Last month, bitcoin’s price smashed through “resistance” and started zooming. Now all people talk about is a new bull market.
Bitcoin maximalists in my chat groups have moved from “freedom money / bitcoin fixes this” to star signs, price targets, and rocket emojis. They’re all cheering for the ETF, which is ironically the literal opposite of what bitcoin is supposed to stand for.
— Luke Rudkowski (@Lukewearechange) October 26, 2023
Twitter and YouTube are talking about taking profits. Your friends will let you buy altcoins now, but “remember to sell after your first double.”
It’s hard to build the financial networks of the future when everybody’s thinking about how to make money today.
But Mark, this is what adoption looks like!
If you’re buying crypto only to sell to somebody else for more than you bought it for, does that count as “adoption?”
Yes, probably, but that’s not the kind of adoption that will support higher prices. Once the speculative enthusiasm dies down, everything will fall apart again.
A crash now would do wonders for everybody. That would keep expectations in check, tamp down on speculative enthusiasm, and give us an opportunity to build a bigger stake in the projects we believe in.
Then again, it would seem fitting if the mildest bear market in crypto’s history ended with a face-ripping, nonsensical rally into a “blow-off top” on the back of macroeconomic weakness.
Signs say the same thing
At this moment, we don’t need to worry about that.
Classic “top” signals like MVRV, Puell, etc remain low. More temporal metrics like NUPL and percent supply in profit show no cause for concern.
We know from accumulation patterns and movements of bitcoins that the market is in a good place. A 30-50% crash won’t change that. In fact, that would be typical of every bitcoin bull market.
Billy the Neighbor’s secretly stacking a few sats at every local peak, but he won’t tell you he’s back in the market until bitcoin’s price reaches a new all-time high.
As long as he’s still ashamed, you don’t need to worry about crypto unless you want to. Fear and uncertainty will keep people from putting too much money into the market. You missed the best time to buy, but the circumstances are still in your favor.
Prices still have a chance to rise naturally and organically from growing communities and genuine interest, not people looking to make a quick buck, chase the markets upward, and buy into every scam they see.
Let’s hope that’s the case for a long time.
Builders need more time to build before the “community” starts to pester them with “why isn’t the token going up” and “you need more marketing.” We need more time to stake our claims before froth, greed, fraud, and grift return.
The technology needs more time to fail, iterate, and attract fans and supporters instead of moonboys and bag hodlers.
The problem is, at the rate this market’s moving, Billy the Neighbor might come out of hiding a lot sooner than you think.
Easy money, hard technology
It’s hard to build when your community only cares about whether the token is going up.
Once Wall Street money starts flooding in, “smart money” investors will expect to get something in return. Like the VCs did in 2020 and 2021.
That return usually comes near the peak of the market, when they dump on newcomers and flood the market with tokens.
We will never build a more robust, fair, durable, and open financial system if everybody’s trying to suck money out of the market.
At some point, can we aspire to something more important than “price go up?”
- Freedom to choose what type of money we use.
- Better access to credit and financing.
- A source of wealth that does not depend on our government’s monopoly on power, coercion, and monetary policy.
- A more transparent, more efficient, and less expensive financial system.
- Personal sovereignty over our creations and the fruits of our labor.
These are ambitious goals when true believers and builders dominate the market.
Once you get people who just want to make a buck at your expense, who don’t care about the technology or any of its principles, you might as well throw those goals out the window. You can’t build a revolution from greed and fear.
Maybe we shouldn’t try. At least, not now. Let’s pause, wait for the next bear market, and save our energy and money for that time.
That’s when you’ll get the best opportunities and a chance to see what actually works, not just what’s being hyped at the moment so somebody can sell a token to somebody else for more than they bought it for.
This post is also available as a collectible NFT on Mirror.
Mark Helfman publishes the Crypto is Easy newsletter. He is also the author of three books and a top Bitcoin writer on Medium and Hacker Noon. Learn more about him in his bio and connect with him on Superpeer or Tealfeed.