remember when we all thought bitcoin was going to be the answer to all the world's problems? yeah, me too!
But more seriously, is there anybody else out there that feels like the spark has gone out of the dream in so much as now it's all about the money?
Many of us have spent a lifetime (or less in most cases) bending to the will of banks just to get by. Loans, overdrafts, bill payments, interest charges, penalty fees, mortgages and insurance (both with differential rates depending on who you are), pretty much every enabling financial instrument we require at a price. And not being happy with simply rooking 'customers' for cash, as if that wasn't enough, they then needed to run risk laden mega schemes that brought the financial system crashing down around our necks only to be bailed out by governments and international institutions using ...'checks notes'...our money!
Somewhat ironically, and in all probability by near complete chance, a potential panacea to this arrived, was somehow born out of this financial crisis and digital currencies, based on distributed ledger/blockchain technologies, emerged.
But back to the banks post 2008, following which it became known that in their continuing pursuit of profit above all else they are guilty of money laundering, the manipulation of interest rates, mis-selling financial products to unwitting 'customers', opening false accounts, spending out unsolicited credit cards and a whole host of other criminal misdemeanours which ended up costing them billions in punitive fines and damages... which ultimately were covered with...'checks notes'...our money!
Slowly but surely, through the mists of economic woe and loss, the Army of the Cryptos arises. Scorned and ridiculed at first, woefully and deliberately misunderstood, derided and dismissed but still they came, the adherents, the advocates, the early adopters and the evangelists...slowly gathering up their communities globally, spreading the word and extending their message of hope, their vision of a future...the Brave New (fintech) World and how everything good would flow from there and a new order would be installed.
The obscenity of the banks behaviour is only increased by the willing connivance in all of this by governments and regulators. Who controls the banks? Who sets interest rates? Who frames fiscal and monetary policy? Because whoever it is hasn't been doing a great job but then why would they? The banks were their friends, they needed each other, oil the wheels of industry, invest in the economy, no matter that their inflationary policies and persistent qualitative easing freed up the banks from unwieldy debt and that running the treasury presses continually destroyed the value of...'checks notes'...our money!
And then we had 2017...oh, the heady days of the 'Summer of Lambo', every second word was 'MOON' and the only communicable disease that bothered anyone was 'FOMO'. It was fun especially if you were 'in there', were a 'player', were 'connected', had the 'funds to have the fun'...but the outcome was that too many people failed to recognize that 'a little knowledge in the wrong hands can be a dangerous thing'. And as a result, a lot of people, an awful lot of people got sucked in, too little knowledge, too little research and too much risk and all hyped by some frankly wildly fantastical projections. Overstating things? Maybe, but maybe not so if you take the time to go back over the conference talkpoints and the twitter battles prevailed then along with all the 'faux' badboy shite...
When I started my original journey of discovery into the wild and wacky world of decentralized financial system, I applied my Grade 3 strategic and analytical skills to discern what I saw as the triumvirate of threats to the future of crypto...external (hackers, cybercrooks...), internal (scams, 'pump & dumps'...) and regulatory....but now I've seen a fourth....the final horseman if you like....sloth, inactivity and greed!
Money talks, but only a specific language for a specific purpose. That purpose is to further its own interests. Politics is full of opportunities and these billionaire types are always looking to further their own interests through it. They are also immune from any consequences.
I get that people want to analyze and predict things and that with cryptocurrencies and digital assets then the easiest terms of reference are from the financial world. I get 'stock to flow' and MATs etc, hey, I've used numerous financial terms already within this piece but the rules here are not the same. Sadly, many people think they get it, they understand how the 'market' works and can thereby 'reduce their risk' or better still 'make a killing' but the influx of financial trading devices and big scale investors has changed things and not, in my mind, for the better.
Holding for value retention/growth is anathemistic to the ethos of crypto, it could also kill off projects that require liquidity i.e. movement of their tokens/coins to facilitate the purpose/function of their project. We need action, we need the ecosystem to live and breath and grow, adoption, real case and real time usage...enough of the joke coins and sitting on your piles...
I know we can all be guilty of being all idealistic when we think we're on to the next great thing, but I really thought this was different. Seems every cult eventually consumes its own or has its 'leadership' corrupted whilst others play out a death spiral of self delusion and mass deception and take the 'community/followers/party members/disciples' (*delete as appropriate) down with them.
Sometimes, a movement allows itself to be consumed, absorbed, changed and directed on to a path that doesn't truly reflect the founders intentions...let's not be like that, please!
Big H is a sometime guest contributor on decentralize.today, contact him via twitter