It’s too early to tell whether the crypto markets are out of the woods and inching back into the light. If a doctor was giving the prognosis, she would probably venture that we should remain “cautiously optimistic”. But if the top stories from this week in bitcoin are an indicator, there’s every reason to feel confident about the shape of crypto to come.
Battle of the Acronyms
Words are constantly evolving. “Literally” used to mean literally, only now it’s more commonly used to exaggerate stories for dramatic effect. Then we have FOMO and FUD, two acronyms frequently used in the cryptocurrency space, both of which have also evolved from their original definitions. This week in bitcoin, we’ve got an equal stack of both: bullish stories that constitute FOMO and bearish ones that go down as FUD.
FUD (fear, uncertainty, and doubt) is now applied to any story that bagholders believe detrimental to their chosen cryptocurrency. The story about child porn on the bitcoin blockchain definitely falls into that category – the reality is nothing of the sort. FOMO (fear of missing out) has similarly been misapplied so that it’s now used to denote anything positive. We’ll get to the upbeat stuff shortly, but first let’s finish this week’s allocation of fear.
Spies Gonna Spy
There was fear alright in the revelation that the NSA was aggressively targeting bitcoin users as far back as 2013, as the latest Snowden leaks show. It’s not a big surprise, but there’s still something daunting about seeing it in black and white. The leaked slides also provided further evidence that Silk Road’s Ross Ulbricht may have been snared by the NSA trawling the web for bitcoin-related activity. If so, this evidence wasn’t disclosed in court, and thus Ross’s defense team were unable to contest it. It’s long been suspected that “parallel reconstruction” – the practice of faking an evidence trail after the suspect’s been nabbed – is rampant at the highest level, and the NSA docs do nothing to allay that fear.
The news that at least $3.4 billion of ethereum is in the possession of ICOs, who could dump it on the market at any time, is real alright. This week’s most read story, it qualifies as FUD because this knowledge is bound to sow fear, uncertainty, and doubt in the market. Some people believe that ethereum shouldn’t be used at all for ICOs, and that a stablecoin should become crypto’s de facto crowdsale coin. That’s easier said than done though, and meanwhile almost 4% of ethereum’s total supply sits in ICO wallets, ready to be dumped on an exchange whenever projects need to pay the bills.
Feel the FOMO
This week also brought its share of positive stories for bitcoin, or perhaps it just feels that way because everyone’s stopped being so gloomy now the markets have picked up slightly. Twitter and Square founder Jack Dorsey expects bitcoin to become the world’s ‘single currency’ in about 10 years, and while that’s, like, just his opinion man, it’s a very bullish one from a man who knows his trends. Add in the appointment of an allegedly bitcoin-friendly governor of the People’s Bank of China and things are looking up.
The conclusion of the G20 summit of world leaders, without passing any motions on cryptocurrency regulation, was also interpreted positively. Far better that officials should kick the proposal into the long grass than rush through ill-thought legislation for the sake of being seen to be tough. If all that’s not enough reason for cheer, have some solace in the fact that 2018’s bear market is nothing like that of 2014. Tl;dr: the crypto markets of today are far more resilient to bad news.
Not every story that made the news this week can be lazily lumped into the FUD or FOMO category. Some got readers clicking and commenting simply because they were damn interesting, like the precocious 15-year-old who rekt Ledger’s wallet security, then refused their bounty payment so as to rek them again by publishing the full exploit. The difficulty of cashing out large quantities of bitcoin obtained back in the day was another post that got a lotta love. For more insights on these stories, plus the latest crypto developments from China, your amiable host Matt Aaron has got you covered in the This Week in Bitcoin podcast.
Do you think 2018’s bear market is starting to ease up, or is there more pain to come? Let us know in the comments section below.
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