The same day news of cryptocurrency scammers making off with more than $ 2 million surfaced, John Oliver dedicated most of his show to cautioning viewers about the alluring new market, which ” is essentially the wild west and ripe for exploitation,” according to the comedian.
On Sunday’s episode of “Last Week Tonight” Oliver took on cryptocurrency — or “everything you don’t understand about money combined with everything you don’t understand about computers.” He gave viewers a primer on the decentralized digital currency, looked at bitcoin specifically. He also broke down blockchain, the underlying technology that makes cryptocurrency possible.
Oliver conceded that crypto is ripe with opportunity but also highly vulnerable to scams because it is largely unregulated. He highlights some galling examples, including an advertisement for what amounts to a pump and dump scheme, which would be illegal in a more traditionally regulated market.
“The important thing to remember here is this is a brand new, very complicated space and literally nobody knows how it’s going to develop so you need to be careful,” Oliver said.