The Low Tide is Here
I've been a pretty boring sort of crypto investor... I am really much more interested in infrastructure sorts of things... you know, the sorts of things that are completely difficult to become hyped about... and the projects that aim to realise the original visions of robust networks and databases that are resilient to attack. The sorts of networks that are designed from the beginning to be open to attack, to absorb and flexibly resist attacks.
Much of what we know as decentralised networks were derived from making military communication networks for command and control resilient to attacks from an enemy. Much of what we know as the internet at the moment is not resilient at all, they rely more on a lock and key/strong border/defence in depth sorts of models of security. Ultimately, they have the same sort of structure... defend the crown jewels.
Decentralised networks take a different model, in that they expect to be attacked and they are designed to flow like water around the attack. Of course, there are different risks but the overall model appeals more to me as the idea that you can just constantly overpower/reflect an attacker is a model born from a superpower mentality. Deflecting and dissipating the attack seems to me a much better and intelligent way to do it... and it takes into account that an attacker is already in an network (or at least, able to interact with it directly).
Anyway, that sort of thing aside... it does mean that I've tended to gravitate towards projects and ideas that are pretty nerdy... and the ones that aim to digitise the internet properly... instead of the digital veneer that we have overlaid over a patently non-digital backend.
It does mean that I'm much less exposed to the quick riches sorts of projects... I tend to miss the hype of all of these things, and I often have a pretty sceptical mind when I hear about them Especially when I hear of the stupidly high APRs that seem to be a measure of "worth". Much of the time, I've gotten quite confused about how the APRs are ACTUALLY calculated... as they are often measured against USD (which means that they are highly dependent on token price going up) or they are measure in terms of tokens (in which case, what is the token worth? 100039457398574% of zero is still zero).
So... I'm seeing that there are more and more of these pseudo-DeFi projects starting to fall into more and more difficulty as the high highs disappear into our rear view mirror. In an overheated bull market... everyone is an investment genius. I mean, you can just mash your face into the keyboard and still make money... and that is where all the "interesting" investment projects start appearing.. all offering high APRs for incredibly "low" risk.
Now that the lower prices are in... we are starting to see who is actually well-collateralised and holding enough liquidity to service outflow demand. It starts to appear that not every protocol has been prudent, and many had gotten drunk in their own infallibility during a bull run.
So... at these points in time, it is time to pull your head in. Reassess your "investments", perhaps start to trust those custodial third parties a little bit less, and perhaps forgo some of those APRs in order to just retreat back into the "own you keys, own your crypto" idealism that was once a cornerstone of our little space!
Anyway... perhaps this is all the fearful ramblings of an older risk-averse person... but I am starting to wonder if there are a few more collapses in the near future. The Celsius network is something that I'm keeping an interested eye on... I have nothing there, but I'm quite curious as to how they are going to handle their incoming liquidity crunch!
Stay safe out there! Remember, crypto investing is unregulated, and there are sharks out there!
Handy Crypto Tools
Ledger Nano S/X: Keep your crypto safe and offline with the leading hardware wallet provider. Not your keys, not your crypto!
Binance: My first choice of centralised exchange, featuring a wide variety of crypto and savings products.
Kucoin: My second choice in exchanges, many tokens listed here that you can't get on Binance!
FTX: Regulated US-based exchange with some pretty interesting and useful discounts on trading and withdrawal fees for FTT holders. Decent fiat on-ramp as well!
MXC: Listings of lots of interesting tokens that are usually only available on DEXs. Avoid high gas prices!
Huobi: One of the largest exchanges in the world, some very interesting listings and early access sales through Primelist.
Gate.io: If you are after some of the weirdest and strangest tokens, this is one of the easiest off-chain places to get them!
Coinbase: If you need a regulated and safe environment to trade, this is the first exchange for most newcomers!
Crypto.com: Mixed feelings, but they have the BEST looking VISA debit card in existence! Seriously, it is beautiful!
CoinList: Access to early investor and crowdsale of vetted and reserached projects.
Cointracking: Automated or manual tracking of crypto for accounting and taxation reports.
Poloniex: One of the older regulated exchanges that has come into new ownership. I used to use it quite a lot, but have since stopped.
Bitfinex: Ahhh... another oldie, but a goodie exchange. Most noted for the close affiliation with USDT and the Basic "no-KYC" tier!
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