This is not a great day to be in cryptocurrency. You may have seen an article (or 20) about this. Maybe you’ve been on Twitter, where our opponents are rejoicing over every headline, every single omen-sentence-likeness than another. To be fair, things are going badly. Collapsed, collapsed, destroyed, concreted, erased and collapsed are action stories in most of the coverage and are not used incorrectly or exaggeratedly. There is no one to put a positive spin on a week where 400 billion dollars worth just evaporated. Even for the most determined buy-the-diffar and diamond-clad believers who feed on opponents and say never die, it’s scary out there.
I’m not interested in arguing to buy the dip or dip out forever and get into, say, collecting gold bars in an underground barracks. But I see this wild, angry, violent bear market that we are going through as an opportunity for some necessary correction along the way. I have argued before that the cryptographic space as a whole has lost its plot and abandoned the revolutionary potential of distributed border financing for the inevitable herd of stupid monkeys. I’m not the only person in cryptography who feels this way, let alone the one who is most prominent. Vitalik Buterin made similar points in his widely read profile in Time magazine in March 2022.
As cryptocurrencies have increased in value and quantity, Vitalik Buterin has watched the world he created evolve with a mixture of pride and fear, writes @andrewrchow.
“Crypto itself has great dystopian potential if implemented incorrectly,” @VitalikButerin says TIME https://t.co/fsvL4Mx9uE
– TIME (@TIME) March 21, 2022
Events and consequences
Twitter is never a great sample of viewers, but given the sad state of public reputation of cryptocurrency, it is not incomprehensible or even unexpected that this collapse is met with ridicule and hurt by people outside the space. From rampant cheating to ugly inflexible tokens (NFT) to carbon injection mining, we’ve given the outside world plenty of reason to not only be skeptical of cryptocurrencies. Many people still think that we are a group of tasteless brothers who are chasing after an uncontrolled stock market imitation. Even before this collapse, some writers and publications publicly speculated that the bursting of the cryptocurrency bubble would push a group of mostly male, newlyweds, and very disappointed people toward fascism and away from democratic values and, consequently, society.
Connected: In defense of cryptocurrencies: Why digital currencies deserve a better reputation
Whether you agree with that or not – and I certainly do not – it speaks to the appalling state of the public image of cryptocurrency. Something has gone terribly wrong when journalists in fairly well-read political publications, how biased they are, are making even far-fetched arguments for crypto-to-fascism pipelines.
Maybe I’m shouting into the void here, given that the lack of regulation is mostly the purpose of cryptography, and irregular spaces will always and inevitably breed bad players. But folks, we absolutely have to get this together.
Adhering to higher standards
Let’s do something interesting with crypto. We use cryptography to make people’s lives better and more fun and easier. Let’s stop spending wicked amounts of money on NFT projects that only exist and in most cases eventually collapse. This is not even about civic responsibility or altruism. When did we become so unambitious? When did we become so biased towards ourselves, only profit-oriented and only interested in solving ear problems? When did we become so amazing boring? In early childhood crypto, the mood was positively utopian. Now it is anything but, even among the people who were once believed. Are we really that easily swayed?
Connected: NFTs: Empower artists and charities to embrace digital movement
Post-crash encryption should be better and smarter and more creative. We should invest in projects and currencies that enable a renewable economy, support our much-needed natural ecosystem, make our cities smarter and more resilient, nurture green energy, streamline supply chains and fit into the portfolio of ordinary people. We should think bigger. I know it’s a stupid task to suggest such a thing, but perhaps we should consider cooling it with the yield and dreams of a rag for wealth without work. We should find ways to separate cryptocurrencies more significantly from the vagaries of the stock market, which is a big part of how we ended up in this catastrophic collapse. Shouldn’t we remove the middlemen who have gained so much value from the little boy? We are not here to build the new Wall Street that is designed to make rich insiders richer.
The collapse is nobody’s kenna, so to speak. But our reputation and the people who rejoice in what they consider a possible collapse of decentralized finance? We did it ourselves. When we get out on the other side, let’s continue with real intent. That’s the only way we’ll get to the mass adoption. And that’s the only way we’ll survive.
This article does not include investment advice or advice. Every investment and trading business involves risk and readers should do their own research when making a decision.
The views, thoughts and opinions expressed herein are those of the authors only and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of the Cointelegraph.
Dominik Schiener is a co-founder of the Iota Foundation, a non-profit organization based in Berlin. He oversees the collaboration and overall implementation of the project’s vision. Iota is a distributed ledger technology for the Internet of Things and is a cryptocurrency. In addition, he won the largest blockchain hackathon in Shanghai. For the past two years, he has focused on enabling the engine economy through Iota.
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