Dan McArdle is co-founder of Messari Crypto and creator of casebitcoin.com. Dan has been in Bitcoin since 2011. In this interview, we discuss the history of Bitcoin cycles and events: Mt. Gox hack, rise of altcoins and stablecoins, Ethereum DAO Hack, and 2017 Bitcoin cycle.
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Bitcoin is volatile: its history has been dominated by large swings in both directions; albeit, Bitcoin is volatile to the upside: in 10 years it is up well over 500,000%! But, in each cycle, new adopters can be forgiven for thinking they’re in the cycle that finally breaks the pattern. It is easy to question the investment when seeing the value drop by 80% for the first time.
This is where experience is vital. Each cycle has seen events that have had the potential to destroy Bitcoin. Exchange hacks and exploits, the proliferation of competing coins with marketing buzz aimed at attacking Bitcoin, the realisation of altcoin failings, scams, bans, FUD. The most recent has been the UST and Luna crash. Each one destroys confidence and value.
Yet, the one thing the critiques fail to mention is that each of these events has been external to Bitcoin. Each event has highlighted weaknesses in innovations in the ecosystem that has developed around Bitcoin. But Bitcoin has remained secure – the protocol itself has not been hacked. In fact, the “move slow and build things” ethos has strengthened through each event.
This is why long term hodlers who have served one “tour of duty” (a four year Bitcoin cycle) are more inured to Bitcoin’s volatility. They have experienced Bitcoin being declared dead, only to reemerge stronger and more resilient. What hurts you can make you stronger.
To look forward and speculate about the future it is therefore important to look back and see where we’ve been. Many believe Bitcoin is a paradigm shift not just because of ideology, but because the technology has been repeatedly tested and passed. That’s why it is being considered as an emerging global macro asset.