When Crypto Gets Exotic
Nothing says dystopian post-reality like a mullet-sporting reality star embarking on an all-too-serious launch of cryptocurrency from the depths of prison. And yet, here we are — watching Joe Exotic’s ever-hopeful hand reach out from his cell to bestow the world with $TKING. Following in the redoubtable footsteps of other meme coins such as Dogecoin and Shiba Inu, a whole host of niche cryptos launched this year. And since THAT Carole Baskin created her own “purr-ency” $CAT, then it was a sure thing that Joe Exotic would be forthcoming with his own.
$TKING Care of Business
Alt-coins have been around since the launching of Bitcoin in 2009. The current market cap of TKING is over USD 12.6 million, well below the market high. The website thoughtfully provides a whitepaper available at this time in English and Mandarin. $TKING claims to be more than just a memecoin and digital emblem, and Joe Exotic and his team anticipate a rise in interest as Tiger King 2 becomes available. And February 2022 is the beginning of the Year of the Tiger, which they view as another rallying point for the token.
In contrast, Carole Baskin’s $CAT is being used as a sort of reward system or discount for her fanbase. $CAT can be used on Clubhouse, in the membership section of BigCatRescue.org, or exchanged for discounts on the shop site. Baskin claims her motivation for creating $CAT is because the US government continues to print the dollar with nothing backing it (except the US government?), but she does not intend $CAT to be for investment.
Crypto Is Still Ethically Nebulous
Is it a currency or an investment?
Cryptocurrencies — even mainstream ones like Bitcoin — still aren’t accepted in many places as currency, and it’s not likely that $TKING will be buying anyone groceries at the supermarket anytime soon. Or ever. Cryptos are also infamously volatile. It’s also tricky as an investment, not entirely fitting into that world either. Regulators can’t seem to settle on how to treat it, and the demand cycle is wild. Investing in cryptos has been lucrative for some and has wiped others out. If crypto is stolen, no bank or government is backing up the loss.
But there are other ethical questions surrounding cryptocurrencies in general. Creating and mining crypto coins is having an impact on the environment. How much, nobody knows for sure, but estimates are that crypto users and miners are consuming vast quantities of electricity, with no incentive to curb their usage since the amount of power consumed is not transparent. It also creates a lot of e-waste, and most e-waste is not recovered or recycled in any way. Many cryptos are touted as financial vehicles ‘for the unbanked’ or, more vaguely, ‘for the people,’ but investing in crypto, whether Bitcoin or $TKING, is a gamble and creates addicts in much the same way that gambling does.
Finally, crypto’s very design makes it challenging to regulate, meaning that laws don’t always know how to tread in the crypto world. There’s no way to know how much illegal money is flowing through, and none of it is taxable — or traceable. At least cash has serial numbers. Cryptocurrency transactions in China are illegal, making the Mandarin whitepaper for $TKING even more interesting.
Cryptocurrencies in the Spotlight: It’s Getting Weirder
The heads of eight firms will answer questions soon in Congress as lawmakers try to make sense of it all. Joe Exotic was not called to Congress and will remain in prison for now. His team has continued touting $TKING while also launching $TCUB, the charitable arm of Exotic’s crypto world. $TCUB will fund donations to children’s hospitals, although it is unclear how much. And that’s sort of how it is with crypto, isn’t it? Nobody really knows what’s happening with all the money.
China has made crypto transactions illegal, and India is indicating it may do so also. But El Salvador has made one cryptocurrency legal tender. Today, Bitcoin in El Salvador. Tomorrow, will it be $TKING?
Probably not, but the world is a strange place these days.