I started writing Crypto Curious just over a year ago. Much has transpired in that time. I’ve learned a ton myself and hopefully you’ve learned a bit as well. But, for now, I’ve decided to take an indefinite hiatus.
I remain as bullish on crypto as ever, but I also have to recognize that not everyone is as interested in the space as I am. While there once seemed to be an audience of people that were truly “Crypto Curious”, the current vibe is a bit more “Crypto Indifferent.” Demonstrating my impeccable timing, I launched this newsletter right at the same time “Ethereum” hit its peak search volume on Google:
Look, all of this is normal with new technologies. FOMO remains one of the strongest motivators to human behavior, and more specifically for financial enrichment or educational curiosity. The last year seems to have wrung out any remaining digital asset FOMO and we find ourselves in another crypto winter.
I cited this last issue, but I still find the Gartner Hype Cycle roundly illustrative of where we find ourselves:
Crypto is firmly in the “Trough of Disillusionment”:
Ahh, but in there remain the seeds of hope, namely, “the satisfaction of early adopters.” You don’t need the early majority to climb the slope of enlightenment while avoiding the ROUSes. Crypto continues to have a rabid, dedicated group of early adopters. Bitcoin has discovered new, controversial uses in the past six months and transactions are at all time highs. Ethereum has pulled off major improvements seamlessly and appears to be on incredibly sound economic footing. Ethereum Layer 2s are adding capacity and reducing costs as they roll out and mature. And newer chains like Solana and Cosmos are pushing the limits of performance and capabilities.
So before I take my pause, I want to remind you of some of the truly unique properties of crypto that make it such an interesting and significant innovation:
Now clearly, many of these attributes have both advantages and disadvantages. For example, the built-in payment methods to crypto have made many early platforms and applications overly focused on token price and economics and susceptible to volatility and manipulation. It is rare that any new development is universally good. But, these attributes in combination with each other, time and creativity, have the potential to create new, unexpected and exciting applications. Just as the Internet powered a world of change, but positive and negative, than we could have scarcely predicted in 1995.
As for regulation, as I’ve written before, much of my frustration with the U.S. vying to create the most anti-crypto regulation in the world stems from the fact that, at its heart, crypto feels deeply American to me. As much as the United States may veer from its founding ideology, there are principles that are more deeply rooted in this country than anywhere else: freedom, individualism, state’s rights, entrepreneurship. Crypto is the technological embodiment of these ideals. Sure, crypto throws in some other American traits like self-promotion, hucksterism and profiteering, but it’s not an accident that the U.S., despite its flaws, continues to have the most advanced, creative and resilient economy. I continue to believe that these values will win out over time.
In the meantime, there are smart, talented teams around the world that continue to build the foundational pieces, the tools and protocols and the early applications that will spark the next big wave of crypto. Having been in tech for more than 25 years, I have lived these cycles before. In the middle days of the Internet, I recall regular proclamations that “this is the year for mobile.” And then the following year, people would say, “Oh, no, this is actually the year for mobile.” And then the following year, people would say, “Oh, no, this is actually the year for mobile.” Then, almost all of the sudden, mobile was just part of our lives and whole generations can’t barely imagine the world any differently.
I will continue to closely follow the crypto universe. I have no plans to sell my current holdings and I still believe this is a generally excellent time to buy in (I can offer simple portfolio suggestions for those interested). I may send additional updates from time to time and I remain available to all of you if you have questions or things you need help with.
WAGMI (“we’re all gonna make it”), my frens.
As always, thanks for reading. Send me questions and please share with your crypto curious friends.
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