State of crypto community space, part I
Today I want to start a little series about the state of the crypto community space — how it is seen by community members, main thoughts on current developments, opinions on what has to be done to improve the ecosystem, etc.
I want to start this series by interviewing Jonathan Martin — a musician who became interested in crypto and traditional markets last year — and gained a lot of knowledge and skills during the year.
So, let’s begin!
Jonathan, please introduce yourself!
My name is Jonathan Martin, 34 years old, living in San Francisco, US. I have lived here for the past 14 years. Musician and artist at day and analyst and trader at night. I have been into the crypto scene for the last two years, particularly the Сindicator community. I come from a pretty unique background for someone into Financial Tech. I was a punk rock, traveling kid. I spent my formative years skipping college, traveling around and getting into trouble. I think I was just smart and bored like a lot of people. I finally found a home and career in the San Francisco music community and stayed put there. I would never have made it into crypto at all were it not for my life being drastically changed by a major injury about a year and a half ago.
When did you first start to feel like a full member of the community?
As an artist and musician in a big city — I am intimately familiar with the concept of the community used to propel and propagate ideas. The first place I found a true sense of community is in the local San Francisco music and arts scene — as far as digital spaces go — I have been involving myself in digital communities since I was very young. I grew up as the Internet did. I was using IRC (old chat protocol) with fierce devotion in my early teens, so I am also familiar with the digital community.
How do you feel about yourself in the community?
I am a very social person. I thrive in community settings. I’m a bit of a communist when it comes to intellectual property and I very much believe in work for the greater good because — it feels good. It feels good to get validation when you do good work, and it feels good to work in service of something you believe in that is larger than you (a project, a community etc.) For me for crypto, in particular, it was extremely therapeutic. I was badly injured when I came into the Cindicator chat, and could not really leave my room for months on end. I could not use facebook because of litigation I was in. I was very cut off and isolated and I think until you have suffered severe injury and debilitation, or for whatever reason extreme isolation, it’s easy to pooh-pooh the reality of digital relationships. There have been many times in my life my communities (both IRL and digital) were integral in keeping me sane/safe and happy.
How did you find out about the crypto space?
A friend contacted me during my convalescence and told me I needed to figure it out, immediately (Oct 2017). He was right. I got to watch the amazing bull run from the very beginning, I am thankful to this friend to this day. As far as crypto social groups go — I had poked around for a long time, been members of hundreds of channels, but never found something that really floated my boat until I came to the Cindicator channel. It aggregates intelligent people — and in my experience with communities in general — that is an extremely good sign. It is part of what motivated me to move to SF.
Why did you decide to give crypto a go?
I have been tremendously unsatisfied with conventional modes of banking, governance, wealth and capital management and just about everything else in the world. I also like making money. This is one of the only spaces where these two interests align. Furthermore — when something as revolutionary as wresting back the right of kings/church/government to print/decide value — you undo something that has been going on for thousands of years. That is amazing. I had to be a part.
Please tell about your favorite communities (who and why) :)
There is a very short list of projects I regard with any interest at the moment. Basically Cindicator — for actually being a business, having an amazing product and treating their community with respect. Bitcoin for making it all possible. Eth likewise (and for their role in the markets). POWR, XLM, BTS, and BAT are also actually doing things that are very interesting. Other than that, I’m interested in what is going up :)
How can you describe yourself as a member of the crypto community? Lurker, trader, analyst? How did you become one?
I went through all of these phases. I moved through them by learning, losing, and learning more. Cindicator app and contests were integral in advancing my real world charting knowledge and trading skills. But basically a ton of dedicated research and practice. Same way you get better at anything. I think I have settled finally at “fairly competent trader” although I am always working to improve my skills.
What are the tips you would recommend to someone to start exploring crypto space?
Read my guides, and get the books listed at the end. READ. READ all you can, and move slowly as you acquire a new understanding. I would also strongly recommend against people taking the plunge as a “hodler” without any understanding of trading. That was my move and I am currently down 10k on those investments. It’s almost a surefire way to lose, especially in the current market environment.
Move slow, learn as much as you can. I can honestly say when the whole series is finished, I think my guides and developing chart accuracy on Cindicator are the best places to start (if you intend to trade)…. if not I need to at least make a stop loss guide for noobs (and until then, learn how to use a stop loss!).
How would you describe crypto community space right now? What are the pros and cons? What is missing at the moment?
Completely fucked. There are so many scams and grifts on so many levels the market is losing all momentum to inefficiency. Not only that, new personal investors and institutional funds are mired in what can only be called a “chasm” of trust. The volume that fake tether pumps bought is dried up completely and the only thing happening on the charts is p and d pumps. That is not sustainable. We are at the moment in the Wild West (to use a metaphor) when the coal/train barons figured out there was gold, a lot of it, in the California hills. What used to be wild, outlaw anarchist territory was rapidly brought to heel as the Pinkertons first showed up, followed by local police and other control mechanisms.
We are at that moment in crypto. It pains me to say, as a radical self-reliant anarchist at heart — but no sane risk-averse person would go near this market with a 10-foot pole. We can not exist on just the capital that is here. We must grow to continue, so what we need, what is missing — is genuine regulation and enforcement. It’s also like the turn of the century (1890–1909) trading ‘bucket shops’ — the NYSE and other institutions were started because the small, fly by night operations fleeced the customer and no one could trade with efficiency. I don’t like it, but this is what we need. Period.
Do you think business accountability is an important part of crypto, or not really necessary in space?
I think I’ve been clear where I stand on this. Accountability is everything, especially if we don’t want our rules to be dictated to us.
What community building initiatives would you like to see more of in the space? What practices would you choose?
I’d love to see things that bring in people across disciplines, from other worlds. As an outsider here, crypto can become an echo chamber of tech people and analysts, whereas a healthy ecosystem includes dr’s, scientists, authors, musicians, artists of all types, teachers etc. We can solve more problems better with more data points, so I’d love to see crypto bridge literally into the RL community space in many ways. Solving small problems and introducing people to the technology.
Also, things to bring analysts together. I do not subscribe to the belief that an analyst works best in isolation. It is an art form, and like any art form, you benefit by learning — from your mistakes and others. From your betters and lessers. There is no strategy so good that your edge on the market is some golden goose, and far more likely that you will learn than lose out having others learn from you. I am in the minority in this opinion — but I also come from other spaces (see what I was saying about outside ideas)
Do you think going forward we should push for more regulation or more freedom as a community, and at what points do you draw boundaries?
So, personally I think the crypto community should be SUPER proactive about self-regulation. Cutting off capital and trading to the actors that will not comply with basic auditing/editing to avoid criminals etc. — the thing is, the industry is coming — and they want this money. To my mind, we have a choice — make decisions about how we want this capital to be managed, and how we as a community want to be policed — or let the banks do it when they buy up most of everything, which they will undoubtedly rig to their advantage. I would hate to see the crypto space simply become an echo of the banking system because we could not stop infighting or get our sh** together enough to make a real plan. It would be a sad waste of an opportunity to break long-standing financial shackles.
More to come in future articles — and if you want to give your opinion on the state of crypto space or just share your thoughts on the market and community in general — ping me here on in Telegram @Sidzuka :)