I think at this point there’s really no denying it - crypto has gone mainstream. You’d be hard-pressed to find someone in the developed world who hasn’t at least heard of Bitcoin and now we have massive non-crypto YouTubers like Marques (13.6 million subscribers) covering this space and even calling out the scams like Tron - wild, huh?
The total crypto market cap is currently sitting at $1.5 trillion which is almost double the peak from the last bull market - and yet, it doesn’t feel nearly as frothy yet. I believe this is because we just have so many more people flooding into the ecosystem now compared to back then. These people aren’t just coming in for speculative gains on ICOs like they were in 2017, they are entering via many different doors into Ethereum. Maybe they want to buy ETH and stake it, maybe they want to play around with some DeFi apps or maybe they just want to get involved in the emerging digital collectibles scene aka “NFTs”. Regardless of what door they’re choosing to enter the ecosystem from, they’re flooding in faster than ever before.
On that note - I’m sure you’ve all been noticing just how many of the “internet celebrities” are getting into NFTs lately, right? Even beyond them we have artists from all walks of life digitizing & tokenizing their work on Ethereum and making a decent amount of money doing it. This is the “creator economy” finally taking off within the Ethereum ecosystem and I’m personally really happy to see it all come to life. It doesn’t just stop with digital art or collectible in-game items - there is an entire world of possibilities that are uniquely enabled by NFTs and we’ve only just scratched the surface.
Of course, this time around, we also have DeFi and its main use-case has long-term viability (unlike ICOs). DeFi doesn’t just stop working when there’s a lull in the markets - you can still trade on Uniswap, still lend your assets out on Aave, still yield farm with Yearn and everything else regardless of market conditions. Sure, when the market is hot the yield farming is more lucrative but it’s not like the yields drop to 0% during a bear market - they’ll still be there but just in a less feverish capacity. All of the benefits of DeFi (self-custody, decentralized, permissionless etc) will also all be there no matter what the markets are doing.
On top of all of this, we also didn’t have billion dollar companies like Tesla putting BTC on their balance sheets in 2017 - nothing even really came close to this. I think the most hyped up thing of 2017 was the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA) that was an industry working group set up by ConsenSys for major corporations to work with Ethereum. Outside of that, we of course had ICOs which were 99% speculation, 1% “fair fundraising” and really weren’t something that had long-term viability. It’s wild how dramatically things can change in just a few short years.
At this point the Ethereum network is finally what I like to call “sticky” in that no matter if its a bull or bear market - people will stick around because there are plenty of things for them to continue doing. Sure, many people will leave once the next bear market hits, but I’d like to think that we end up with way more people in the community than we started with.
Have a great day everyone,
Join the Daily Gwei Ecosystem
All information presented above is for educational purposes only and should not be taken as investment advice.