As the bear market settles in, that old chestnut, the virtue-signaling from the no-coiner, the blockchain-not-bitcoin argument is rearing its head in various shapes and forms.
In general, as with most things in life, this whole thing can be broken down into a 2×2 matrix.
no Bitcoin, no blockchain – no comments
Bitcoin, not blockchain (maximalists) – yep, most of these folks are smart, but again most of these folks got lucky, in a ‘Taleb-esque’ fashion so to speak. Sadly most of this crowd spouts gibberish and pseudo economics, engaging in salty social media grand-standing flaming sessions; this crowd hope that institutions will come in bid up price and make them rich. Unless of course they blew it all up in the ICO boom, in which case the particular can of shitcoins that they are holding is what is being peddled aggressively by them, Instead of the standard, rabid BTC maximalism. The funny part is that this crowd might still get lucky, in spite of themselves. Hope the current downturn has taught at least some of this crowd the bitter but essential taste of humble pie.
Blockchain, not bitcoin (virtue-signalling) – This crowd is mostly consultants that love to explain what you just told them in simple English in a 96-page slide deck with charts, diagrams and Harvey balls. Distributed ledger tech has been around for a long long time. Without the incentive structure provided by a blockchain, the ‘private blockchain’ implementation they champion is likely only as good as shared google sheet with password protection enabled.
Blockchain, bitcoin – Keep the faith! You are investing, building or operating real, impactful companies using distributed ledger technology across banking, financial services, retail, governance, philanthropy etc. It is darkest before dawn, and things will eventually get better. After they get worse. Remember what CZ, the founder of Binance says, the opportunities in front of us are infinitely larger than the opportunities behind us. Bitcoin is likely the first implementation of a public blockchain but very likely not the last. Bitcoin is likely a store-of-value to rival gold, but Ethereum and its spiritual successors have moved the needle on what is possible with public blockchains by introducing easily scriptable smart contracts.
In general, it is super early in the cycle, but the run up here was unprecedented, so there will definitely be withdrawal symptoms. If you are a blockchain entity, funds are likely hard to come by, so you have to do what you have to do to survive. Even if that means pandering to the blockchain-not-bitcoin crowd. Remember, the markets can remain irrational longer than you can remain solvent. There is no point letting ideology get in the way of keeping the lights on!
In tomorrow’s post, we look at the important phenomenon of bitcoin halving.