Let’s not fool ourselves. Most investors, big and small, are involved in the cryptocurrency market because of the potential to make hefty profits. Is that a good thing?
In the beginning, there was Satoshi Nakamoto and only a handful of people who truly believed in a vision of a decentralized world in which banks and middlemen are obsolete. In this envisioned world, Average Joe is in total control of his financial wellbeing. There is no need for trust as mathematical rules govern the whole system.
Soon, more and more people adhered to the unconventional values promoted by Nakamoto. They even built an online forum and created reward-based websites to spread the vision. Some started calling themselves miners and put all their computing power on the line for Nakamoto’s new world.
Then, the creator disappeared.
The dark web found out about this new private way of making transactions online and Bitcoin (BTC) took off. From basically nothing to one to several to tens to hundreds of dollars — to over a thousand dollars.
Then, in early 2014, Mt. Gox happened and Bitcoin took a plunge into anonymity. In this cloud of uncertainty, the cryptocurrency market as a whole started developing, the dark web embraced a more privacy-centered coin in Monero (XMR), and, in late 2016, Bitcoin started again showing signs of life.
The price reached $1,000 once more but, this time, the altcoins wanted a piece of the action. Initial coin offerings (ICOs) launched Ethereum (ETH) to the moon, Ripple (XRP) promised to replace the old SWIFT banking system, Litecoin (LTC) billed itself as the ‘silver to Bitcoin’s gold,’ and the hype began.
By the second semester of 2017, everybody wanted in — dreaming about this completely new world Nakamoto envisioned back in 2008.
Or did they?
When Human Greed Takes Over
Truth be told, most of the newcomers of 2017 didn’t even know why Nakamoto created Bitcoin in the first place. They didn’t even care. They just had a general idea about Bitcoin and, more specifically, the buzzwords repeated over and over again on both social media and mainstream media — like ‘decentralization, privacy, anonymity, smart contracts, and ICOs.’
Most didn’t even bother to look into the matter or verify if the information was correct. Instead, they just wanted to profit big and get rich quick. For many, their plan didn’t succeed.
2018 confirmed the investors’ real drive. As soon as the prices collapsed, they fled, forgetting all about ‘decentralization, privacy, or sound money.’
The next bull run could be more of the same, as one cryptocurrency analyst rightly predicted a few days ago.
3/ There are far fewer people who care about decentralized sovereign uninflatable currency for its own sake than you'd like to think.
Cryptocurrency's biggest use case is speculation. That is a fact.
For better or worse, Speculation and human greed are your biggest hope.
— Murad Mahmudov 🚀 (@MustStopMurad) February 3, 2019
Indeed, human greed may be the market’s last hope.
The bull run of 2017 proved Bitcoin is not quite ready to be used as a worldwide currency. The Lightning Network may be a step in the right direction — yet, we don’t know how big of a step it will be.
Furthermore, for Average Joe, Bitcoin is still difficult to use. This is why we currently see many Bitcoin maximalists preaching the ‘store of value’ gospel. They know the majority will continue to use fiat currencies in the foreseeable future. As a result, they have to promote Bitcoin as digital gold and as a medium-term speculative asset.
Make no mistake; these Bitcoin maximalists are also driven by greed and wealth accumulation. Shifting the narrative from a medium of exchange to store of value primarily, in their attempt to convince future buyers, is the ultimate proof.
You will notice the same pattern across all cryptocurrency markets. Whether it’s Ethereum, Ripple, EOS, Bitcoin Cash (BCH), or any other, somebody will try to convince you why you really need to buy a specific altcoin. Behind their arguments, more often than not, there will be the unblemished human greed and the acting in one’s self-interest.
What About Jack (Dorsey)?
The millionaires and billionaires promoting cryptocurrencies are quite a different beast.
Unsurprisingly, they all are directly involved in the industry. Mike Novogratz, for example, owns a cryptocurrency investment firm. Patrick Byrne’s company, Overstock.com, was the first online major retailer to accept bitcoins. Byrne also founded security token trading platform tZero, raising $134 million from its ICO.
Then there is Twitter and Square CEO Jack Dorsey — who has caused a stir in the cryptocurrency world, as of late.
During a recent episode of Joe Rogan’s podcast, Dorsey said Bitcoin will ‘probably’ become the native currency of the Internet. The discussion continued on Twitter, speaking about how the Lightning Network (LN) is a game changer. He also revealed he holds ‘only’ Bitcoin. How much? ‘Enough,’ he replied.
Cryptocurrency investor and trader Anondran had an interesting response following Dorsey’s tweetstorm.
Jack is primarily shilling Bitcoin and that alone because he invested in @lightning labs a year ago. So its in his self-interest to integrate it into twitter and other apps and make a massive return out of his lightning stake.
Most people do not know this.
— Anondran (@anondran) February 6, 2019
There’s nothing wrong with Dorsey promoting his investment. He wants his investments to succeed and, therefore, he takes advantage of any opportunity to ‘shill.’ Nevertheless, it is important to know why he is doing it and why he may be biased against other cryptocurrencies.
Remember, if an executive, trader, or developer talks excessively of one coin or token while dismissing all the others, it usually means he or she is acting in his/her own self-interest. It’s best not to blindly trust such advice and do your own research before you start investing financially and emotionally in any project.
Most importantly, know thyself and learn to act in your own self-interest. Don’t worry if you are greedy — we all are, one way or another. It’s human nature, after all.
Is human greed the real trigger in a cryptocurrency bull run? Can Bitcoin succeed as a currency and not necessarily as a speculative asset? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below!
Images courtesy of Twitter, Shutterstock.