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Letter 1: A Rolling Stone Gathers No Moss
On the importance of remaining in the space
NFTs aren’t going anywhere. But the people are.
They’re leaving in droves. A lot of them won’t return for months, if not years. Projects—many of great promise who have already sunk their time and resources into something they’re passionate about— are suffering and sputtering out.
Increasingly, project founders are faced with the unideal scenario of either pursuing cheap or free mints on the back of their own resources, or rolling the dice and hoping for enough buzz and market traction that they and their staff could live and build off royalties alone. Projects which almost certainly would have minted out 6-12 months ago are now lucky to sell 10-20% of their mint.
Only the most fortunate of projects will succeed; the vast majority have been hit by the seemingly invisible and erratic hand of the market, and are on a free fall to 0.
The good news? This isn’t the first time the space has seen such volatility (it almost certainly will not be the last time either).
For context, in the crypto collapse of 2018, we saw Ethereum go from a high of nearly $1400 in January to roughly $80 by the end of December. To say that many people left the market at that time would be an understatement.
However, just a few years later ETH clawed its way back and quickly outgrew any value it had set in the past, establishing a new ATH (all time high) of over $4800 in November of 2021.
Fast forward to June 18th, 2022 and we once again see a significant drop to just shy of $1000. While it has gained a bit over the past month, there are still no indications of ETH returning to its November 2021 values anytime soon. Cue the exodus.
This is the unpredictable nature of the space at work. And, just as in 2018, the volatility of the market has affected different people in different ways. While there are many circumstances unique to this 2022 crash, there are still a number of parallels which can be made, particularly as the public is repeating many of the same behaviors they took in 2018.
Despite how it may appear, this is not a thought-piece concerning the 2018 crash, or even the current crash (If you haven’t already read Zeneca’s fantastic take on the 2018 crash and how it applies today, you really ought to.)
What this is, is an impassioned plea for those who truly believe in the space to stay the course and hold on. But it’s important that we share some context before addressing the crux of our argument, and to do so does require a look at the past.
We’ll Meet Again
“We’ll meet again,
Don’t know where, don’t know when.
But I know we’ll meet again,
Some sunny day.”
– We’ll Meet Again by Vera Lynn
There’s principally three groups of people in the market right now: two of whom are cutting their losses and already headed for the door.
The first of these three groups are the lightly scuffed. Apart from the pocket change they put in and had accepted that they might lose from the beginning, they’re leaving the space with nothing more than a bruised ego. This group will cut their losses without issue or a lot of noise, and silently step back from the space, seeing it as nothing more than a failed venture that didn’t pay off. A couple of months from now and they won’t even think about it.
These people will actually be back sooner than they think: with not much lost and no emotional or heavy financial investment, they’re among the most likely to return once crypto begins to soar again, a new paradigm shifting application pulls the general population into web3, or news about the crypto space becomes positive.
The second group are those with more than just a chip on their shoulder. These are the people who feel embarrassed as hell that they ever believed in the dream of crypto, DeFi, or NFTs for even a second. They may have been especially bullish, and perhaps spoke a little too confidently about the market’s potential to friends or family members. Some of them may even have recruited others into the space with their confidence, and now feel the weight of their words after they got burned.
This is a group of people who likely invested more than they were actually willing to lose. For them, the collapse and contraction of the market will signal that all of their friends were right: this really is a Ponzi scheme, a tulip, a Beanie Baby—the latest in a series of attempts to part the gullible from their money.
There’s an unfortunate sense of irony with this group however, as these people will be so guarded to never make another mistake that they will fight against reentering the space tooth and nail, even as the general public begins to enter it en masse. They will be dragged into the future kicking and screaming, and even then, only if it is untenable and inconvenient enough to remain outside of it.
The third group of people includes those who remain enthusiastic about the space, or at the very least, those who weren’t dissuaded enough to leave it. For short, we’ll call them hopeful builders.
If you are reading this substack, (or Zeneca’s, or Packy McCormick’s), there’s a high probability that this is you. This group includes risk takers, innovators, and people of all stripes. Some might say dreamers. Others may say stubborn. Nonetheless, these are the builders who aren’t just looking to the past or the future, but to what they have to offer instead.
What lies behind us and what lies before us are but tiny matters compared to what lies within us. - Henry Stanley Haskins
If you’ve come this far, chances are you’re already betting on this setback in the space being a temporary blip on the radar. We are too.
Nothing in this space is certain, as this past year has painfully shown us. But in all odds, it is in this third group of people right now that we should be watching. These are the magic makers who will conjure the innovation necessary to lead us with confidence into the next bull run.
Twitter and the news have been almost gleeful in their distribution of gloomy, dour-looking charts and figures. And it’s true that pretty much everything is down right now, with losses all across the board.
It’s at moments like this that the more optimistic of us in the space like to repeat the mantra, “zoom out”. Zooming out is all about taking yourself out of the moment, and putting things into perspective.
When you take ETH and zoom out on the timeline, you can see that even with the massive crash in June 2022, we’re still doing better than at almost any point before the meteoric rise of 2021.
It sounds too good to be true, but in general, most who simply held their Bitcoin or Ethereum (or even forgot about it!) have done better in making gains than those who attempted to time the market—especially those who frantically tried to recoup their losses as the crash began. Those who sold at a substantial loss (or even at small to mid-sized gains) around the 2018 crash would never go on to realize the massive gains and ATH of the later half of November 2021. Historically, for those playing the long-game, holding Ethereum or Bitcoin for years at a time without faltering has been perhaps the most solid of all moves.
As we enter this new bear market, it’s likely that the same advice will hold true: those who have the patience to hold through the winter may see a familiar pattern reemerge, where the previous all time high is quickly surpassed and supplanted in the following bull market. We say that, of course, with the necessary caveat of:
*Nothing in this space is guaranteed. We are not financial advisors. Do your own research.*
It’s also worth noting that bear markets and crypto crashes are quite useful every so often, as they serve as a necessary course correction for a market spun out of control. Massive shakeups like the events we’re currently undergoing force us to, as a community, consider the true value of the space.
That being said, when Coinbase of all places is laying off nearly a fifth of their staff, that’s not good. CEOs of major crypto companies worldwide are letting employees go and tightening their belts. Venture capital—which were rapidly expanding their investments in crypto companies over the past six months—are now also feeling the pinch, and as a result of VC becoming more cautious and selective, there are a lot of thirsty web3 businesses going to the well only to find it dry and unable to provide the necessary funding they require. With VC crypto investments down nearly 40% in May, 2022, the general sentiment in the space seems to be that we’re in the beginning stages of a crypto winter.
A Rolling Stone Gathers No Moss
To steal from an old proverb,
A rolling stone gathers no moss.
Those who do not remain cannot settle and accumulate the fruits of the space, or reap its benefits. The only way for moss to grow, for roots to lay, for dust to settle, is to remain in place. This is impossible to accomplish if you’re continually in motion and unable to commit to a place or time.
How does this apply to all of us? Well, the only way to thrive in this space is to be a part of it. Anyone who expects to roll into town, accumulate vast knowledge, skillsets, and wealth before rolling on shortly thereafter is likely sadly mistaken. One needs to settle in the space and get familiar with it. Become a part of the surroundings. Gather some moss.
So how is Curious Addys gathering moss?
🐙 Who Are Curious Addys? 🐙
As we launch this inaugural substack, we suppose that it’s a good time to reintroduce ourselves!
Curious Addys are the friendly folks here to onboard the masses to web3 and provide all the information and tools that you need to succeed. While we started as an NFT project called “Curious Addys’ Trading Club” back in November 2021, the launch of our collection was always meant to be the start of something bigger.
Over time we’ve also built a reputation as consummate smart contract developers for Zeneca’s ZenAcademy Genesis and ZenAcademy 333 launches, the World of Women Galaxy collection, the Code Green - Heal Pass, and more. Beyond that, we’re also product builders, having made everything from our custom all-in-one Discord bot Octodad, virtual trading platforms, and even portfolio trackers for our community.
Most recently we launched Hey Mint, a free allowlist manager to help creators during these tough times: we believe every creator should have the ability to sell out their collection without having to pay thousands of dollars for the tools required to do so.
Since we’ve launched Hey Mint, we’ve recently passed one million dollars saved for creators! And that’s only the start!
What’s next on our docket? Rolling out a whole host of new security features for Hey Mint, as well as a no-code smart contract generator for project creators…and it’s coming sooner than you may think!
In short, we eat, sleep, and breathe this space, and we’re constantly thinking up new ways to help onboard everyone to web3, and make the space more understandable and accessible.
So what can you expect from us here on this substack? The same thing you’ve come to know and love about Addys elsewhere, but with more breathing room and less restrictions: away from the constraints of tweet threads, or the headaches of badly formatted Discord announcements—these letters promise to be a raw and genuine snapshot of what’s on our mind.
Summary & Final Thoughts
“Work hard in silence, let your success be your noise.” - Frank Ocean
Nothing in the space is certain, but in all likelihood, we are currently in the early stages of a bear market. Will things return to normal in a few months? Possibly. A few years? Also possible. These are unprecedented times: this is the first case of a crypto crash occurring alongside a world economy that is already teetering on recession (Bloomberg Economics attaches a 72% chance of recession before the first quarter of 2024).
While this warrants concern, it does not warrant exiting the space.
Besides, there’s a certain transcendent feeling you get when you put something out into the world where nothing used to exist. It’s transformative. It’s artistic. It’s the domain of builders. It just so happens to be something we enjoy doing—especially when what we create helps or inspires others to also add to the space.
If you believe web3 is the future and will be a game changer on the same scale the internet was and is, then the solution is obvious—you should stay.
More than that, you should stay and build. We could use the company.
Written by: Brad Jaeger
Director of Content @ Curious Addys (say hi on Twitter!)
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