Among all the negative comments, something occurred to me recently. I haven't fully appreciated how much the public perception of cryptocurrency has changed since prices hit cyclical lows. At that time, cryptocurrencies were a new form of money, a global computer, an incentive to participate, a management value.
Now, in the eyes of the boss, cryptocurrencies are a market.
Like many of you, I spent part of the holiday season explaining to family and friends that cryptocurrencies aren't over yet. I wondered about the extent of this misunderstanding until it clicked. It is not that the cryptocurrency market is funded. we all know that, as we all know, the damage done to perception and feeling by the collapse of some key architects. and the beneficiaries of these grants.
Noel Acheson is the former head of research at CoinDesk and Genesis Trading. This article is taken from his Crypto Is Macro Now newsletter , which brings together the changing crypto and macro landscape. This is his opinion and nothing he writes should be taken as investment advice.
Furthermore, cryptocurrencies have become nothing more than a market for most casual observers. It's just a market here. And when the market is in a desperate situation, it is obvious that the whole concept no longer makes sense.
In retrospect, it is not difficult to understand how this change came about. Rising institutional interest (Goldman Sachs! Loyalty! BlackRock!), prices (up 20% overnight, down 80% YTD), fraud (carpets, pimping), and regulatory concerns (investor protection). protect the financial system!) created headlines that grabbed attention, prompting other stories along the same lines. The power of repetition as media coverage of the industry expands has cemented the association of "crypto" with "risk".
I'm not pointing fingers at the media. many publications have worked hard to showcase even the most transformative aspects of our industry. But perception generally refers to what they can understand, and the "public" (to generalize here) knows markets, but doesn't necessarily understand Merkle trees. Price movements are easier to see than consensus algorithms. And institutional reporting capabilities are more interconnected than decentralized repositories of liquidity. Market history is more contagious than technology history because it is more convenient. A story about risk is more contagious than a story about innovation, because the drama grabs attention better.
Read more Noel Acheson – Cryptos Shifting Center of Gravity
So the reflex here is to promise to start focusing more on the technological aspects of cryptocurrencies; I and many others have discussed this elsewhere. But while this is still the case, there is another fundamental aspect of cryptocurrency evolution that has been largely overlooked.
We know that crypto-assets are speculative and investment opportunities. We also know that they represent radical new technologies. It can be seen that they are all at the same time. It is more difficult to understand that wealth is technology.
For the first time in our history, we have marketable assets that include innovation. Of course, investors can advance through stocks or exchange-traded funds, but these are formulas around potential profit streams that will only become publicly available after an innovation has been tested for the first time.
Amazon, for example, was founded in 1994 and took three years to build a startup before offering the public the opportunity to speculate. Facebook was founded in 2004 but until 2012 it did not offer commercial resources to bet on its potential. Both were considered too risky in the early days of their IPOs, not so much for investors. Both were very unstable in the beginning and a little later.
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These examples are also not comparable. Amazon and Facebook are not new technologies. They represent a new application of technology. Both have often, especially in recent weeks, been affected by business decisions and profit opportunities based on the fiat economy. Bitcoin, Ethereum and others are new technologies. Technically, they are assets that move in a new way, but neither assets nor binaries work and have no value without each other. Furthermore, there is no risk of profiting from making strategic decisions behind closed doors or in difficult economic conditions. It's like being able to buy stocks online in 1985, giving you full exposure to trading with absolutely no trading risk.
Additionally, cryptoassets support innovation unlike any other commercial medium today. They are simple technological games that can be invested by anyone, anywhere, without having to prove a certain status to access. Yes, they are dangerous, but they are often new concepts, and the platform's education and outreach rules can provide some protection without putting up barriers that increase inequality.
Cryptocurrencies are much more than a market. It is also more than new technology. It's a fresh look at value, risk, financing and engagement. It adds a philosophical soup to finance, garnishes it with a few drops of genius code and a bit of advertising, and mixes it all up for a new evolutionary flavor.
Maybe this year we can get that message across better. Perhaps with this we will get a more balanced critique, as well as a more nuanced approach to regulation. And by thinking more about messaging, maybe even those of us in the industry can enter the next cycle with a stronger belief that what we're working on is more important than most of us think.