“If you’re like us, chances are you hear the word ‘bitcoin’ and your eyes glaze over a little,” Goop’s recent piece on “The Basics of Blockchain and Cryptocurrency” begins.
Right away, I start imagining who “us” is. Goop is a lifestyle, wellness, and beauty brand created by Gwyneth Paltrow. It’s marked by strong undertones of aging-related fears and shills confounding products to its core demographic: women with heaps of disposable income. These are people ready and willing to stick $55 egg-shaped pieces of rose quartz into their vaginas. They may drink collagen, “cleanse” with goat milk, and wear bird stickers to ensure their bodies are operating at their “ideal energetic frequency.”
Hand me a glass of warm goat milk, because these women are apparently ready for their very own Goop-style blockchain explainer.
(Disclaimer: Consumer watchdog group Truth in Advertising filed a complaint with California regulators against Goop in August 2017 about the company’s “terribly deceptive marketing ploys.” The National Aeronautics and Space Administration has also called some of Goop’s claims “a load of BS.”)
Most Goop content is designed to sell something, and it becomes clear very quickly that this explainer is no different. The “article” is a Q&A with Bill Barhydt, CEO of Abra, a company that makes crypto wallets; Gwyneth Paltrow is reportedly an advisor to Abra, which is not disclosed in the article. But don’t worry about conflicts of interest, you marine clay-covered ladies: It’s time to learn about distributed ledgers in this eerily soothing yet aggressive sales pitch.
“Cryptocurrency is digital money, which means it can be stored on your computer or phone,” Goop tells us, starting off strong with what is—boring technical nuances of cryptocurrencies aside—not an out-and-out lie. But soon enough, the Q&A veers into information that requires a fact checker. Bitcoin transactions are slow, Goop explains (Goop seemingly prefers “slow” only when it refers to food or maybe tantric sex). Luckily, bitcoin’s transaction speed will “soon” increase to “millions per hour,” according to Paltrow’s publication. Absolutely. In the world according to Goop, we also all have full-body yeast infections and a burning need to become one with our spirit animals.
Next, Goop explains how to invest in cryptocurrency like someone whose lifestyle brand is valued at $250 million.
Step one: Take time to understand the concept of cryptocurrency. Lucky for you, you’ve already done this with Goop’s handy guide.
Step two: “Buy $10 worth of bitcoin and get comfortable with the process.” The process is not explained, but Paltrow only gradually reveals the secrets to her eternal youth, which she otherwise keeps locked up in an infrared sauna. It must be the same for getting crypto-rich.
Step three: Figure out “what kinds of problems you’re trying to solve.” Are you trying to get rid of bad energy? Are you trying to find the right herbs and supplements for your PMS? How about balance your inner goddess with your under-eye bags? Is bitcoin “best suited for those problems”?
Step four: “The goal is to try to find something that will grow in value.” Good thing “the trend, over time, is that [cryptocurrencies] are increasing in value.” Per that assessment, buying cryptocurrency (any cryptocurrency, any time!) is a sure bet. Just like how walking barefoot is sure to cure your depression, another helpful Goop suggestion.
For all of its broad generalizations and naïve explanations, however, consider this about Goop’s piece on bitcoin: It makes more sense than nearly any other Goop explainer to date.