This is The Block. We’re coasting along, just into Q2 and the horrors of Q1 are behind us, and the bright shining light of institutional money coming into crypto has us dreaming of our first trillion dollar market. The first trillion of many.
You don’t believe me, do you, that crypto is a trillion dollar market, much less a multi-trillion dollar market? Didn’t we just get through a major bear market where crypto lost nearly 60% of its value in the first three months of 2018? Indeed we did.
It’s not my job to convince you. Crypto is like Jesus or punk music–you either get it or you don’t.
Crypto is complex. Too complex, in fact, for most people to grasp even the simpler concepts. Forget Byzantine fault-tolerance, 51% attack protections, Merkle trees, and elliptic curve cryptography; just the idea of wallets confuses people. You’re telling me that my coins aren’t in my wallet? What’s the point of calling it a wallet? And where are my coins if they aren’t in my wallet?
It’s true: the lingo is a bit… janky. The terminology imprecise.
And the concept behind it all–decentralized decision-making and mining-backed currency powering everything–is utterly foreign to most people. We live in hierarchies and abide power structures–especially those that allow those in power to stay in power.
Traditional powers like banks and governments.
Cryptocurrency upends all that. It asks you to embrace a different kind of structure, where power is more evenly (though not totally) spread out and where decision-making is based on whether you want to run a full node (see what I mean about terminology?).
To learn about crypto, you have to read a lot.
Like, A LOT. Like, whatever you’re reading, double it. Triple it. Keep reading. Dig deeper. The rabbit hole is a rabbit hole for a reason–it just keeps going and going and going, with virtually no bottom. This is a 10-year old industry. That’s a lot of water under the bridge, a lot of innovation and fascinating new concepts and interesting developments. You can’t stop, and you can’t read a few articles a week and say you’re good. Crypto demands your attention and if you don’t apply yourself to it, you won’t fully get why it is the way of the future.
And statements like “This is a burgeoning multi-trillion dollar market waiting to explode” will sound like pure nonsense.
When old money like Bill Gates and Warren Buffett poo-poo the idea of cryptocurrency, you have to understand why they say the things they say, and to understand that, you have to look at their track record, their speeches and letters to shareholders and eight-hour Q&As over the last thirty years.
You have to understand that successful people have a hard time shifting away from what worked for them. That’s okay, and they’ll be okay, but just because they were right about something in the past doesn’t mean they are right about this wholly different thing now.
Bitcoin is one of, if not the fastest market cap growth in the history of the world, now at $150 billion. Alts as a whole are at another $300 billion or so. And yes, a lot of that is volatility dressed up like growth, and a lot of it is shifting sand. For sure–there’s a lot of uncertainty in the short term.
A market like this doesn’t spring up from nothing without surviving that incredibly stressful volatility of a 60% loss of value over three months’ time. A market like this doesn’t emerge and thrive without deep underlying, fundamental strength and resilience. It just doesn’t. You don’t have people leaving institutional money in droves to join blockchain firms and cryptocurrency innovation labs without there being a solid reason for it. Yes, there’s plenty of money to be had, of course, but the money isn’t the reason for the success–the success is the reason the money is here and will continue to come.
So as we continue to pound down the days, keep reading and adding to your crypto knowledge stack. Find projects you are passionate about and support them by joining their communities on Slack, Discord, Telegram, Reddit, and Twitter. Find your people. Ask questions. Jump into trading. Learn money theory and experiment with smart contracts. The more you know, the better position you’ll be in when the future inevitably arrives.
And along the way, we’ll watch that $999.99 billion tick over and wonder how long until the next trillion. Guaranteed: it won’t be as long as you think.