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SpiceDAO $3M Dune book purchase shows just how naive ‘crypto bros’ really are

CoinGeek has covered a lot of crazy stories about this industry and its participants in recent years, but today’s story is possibly the craziest of them all. It all started with a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) called Spice DAO. As with most DAOs, SPICE token holders have the right to vote over what happens to the funds in the Spice DAO, and excitedly, they bid on a rare copy of Mexican director Alejandro Jodorowsky’s Dune.

To be clear, this isn’t the original Dune story, but rather is a legendary book about the unmade film Alejandro had planned out before studios nixed it due to its insane budget. It contains the script, concept art, and other materials, and previously, copies of the book sold for up to $42,500.

Enter Spice DAO.

Seeing that a copy of the rare book was up for auction, SPICE token holders went to town, bidding €2.66 million (US$3.01 million) for it and winning the auction held by Christie’s. They promptly announced their plans to make the book public and to commission an animated series based on it to sell to a streaming service.

There’s just one small problem.

Like many legal and economic illiterates operating in the digital currency and blockchain industries, Spice DAO had fundamentally misunderstood what they were purchasing. As a Financial Times article on the subject points out, Spice DAO had purchased a copy of this rare book, yet somehow they believed they now owned the script and intellectual property contained within it.

Doh! Threads quickly popped up all over the internet, including on Twitter, making fun of Spice DAO’s blunder. This one, in Spanish, referred to ‘crypto bros’ as ‘criptolais’, roughly meaning someone who is easily tricked or is a dunce.

Satoshi’s warnings still go unheeded

The Spice DAO saga is a tale that’s all too familiar across the industry; naive people, often young and without much real-world experience, believe that the law, such as the rules regarding intellectual property rights, don’t apply in the digital realm or else they fundamentally misunderstand it. 

Satoshi Nakamoto himself has been attempting to correct this misconception for years and is in the process of legally enforcing his rights over Bitcoin and associated intellectual property. Yet, still, many do not believe him or think that real world laws do not apply.

For those who don’t yet know, the identity of Satoshi Nakamoto is not the great mystery it’s made out to be. He is none other than Australian inventor and polymath Dr. Craig Steven Wright. Dr. Wright has been painstakingly explaining how Bitcoin is not some community-owned project designed to bring down banks and subvert the law, but that it is, in fact, pure conservative capitalism, the exact opposite of what the ‘crypto bros’ believe it to be. He has urged anyone who will listen to wake up and realize that things like DAOs are subject to the same laws as every other entity and that the laws of the real world apply equally to the digital realm.

Dr. Wright has been explaining for years that laws related to not only money laundering and other financial elements, but those related to intellectual property rights and ownership, apply equally to projects in the digital assets industry. He’s highlighted many times how the recent NFT craze is going to lead to a raft of lawsuits and how Bitcoin itself will be subject to an increasing number of legal battles as he attempts to restore his rights to it.

Yet, still, very few pay attention, thanks in part to a mass-scale smear campaign against Dr. Wright. As a result, disasters like purchasing a copy of a book and believing it bestows the right to monetize the intellectual property within it persists. 

If only Spice DAO members had listened to Satoshi’s extensive lectures on these subjects, they might have intuited a problem with their plan and saved themselves millions.

BSV is not crypto—it’s an enterprise blockchain

Thankfully, Dr. Wright and others in BSV have a plan to distance it from the overzealous madness and legal/economic ignorance of the current digital currency and blockchain spaces. While cryptolais continue to build sandcastles in the sky in an attempt to make the world a place where we all share everything as a community, most BSVers have embraced the truth: there is no Bitcoin without property rights, capitalism, and the law. As a result, real use cases with utility and longevity can be built on the BSV blockchain.

Let Spice DAO’s harsh lesson teach everyone else an important point: most people in this industry have no idea what they are doing and are hopelessly naive and ignorant about reality. Take everything they say and do with a pinch of salt.

Watch: CoinGeek New York panel, Bitcoin & Blockchain – Can Real Value Come from Real Utility?

New to Bitcoin? Check out CoinGeek’s Bitcoin for Beginners section, the ultimate resource guide to learn more about Bitcoin—as originally envisioned by Satoshi Nakamoto—and blockchain.

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