They control the placement of apps in the ecosystem, they get to rule on whether they want you to exist or not and they heavily tax your participation.
Unsurprisingly this system favors products by companies that already have enormous resources.
The crypto in cryptocurrency is of course referring to cryptography or the ability to encrypt your transactions so they can’t be modified after they have been written to the blockchain.
You can think of this effort as the same as the US government improving the quality of its dollar bills to make them harder to counterfeit.
For any currency to have value it must be trusted to be authentic.
In order to have a secure, decentralized means of transferring money between individuals you need a way of providing services that a modern centralized financial system would offer.
And while many of the people bringing you the great applications and infrastructure you now rely on are benevolent, there is of course a normal incentive for these companies to use their scale advantages to continue to dominate the markets they’re in, making it harder for upstarts to compete.If you read the headlines you may well think cryptocurrencies are a either a radically new way of paying that is our savior from ossified, corrupt governments or on the other side that they are speculative Ponzi schemes.The reality of course is that cryptocurrencies can be both and can be liberating and corrupting at the same time.The world in which our communications was controlled by the telephone and media companies of 20 years ago would have been much less innovative than what we have achieved, which is precisely why we need to protect future companies still to be created from anti-competitive behavior of today’s giants.An example of this stranglehold is distribution systems to find new apps in a mobile Internet is tightly locked down by the oligopoly of Apple and Google.