Hello readers, it’s great to have you here.
How’s your year in crypto going? Whatever your answer to that question is, you can rest assured that your answer applies to most people involved in crypto. Mine’s the same, but are you sensing change? Are you seeing the FUD dissipating and being replaced with new-found optimism?
The first quarter of 2018 was inarguably dominated by fear of regulation. It was only in January that Jay Clayton of the U.S. Securities and Exchanges Commission said that, pretty much, every ICO he had seen constituted a security. Bank of England Governor, Mark Carney, was spreading FUD everywhere even as the BoE was debating creating its own cryptocurrency and utilizing blockchain technology.
Obviously, these sorts of statements add to FUD and have a direct impact on the crypto community’s sentiments. One area that such impact has been seen is in the distinct bear market we are currently in. Bitcoin is down, ether is down, every coin seems to be wallowing in a brutal sea of red. Whether you trade cryptos or you buy into companies because you want to support the technology, the idea of losing money doesn’t really appeal to anyone.
In addition to incoming regulations and a fierce bear market, another big theme in Q1, 2018, was exchanges and how they are systematically letting their customers down. Binance suspended new user registrations as did Bittrex. Several exchanges found themselves coming under regulatory scrutiny as did Binance in Japan, and recently, it looks like Bitfinex has been caught with its trousers down.
It’s not been the best start to a year, and all this FUD has certainly had an impact, but let me tell you a story.
Early in 2018, the UK press was preparing us all for the widespread panic and chaos that a snowstorm called The Beast from The East was sure to bring. News consumers were told to prepare for the worst.
I woke up on the morning that The Beast from The East was allegedly at its worst. I hadn’t even opened the curtains to look before I was assaulted with radio news that trains had been canceled, commuters were unable to get to work, ad nauseum.
When I opened the curtains, there wasn’t much snow at all. In fact, you could still see most of the grass. When I turned on the TV, the poor commuters who couldn’t get to work because all the trains had been canceled were upset by the fact that there was very little snow there either. They had missed a day’s wage simply because the train operator bought into all the FUD that the press was selling to its audience.
It’s a bit like that now. Although the news outlets are selling FUD, it doesn’t mean that you must buy into it. Crypto is not the only industry that experiences negative events. Open any newspaper on any given day, and you’ll see what I mean.
It’s spring now, and The Beast from The East is a long-distant memory for most. Crocus and daffodil buds are popping opening, cherry trees are in full blossom, and even my stubborn magnolia is bursting into life. There’s a certain sense of optimism that comes along with spring.
This year, the same is true in crypto. The fear of regulation is giving way to understanding and acceptance. In fact, European regulators are taking a very positive stance regarding blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies in general instead of the ‘ban it all’ approach taken by the U.S. and China.
According to Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, “In the future, all public services will use blockchain technology. Blockchain is a great opportunity for Europe and Member States to rethink their information systems, to promote user trust and the protection of personal data, to help create new business opportunities and to establish new areas of leadership, benefiting citizens, public services and companies. The Partnership launched today enables Member States to work together with the European Commission to turn the enormous potential of blockchain technology into better services for citizens.”
As if political adoption of blockchain technology wasn’t enough, crypto is even beginning to attract institutional investment from the likes of Soros and Rockefeller. Some may view this type of investment with FUD-tinted glasses, but for many, including myself, institutional investment means wider adoption, and everyone knows that’s good news.
So spring is here. Enjoy the sun’s warmth and put on your sunglasses – the future is looking bright indeed.
Chronic crypto nut and freelance writer/editor for longer than I care to remember. Have finally found a home here at Crypto Disrupt.