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Fear and Loathing in Crypto-land

The Incredible Journey of a Crypto Trader

When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro

-Hunter S. Thompson

If you missed out on Bitcoin, you are a loser. There. I said it. Hear me Warren Buffet? L-O-S-E-R.

You missed an incredible amount of fun.

You missed an opportunity to turn thousands into hundreds of thousands (or more).

You missed the orgasmic feeling of waking up one day, checking your portfolio, and seeing a green 30% profit.

You are also probably good with your finances and don’t live in a cardboard shanty under a Vegas overpass.

Don’t knock it ‘til you try it.

Crypto was a beast of its own. Emerging from nothingness— the dismal and somber pits of the corner of the internet, where dogs wouldn’t even defecate (shoutout to /biz/)— to being highlighted on various news networks and even The Ellen Show (stick to dancing in mom jeans please), crypto has been more of an eye-opening experience than an Amish man walking into Best Buy.

Apparently my two remaining brain cells decided to rub together, and the product was me deciding to trade crypto. The funny thing is, I was never a savvy trader. You could get a blindfolded monkey to pick random coins to trade, and he could probably leave me red-faced.

I just sat back and enjoyed the ride.

I am sure that if you are reading this, you are invested in crypto. Can you explain to me what a cryptocurrency is?

Having trouble, aren’t you.

Imagine telling your parents that you dropped your last two paychecks on invisible Chuck-E-Cheese tokens which are powered by a bunch of literal cave trolls, who live in the depths of mothers’ basement, consist on a diet of pizza rolls and Mountain Dew, and see over the mines that run the crypto world.

I couldn’t tell you what a hash rate is, or how to assemble a motherboard, or even what most of these mystical tokens can do and how they do it.

But I traded them. I traded the shit outta them.

I bought my first Bitcoin almost two years ago for around a thousand dollars. I had literally no clue what I was getting myself into. I learned about bitcoin from financial forums I would frequent, where people would chat on financial advice, help for small business owners, and the typical— stock trading. I was like Jordan Belfort on his first day as a broker— innocent to the world, ignorant about money, and unaware of the crazed future I was about to be thrown into (minus the hookers and blow).

All of a sudden, like a plague, Bitcoin arrived. First, it started as a single thread here or there. A few people would nibble, asking what bitcoin was, what it does, why they should invest, etc. Nobody really cared— they were fine with their 2% weekly ROI from going long on Tesla. Nobody bought in, as they should— it is a risky asset with no measure of intrinsic value.

That was, until the bull run began.

FOMO, or fear of missing out, is the most potent drug on Earth. The first hit is a rush. Pupils dilate. Hair stands up on your arms. Tingling feeling in your gut— a complete emulation of the sensations of doing a line and winning the lottery at the same time. And just like cocaine, FOMO will either ruin your life, or make you like Charlie Sheen— a high functioning successful addict—without the AIDS.

Once Bitcoin doubled to two grand, you started to see some fringe investors hop on and buy in. These are not your typical Gordon Gekko-esque, investment-minded, successful individuals. These are what I like to call the “skeptics”. Picture each one as a cargo pants toting, beer gut having, bald spot gleaming man in their late thirties named Keith. These investors would not be spotted without their mustard stained Iron Maiden T-shirt, would throw piss tasting IPA in your face if you deny UFO’s, and just finished a panic attack because they lost $35 on day trading—and you know the missus is already looking for other options.

Anyway.

This motley crew of the dregs of society is what propelled bitcoin from years in the dark to into the spotlight. This is what spearheaded what I like to call the “Great Bull Run”. You may be thinking “why would someone be happy that idiot investors were rapidly inflating the price of bitcoin?”

Well I don’t think at all— I’m a crypto investor dammit!

Around this time, I had also moved out of just owning bitcoin, and finally delved into the wonderful world of altcoins.

*For all the no-coiners reading this, an “altcoin” is defined by the dictionary as follows:

Altcoin: A coin, not bitcoin, nor physical, that has no real value and will make you cry.

I never knew what I was buying into. I hardly read up on the technology behind the coin, the advisors on the coin, or any other information. No, I lived off of the hype. You don’t know the gut feeling when you see multiple tweets saying “Hello sirs please buy (insert coin) technology so good you will be very wealth.” It’s like sprinkling a line of FOMO on Margot Robbie’s bum and snorting it like Scarface.

As a crypto noob, I traded by this algorithm: Change in Coin Hype = Change in Amount I Buy or Sell.

And it usually worked. I had made a near 2000% ROI in a few months’ time— as Bitcoin kept climbing at a near exponential rate. I was surfing the shilling, riding the rhetoric, and listening to the lies—that were as good as truth to the confused new investors, 401k cash in hand, ready to ditch a measly time share for a crypto funded beach house.

Let me shed some light on some of the beauty I had witnessed firsthand during the glory days of crypto:

  • A man had bought a coin named after the famous character from the T.V. show Rick & Morty called “PickleRicks.” These coins had literally no value backing them, yet somebody bought in early with some pocket change and made a 9,500% return, and was able to fund his honeymoon in full.
  • An old college friend put his life savings into Bitcoin before the major bull run, and ended up with over $500k in the end. He was elated, and Uncle Sam was too after he got his cut!
  • The memes. You couldn’t beat the memes. I don’t even have enough time to narrate to you the evolution of crypto memes. If you want more information, check out @realBizonacci on twitter— he made some incredible videos encapsulating the entirety of crypto memes and fandom.

It was euphoric. These crypto glory days lasted from last summer all the way up till January of 2018.

Ever heard the saying “whatever goes up, must come down?” Well, the crypto dog days were short lived, and the market corrected downwards.

No, that’s not even close to what crypto did— it crashed down more than an obese southern mom’s mobility scooter after cleaning seven plates at Golden Corral.

This crash would make Bernie Madoff show human empathy. Patrick Bateman would hold a charity run for those affected. The absolute loss most people took would make the Cleveland Browns feel like they had talent.

Bitcoin scraped $20k, the all-time high, on December 16th of 2017. And then, as if God snapped his fingers, Bitcoin decided to not be fun anymore.

December 22nd, 2017: Bitcoin loses 1/3 its value in 24 hours, dropping under $14k

February 5th, 2018: This date was the start of a two-week carnage, where Bitcoin dropped 50%. The price went below $7k.

The fun seemed to die out once Bitcoin got dragged below $10k. It was never quite the same; scams were creating uncertainty, money being invested seemed to come and go, and those sweet 10x returns seemed to be all in the past.

Yet I am still resilient. I am still holding my coins. I am still waiting for the second coming of crypto. I am living in a tent. Don’t spend your rent money on a project that promises to improve supply chain management for Peruvian alpaca farmers. They will take your money. Alejandro, if you are reading this, I hope you get scurvy.

Please send help, I accept Bitcoin.

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