Whatever bad you can say about blockchain and coins, one is undisputed - it's the first time in hundreds of years when an individual can print money and not be called a criminal. And that's a big shift of power.
To elaborate: thanks to blockchain there's nothing stopping you to create a coin for your group, your neighbourhood or your town - or the internet - that if adopted, will be accepted. And thanks to blockchain that coin actually works, is hard to forge, crack or counterfeit.
And the mainstream electricity argument is short-sighted. Humans need energy to evolve (fyi Kardashev scale). Bitcoin et al is the best incentive to actually create innovative, powerful and cheap energy sources.
Local currencies have been created and used in many places all over the world for a long time, without needing anything like crypto. Nobody is being called a criminal over this, it's quite common.
Technically everyone running a bitcoin miner is violating securities law. It's just that SEC enforcement of this is going after the most fraudulent crypto enterprises first.
It's to ensure company scrip remains suitably illegal.
Plenty of places take this money. I have never seen one in the flesh.
Blockchain's early history was basically crypto-nerds trying to find a new application of cryptography. Back then, people would give away Bitcoins for free in "Bitcoin fountains", and discussion focused on protocol issues and other aspects of building the technology.
Greed came into the picture long afterwards.
Bitcoin has a bit of "greed is good" built in: the bitcoin miners are the mechanism that provide timestamps to the whole system. But higher-levels of greed were not accounted for (ex: ASICs farms using up so much electricity that the carbon footprint of BTC is HUGE now).
> there's nothing stopping you to create a coin for your group
I am not sure this is still true, due to the recent actions by the SEC. Now that ICO's are considered securities, and they are governed by those laws, many people who ran successful ICOs are worried about jail, and many who thought of doing so are no longer.
It is still true as long as you stay small enough to fly under government radar, but that is true if you printed your own local physical money as well, as many fairs and schools do.
Or see the same developers post on creating the Athena fork https://medium.com/@turtlecoin/altcoin-101-create-a-cryptono...