In the diverse landscape of the crypto world, enthusiasts come from various walks of life, driven by distinct motives. Some are drawn to the safety of Bitcoin, while others take risks with meme coins or seek yields in crypto casinos. A subset appears captivated by the technology, using crypto for privacy, activism, or even tracing the supply chain of blockchain-backed carrots. However, despite claims of being in it "for the tech," a closer look reveals that, fundamentally, everyone in the crypto space is tethered to one unifying force—the price.
In a recent Blockwork article by Avid Canellis, the assertion is made that, contrary to some declarations, being in crypto exclusively "for the tech" is a fallacy. The article contends that the heart of all touted benefits of crypto lies in its price. Take Bitcoin, for example, with its celebrated immutable nature as a global payments network. Yet, all the cutting-edge technology behind Bitcoin, from software to hardware, loses its significance if the price is too low.
Canellis paints a scenario where someone is forced to relocate, relying on Bitcoin as a store of value. However, the efficacy of this strategy diminishes if Bitcoin crashes significantly before the funds can be cashed out. The same applies to using Bitcoin for everyday transactions, exemplified by the infamous case of the Bitcoin Pizza guy who spent 10,000 BTC on two pizzas in 2010—now valued at $420 million.
The argument extends beyond Bitcoin, addressing those who claim to be technology maximalists uninterested in prices. Ethereum and Solana, presented as world computers, are portrayed as the operating systems of our hyper-monetized modern consciousness. Yet, even these decentralized blockchains, considered public goods, are inexorably tied to their respective token prices. The symbiotic relationship between technology and price is epitomized by the ongoing dialogue in the crypto community encapsulated in the "can't the devs do something" meme.
The article suggests that developers are, indeed, doing something—distributing points and tokens as incentives for using their networks. These token incentives and point systems are portrayed as strategic maneuvers to secure adoption by promising future prices, underscoring the article's central theme that, in the crypto realm, price is paramount.
The paradox lies in the fact that, while crypto enthusiasts may espouse diverse reasons for entering the space—whether for privacy, activism, or technological innovation—the ultimate driver is the price. Whether using crypto as a store of value, a means of exchange, or a decentralized application platform, the viability and utility of these use cases hinge on the price maintaining a delicate balance. In the crypto world, it seems, everyone is, consciously or subconsciously, here for the price.
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