Crypto struggled mightily in 2018
In many ways this was overdue. Public perception and general sentiment overtook utility for the first time in years, leading to the retrace that was experienced. The correction forced those who were only in it for the money to reassess what they believed and dump their losses, running for the hills with their tales between their legs. For those who see a future for crypto, and are actively contributing to that realisation, this was a welcome relief. Not only did it help separate the wheat from the chaff, but it also ensured those who were planning on sticking around were doing it for the right reasons.
And the right reasons are with a view to individual sovereignty. Freedom is as simple as not being affected by unilateral or arbitrary decisions made by someone or something else. You can argue that you are free — you have $500 and could fly to France tomorrow and start a new life — but you would be wrong. Sure you can afford the flight but what if the government decided to implement a quantitative easing programme like it did in 2008 devaluing your savings by 20%? You could no longer go. This is the story of what happened in Venezuela, Turkey and Zimbabwe. Inflation eroding your ability to subsist.
The problem with cryptocurrency right now is volatility, but had your money been in crypto, you would still be able to afford the flight — you would still be free. A dependence on fiat currency is the acceptance of slavery at the most fundamental level. By not controlling your wealth you don’t control anything.
Of course, that is post-rationalisation to the extreme.
The Relentless Erosion of Value in 2018
Had I foreseen the price drop in Crypto from December 2017 to where they sit today I would have sold all my cryptocurrency in expectation of re-entering at a far more favorable time. That is one simple difference between those who believe and those speculating mindlessly. Those who believe would have sold with the intention of re-entering at a lower price allowing them to accumulate more of the coin they believe in most.
But that’s a key lesson. Hindsight has always been a wonderful thing — but timing the market is fraught with uncertainty and risk. Trade out at the right time and your upside is potentially limitless. Trade out at the wrong time and your downside is equally unquantifiable. You may never have as many coins as you have right now while trying to acquire more.
HODL’ing has been the solution to that equation. 1 Bitcoin will always equal 1 Bitcoin in ways Fiat currency never will. If you wish to have a more in-depth understanding of this Paul Volcker’s book ‘Keeping at it’ provides a fascinating historical account of the US abandoning the gold standard (the thing which tied currency to an asset by linking the price of a dollar to Gold)
2018 was an educational one for me. I spent 2017 spilling my heart on to a virtual page. I took the concepts I’d read about and wrote about how I imagined they would impact the future. I obsessed over an optimistic futurist agenda with a view to uncovering threads of truth. Cryptocurrency and blockchain played a central part in almost every one of those pieces. 2019 will see a return to the exploration through writing I abandoned last year.
Why is writing about Crypto and Blockchain So Important?
Both will play an even more significant part in the future that I imagined then.
But what’s required is multi-faceted.
The biggest problems that need to be tackled are things which are impossible. Right now, cryptocurrency is in the replication phase. In the same way, the internet at the conception stage reinterpreted what existed in the anallogue world — cryptocurrency and blockchain have done the same.
The future though is undefined. We must dream bigger and be bolder.
By looking at the periphery of legality, one can begin to appreciate the potential routes towards innovation. In the same way that Napster was a direct precursor to Spotify, whats illegal right now will be the way products are used in the future. The PirateBay forces users to pay a ‘Digital Taxation’ in the form of forfeiting a % of your CPU/GPU while you use their service. They use that to mine cryptocurrency which is their payment.
For the internet to continue to evolve it must break free from its reliance on advertising as the predominant form of revenue online. In order for us to reclaim our privacy and protect ourselves we must escape the drug of Free services, content on products online. We need to do this quickly.
The future is in metered micropayments for the services, content and products we use online equal to our time of usage.
For this to emerge cryptocurrency and blockchain must evolve to eliminate all friction. People are willing to pay for things, they just don’t want to make the payment. That’s a significant obstacle. If that wheel can be greased we can reach that future far more efficiently. We need to be able to make payments without even necessarily knowing that they are occurring. Digital taxation is the solution.
Once we achieve that the quality of the internet rises significantly.
We possess the capability to reclaim ownership of our personal data.