Why care about crypto
My aha! moments with web3 & crypto that turned me from skeptic to believer
If you care for an engaging, auditory and visual version of this post, check out the Youtube video here.
If you asked me ~3 months ago what my thoughts were on crypto, I’d share the absurdities of paying exorbitant amounts of $$$ for JPEGs, how I think it’s rife with hype that will die down, & how it’s an elitist, tech bubble-y phenomenon.
Ask me today and I have a complete 180 on all my answers.
Since my aha! moments on web3/crypto, I’ve gone deep into the web3 rabbithole via participation in various DAOs & NFT communities, yield farming, creating videos for crypto beginners, simple dApps development, NFTs collecting & more.
I’ve even become my worst nightmare — a (partial) NFT degen (aka NFT addict).
I'm here to tell you, someone who might be wondering “WTF with all these expensive jpegs?”, someone who might be curious but daunted by all the information, someone who might feel unwelcome with the tech bro-y nature of crypto, why you should care about crypto today (from a previous skeptic turned believer!)
Crypto’s here to stay, and we need all the perspectives (women, minorities++) entering early, benefitting from it and shaping its future.
If you're a skeptic or in the fringes of deciding whether this crypto thing is a scam or just hype, then I'm here to convince you otherwise and to tell you to get involved, learn & benefit from crypto/web3 as early as today.
(An aside: I'm now bullish on crypto and its many uses but when I first started really learning about the space, honestly just ~3 months ago, it was SO daunting. I'm creating a series of resources via my channel that helps any newcomer, especially those not properly represented in crypto circles, feel welcome. Join me. And if you’re a woman even remotely interested in crypto but don’t know where to start, shoot me a message. More resources at the bottom.)
7 Reasons Crypto is the Future 🔮
The next few sections will be a series of arguments about why Web3/Crypto is the Future (whether you believe in it now or later!)
I’ll start with the least convincing arguments, leading up to the most convincing, and at the very end, the one that personally pushed me off the edge.
Next Big Things Start Out as Toys 🧩
There’s an age-old adage that says that the next big things will start out looking like a toy.
Some examples from history:
Cars started out as ridiculous luxury toys for the rich
Social media apps (Instagram, Facebook, TikTok) looked like “toys” for Millenials & GenZ but are some of the biggest apps with billions of users
Crypto might start looking like “toys” today with NFTs and cute animal profile pictures, but eventually grow into billion dollar businesses in the future.
Crypto Today = Internet 20 Years Ago
But hey, what about many things that started looking like toys but “failed.”
AR and VR headsets were cool “toys” but never gained the wide adoption promised in early days (at least not yet)…
What are the signals that this particular toy will be a successful one?
Here are some skeptics of the Internet in its early days:
"The growth of the Internet will slow drastically, as the flaw in "Metcalfe's law"--which states that the number of potential connections in a network is proportional to the square of the number of participants--becomes apparent: most people have nothing to say to each other! By 2005 or so, it will become clear that the Internet's impact on the economy has been no greater than the fax machine's."
Interesting. Look at the Internet today and tell me with a straight face that its impact is equal to the impact of a fax machine…
We might compare the feeling of Crypto today with the Internet about 20 years ago.
In 1994, the Internet was rife with skeptics and offered a completely new experience, hence a janky user experience. BUT there was a cult of users that continued to use “the Internet” despite this user experience & despite the skeptics — strong signals of “product-market” fit.
Same with crypto today — rife with skeptics & requires a completely new experience via wallets, private keys, understanding tokenomics, and the like that a vast majority of users have yet to adapt to. Despite this, there are big advocates & a heavy user base.
If we look at the adoption rates of crypto and the Internet…
… we see parallel growth trends, hence signaling parallel long-term impact.
Conservatively, web3 is growing similarly, if not, faster today than the internet was in 1994, and it’s still equally early when measured by the number of users.
Some of the assumed biggest skeptics and slowest adopters of tech are larger institutions.
You might surprised if big institutions are even using cryptocurrency.
Little did you know, there are so many institutions already enabling crypto as payments.
Large institutions are also adopting the NFT craze. Visa, among other large institutions, bought a CryptoPunk and has a whole department dedicated to “crypto” projects.
Even school endowments in the top schools in the U.S. have bought a stake in crypto, since 2018, likely offering these endowments strong returns.
Momentum Law (copyrighted here 😜) states that after a threshold of about an adoption number of 50M people, that momentum of adoption will keep going. Things that are big are actually bigger than they seem.
We see this with major household inventions…
… and many major social media platforms (more akin to crypto in terms of pace of adoption given network effects provided by the Internet).
At the time of this writing, we’ve actually surpassed that $50M threshold, with more than $221M users in crypto globally as of June 2021.
Many Respected People
Many smart people who are usually in the frontlines of innovation are adopting, researching and creating in crypto.
Large institutions are also funding & prioritizing crypto-focused teams (researchers, scientists, etc.) such as Morgan Stanley funding a crypto research team or MIT & Stanford funding crypto research projects.
Those in the frontlines of media aka celebrities are also advocates and believers in crypto.
It’s a spectacular flywheel.
Firms and institutions fund researchers
Founders and engineers apply research to build applications
Firms and institutions get returns from these founders for building these applications and fund even more researchers and founders in the space
Finally, the media uses these applications for widespread adoption
On top of following where the most number of respected people are flocking to, we can also follow the money.
Investors & large institutions are pouring capital into crypto and decentralized finance or DeFi projects
Investors are even creating crypto-specific venture funds to fuel the growth. One of the biggest venture firms, a16z, investors in Airbnb, Stripe, Lyft, Slack, Facebook specifically spun up a venture arm reserved for crypto projects.
And lastly, limited partners or LPs of crypto venture capital firms are actually endowments of large universities!
So much money in this space!
Non-Tech Bubble User Adoption
Last one! My personal aha! moment in crypto.
The way I gauge whether I'm in a tech bubble or not is looking at what’s happening in my home, the Philippines — which, in comparison to Silicon Valley, is arguably “10 years” behind in tech.
The Philippines is interestingly far along in crypto adoption.
In fact, so many Filipinos are replacing their day jobs with a play-to-earn game powered by crypto called Axie Infinity, given the amount of income they earn is larger than their day to day jobs. Can you believe?
One might assume that crypto is niche tech, hyped by the Silicon Valley bubble, but actually the top retail users of crypto are NOT in Silicon Valley.
The top adopters of crypto globally are from other emerging markets, with Vietnam topping the charts.
I’m most excited about how web3 & crypto will offer more economic opportunities for a wide range of people all over the world, that wouldn’t have opportunities otherwise, already being witnessed today. And also so excited about the intersections of creators x crypto.
Still so early!
Despite me trying to convince you how big this could be and how fast it's evolving, we're still SO early!
Applications are still evolving, the user experience is still sharpening, people are still experimenting, and we’re all, honestly, still learning!
Now if you're still a skeptic, welp.. I tried.
But if you are now convinced about the WHY and are now asking, "well, ok Mika, what's next? How do I start?"
Thanks for reading! Message if you’re curious to learn more.