attention is more than enough “giving back.”