Despite bitcoin being around for over a decade, this is still a nascent asset class with the majority of growth, adoption, and utilisation ahead of us. Since we are in the formative stages and the industry is still maturing, there is a lot of room for copycats to get funding and try to make a play for some of the liquidity and excitement around bitcoin. Having all that enthusiasm and all that money flowing into the digital asset space, it’s easy for retail traders to FOMO in and make rash decisions.
Especially when you consider that you would need to learn about economics, finance, blockchain, proof of work, decentralised computing, and so much more, if you’re going to get your head around bitcoin, what it is, its limitations, and how to use it.
Having such a high barrier requirement to understanding can put off many people. When others can offer you simple, easy-to-digest narratives, it’s easier for people to follow the path of least resistance. The shitcoin narrative is always a sparklier one, an eco-friendly one, a more inclusive one, a more elaborate one; there’s a narrative for everyone, and boy, can they sell you a story.
Sifting the truth from the turds
Now getting through what is a story and what has a basis, in reality, is not the easiest thing in the world; you have to first understand bitcoin to understand why the trade-offs other coins make increase vulnerabilities and why bitcoin lives in a niche of computer engineering. Most of us are not going to get the message by reading through whitepapers, books, or listening to podcasts; many of us prefer to learn by getting our hands dirty.
Now I am not here to tell you to go out and start buying, trading, staking, and swapping altcoins, but I understand that playing with these other technologies can help you get to grips with how digital assets work then you can start to understand why bitcoin is different.
If you’re one of the few who “get it” immediately and stick to bitcoin, colour me impressed, I was not one of those; I had to do the dirty work myself and have the financial slap in the face to prove it.
Shitcoining is part of the journey
I’ve shitcoined, to give you an idea of how bad It got, I purchased tokens like RCN and TNT on the advice of a paid newsletter I was suckered into, and both those purchases went to zero as I became their exit liquidity during the ICO phase. Yes, I fell for all the tricks in the book, and now I am wiser; I might have less bitcoin for my troubles, but I now value the bitcoin I can acquire.
I paid my dues, and I came out of it with renewed skepticism for anything in the digital asset space, whether altcoin or bitcoin. When it comes to the world’s most pristine asset, there will always be vultures and opportunists coming up with new schemes to tempt you out of your precious BTC.
Perhaps it’s a blessing in disguise. If I had been one of the lucky retail traders who ended up with a profit, I would probably have fallen for survivorship bias and felt the need to go back to the casino and try my luck with even greater stakes and lower odds.
Most bitcoin maxis like myself don’t have a disdain for altcoins because we’re close-minded or that we want to pump our bags, it’s because we were the suckers in the last round and want people to avoid the same mistakes we made, but that isn’t a message that resonates with everyone.
Some people prefer to learn first-hand, and I can respect that; you’ll pay your tuition fees to the school of bitcoin, and once you are cleaned out, like me, you’ll find the motivation to learn why bitcoin isn’t like the other ever-expanding list of new coins.
Don’t feel embarrassed for getting duped
I know it can hit your pride hard when you’ve been scammed, especially when you feel you’ve done your research and feel like you made a good bet. The truth is there is an entire industry of marketers, market makers, venture capitalists, exchanges, and influencers, all well funded with only one intention, to get into your pocket. These people have no issue with playing dirty, skirting all sorts of legal and ethical lines and have the technological know-how to extract value out of you faster than the next paid for PR media cycle.
They can shape narratives; they can buy partnerships and create all sorts of authentications to win over your trust, and once you hand over your funds for their promissory tokens, you’ve given up all bargaining power.
There is no shame in going up against an entire industry designed to rent- seek off of your last remaining wages and losing; there is only a problem in ignoring reality and going back for more punishment each time. We all have a different catalyst or breaking point that gets us back to bitcoin once we’ve fallen for the altcoin marketing ploys.
You’ll reach yours eventually, while newcomers will take their ride on the rip-off merry go, round and since we’re so early, there are plenty of newcomers left to scam.
Salvage the situation with sats
If you’re reading this and find yourself in a position where you’re holding countless coins burning a hole in your pocket and losing value, hoping one is going to the moon and save you from your poor decision-making, I’m here to tell you it’s not too late to save yourself from this position. Take it on the chin, it’s a lesson learned, lick your wounds, start doing your research while you unwind those positions that have liquidity back into bitcoin, and start to stack sats for the long term.
For those of you who have deleveraged from the altcoin market and realised you’re being played, what was that moment for you? Please feel free to share it in the comments below, we’re always keen to hear others’ token turnaround stories from around the globe.