The moment I wake up. Seconds before I drift into sleep. I am on my phone, mindlessly scrolling through Instagram. Because that next post just might be it. What is it? I don’t know. Nobody does. But one day, one of us may find it. This is the endless hell of social media. A dopamine infused scroll-marathon has all (or most) of us in its tendrils. Thankfully, I am a reformed and recovered social network addict. And I hope I can help you take care of this problem too.
By Max Bibeau | United States
With the prices of cryptocurrencies continuing to plummet across the board, some have been quick to assume that the “crypto wave” has passed and that its time in the spotlight is over. Some articles even go so far as to claim that the Bitcoin bubble has popped and that the technology may not recover for some time, if ever.
These claims could not be farther from the truth.
What Drives Markets?
To understand why cryptocurrency’s price is so far down in the first place, we must first understand that the prices of all cryptocurrencies are driven by FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) and FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt). Through the second half of 2017, crypto experienced a surge of FOMO, with Bitcoin being in the headlines day after day with incredible price jumps. FOMO breeds more FOMO – until it doesn’t. A series of events occurring in a very short time in January of 2018 broke the FOMO and entered the market into a period of FUD. A combination of a regular dip in the market, the exposure of Bitconnect as a scam, FUD surrounding crypto being banned in countries such as China and India, and a series of highly publicized cryptocurrency thefts drove price dips, increasing FUD even more.
Price Is Irrelevant To Developers
Now that we understand how exactly we got to this point, we can explore why crypto is not dead. The key thing to remember is that price doesn’t affect developers. Sure, many of them hold a significant amount of their own cryptocurrency, and the crash has affected their personal holdings – but very few, if any developers are solely reliant on cryptocurrency, and can be supported by grants, jobs, donations, or other factors.
Since developers work independently of price, innovation has continued at breakneck speed, even though the market appears to have crashed. Almost every single major cryptocurrency continues to develop and grow, some of them at an even faster pace than during the FOMO.
Bitcoin has finally started to deliver on its long-awaited lightning network, expanding the technology and resolving some major bugs that caused problems on the new network. The technology is continually being developed, with hundreds of developers working on Bitcoin regularly.
Fees are also down drastically from their peak last year, due in part to fewer transactions occurring, but also in part to the lightning network paired with other developments in the technology’s efficiency. Bitcoin Core has also been successfully able to solve the famed coffee example, with the lightning network being utilized commercially in a Swiss cafe just a few days ago.
Ethereum, while it may seem quiet, has been booming. The whole point of Ethereum is to support decentralized applications, or dapps, and it has been extremely successful in recent months. Thousands of new Ethereum dapps have been put on the blockchain since 2017, and more are being added daily.
After the unprecedented success of the dapp game “CryptoKitties,” which led to users paying up to $100,000 for a single digital cat, countless other games and dapps have sprouted up in recent months. New games, such as Etheremon, are attracting hundreds of users daily and can be played for free. While no huge breakthroughs have been seen in Ethereum recently, there’s no doubt that its blockchain is becoming more and more filled out with dapps, ranging from gambling to gaming.
Stellar, often seen as Ripple’s primary competitor, has seen radically increased adoption, specifically among banks. The coin’s list of partners is also continually growing, including big names like IBM. The two have committed to environmental efforts, by using a blockchain solution to create a carbon credit program.
While Stellar may not be seeing strides as great as some other cryptocurrencies I’ve discussed, it’s slowly but surely becoming more and more influential in financial markets, and is increasing its credibility through a plethora of partnerships and improvements.
Arguably the most well-maintained on this list, VeChain has undergone an entire rebrand, transitioning from VeChain (VEN) to VeChain Thor (VET). VeChain also added a token to be paired with their main coin called THOR. The token is obtained by simply holding VeChain, similar to how one can obtain GAS from holding NEO.
Along with their new token, VeChain has launched a new wallet in the form of an iOS/Android app that can be downloaded on the app store. With a simple UI and automatic flow of THOR for holding VET in the app, the wallet is one of the most user-friendly programs out there. The VeChain team has clearly been busy with a new wallet and token, not to mention their new partnerships with big names like BMW.
Clearly, after examining only four of the top cryptocurrencies on the market, we can see that while prices have fallen dramatically, the technology behind cryptocurrency surely lives on. Developer teams are still working hard to improve their technologies, and partnerships between mainstream companies and cryptocurrencies are becoming more and more common.
Nobody can fully predict when the market will rise again – it will undoubtedly take a series of important and “good news” events to break out of the current FUD in the market – but the technology is there, even if the prices remain low. While crypto is largely out of the mainstream media due to the loss of FOMO, that hasn’t stopped innovation and partnerships from occurring throughout the entire market.
Cryptocurrency has been out of the spotlight for months now, and it may be a long time yet before the FOMO catches back on. However, when the FOMO returns, the technology will be ready and waiting.
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By Jesse Stretch | USA
Newcomer Bitcoin hotshots are panicking on Reddit, crypto forums, everywhere. We read these quotes and sigh:
“Why is it crashing? Help!”
“Soon it will be worthless. SELL OUT NOW.”
“Bitcoin is dying! Agh!”
According to an article in Newsweek, the international suicide hotline is/was advertising on the Cryptocurrency Reddit forums.
The “Fear of Missing Out” or FOMO sell-off attitude in the crypto space prompts criticism from a wide host of onlookers and participators alike, and yet as it occurs, those same writers preaching “hold hold” have their Binance accounts open dumping everything they can back into Coinbase on the prayer of cashing out ahead or at a slight loss.
But alas how some of us forget that this was and is the point.
Volatility. Lots of movement. Big Charts. Big gains, big losses.
Without volatility, cryptocurrency is boring. After all, what small or medium-sized investor wakes up and checks the price of Ford stock every single day—virtually none. Glance at the Ford Stock Reddit and see that in the top four topics is this heading, Why does Ford price fluctuate so little day to day?… Enough said. The stock market is basically a bore to this caliber investor, and rightfully so.
Young crypto-minded investors don’t want to wait. The tech culture doesn’t have time to wait. We need lunch delivered to the office, we need fast electric cars, we need Prime for toilet paper, leggings, and custom bearding kits. We don’t have a decade to gain 40% on Ford stock like Grandpa did. In a decade, many of the Bitcoin investors will be in their late twenties or early thirties—nearly dead and/or retired! There’s simply no time to wait for the NYSE.
Bitcoin is a rollercoaster, and roller coasters are a short, wild ride; but, the ride starts again at some point or another when new people get on. Sometimes, if you know the ride operator like we did when we worked at the theme park growing up, you get to ride over and over again as many times as you like. When you’re done, you have nothing to show for it, but it was a wild ride. Such is the same with Bitcoin—but maybe not if you hold.
In his seminal guide, the Intelligent Investor, Benjamin Graham espouses the idea that in the instance of a very large short-period investment gain of over 100%, the investor should consider selling half of the investment to safeguard the principal and capture some gain on the initial capital. This is an easy theory to read and comprehend, but it’s a bit harder to practice. One might argue that with prices moving from $10k to $20k and back to $10k, all essentially inside of one rolling month’s time, this is exactly what has happened—profit grabbing, a correction, a harvest of income. It is one of the most common occurrences in high-risk investing.
My point here is that the FOMO selloff on Tuesday and Wednesday the 17th and 18th of January of 2018 were expected, was predicted, is expected to continue for an indefinite time, and is likely not the “end” of crypto-currency. People harvest profits, and harvesting profits lower the market cap and price of the stock or commodity. This is normal. What we are seeing here is just another exaggeration of what would usually take much longer to happen in your grandad’s brokerage account.
In crypto, the equivalent of weeks on the NYSE happens in mere minutes, sometimes moments. Percentage gains and losses are exacerbated by an eager, new, and often timid investor who is likely not as flush or seasoned as the rich boys on Wall Street. For this reason, there is a great hunger for a rapid gain and a great fear of a rapid loss. Were it Gold these crypto investors were trading in, we’d see the movements occur much slower, but this isn’t gold—it isn’t, arguably, anything.
The FOMO selloff may be just so, or rather it may also be a high-volume version of the traditional marketplace profit grab. Tomorrow, Bitcoin may be worth $2. Tomorrow, Bitcoin may be worth $25,000. Neither would surprise anyone with a history in this market space. The fear (and the hope) is real.
But as bulls, let’s be optimistic: Any high-volume selloff will ultimately increase the strength of the crypto market, should it sustain itself, because it will trim out the weak-stomached investor. When this investor returns, he/she will return with a confidence in the market, which will make FOMO selloffs less likely to occur in the future. Should the crypto market continue to grow over the coming years, this is how its legacy and stability will be forged. The new investor must experience both gain and loss, and then a recovery from loss, in order to develop a trust and a respect for the market, and through time this trust will stabilize the currency and lessen its fluctuation as an investment vehicle and/or pseudo-commodity.
And so as you distractedly read this article, I will continue clicking my mouse to see if Coinbase will finally process the lagging sale all of my holdings and transfer them safely back to my FDIC insured big-brother bank account—all for a hefty but reasonable fee.
Relax… I’m kidding…
Author’s Note: The author currently holds positions in numerous cryptocurrencies and is not engaged in a volume-oriented selloff of these positions—but he knows you are.