If you’re new to all this, you just walked through a door most so-called experts agree is marked ‘Abandon hope ye who enter here’. You’re going to need a guide – your own crypto Virgil – to help you find your way through this strange, wonderful and dangerous land.
There’s a saying that a week is a long time in politics. If that’s true, then it’s a lifetime in crypto.
News cycles rotate. Businesses rise and fall. Reputations are established and destroyed. Markets spike and crash. Fortunes are made and lost. Some people’s whole careers in crypto last less than a week.
Like kitten heel and shoulder pads, crypto goes in and out of fashion. The mainstream media catches on, celebrities make endorsements, ‘experts’ wade in, fuelling the bubble they claim to be warning against and thereby fulfilling their own smug prophesies. Publicity is oxygen and when the fire burns itself out, the landscape can look devastated.
The constant is that the technology stubbornly sticks around, whether or not it’s deemed fashionable. Veterans wait for the wheel to turn, knowing that software can’t be destroyed and that a good idea lasts a lot longer than a news cycle or even a market cycle. The handful that stick around find something that’s not just financially rewarding, but life changing.
The sad thing is that most people don’t stick around that long. And really, who can blame them? Crypto can be brutal. It’s the free market at its purest. Step into the Inferno and you’re likely to get burned.
Dante didn’t have a map. If he did, it would have been one of the dodgy medieval ones with ‘Here be dragns’ written over half of it. He needed Vergil, a guide who had been there before and knew his way around. There aren’t any dragons in crypto, but there are trolls – a lot of trolls – as well as perma-bulls, bearwhales and even the odd Doge still left around from 2014. If you’re independent enough to have turned up here in the first place, you might manage ok, but it never hurts to have a Vergil of your own.
We’ve lived here a long time now. Fontas was our first teacher. (If that name doesn’t mean anything to you, think of trading tips from Fontas being like a dinner invitation from Hannibal Lecter.) We watched MtGox implode and collapse, taking bitcoin with it and ending in an 18-month-long crypto winter. We’ve known people who have lost hundreds of thousands of dollars out of complacency and poor security. We know what it’s like to have the value of your portfolio cut in half in a week. We’ve seen communities and coins destroyed by FUD (Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt – get used to the term, you’ll hear it a lot around here) and great ideas smashed to pieces because egos who say they want the same thing can’t work together.
But we’ve also seen people figure out ways to do stuff that no one thought could be done, show incredible integrity, talent and generosity, and played a role in what may turn out to be the greatest movement of our time.
We don’t claim to have all the answers. (If anyone does – and they will – start walking the other way. If they’re accompanied by the words ‘trust me’, run and don’t look back.) We won’t tell you what to think or where to put your money – crypto is about independence if nothing else. But we’ve picked up a few things over the years, and hopefully there’s something there you can use. We’ll give you what insights we can about different developments in the crypto world, offer a balanced view of the different projects and opportunities that come along, and let you know what’s worked for us and why. We’ll warn you when we see a gold mine that, on second glance, looks more like a mine field, or a space ship that turns out to be a sinking ship. Hopefully we’ll help you save a few dollars and make a few more. And just maybe you’ll even end up changing the world.