Two Minutes on Crypto—October 1, 2022

I must admit, I’ve enjoyed the past few months. Some people love the hype, hooplah, excitement, and expectation of quick riches that only come when the market’s zooming.

I prefer quiet times like these.

For the wider world, this moment is anything but quiet.

The US central bank is hell-bent on making you poorer and destroying the value of everything you have, no matter where you live — to the point where it’s holding an emergency meeting on Monday to figure out just how much it can break before the rest of the world implodes.

Europe is confronting an energy crisis and has almost certainly entered a recession. The Bank of England can barely keep UK pension funds from collapsing. Japan’s currency is depreciating at a record pace. China’s real estate market can’t survive without stimulus, bail-outs, and liquidity programs.

Australia’s housing market is a toxic mix of variable-rate mortgages and high property values. Pakistan has to deal with a flood, food, and financial crisis all at the same time.

Commodity prices are cratering. Shipping has fallen off a cliff. Several governments seem on the brink of default.

Everybody’s worried about their money.

For what?

Our governments have turned money into a mirage — a product of financial engineering, propped up by government decrees and collective nostalgia. It’s a meme, as I wrote in the September issue of my newsletter, Crypto is Easy.

When money is a meme, crypto offers an alternative: open, permissionless, global networks that are rich with deep pools of capital accessible to everybody, everywhere, all the time without fear that a central bank will pump or dump their money into oblivion.

With cryptocurrency, we can create a world where even the poorest of the poor can access humanity’s collective wealth. We can build financial platforms that transcend race, ethnicity, and social status. We can give artists, developers, inventors, and content creators new ways to protect, distribute, and monetize their creations — without a few powerful people dictating their fate.

We can make a fairer, more transparent, more inclusive world where money has to earn its place in our wallets.

We can.

Will we, though?

To date, crypto has been personified by grift, greed, and instant gratification.

As the world returns to normalcy — or worse — too many people will suffer. We will again be confronted with a reality that no government can paper over with tax cuts, stimulus packages, and quantitative easing:

The legacy financial system can no longer give you the lifestyle that you want.

Crypto might, but only if we make it useful. Only if we create real businesses and financial networks that can function even when prices don’t go up.

That is our next challenge. I hope we succeed.

Relax and enjoy the ride!

Mark Helfman publishes the Crypto is Easy newsletter. He is also the author of three books and a top bitcoin writer on Medium and Hacker Noon. Learn more about him in his bio.

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