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February 12, 2022

Crypto & the fear of missing out

You can go on without me

The crypto scene is hard to ignore.

Especially for people like me who accidentally became coders. We never thought about it, we just loved the web. It was infinite and beautiful. And out of anything, our genuine interest created a viable career path.

When crypto came to my attention, it was hard to overlook it. I followed the news, and at a time owned some crypto. It was a strange but familiar feeling. I didn't stop there. I tried out development in Ethereum, deployed some contracts in test chains, and participated in various communities.

Then, it became annoying. There were more distractions and noise than what I was finding interesting. Whatever promise I saw in crypto was immediately lost. Digital scarcity, NFTs, flexing. What the fuck? I wasn't here for this.

Ultimately I sat down and thought, what do I gain from all of this? What is my goal here?

  • Am I looking to spend (or invest if you will) money hoping to get rich quick?
  • Am I looking for a job in that domain?
  • Do I believe in any mission?
  • Is it a hobby?

The answer to all was no. It was a huge rabbit hole that existed in my life purely because of FOMO.

And I believe that the same applies to a lot of people too. Something massive will happen and you will miss out. You were there and didn't do anything. While you were hesitant, someone got rich by selling a monkey jpeg, and that one wasn't you.

But taking a step back, there's a lot of survivorship bias going on here. Money didn't just magically appear, there was a lot of wealth transfer going on. Like the stock market, people lost money and others gained it, and you only hear the "success" stories to suck you in.

That said, for me, crypto wasn't a get-rich-quick Ponzi scheme. I was interested in its technology. But I don't believe that it is there yet. Or will ever be. There is so much more hype than substance. And this was what finally drove me out. There is no decentralization. As an average developer, I can't access the blockchain. I have to use a middleman. This blew my mind.

Ultimately, I'm happy to be an outsider and wave goodbye to the hype train. If you ask me which coin to buy, I don't know. If you want to buy NFT, good for you. I heard Paris Hilton released some.

I question why I even think about cryptocurrencies. The answer is simply fear. I fear being forced to play the money go up game while fending for myself in a world where code is considered law.
Kelsey Hightower