The State of Crypto in 2018

I didn't hash my predictions and put them in a blockchain (this was because my predictions were only made in conversation), but things are about where I thought they'd be: a general downtrend, delays in every project, scam projects disappearing.

As it should be.

Recently, I've taken the plunge into the thick mire of crypto-Twitter, and I must say it is fairly repugnant. Among the handful of individuals that I beforehand knew were genuinely worth following I've found bots, terrible investment advice, mystical trend analysis, desperate speculators, and self-professed experts that I've never heard of. I'm holding my nose and trying to find where it doesn't reek, but I realized something, I think.

Crypto has gone mainstream with the peak of December 2017. Or, at least, it has gone mainstream for the younger generation. Most have heard of it. Sure, not many know extensively about it, but that is the case with most things that have gone mainstream.

I remember how things were in 2013. I remember how things were in 2014 and 2015. While we're currently mirroring 2014 to a degree, there is a slight difference that I can't yet articulate.

Let's see if we can find it? (The rest of this post will be an attempted search for articulation—a true essay.)

Late 2016–2017 was riddled with ICOs and shady scams to a much greater extent of the altcoins of 2012–2013.

Maybe one difference is that there are so many people that haven't caught on—they've still got deranged hope in all of these projects or think that things will take off soon? . . . But there  were people thinking that in 2014. History shows that it didn't happen. So, it's not that.

This last round, I think more people have lost more money, though they may not realize it yet. But lots lost in 2014—that Magic the Gathering Online Exchange (yes the biggest crypto exchange at the time was originally for a card game) was probably the biggest disaster—the crypto Hindenburg—in the space. There wasn't even a single precipitating factor in the last crash—it was simply just an overblown bubble.

Meetup attendance, at first glance, appears to be more or less the same. The number of attendees is a function of the market cap. What may be strange is that the number of attendees per meetup is roughly the same as this time in 2014. But that's per meetup—there's a lot more meetups now, and other than the core community that attends as much as they can, I think most attendees of meetups are picking what's closest to them.

Actually, maybe it essentially is just like 2014 (only at a slightly larger scale?). The difference may merely rest in me: I, no longer a poor student, and am more of a participant this round. I didn't care that much about the price in 2014—most projects were uninteresting or obvious scams. Now, I still don't care much about the price (by all means, Bitcoin, go ahead and fall to 3K already)—but there are a few interesting projects these days.

When I say "a few," I mean a few. Like, less than 7.