I came across it quite by accident…again.
No, not a particular crypto, but something that led me there, quite by accident.
Some people say the strangest things…
And you don’t find those things in classrooms or in books as often as you’d like. Magazines are filtered niceties. News alerts, groomed and stylish. Substance takes the side exit, in the politically-edited world.
You find these snippets scattered on this thing called the internet. In videos and blogs, where guys and gals argue on some other guy’s YouTube Channel. On Reddit, where kids bash adults and jokesters have their way.
Despite it all and perhaps because of it all, the good cream rises, then dissolves. You can always tell when someone is pushing coin and how others (myself included) make mention of certain cryptos that have come into focus of late. I don’t like to push.
Here’s an example of fantasy shoving…
Bitcoin and crypto, in general, are a mycelial network(s). Nature’s internet, long ago fastened to the reality of need. Huh?
Little blurbs of genuine hype like this are common.
Mycelial Networks. Living things compared to crypto-networks. From Wikipedia – “the vegetative part of a fungus or fungus-like bacterial colony, consisting of a mass of branching, thread-like hyphae.”
I get the picture. It’s not a bad analogy, if a weak one.
Although, crypto is not a single entity – even bitcoin’s ledgers run on various “machines” – the neural-like network is ubiquitous. It is homogeneous, but not self-sustaining. Bitcoin requires you and me to “make” it function. It’s the opposite of a fungal root system, that grows to absorb its nutrients.
It’s as good an explanation as any, however. Bitcoin – crypto – is usually a network. An energy-network between computers. But it is also dependent, like the lowly mycelium, upon its environment. It must take from its surroundings to live.
We are networks too. Our bodies and brains. We eat and walk and procreate. We use our environment.
But bitcoin is not alive.
Chemical or electrical, a network is a network. And I’m not on about the fabulous nature and redundancies of networks. They work, unless all hell breaks loose. The bigger, the stronger.
But living things – networks — have their weaknesses. One good virus and goodbye network. Redundancies or not.
Electrical networks – digital networks – are far more resilient. Usually.
Thus far, few crypto-networks have failed, aside from forks and 51% attacks. Once bitten, however, the end users often suffer the trust-bug. No longer will they provide energy to that network.
The network may live for years in a subdued state, like Peercoin, but left without new code and new blood, networks die off. At least you think they would. Some mature and stabilize. They become good for short term crypto-storage. Then entropy rages.
I never thought Peercoin would last as long as it has. They had problems early on. I lost money in one of their unplanned forks. Then the main devs pressed on. Created other complimentary coins. None of the relation has had significant success, but I’m relatively sure the devs have reaped the rewards.
Is that not the play? If you do not at first succeed and all that. Or is it something more sinister? Are we simply watching money vacuums in action?
“Come one, come all – today we have a special! Today, we announce (almost – we need some start-up money, hence the ICO) a 4th Gen crypto! It’ll send your cryptos in under five seconds, confirm in under a minute and you can mine it with solar energy! How’s that for green?”
Then there are the bedrock coins. Never quite here, but never quite dead. Not zombie coins, but pregnant ones?
Some few older cryptocurrencies like Feathercoin, one of the longer standing coins, seem resilient. Not overly obtrusive, not all that exciting, but under the covers. They have made significant changes since I last looked.
Interesting? Maybe or maybe not.
Looking back, I wonder why, other than its plain vanilla feel, Feathercoin has yet to realize the pumps we have seen with the other cryptos. It has never reclaimed its earlier records, choosing instead to meander in the lows, until 2017.
After two years of relative slumber, like many cryptos, Feathercoin seems to be waking. Or is it that the people are awakening?
There are also Google Trends showing recent Feathercoin interest spikes. In the crypto scheme of things; however, they are not seemingly relevant.
Why do I mention cryptos, like Feathercoin? Because, after reading The Two Bit Idiot’s latest piece I’m left wondering if the general public will get a very bad “bitcoin” taste in their mouths. So much bickering.
Two Bit is on about Bitcoin Cash (BCH or whatever). And I’ve always respected his views. He gets into so many angles, though – and that helps one respect the research – it leaves me a bit sick. Holding or HODL? BTC or BCH?
To hell with it all, I sometimes think. Let me hope for the best with Lending Club.
And yes, we’ve all seen BTC rise and rise. We’ve all noted when big boy tanks, the girls (and guys) scream and nearly all of the other coins sprint for the doors. They cash out or Tether up. But that plays seems less of a bother these days.
These days, some few cryptos hold their candle wax, as BTC burns. Is this the handwriting? A psychological shift?
In any event, unless you think that one of the bitcoin brothers will hitch its star to Jihan Wu, who if memory serves, advised that people will follow the pack. I submit that packs, like pure democracies or autocratic empires, eventually crumble.
People are fickle, Mr. Wu. Trust is difficult to maintain when one has large businesses within China. A country not known for treating its subjects fairly.
Aside from all the battles and concerns about bitcoin, bitcoin cash, bitcoin gold and so on – there is the other angle to look at: profit. People, in this fintech space are not after trade, as much as profit. Profit seems to be the dirty little word, however. But let’s admit it. Don’t you want to profit on your investment in crypto?
Using that yardstick, do you hope one of the bitcoins (not cryptocurrency in general) will double, triple or quadruple in value? Sure, you do.
On the other hand, do you scan the other cryptos looking for more leverage? Seeking that short and explosive coin to jump start your investment? Maybe you won’t hold it, just use it, right? Then park your profits in BTC or maybe LTC or maybe somewhere else…
And it’s the somewhere else that will begin to chip away at the mountain that is bitcoin. It’s been happening for the last few years anyway.
And how do we decide what will be the most profitable investment in crypto? I find no experts. Some of the chart reader types seem to get close, on occasion. But some have insinuated that “over heated” crypto-markets are bubbly.
And the hunt for adoption is ever the noble journey. Electroneum seeks this high ground and maybe, in time, investors will reap the rewards. Certainly, utility must charge the profit meter. How can it not?
Compare utility to bitcoin. Is it not speculative in nature? Does one not want to accumulate, rather than spend? And is not the spending of bitcoin becoming prohibitively expensive?
Sure, there were gold hoarders in the past, but the gold’s utility as actual money maintained its power to purchase. When gold was legal tender, one was not charged for the privilege of using it, but storing it was often fee based.
My point is, things like legal tender gold and silver coins had a utility value multiplier, when used as money, as well as stored for savings. Since bitcoin and crypto are unstable, the risk reward for any long-term investment is dubious at best.
Here are a few of the attributes recommended by the gurus of ‘coin and ones I’ve come up with over the years. By no means is this the all-inclusive list. Plenty of cryptos have soared and are doing quite well using different methodologies.
- High-speed transactions
- Ability to secure personal data (privacy)
- Limited virtual supply
- Trusted by its users (maybe not an ICO)
- May or may not be centralized
- Bottom-up focus
- Customer Service/Communication
- Core or primary services located in freer countries
- Dev/founder philosophy
And don’t get all hung up in longevity. Just because a coin is old, does not mean it’s the same. Often, past forks, like what occurred with Feathercoin, offer new and better code, but also end up with new headaches. If the team remains, that’s a big tell.
Moving back to Electroneum (one coin I’m watching lately) – it uses the CryptoNote codebase. A well-known, but sometimes problematic system which Monero has improved. In other words, the code can be well-tested (trusted) long before someone picks it up and takes it down a new path.
Finally, you may have come across the RuffCT concerns that could slow Monero down. Better at privacy, but less efficient, could spell disaster, unless coders find a better solution. How Electroneum will feel about such a modification, if they update to it, could put them in the same boat.
Meanwhile, I wonder if Feathercoin will lay some nice little eggs after all these years…
The above is not investment advice. Seek appropriate gurus for that.