Yes, We Are in a Very Early Stage (Opinion)


The debate as to whether or not we are still very early on in the cryptocurrency space is one that’s been going on for quite some time. For some reason, a lot of people tend to tie it up to the current pricing of different cryptocurrencies – something, that in my opinion, has nothing to do with the bedrock of the conversation.

We’re in a bubble. Well, at least most of us are in a bubble. And I’m not talking about prices.

The Bitcoin Bubble

Whether you realize it or not, we’re in a bubble. Me, you, and everyone who has dedicated a large portion of their time to the crypto sphere. And no, this has nothing to do with prices.

We follow what’s going on – it’s our passion. We read the news, we debate on Crypto Twitter, we dive into DeFi, we ape into shitcoins with 0 prior research on the off chance that they can 100x in an instant (we’ve all done it at least once, let’s be honest.)

We’re excited that public companies are starting to put BTC on their balance sheets, and we’re also looking forward to the launch of Ethereum 2.0. We divide ourselves into factions – those who support nothing but Bitcoin, those who support everything but Bitcoin, and all those in between.

My point is – we are in this space. Like, truly in it. And this, at least for me, oftentimes makes me think that cryptocurrencies are going forward, that they are venturing deeper into the mainstream. But are they really?

“More and More People Ask Me About Bitcoin” Narrative

How many times have you seen your favorite Twitter influencer say that more and more people are asking them how to buy bitcoin? Honestly, I feel like this is something I read daily, but here’s my problem.

First of all, I don’t bite it. I’m a social guy, I’ve got a lot of friends, and I’m perhaps the only one who’s in crypto among my peers. And to be quite frank with you, most of the time, it’s me who starts the conversation on Bitcoin or other cryptos – not the other way around. But that may just be me.

Let’s assume, though, that all of it is true. Does this mean there are people who are looking to get into crypto? Not necessarily. I asked a friend the other day about his new Audi Q8 SUV – am I going to buy an Audi Q8? Not really, I’m just curious. There’s a huge gap between interest and action. Think about it this way – you’ve surely liked someone at some point in your life, and yet, we all know that it takes a stomach to go and talk to them. Perhaps this example is a bit far-fetched, but you get the point.

I was talking with a colleague of mine a week back about Bitcoin’s price and why is it that people are more interested in it when it’s at ATH – you know, the “buy high” heard mentality. He told me that he had at least 30 people ask him how to buy Bitcoin back in the Covid19 crash last March, and out of them, only one actually went ahead and bought it.

I know this is an anecdotal example, and the facts are coming below, but my point is that if we step aside from our bubble that is the crypto industry, we’ll quickly find out that the only thing that the overwhelming majority of people know about Bitcoin (let alone other projects) is its price.

Now. Facts. This post was inspired by a quiz I saw on Twitter.

MrBeast Asking his Followers About Crypto

In case you haven’t heard of MrBeast, he’s among the most popular YouTubers, and with over 52 million subscribers, his channel is one of the largest on the platform. I’m a fan of his – the videos he does are anything but generic, his content is fun, engaging, and he’s a representative of that new wave of entrepreneurs where giving back is just as important as earning. At least that’s the impression I’m left with after following him for a few years now.

I was very pleasantly surprised when I saw him putting Bitcoin in his bio just like Musk and Dorsey did.

Yesterday, while drinking my morning coffee, I stumbled upon a quiz of his:

“Do you hold any Bitcoin or other crypto? Retweet so we can get a larger sample size! I’m curious” – he asked.

Now, I didn’t see the results immediately, though I was sure that the majority of people would have said yes. After all, I assume that MrBeast’s primary audience consists of young people due to the nature of his content. And I’ve seen hundreds of quizzes in Crypto Twitter on the same subject, and it’s always the majority owning crypto.

This is how the results look like:

crypto_survey

Out of more than half a million people, about 60% said they do not own crypto. I was honestly shocked at first, perhaps because I was so sure of the results being the other way around.

Let’s also see some other surveys. We reported back in 2020 that only 3.86% of UK’s general population holds crypto, according to an FCA survey. And the bulk of it owns less than 260 GBP worth of it. I know that it’s not necessary to own crypto to be aware of it, but still. Less than 4% sounds pretty low to me.

In any case, my point is that we are still very, very early on. In fact, we’re so early on that most of us can’t comprehend how early on we are. At least I can’t.

Final Thoughts

Is all of this good for crypto? I’d assume it is. After all, it’s a nascent industry, and Rome wasn’t built in a day.

Do we have much to offer? We sure do. GameStop, anybody? Is there a lot of work? There are years of work left ahead. Remember, centralized cryptocurrency exchanges are not the answer to what happened this week. And decentralized exchanges have a LONG way to go before they’re able to provide a simple-enough UX so that the average Joe can start using them. And of course, that’s just the tip of the iceberg – there are plenty of merits behind decentralization.

I remain more eager than ever to see how it all pans out, and even if it turns out I’m wrong, it would surely have been an exciting journey.

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