Brother Bing had planned to write a self-help-ish piece on surviving the crypto bear market when ETH sank to 3 digits. But writing takes a long time, especially when you are having fun at your day job. And now that I've finally pieced together my thoughts, ETH is riding the Merge wave and hovering around $2000—still down dramatically from its ATH, but at least moving in the right direction.
First, let’s dispense with the usual tired crypto self-help tips:
- Go outside to touch grass
- Find a GF/BF
- Find a therapist
- Stop inviting deadmau5 to your crypto parties
- Stop flipping monkey JPEGs
- Don't try to time the market
Jokes aside, every crypto OG will tell you that bear markets are for the builders. If you are not a builder, you might feel left out. Fear not. Brother Bing will now present you with unique guidance for taking advantage of the times when the market isn’t acting as volatile as an emotional teenager.
And without further adieu, I am proud to present… Brother Bing’s guide to surviving the bear market.
1. Enroll in an information diet
Crypto is an industry that serves up a more-than-you-can-eat banquet of information from everyone, everywhere, all the time. Sometimes this information contains nutritious insights. But all too often this stuff is people’s junkfood-like opinions disguised as official information. I’m talking about gossip, rumors, and the giant circular intellectual masturbation arena that is Crypto Twitter.
During the bull market, people trade, invest, and arbitrage based on “information.” Investors FOMO into a project’s $100 million seed round without doing any diligence other than hearing rumors that competing VCs also want to write a check. Users flood into a new protocol hearing that there might be a potential airdrop. Developers participate in protocol’s hackathon hoping to get and grant and move onto the next chain.
We were so flooded and consumed by information that it’s hard to separate substance from pure meme. And that’s why a strict information diet program is needed.
Such a program should involve these steps:
- Leave all chat groups (Telegram, Twitter, Discord, Signal) in which you have not participated in six months
- Unfollow influencers whom you know are toxic and only shill their bags
- Unsubscribe from newsletters that you haven’t opened in six months
- Limit your Twitter usage—you don’t have to know everything all the time
- Print out the articles that you’ve been wanting to read but haven’t gotten to yet
- Learn what proto-danksharding is all about!
2. Appreciate what Web2 built
Crypto people like to think that we are recreating the world. Maybe that’s true in some use cases, but more often than not, we are just optimizing Web2 experiences.
And sometimes, though we don’t like to admit it, all we’re really doing is simply adding a “governance token” to that Web2 experience.
Rather than bashing Web2, we can all benefit from taking a distanced view and understand its pros and cons, and what it accomplished. Ask yourself some questions.
- What are the real pain points when we transfer money abroad?
- Does our bank offer us the best yield? If not, where can we find better yields?
- How do we currently manage loyalty points?
- Does my fitness app cover all my needs?
This process will force us to really probe Web2 user flow and ask the most important question: Do we need blockchain for this problem?
Very often the answer is no.
3. DYOR and question everything
Every bull market produces a batch of thought leaders and influencers. They like to come up with terminologies, memes, and frameworks in esoteric areas that, frankly, no one cared about until there was a token.
As these influencers grow their influence, their voices start to carry weight and their pronouncements tend to feel like self-fulfilling prophecies. For example, music NFTs is an area that got traction and buzz thanks to a few key influencers. They claimed that this new creative directive will completely disrupt the music industry. But what we’ve seen so far are merely music NFT projects whose tokens went up and then inevitably went down to zero, with no liquidity and very little adoption.
Now that the market has calmed down, do yourself a favor and stop blindly agreeing with influencers with huge followers. Instead, dare to challenge them. Treat this as an intellectual exercise and see what conclusion you reach.
4. The only unforkable thing is your tribe
As we say in Chinese, hard times bring out real friendship. If you want to build a network of colleagues, friends, mentors, and teachers, you need to make sure they stay with you through thick and thin, bull and bear.
Likewise, people who still grind and learn during a bear market are the ones who will stay long term in this industry. Take notes on those few souls, and be sure to include them in your tribe.
Crypto has seen generations of participants come and go. Many people who were influential in the old days became irrelevant when their ideology failed to evolve with the industry. Having the right community by your side is key to staying relevant.
You need to build an unforkable tribe made out of resilient human nodes.
What makes a community unforkable?
- It’s your most reliable sounding board
- It won’t judge you even if you get liquidated. Oopsie!
- It participates in your thought experiments and your real life experiments (hotpot dao!)
Good luck out there, bulls.