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  • Writer's pictureBryan Jun

my thoughts on crypto/NFTs

Disclaimer: I work in Web3 so everything I say on this post is biased and should be read appropriately. Do note that I'm not (or try my hardest not to be) a "Crypto-bro" and have never been 100% sold on the idea. I actually believe that most people that are invested in Crypto are either not fully sold or don't fully (or even remotely) understand what they're investing into. I'm writing this as a reaction of the recent crash and in response to many of my peers who have been texting me "are you okay."

I'd like to also note that my exposure to "Web3 assets" aren't very high and most of my investments are in trad-fi assets like stocks and mutual funds. Apologies to anyone who's 100% in Bitcoin or other equivalents, I hope this article does not offend you.

It's important to recognize that a vast majority of cryptocurrencies that have erupted since the pandemic-driven rise of Coinbase and other avenues for investing in them are mere ponzi schemes. Anyone that says otherwise should be ignored or criticized, and those that guarantee "generational wealth" through coins named after dog breeds are either knowingly trying to scam you, have bought in themselves and need to self-justify their poor investment decisions, or have fully been brainwashed by others in the first two categories. Whenever you hear words like "token" or "staking," just note that outside of the technicals, it's most definitely a zero sum game and a continuous cycle of hot potato that the last one to join ultimately loses out on. This should serve as a basis for how I view crypto - granted, I find absolutely no issue with taking advantage of this mass public appeal for an asset that allows you to make money quick. Of course, there are ethical concerns with such phenomena and you probably know a person or two who have lost insane amounts of money on DogeCoin or CumRocket. Alternatively, you probably know the reverse scenario of people who have simply gotten lucky and now call themselves crypto traders and hold some level of Twitter clout based on zero skill and all luck (but market themselves as experts, which frankly is a whole skillset of their own). Bottom line, 99% of cryptocurrencies (and maybe even 100%) have been created as a means of making more money and I don't think that's much of an issue given that a vast majority of the world's goods and services are created for similar reasons. You could argue that these other goods and services provide "actual utility," to which I'd agree, but the difference between a regular cake and a birthday cake is that society has agreed upon the idea that birthdays are significant, and therefore a cake that has "HBD" written on it should cost more than one that doesn't. I view cryptocurrencies in a similar fashion in that with the amount of money and talent invested in this pool, we have pretended long enough something has more value than it actually does which has resulted in it actually having value.

As with all things 2022, Crypto and NFTs are triggered by anticipation and speculation. These are the sole aspects that drive their value up and down, with the expectation that they may bring some form of future value - meaning that they're very easily manipulatable based on "hype" news ranging from a certain celebrity endorsing them, brand partnerships with big name corporations, and integrations from big tech companies. You could argue that we have simply put money behind a line graph that charts out the amount of "hype" that is behind something, without much science behind its behavior. What makes this all more interesting is the aspect of having this information "written on the chain" and "decentralization," but realistically most people who are investing via Coinbase or any other centralized platforms with their own custody wallets (this is an unnecessary concept for this post, I just wanted to sound more informed than I really am) could care less about the technology behind them and are simply making bets based on what they've read online or heard others talk about. The same way that stocks behave based on big headlines or earnings calls, cryptocurrencies and NFTs perform based on whatever projects or figures associated with them release as new content or announcements. Of course, there's general macro-trends, much like the "pop" that's occurring right now, which is leading to a decline across the board. It's also important to note that crypto and NFTs can be traded all day long without the restrictions of a centralized exchange. I also firmly believe that having a "JPEG" associated with NFTs is a big value prop of what makes trading them far more entertaining than trading stocks - imagine you received a little apple sticker with Steve Jobs on it any time you traded Apple stock or a picture of Zuckerberg staring at you when you bought NYSE:META - my assumption is that trading volume would go up to a certain degree.

I think the rambling nature of this post is actually a great embodiment of the Web3 economy at large - there's so much information constantly being shoved down the throats of everyone involved, and the pie is scattered enough where you could exist in your own eco chamber for months on end without interacting with the other side and still consider yourself an expert without knowing half a fraction of the entire thing. It's almost impossible to decipher between what's true and false (if that even exists) and self-confirmation bias continues to drive one's ego when in reality your success in investing probably has very little to do with your expertise or "analysis" and all to do with timing and luck. You could program your way into marginal successes by promising yourself to sell at a certain time and buy at another, but no one could tell you at any point that DOGE would skyrocket or TERRA would dump, even less so than knowing that PALANTIR will tank.

My conclusion here would be don't feel FOMO about not becoming a bitcoin billionaire given that they are few and thin and even if they were at some point, they probably aped right back in. And with full bias, I think trading NFTs is a lot more fun than cryptocurrencies and the best place to do it is at

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