Wild Wild West – By @oliverdfinel
By Oliver Finel
Wild Wild West
A couple years ago, I was forced to close down the first company I ever built. I encountered some legal troubles and didn’t have the financial or logistical resources to put up a fight.
Feeling depressed and once again in financial need, I set my sights on the booming crypto markets. The bull market was raging, everyone was ecstatic, and the stories of people becoming millionaires overnight were enthralling. So I went ahead and dumped everything I had left into a market I knew nothing about.
Hopes were high and dreams of fantastic riches were had.
The more I read about the fantastic opportunities brought forth by the advent of distributed ledger technology (fancy name for blockchain), the more I was convinced we were on the verge of a revolution larger in scale than that of the invention of the automobile. I dreamt of banks becoming defunct, national currencies crashing into irrelevance, and global finance being turned upside down.
Then reality set back in and these hopes dissipated. It became crystal clear that this ‘industry’ was still extremely young, dangerously unregulated, and filled with scams of all kinds.
Yet, this didn’t deter me from pouring the rest of my savings into these shady markets. Since everything was going up, even scams, how could I lose?
For a moment there, I was right. There were no losses for a few months, everything kept going up and up and up and up.
I thought I was some kind of finance genius with a superhuman instinct for the markets. I became obsessed with charts, market caps, liquidity, transaction speeds and a bunch of other technical lingo. I let go of my social life, hobbies and responsibilities in my search of riches in magic internet money. I also got noticeably fatter and started developing some back-aches from sitting on my bum all day looking at charts.
Eventually, I also started working freelance for a bunch of different crypto projects – some shady, some solid. The job opportunities were seemingly endless and competition was rather low. Professionally and financially, life was pretty good.
And then… Everything came crashing down. Over the course of a few weeks, the whole market went down 90%. The jobs dried up. Depression set in. Red candles were all I could I see, my tears all I could taste. Everything I had disappeared into thin air.
My ride in the Wild Wild West of cryptocurrency was over. All I had left was a lesson learned: what goes up must come down (the laws of gravity really do apply to all earthly things).
While I did feel like an absolute fool in the end, the thrill of a new and poorly regulated market left an indelible mark on me. I hope one day to encounter an other Wild West and I’m pretty sure I will. When that time comes, I hope to be the one selling the shovels and not the fool digging for gold (although I’d enjoy a nugget).