Crypto’s 80% Plunge Like a Dot-Com Crash?
So Bloomberg and the usual Western mainstream tech media is saying Crypto’s 80% drop of market cap is worse than the dot.com bubble. Really? First let me just say this is pure nonsense. It’s really like comparing apples and oranges. However, this is the kind of sensationalist negative crypto press we’ve been conditioned with.
Market bubbles occur when assets are traded at prices that by far exceed their fundamental value. While there is no question that cryptocurrencies have been over valued with hype and basically Bitcoin’s manipulated price, to compare the internet with the advent of blockchain is downright ridiculous. While blockchain is a very interesting technology, it’s nowhere near as remarkable as the advent of the internet was.
It’s nearly as bad as crypto being compared to the Tulip Mania. Tulip mania was a period in the Dutch Golden Age during which contract prices for some bulbs of the recently introduced and fashionable tulip reached extraordinarily high levels and then dramatically collapsed in February 1637. Western media has taken a downturn in the era of Facebook, but the kind of click bait and negative press crypto gets is a bit like a conspiracy. It’s nearly as unfortunate as the retail apocalypse story of 2017.
What’s remarkable about crypto up until now is the Bitcoin price surge, what I’ve been calling the crypto singularity. This has led to huge ICOs, mainstream crypto exchanges coming into being, a flood of crypto hedge funds and, in 2018, mainstream interest by Wall Street investors in the crypto space. It’s clear many Millennials and GenZers won’t ever be trading on the stock market (that’s basically rigged by older generations), but they are interested in investing in cryptocurrencies.
So let’s not say then that this “Great Crypto Crash of 2018” looks more and more like one for the record books, shall we? It’s missing the point. It’s also beside the point of what young people want. They want decentralized services, open-source software and public blockchains where trust, transparency and new kinds of governance are the rule, not just the half-illegal exception to the rule of fiat money.
Bloomberg somewhat smugly states:
The MVIS CryptoCompare Digital Assets 10 Index extended its collapse from a January high to 80 percent. The tumble has now surpassed the Nasdaq Composite Index’s 78 percent peak-to-trough decline after the dot-com bubble burst in 2000.
How is this relevant to how cryptocurrencies are changing the world? Now that mainstream interest is on cryptocurrencies it’s more than understandable that there’s less scarcity, more demand and less inflated prices. If the internet took decades simply to give us the likes of Ad-centric companies like Google and Facebook, should we really be so naive and idealistic as to think that crypto or blockchain will bring us a better world? A Google and a Facebook and a Microsoft clamoring to get into China, happy to take on products where censorship will exist, etc….
Indeed the Western media and the banks behind them have tried very hard to portray crypto as a fraudulent group of anarchists, criminals who use privacy coins, and Bitcoin HODL-ers who have dropped out of society just to argue on Reddit about the latest crypto trends. Now it’s not uncommon to find crypto stories on publications such as CNBC, TechCrunch or any other major publication.
If Bitcoin has achieved digital gold asset status, what indeed is this Great Crypto Crash of 2018 we are talking about? Ethereum is likely more searched on Google than the likes of Microsoft, Facebook and Snapchat combined. So what does this mean for the future of the world? A world where young people care more about decentralization, consensus mechanisms and dApps than GenX even understands what those things are.
Financial articles talk about cryptocurrency trends in isolation from the big picture, which makes you think they are articles written by AI and not a human who is capable of seeing the big picture and synthesizing all the trends that are actually occurring. Forget for a moment that a digital asset discovery marketplace like Bakkt is coming, that Ethereum Futures will go live soon and decentralized exchanges are happening in Malta. Forget that multiple public blockchain attempts are raising in excess of $200 million each, simply for the off-chance that they could scale and solve problems that Ethereum might solve more slowly.
It’s not rational to think of Crypto as the new dot.com bubble. It would be more rational to think and talk about the AI regulation bubble, or the engineered optimism of humans — the collective denial that makes people think automation will never impact them! Crypto is not a huge story of our times, let’s just admit that right now. For most people, cryptocurrencies won’t touch their lives. It’s not a new paradigm. It’s not like autonomous vehicles, or 3D-printing, or BioTech or even Quantum computing, so why in hell are we comparing them to the Dot.com bubble — the bloody invention of the internet?
We tend to be quick to judge — excessive hype, security flaws, market manipulation, tighter regulation and slower-than-anticipated adoption by Wall Street — Crypto. But what about all the faults of the banking system, tech companies and the absurd wealth inequality they represent? The old system likes to criticize the new, but it’s a very imperfect world, full of corruption and market manipulation on so many levels — political, economic, healthcare — everywhere. American venture capital is so broken, and so is Silicon Valley. Perhaps we should talk about those things too and not just what’s fashionably hyped up. What else is broken? Ethics and leadership in American tech companies.
The silver lining of Bitcoin’s price correction is that cryptocurrency is accelerating as fast as blockchain adoption is occurring. Each year shows radical progress, a flood of new projects, hundreds of blockchain startups around the world working to change the world. That has little to do with Bitcoin’s price or how many countries ban crypto. It’s bigger than that and intersects with the real world in ways Wall Street cannot even fathom.