Is this real life?

An old dog passes the torch reluctantly

The longer I am in crypto, the more I wonder if I’m really of sound mind. All I had to do was invest in a few good projects, sit back, and watch the sweet growth from the comfort of my bedroom office here in the States. Sure, some previous endeavors of mine didn’t pan out, but this time around it would be different: I would invest in solid projects with real roadmaps and potential for growth.

But if it were only that simple. Who among us can just “invest” in a coin and not join the telegram channel? I mean, crypto isn’t just an investment…it’s a community…it’s a culture…it’s a way of life!

Ugh…

In a time when just muting a telegram channel can send the price of that community’s coin down 10–15 percent, crypto has become a strange hybrid of the late 90’s yahoo chatrooms with high-risk, high-stakes gambling. Good token prices reflect a good project that has excellent communication with their community, even if their tokenomics are suspect at best (I’m looking at you Umbrella Network).

“Crypto is the anomaly in the system, the Neo in the matrix. It exists as the remainder of the universally corrupt economic equation that all of us face”

Or just have Elon Musk tweet about it.

I call this phenomenon “Post Traumatic Scam Syndrome (PTSS)”. The crypto world and its various communities, since the inception of the first alt-coin, has been dealing with scams nonstop. Constant streams of exchange hacks, ICO exit scams, Bitcoin mining / pyramid schemes… and then with the advent of Uniswap, the now famous rugpull, where the liquidity either gets removed suddenly or if the liquidity is locked, team tokens get dumped en-mass taking all of the precious Ethereum out of the pool.

This one was a pump and dump leading into a rugpull

The scam aspect of crypto can no longer be avoided, escaped or postponed. There are scams by the minute anymore in crypto. Gas fees to high on the Eth network? Go over to Binance Smart Chain and get rugged there. Sick of investing in erc20 tokens on the ground floor only to have the dev run off with the ITO money? Invest on Safu.Investments instead, only to have the devs wait the 30 days until their team tokens or LP tokens unlock and then they drain the pool anyways. The scammers just get smarter, better, more patient. They have no problem waiting 30 days to pull $30k from hopium-addled investors (Safu is not affiliated with any project for the record).

Before writing this article, I checked the top 10 coins over at Dextools.io and I found 3 or 4 different versions of “Elon, Musk (yes those are 2 separate coins), SpaceElon, SpaceShiba, Shiba, Kishu, Husky, and on it went. There was maybe one or two actual tokens that weren’t meme coins. “Meme coins with almost no utility hitting hundreds of millions in marketcap” I though to myself. “What the hell is going on? Was I doing this all wrong?” I had been approached by someone to create a token contract for Kirbycoin, a meme coin of the famous Nintendo character, because Pikachu had made early investors millions and the guy I was talking to wanted to recreate the magic. Kirbycoin, for fucks sake.

You missed the Pikachu train didn’t you

Are we not doing this to ourselves? Are we not willing to blindly invest in the next meme just to take a shot at fortune, even if we risk getting scammed along the way? Is losing $600 in one meme token worth the $3600, $36k, or $360k that might happen if it’s not a scam? And even if it’s not a scam, and you do hit it big in the next meme coin, will it not ultimately dump anyways? Dogecoin pumped 600% over the last few months despite printing 10,000 coins per minute for the rest of eternity. But if Elon says the word “Doge”, it must be good. It’s almost like crypto investing has become a cult of belonging.

Nothing makes sense. The crypto market, much like the regular stock market, does not represent reality anymore (not that it ever really did to begin with). It like being famous for being famous, or staying in war because to withdraw might get people killed. Crytpo is now a self-fulfilling prophecy; it has value because it has value, not because it should have value. Crypto is the anomaly in the system, the Neo in the matrix. It exists as the remainder of the universally corrupt economic equation that all of us face. We put up with the unbelievable expensive electricity cost of Bitcoin mining and the near 50% or more chance that we will be scammed so that we may hit the jackpot ourselves. We put up with the rugpulls because the next one might not be. Almost anything is preferable to the endless grind just to make $20 an hour for 40–50 hours a week and giving 30% of it to income taxes before you even get to spend any of it.

What’s the answer? Nobody knows. Myself, I believe I am caught in a trap that I cannot spring. I turned $10k into $100k earlier this year, and now I’m stuck. Part of me wants to hit the bigtime so my kids won’t have to work so hard. But the other part of me asks the reasonable question: “Why haven’t I pulled 80% of this out already in case the crypto market tanks?”. Am I not suffering from the same faulty thinking that “maybe this time I won’t lose the money, maybe this time I will 10x again and really have something…”

The crypto market to me is like the One Ring in Lord of the Rings. When you wield the ring, you have ultimate power, yet it corrupts you from within. Not to the extent that I would do anything to take other people’s money…but what about time? How expensive is the time costing me, to spend doing all of this? Writing contracts, testing, testing, testing, chatting in Telegram, staying up late, writing articles, filling in spreadsheets, reassuring shaky investors…is it all going to be worth it in the end? Am I so fixated on “making it” that I fail to see the impending doom coming up behind me?

I have to pause and ask myself once in a while if I am doing things for the right reasons. I’ve started to hand over some of my crypto holdings to my son who is now an adult and is learning the ropes. Unlike me, he is perfectly fine with holding for the long run, while I’m the one who sells the first green candle. The prospect that I’m actually not that great at investing frightens me, and my wet behind the ears son could outdo me in his first go-round. But, it’s a much needed change. I’ve heard it said that its better to do one thing well than many things badly. And as I focus more on the development side of crypto, I have to give up the investment side. It seems a new generation of crypto investors has arrived and I don’t know what’s good anymore.

Let’s hope the new generation makes the crypto space what it’s meant to be: a place for financial freedom for everyone. But until then, we must remain vigilant, every so often asking ourselves “Am I doing the right thing for the right reasons?” With the projects I am involved in, I know I am, and the less I am concerned about the price of my holdings, the more I can focus on what really matters: bringing a good project to market that will actually help people.

But not everyone shares that same sentiment. As the latest scam developer of the latest Tosa Inu iteration so succinctly put it right before locking the latest telegram group said:

My name is Nodezy and I am a developer for Koji.Earth. I am anonymous, for now.

You can find me on telegram at @noedzy or email me at nodezy01@gmail.com

Thank you for reading.

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Punished Programmer and Crypto Investor

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