Brian C. Haggerty
I got involved in the crypto-space in late 2013. My involvement has been purely academic, as I am not a developer, nor am I in tech. Since that time, I have been, and always will be, bullish. I am bullish because I understand Bitcoin as well as fiat. My excitement coupled with my proclivity toward education caused me to want to “teach” my family and friends all about it so that they could all experience the great long-term impact Bitcoin will have on our world. And while it all begins with Bitcoin, my true love is Litecoin!
I would say to people, “For the price of going out to dinner, do yourself a favor and buy some Bitcoin and Litecoin.” I told them my favorite was Litecoin. I always made sure to tell them to never invest more than they are able to lose. I told them to buy a little here and a little there; especially after a dip in price. I then told them to sit on it and forget about it for three to five years, minimally. Finally, and most importantly, I told them to expect enormous ups and downs and to not call me to ask why. As expected, I was better off saying all of that to the wall. Few paid attention to what I said.
Some went all-in and bought everything at once. Others watched it all day, every day. When the inevitable drop would come, so came the messages and texts. “What’s up with Litecoin?” To which I would reply, “What do you mean?” They would say, “It’s way down today.” I’d get a knot in my stomach because they were doing exactly what I told them not to do. I would say, “Nothing is wrong with Litecoin.” Hoping that would end the conversation. Alas, it didn’t. “But why is it down?” To which I would respond, “Because Bitcoin is down.” Then, “Why is Bitcoin down?” Again, I replied, “Because of some silly, stupid article blah, blah, blah.”
I had to then explain FUD, as well as why the said article about some country, somewhere, wanting to ban trading or mining was meaningless. They would accept my answer. But would do the same thing the next time all over again. I always loved when someone would send an article to me, as if I hadn’t seen it. I began to regret telling everyone all about Bitcoin and Litecoin. It became a full-time job to manage their ignorance and emotions. Now not everyone would do this to me, but enough would. Each time, I had to reiterate what I said to them in the beginning. Only invest what you can afford to lose. Don’t look at it each day. And, expect to hold it for years.
After a year or so of this, I am happy to say that all of this has stopped. Even now, in the midst of a bear market, I think they know what my answer would be. But now, it has made me come up with a list of four things which need to come to an end. It takes the average person three times before they actually hear what you say and understand it. With some people, it took more like fifty times. In ten years, they’ll be very happy and possibly happily retired. Nevertheless, here is my list of those four things.
1) Bringing up the fact that Charlie Lee sold all of his coins. When I hear people mention this again and again, I get my index finger ready to induce vomiting. Then I ask, “Yes. And your point?” To which I get a response that begins with a shoulder shrug as the person searches their mind to find some kind of answer. Most give an answer that they’ve read on Twitter on in some Internet article. Others, who at least recognize that I follow all of this far more than they, look at me for an answer. Having come from the world of politics, I realize that Charlie will be criticized no matter what he did or does. But the bottom line is that Charlie is as devoted to Litecoin as a parent is to a child. Parents do not raise children for money. And, frankly, believe it or not, not everyone does everything for purely the financial gain. I am sure Charlie is very well positioned in other coins; especially Bitcoin. But whose business is that really? People are so used to “centralized-everything” that they have not yet wrapped their heads around the concept of what decentralization is or means. Charlie is not the CEO, chairman of the board, president or even manager. He is the creator and developer. Pure and simple.
2) Not understanding the difference between an exchange hack and a hack of the Bitcoin Network. I keep holding my index finger out, ready at a moment’s notice, because I inevitably get the same texts and messages every time an article shows up about an exchange hack somewhere in the world. People hear or read the word “hack” and they fall apart. So, I wind up having to explain the difference between a hack of an exchange versus an actual hack of the Bitcoin or Litecoin networks. If Big Daddy Bitcoin’s network were to get hacked, then yes; it is the end of the whole cryptocurrency world. However, if some useless altcoin or some foreign exchange is hacked, all it means is that either there is no real network support for the altcoin, or the exchange was not secure and some Bitcoin were stolen. Exchanges are for buying or trading, not storing. But that’s all a part of what people need to learn to understand.
3) Making price predictions. While I realize most are well-meaning, there is no way to know where the markets are headed. If we really had that ability, we’d all be trillionaires. But some need to separate predictions from wishes. We all want and wish our favorite coin or coins to be on a constant rise. But, that’s just not how it works. Trading is something some can do, but I do not recommend it for most. To me, for the average person, “hodling” for the long term is the safest and best way to see a large increase in the value of one’s investment. After all, in ten years, the idea of “selling” BTC or LTC may very well be as antiquated as an eight track cassette. Instead, we probably will be spending the coins rather than converting them to fiat. This is another concept the average person has yet to understand.
4) Finally, and please do not take this the wrong way, but those “To the Moon” memes have to stop or, at the very least, be used sparingly. They’ve become a parody of themselves. BTC and LTC can be down twenty percent in a week or so, then go up five percent in one day and all of a sudden we are “Mooning”! It’s like a mother experiencing false labor pains and saying, “This is it!” Only to discover the baby is not ready yet. We all want our “baby” to arrive or, in this case, to moon! But if we keep saying that this is it and it is not, we sound like Chicken Little crying that the sky is falling. It loses its meaning. We will get to the moon when we get there.
I know this article has a sarcastic undertone. But my real attempt is to use slight sarcasm and humor to make a point. It is still so early in this space. I venture to say that about one percent of the population truly understands Bitcoin. This is why people have to be talked off of the ledge. They don’t want to miss out, yet they don’t want to spend the time learning. Like lemmings, they follow. This is the equivalent of 1991 for the Internet. Few understood it then. Even fewer had foreseen where it was headed; including Bill Gates. You see, just because one is successful in one area does not mean they know everything about something else. We are going to be fine. More than fine. Despite the bearish market as of this writing, the reality is that crypto is growing in every way, shape and form. Things couldn’t be better! It’s exciting to witness the global change that is coming thanks to Bitcoin. And we each need to hold people’s hands and walk them through this and have patience. I learned to have such patience. And now those whom I patiently taught have learned to have that, too. When all is said and done, we will indeed go Bang, Zoom; to the Moon!
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