It is not a great day to be in the world of cryptocurrencies. You may have seen an article (or 20) about this. Perhaps you’ve been on Twitter, where our detractors cackle gleefully at each headline, each one more harbinger of doom than the next. To be fair, things are going wrong. Crashed, collapsed, erased, sunk, erased, and imploded are the operative verbs in most coverage, and they’re not being used incorrectly or exaggeratedly. You cannot put a positive spin on a week in which USD 400,000 million of value evaporated. Even for the most determined to buy the stock and the diamond-handed believers who feed on the naysayers and never say goodbye, the situation is dire.
I’m not interested in making a case to buy the dip or to dive in forever and get into, say, gold bar storage in an underground bunker. But I do see this wild, furious, raging bear market that we find ourselves in as an opportunity for a much-needed course correction. I have argued before that the cryptocurrency space in general has lost its way, abandoning the near-revolutionary potential of decentralized finance for an inescapable horde of stupid-looking monkeys. I am not the only person in the cryptocurrency industry who thinks this way, let alone the most prominent. Vitalik Buterin made similar points in the widely read profile of him in the March 2022 issue of Time magazine.
As crypto has soared in value and volume, Vitalik Buterin has watched the world he created evolve with a mixture of pride and dread, writes @andrewrchow.
“Crypto itself has a lot of dystopian potential if implemented wrong,” @VitalikButerin tells TIME https://t.co/fsvL4Mx9uE
— TIME (@TIME) March 21, 2022
reactions and consequences
Twitter is never a huge audience sampler, but given the sorry state of cryptocurrency’s public reputation, it’s not unfathomable or unexpected that this drop would be met with derision and schadenfreude by people outside the space. From rampant scams to ugly non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and carbon-spewing mining, we’ve given the outside world plenty of reasons not just to be skeptical of cryptocurrencies. Many people continue to think that we are a bunch of insipid brothers facing off in an imitation of the unregulated stock market and whose punishment has come. Even before this crash, some writers and publications openly speculated that the bursting of the crypto bubble would push a newly broken and deeply disillusioned group of mostly male people toward fascism and away from democratic values and, by extension, from democracy. society.
Whether or not you agree with that point – and I certainly don’t – it speaks to the dire state of the public image of cryptocurrencies. Something has gone terribly wrong when journalists in reasonably well-read political publications, however biased, are making even remotely convincing arguments for a path between cryptocurrencies and fascism.
Perhaps I am screaming into a void here, given that lack of regulation is very much the point of cryptocurrencies, and unregulated spaces will always and inevitably breed bad actors. But folks, we have to agree.
Hold ourselves to a higher standard
Let’s do something interesting with cryptocurrencies. Let’s use them to make people’s lives better, more enjoyable and easier. Let’s stop spending huge amounts of money on NFT projects that just exist to exist and, in most cases, end up crashing. It’s not even about civic responsibility or altruism. When have we become so unambitious? When have we become so self-centered, motivated only by profit, and interested only in solving insular problems? When did we become so unbelievably bored? In the infancy of cryptocurrencies, the environment was positively utopian. Now it is anything but, even among people who were once true believers. Are we really that easy to influence?
Cryptocurrencies after the crisis should be better, smarter and more creative. We should be investing in projects and currencies that enable a regenerative economy, support our much-needed natural ecosystems, make our cities smarter and more resilient, encourage green energy, streamline supply chains, and fit into consumer portfolios. investment of normal people. We should think big. I know it’s a crazy mission to suggest something like that, but maybe we should consider cooling it down with profit seeking and dreams of getting rich without working. We should be thinking of ways to separate crypto more meaningfully from the vagaries of the stock market, which is a big part of how we ended up in this catastrophe of a crash. Aren’t we supposed to cut out the middlemen who have extracted so much value from the little guy? We are not here to build a new Wall Street designed to enrich the rich within.
The fall is not fault Nobody’s, so to speak. But our reputation and the people who revel in what they see as the potential demise of decentralized finance? We have done that to ourselves. When we come out the other side, let’s move forward with real intent. It’s the only way to reach mass adoption. And it’s the only way to survive.
This article does not contain investment advice or recommendations. Every investment and trading move involves risk, readers should do their own research when making a decision.
The views, thoughts and opinions expressed herein are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.
Dominik Schiener is co-founder of the Iota Foundation, a non-profit foundation based in Berlin. He oversees partnerships and the overall realization of the project vision. Iota is a distributed ledger technology for the Internet of Things and is a cryptocurrency. Also, he won the biggest blockchain hackathon in Shanghai. For the past two years, he has focused on making the machine economy possible through Iota.
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