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The year 2022 is set to go down as the crypto industry’s annus horribilis. It’s been a notable year, with crypto constantly in the headlines for all the wrong reasons, the price of Bitcoin and Ethereum nosediving, some of the biggest ecosystems totally collapsing and dozens of formerly popular trading platforms disappearing into the ether.
Few could have foreseen it happening. It was around this time last year that Bitcoin hit its all-time high of more than $69,000.
Back then, our dreams of a bull run remained intact. Crypto devotees were overwhelmingly confident they’d soon see a BTC price that topped $100,000, and Ethereum fans were eagerly awaiting a similar ascent.
But as we now know, those projections couldn’t have been further off the mark. Instead of going up, prices went down – way, way down – taking thousands of investors and entrepreneurs with them.
Some of the biggest companies and projects in the space bit the dust, and several major tokens crashed to zero in their wake. Names like FTX, Celsius, 3AC, Voyager, Terra’s LUNA and UST were some of crypto’s most exciting, bullish prospects, growing fast with thousands of devoted users. Today, they are graveyards.
Though some of those users might have been looking for a way to get rich quickly, there were likely just as many who shared Satoshi Nakamoto’s dream of a fairer and more equitable financial system, one characterized by self-sovereignty, accessibility, censorship resistance and the rights of the individual. They shared a belief in the fundamental values that crypto brings to the table.
As horrible as 2022 has been, crypto’s values of freedom and liberty will prove to be stronger than whatever the worst market forces can throw at it and will ensure that it never gives up and never lays the dream to rest.
Crypto will prevail because it’s the champion of individual rights. Right now, in Lebanon, the citizens of that country are limited in what they can withdraw from local banks. The nation is experiencing a liquidity crunch, and its people cannot access their funds as a result of government-imposed rules.
But with crypto, it’s the individual who remains in control, and no one can restrict people’s access to what is rightfully theirs.
During the communist era in Vietnam, thousands of families saw their property expropriated by the government because someone deemed that it would be in the “best interests” of the nation if everything was collectivized.
With crypto, the individual remains in control of their property, and no one can say what is in the best interest of that person. The individual alone decides how their property will be allocated.
Crypto is going to win because the rights of the individual reign supreme. It’s the one thing, above all else, that centralized finance doesn’t have, and it’s this one thing that makes all the difference to people’s lives. It’s the ability to choose and the ability to prevent any centralized power from controlling our access to our funds. This is what makes crypto inevitable.
The great German literalist Franz Kafka described a theory that every idea goes through a dark period before it emerges into widespread acceptance and called it “the Night Journey.” Crypto is undergoing its Night Journey today, but the dawn will come, and the rights of the individual will prevail.
About the author: Jeremy Epstein is the chief marketing officer at Radix. He has worked with leading, innovative blockchain-based organizations, including Dapper Labs, Arweave, SingularityNet, OpenBazaar and Zcash. Jeremy has written three books, more than 150 articles, and nearly 1000 blog posts on the impact of blockchain technologies on society and has briefed senior U.S. Department of Defense officials at the Pentagon on multiple occasions.