The Crypto Year in Review, 2018

By | Jan 03, 2019

The Crypto Year in Review, 2018

Part 1:

In the history book of bear markets, 2018 gets two chapters unto itself. Normally, markets don’t drop for 365 days with nary an uptick and only failed rallies. Yet that’s what we’ve seen. From the standpoint of price, things couldn’t have gone much worse.

Regulation was a constant but that’s what so odd: Bitcoin doesn’t have potential regulatory roadblocks where many alt-coins someday could (the legal battle over utility and security tokens may be only beginning). So if Bitcoin is “free and clear” of legal hassles why is the price action so bleak. This, folks, is a conundrum.

Oh yes – adoption. It didn’t happen – not yet anyway. Like Cubs fans say: “Wait until next year.” It’s a Shakespearean drama of sorts with subplots & bit actors: miners, forks, visionaries, scammers. Something for everyone, really. ICO went from hip to dead in a matter of months. The “Next Big Thing” is Security Token Offering – but wait: there’s nowhere to trade these darn things. Details, details.

And yet: all is not lost. Enthusiasm remains high. Resilience a core virtue. Wipeouts are sometimes necessary to separate “wheat from the chaff”. Which is a goofy expression but actually fits pretty well in this context. Stay thirsty, my friends. Keep Calm & Carry On.

Part 2:

Just today, Coinbase announced their “path to listing SEC-regulated crypto securities”.

On a scale of 1-10 this one “goes to 11” (Spinal Tap alert).

The SEC isn’t buying the utility token narrative. As a result, US investors – especially deep-pocketed institutional ones – are shielded from participating. Seemingly the whole industry – at least those interested in US dollars – is scrambling to the safe haven of security tokens. Utility tokens? See ya.

The dirty little secret is there’s no place to trade security tokens. Oh sure, there are newcomers touting their wares but does anyone think behemoths like Morgan Stanley or Legg Mason are sending clients to a three-week-old exchange. Come on.

Bear in mind Binance is about 18 months old. Things move fast in cryptos. A flood of new digitized securities will land on Coinbase’s platform in 2019.

It’s like Caddyshack: “See the ball, Danny. Be the ball.”

Be a digitized Coinbase security, Danny.

No, this isn’t a paid Coinbase shill. What it is is a reminder why you need to remain calm, positive: the industry is young. The roadmap is still being designed. Where there are flaws, there will be fixes.

If you look back, you’ll be disappointed.

Look forward. Be the ball, Danny. See the ball.

Part 3:

What recap would be complete without a walk down memory lane of the scammers, con artists and frauds who litter blockchain and cryptos as their new paradise. Someone remarked earlier this year that you’re not “full crypto” until you’ve been scammed; by that lofty standard, I must be a six-star general by now.

I have to say, coming from the futures and options space where the credo is “My Word is My Bond” this is both eye-opening and disheartening. The funny part is the irony of the “smart contract” concept running side by side the old-fashioned bait-and-switch model: receive-services-and-then-withhold-payment that’s as old as the hills. You certainly appreciate why regulators are so intent on enforcing rules – the industry can’t police itself: this is plain as day. But not everyone is a scammer. And there are plenty of ways to ensure fairness on all sides – this isn’t rocket science. As we used to say on the playground: “Winners never cheat & cheaters never win.”

When Reagan met Gorbachev the first time he rolled out in Russian the phrase: “Trust – but verify” – the old Russian adage/maxim. “Gorby” knew he had in Reagan a trusted counterpart and together they did great things. Much can be accomplished in coming years under that guise.

2019-01-24T15:31:32-05:00January 3rd, 2019|

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