Where it all Began
I first heard about Bitcoin just over two years ago, this weird, magic internet money thing kept popping up over my social media feed. However, nobody with any credibility had any idea of what it was, what it does or how it works. All that I kept seeing is that some people had made lots and lots of money from it, so naturally…it caught my attention.
A few google searches and some independent research later gave me, and I emphasise, a very basic understanding of what it was. My intuition told me straight away that there was more to this than just people making money out of essentially nothing. And the more I looked into it, the more it fascinated me. I remember listening to one of Tim Ferriss’ podcasts, an episode with the famed Nick Szabo, and I was sold. Sold, hooked, obsessed, addicted…the synonyms are endless. But did I know it? No.
As most start off with, I bought some Bitcoin from Coinbase from the App Store, and within weeks my very modest “investment” doubled in value. I was not expecting this, to be honest, I don’t know what I was expecting, but I wasn’t about to stop there. I kept putting small, then larger amounts into the app, and the price kept going up. There was no sense of rationale on my part or any real understanding of what was going on, all I knew is that Bitcoin was the term on every person’s mind, and it wasn’t stopping.
Admittedly, I sold the Bitcoin that I had at around $10-12,000, as I was quite happy with the profits I’d made and something deep down in me, told me this madness had to stop soon. The rate at which it was moving, was surreal. The speed that profits were being generated was indescribable.
As if this wasn’t enough, little to my knowledge and expectations, the fun had only just begun. The biggest bull-run in cryptocurrency history in December 2017-January 2018, changed the way myself and many individuals looked at investing and money forever. The sheer euphoria experienced by thousands during that span of 2-3 weeks was something that they will never forget. Was it the culmination of long-term patience or was it the birth of a new wave of “investor”?
Investing isn’t meant to be fun, it isn’t meant to be glamorous, and it is most certainly not meant to be a short-term thing. However, what that few weeks of madness has essentially created, is a pool of so-called “investors” whose expectations were exactly this. Inexperienced individuals invested money, that they essentially couldn’t afford to lose. They took their pictures for Instagram of a Ledger dangling around their neck, on a lanyard. They shared their (real or fake) Blockfolio screenshots…and in all the euphoria…made one crucial mistake. Nobody sold. Nobody withdrew profits. We (me included) thought this bull market was going to keep going, and we were all wrong.
Fast forward 12-months, with the most prominent crypto bear market ever seen, the mental and emotional effects are starting to take their toll on many. I’ve seen despair, frustration, disbelief and in some cases total capitulation.
Seeing your portfolio down over 80% is tough. Even the strongest mentally will admit to this. For some, it has already proven to be too much. I would consider myself very fortunate to have built up a network of individuals based all across the world, who have been through exactly what I have. This network has managed to help maintain some form of sanity and genuinely believe in the long-term of this space.
What makes the majority of those involved in the crypto space against traditional investors is fascinating, To be frank, they’re total opposites. Traditional investors appreciate the long-game, with long periods of not touching their investments. They expect a modest, but consistent return on their capital each year.
I’ve noticed that the majority of crypto “investors” could not be further from this. They are expecting another 2 weeks of total euphoria, starting as soon as possible. They constantly check their holdings, they are impatient, immature and irrational. To go even further into this, quite frankly…they are annoying. These online “personalities” do not deserve instant riches, they will not value any financial fortune that is essentially handed to them on a plate.
The Present and the Future
I’ve learnt a lot over the past 18 months. About myself, about people, about investing and about life. This may sound like a somewhat exaggeration, but I stick by it. I’ve learnt to actually fully emotionally detach myself from my investments, set the expectations much lower than I had set the bar previously. I’ve learnt that I can deal with emotional turmoil, in a place where often there aren’t many places to run or seek respite in.
I would be lying if I haven’t visually practised purchasing extreme materialistic luxuries, and a spending plan to what I would do with certain amounts of money. But, if anything, as each day passes I have the feeling that another 2 weeks like December is a distant hope and not a nearby expectation.
I’ve spent more time researching a lot of Altcoins. Gained a much better understanding of Bitcoin and Ethereum, and what their actual roles are within this space. I’ve looked at the coins in my portfolio, and have ensured they are aligned with what I believe to be projects with value in the current day and not too distant future.
There are opportunities around us every week, with low risk and a potential to be consistently profitable, with minimal risk. I often use the phrase, “be proactive, not reactive”…and for now, I’ll be doing much more of the forer…as the latter will be for those annoying kids that think they’re real crypto investors, but really they’re just glorified gamblers.
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