I Dream Of Cryptocurrency

Chris Salvemini
7 min readApr 11, 2019

The Bitcoin craze epitomized the American dream — effortless wealth and untold amounts of riches. When it peaked in late 2017, at around $19,700, early investors become billionaires overnight. The ones who bought coins when they were just a few dollars instantly saw their entire lives change, all out of sheer circumstance.

It was a nightmare for the overall cryptocurrency market, though.

That deluge of wealth came with the collapse of Bitcoin and a deeply disturbing revelation about nascent cryptocurrencies: the markets were inherently cursed. Bitcoin’s success immediately attracted investors who purchased coins without understanding what gave them so much value in the first place.

Bitcoin: An Origin Story

Just like any currency, cryptocurrencies are meant to be exchanged. The more they pass between different hands, the more each kind of coin is worth. And Bitcoin only reached such legendary heights because it was driven by a small, yet dedicated cluster of online communities found almost exclusively on online forums.

These digital hamlets developed their own currencies and eagerly explored their implications. They spent their days dreaming about how Bitcoin and all its derivatives could change the way people engaged with their economy. They imagined a world where people’s wealth would be guaranteed by their communities — not by corporations, governments, or banks.

Bitcoins aren’t actual coins. I wish these stock photo people would understand that.

Bitcoin only become valuable out of childish musings over how the economy may change in the future. Its value was developed over a decade of intrepid visions.

People didn’t invest in Bitcoin as much as they were investing in each other and the dream they all shared: for a future free of financial fiefdom. And over time and motivated by those dreams, investors helped Bitcoin rise in value. After crossing the first dollar, it became clear their dreams could become a reality.

Then those dreams were squashed when those early adopters started getting rich.

Their newfound wealth attracted the interest of big-league investors like the Winklevoss Twins and Uncle Sam, who wanted only to grow their massive, personal dragon hoards. So, allured by riches despite the decade of work that went into amassing them, they swarmed the Bitcoin market and promptly poached it.

These new investors weren’t believers like early adopters were, and so they purchased cryptocurrencies expecting them to balloon in value if they waited long enough. They didn’t recognize the effort that went into adopting a coin, nor did they recognize the contributions of the businesses and people who exchanged coins and thereby made them valuable in the first place.

Cryptocurrencies, like any currency, get their value out of being exchanged. Yet, investors hoard their coins and exchange nothing. The cryptocurrency market was still nascent when the first flood of investors struck it, so it was ripe to be pillaged.

Investors bought up almost entire supplies of coins and the machines that mined them expecting the price to rise overnight. In an ironic twist of fate, cryptocurrency investors’ greed precluded their chance at cryptocurrency wealth. They could not be exchanged if they were trapped in investor’s pockets, so coins could not find value.

Hoarding coins robbed them of their value, and for most early cryptocurrency adopters, that truth is tragic.

Unlike most investments like stocks or bonds, cryptocurrencies once had an intimate value beyond their dollar price to the people that owned them. A coin was representative of a community daring to try something new — they were symbols of something unique they could claim to be a part of.

It wasn’t the early adopters’ faults that the rest of the world wanted to be a part of it too.

The Media Enabled Market Collapse

Investors only flooded cryptocurrency markets after media began to report on their successes. Before cryptocurrency markets lost their values, they lost their narratives to media which wrongly reported them as conduits of overnight wealth.

Yet, before blame is entirely placed on the media for devastating cryptocurrency markets, it should be noted that the media only reported on cryptocurrency markets to find an audience.

Audiences sought stories of cryptocurrency success because they reinforced beliefs in rags-to-riches values and in the fantasy of a country with roads paved with gold. They were attracted to these reports to combat the reality that their wealth was squandered and valueless, lost in much the same way cryptocurrency value was.

As corporations pulled increasingly massive amounts of regular currency out of circulation and built their hordes, the average family’s wealth became increasingly less valuable. The narratives around cryptocurrencies gave people an escape from their dismal realities and allowed their free-market ideologies to persist.

The cryptocurrency market dynamics are simple to understand yet difficult to put into practice since they are warped by an individual’s unique ideology. Basically, at the loss of media attention, cryptocurrency markets find the stability they yearn for.

As investors realize they are losing money, they ebb away and all that is left are those who are either trying to amass small piles of digital wealth or people who continue to believe in the values of the original community-focused ideology from which the first cryptocurrencies emerged.

And as the markets stabilize, people gain faith in the coin. They exchange it more, and more cryptocurrency-based retailers emerge, illegitimate or not. The more it’s exchanged, the more value it accrues. Yet, as people find wealth in these calm periods, cryptocurrency starts attracting attention again.

That means investors also start being attracted to it, again. Then the market surges as they flood it with money, buying coins and make people millionaires overnight. After that period, the currency grinds to a halt since coins are removed from the exchange and are held in the hands of investors.

Normally, this kind of dynamic would mean that the optimal time to invest in any coin would be whenever someone forgets about it. Yet, new trends in the technology around cryptocurrency, and the way people view it, that is changing the market’s traditional dynamics.

Blockchain Is the Technology Of Truth

First, more industries are adopting the Blockchain. The tool has become more than just a way to verify transactions or a particular account’s assets. People realized that it has the power to verify whether any message is true or not. And with that power, people have improved the way entire industries function.

For example, blockchain technology is improving the pharmaceutical supply chain. Since every transaction is accounted for by the blockchain, every step of the distribution process is closely monitored. This helps prevent drugs from sliding into illicit markets and can help guarantee the authenticity of any particular drugs. It helps counter counterfeit drugs and can ensure anything in the supply is what it claims to be.

Blockchains validate that messages between computers are true. In a cryptocurrency context, the blockchain automatically validates that an account actually has the value it claims to have before it allows a transaction to complete.

Because of the Blockchain, pharmaceutical distribution is improving — just like how it’s improving every other industry it’s adopted into. It’s making industries more efficient by ensuring they stay true to themselves and that each individual business and person stays focused on the industry’s shared goals.

The blockchain is a technology uniquely designed to find the truth and keep people accountable, and most consumers are just now waking up to the importance of truth.

That can imply people will be more motivated to switch to cryptocurrencies as doubt continues to grow around the guardians of regular currencies. The more that banks victimize their clients or behave downright illegally, or governments protect the people who build hordes of wealth while jeopardizing the value of the currency they collect, the less confident people will be in regular currency.

People are becoming less interested in currencies backed by governments because people trust their governments less and less. Instead, they want a currency backed something they can trust. They’re going to find that in their communities.

The Future of Futuristic Currencies

The time is ripe for cryptocurrency markets to spill out of the internet and emerge as the currency it was made to be. The Bitcoin market found relative stability for the past few months, despite a recent spike in the price. It found this despite constant flushes of investor money and media attention.

That stability means Bitcoin has found a place in the zeitgeist, and in the economy. It’s the first coin to manage to be stable while also getting attention.

In essence, Bitcoin is managing to escape the cryptocurrency market.

New coins have flooded the market, and each new coin makes the market more volatile. They’re literally virtual coins, emerging out of nowhere and disappearing just as quickly, taking adopter money with them. These new coins, like OTOCASH and Galilel, make the overall market chaotic.

Yet, chaos cultivates change.

This is the time for Bitcoin and its cryptocurrency cousins to emerge as forms of legitimate currency, backed by large-scale mistrust around governments and the currencies they control, as well as an ingrained technology designed to keep market participants accountable and reveal truth.

People are imagining the same ideas that created Bitcoin — and those dreams of digital yore may be the very things saving the cryptocurrency market now, as it roils from media attention and investor cash. A yearning for a connection to a community may be what’s defending major currencies against investor harm, and it may also provide the legitimacy cryptocurrency has longed for from the start.

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