Raves From The Crypt

Everyone knows from the news that Bitcoin, Ethereum and the rest of cryptocurrencies are being used for a crypto-black market of the so called dark net, but apart from buying your regular run of the mill drugs or guns, you can also use cryptocurrencies to go raving, and do drugs and possibly point gun fingers.

The 90’s raves have a certain type of nostalgia around them, mainly due to their exclusivity. You had to be part of a subculture, know someone or know someone who knew someone. Back in the day the way you were dressed and certain details in your sartorial choices were almost used as a communicator of what music you are listening to and where you party to someone else might potentially be part of your Tribe.

Now, in this ‘postmodern world’, as academics say, clothes do not necessarily
indicate where you party nor what kind of music you’re listening to. Your blockchain wallet on the other hand, does.

Raving was always flirting with cryptocurrency as exclusivity in both of their cases are apart of their charm. Blockchain on the other hand has dichotomised Bitcoin lovers. Bitcoin as a decentralised currency has no regulation. Bitcoin is anarchy, hence the governments scrambling to control it as much as possible.

Then we come to the Blockchain wallet. Some say that it makes the process easier; some say that it’s Blockchain wallets that cancels out Bitcoin’s purpose, as Blockchain aims to regulate Bitcoin - just as a government does with its national currency.

A fun fact for you, private investment banks (such as Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan and all those lads) have heavily invested in Blockchain as an aim to regulate, limit and control Bitcoin. When those cretins get involved in anything you can be sure it’s not going to stay fun for long.

On the other end of the power pyramid you have the ravers, with no intention to either control or profit from Blockchain, but just using it to party. If you take a look at guarded members-only forums, you’ll come across a crypto-enabled rave revival, or as this new age of ravers like to call it, a ‘decentralised autonomous rave scene’.

"Like most good things, it emerged slowly and organically," Technologist and artist Mat Dryhurst said in an interview with Wired this year, "The first time I went to a crypto rave, I got a text message from a friend who was given a few invites, received my own unique keys and was given an invite of my own to share."

Those keys Mat is referring to may be PGP (Pretty Good Privacy, an encryption service) signed messages stored on public blockchains; or decentralised tokens distributed by DAOs (decentralised autonomous organisations), with each token representing a single ticket, in line with the recent explosion of ICO’s (Initial Coin Offering, what a cryptocurrency is initially worth on the market).

Essentially, insecure networks such as Facebook are being monitored by the police, or worse, by right-wing groups, providing a risky digital environment for ravers. Hence, ravers are turning to technology to rave in peace, which is ironic considering the the internet and technology in general are mediums that have been blamed in the past for the deconstruction of subcultures in the past few decades. ​

It’s such a poetic oxymoron to see that subcultures are turning digital to grow an organic and trusted following. So next time you want to go to a rave, instead of looking for clues in someone’s clothes, ask them about their blockchain wallet.

Written by: Nassia Matsa
Photos by: Nassia Matsa