Hopium addict

el Prof

June 14, 2022

Hope is a dangerous thing for a degen like me to have — but I have it. 

Chad & El Prof


$22,506.20 | -25.46%

$1,226.18 | -32.07%

$0.4864 | -21.31%

$29.64 | -25.13%

$0.05553 | -30.83%

$0.000008102 | -24.76%

$1.42 | -31.96%

(Price changes reflect past 7 days as of 6.14.22 @ 4:20 PM EST.)

  • I’m sure there’s plenty to say about the biggest loss in DeFi value since we started writing this newsletter… but it’s just no fun to say it anymore. 

Hopium addict

Image: @MuseumofCrypto

We’ve been calling foul and cracking jokes about the absurdity of crypto culture and use cases all throughout the bull market of 2021, and for probably far too long into this increasingly bitter crypto winter. Now, finally, we’re done being sore winners.

All-time highs are long in the rearview and I can’t remember the last time a stray WGMI or even a sweet, simple GM has flown across my timeline. Builders are indeed building, but innovation takes time. Meanwhile, our favorite crypto shills have little to tout tokenomically speaking, project prices continue to slump, and we’re witnessing the Crypto Twitter x Depression Twitter crossover no one asked for. It’s sad, really. For all its shortcomings, I’ve never known an internet community quite as optimistic as web3. To see us come to this — even if we spent the past six months all but manifesting it — does tug on my heartstrings. 

So, rather than continuing to dunk on the Washington Generals, we’ll honor our brand mission to give the upper hand to the underdogs. After all, there’s a shortage of hopium on the market now and an entire subculture fiending for it. If we didn’t supply the demand, what kind of capitalists would we be?

Moving forward, we’ll be shifting our focus from savaging the reoccurring nightmares of web3 to daydreaming about the impact of promising projects that are building during this downturn. We won’t shy away from the facts, which will surely sometimes be damning, and we likely won’t endorse many projects wholeheartedly, either, as the crypto landscape remains complex and nuanced. But we’ll give the dead horse a break. The web3 space — and the problems it’s capable of solving — now more than ever deserve some validation.

(Besides, if the technology failed completely, our criticism of its development during the good times would all be for naught.)

Snark aside, we genuinely believe that decentralized, cryptographic data system technologies, like blockchain, have the potential to return control of individual user data to the hands of its originator. And we especially believe in empowering marginalized groups to organize and address the issues affecting their communities — capabilities such a tool could provide. 

Nevertheless, the macroeconomic environment has a significant impact on the state of the cryptocurrency and NFT markets. And, due to mid-term elections, historically high political polarization, heightened international tensions, supply chain related disruptions, and the influx of newly printed dollars to the economy, it’s likely the DeFi volatility we’re seeing now won’t clear up before the midterm results in November, regardless of the technology’s potential. 

Also, strong software use cases take time to develop. And there’s a reason the names dominating the recent bull run news cycle were so easy to criticize. The splashiest companies in an emerging industry may be the best at building hype. But often they’re the worst at satisfying customer demands (see OpenSea and Yuga Labs), functioning without consistent an influx of additional funding (see BlockFi), or building structurally sound business models (see the whole Luna Foundation fiasco).

Now, the cracks in their foundations will show. But so will the genuine consumer-engaging, value-producing crypto-powered applications breaking through in the next 12-18 months; the true power players of web3, on which we’ll likely see a long and sustained bull run. Actually, we expect more to build on what we call web2.5:  technology engaging with the blockchain without being fully decentralized.

Therein lies the benefit of following the crypto sphere through to its first crash. The herd has been thinned, the fraudsters have grabbed their rapidly depreciating cash and left, and only the true believers remain, now with a whole suite of mistakes to learn from. With our utopian delusions proven wrong, hopefully, we can begin to migrate our big, beautiful ideas to reality; seeking common ground, not compromise, retaining our boundless optimism all the while. A decentralized anarcho capitalist paradise ruled by Elon Musk and powered by Dogecoin failed to materialize. It’s probably for the best. But NFT-secured independence for artists, DAOs validated not by token holdings but communities, blockchain-backed data pools with select points of centralization — all these things could still exist. Truthfully, they’re more likely to now than ever. 

I’m not one to give financial advice. (In fact, I do not, and thus, legally, shall not be held liable for it.) But, personally and theoretically, I see the next 6 months as the best opportunity for skeptics who dodged the initial market-wide pump and dump to finally buy in on DeFi. Sure, there’s a non-zero chance many tokens will go to zero in the short term. But what better time to pick them up than when they’re literally free, or may as well be?

Besides, crypto tokens for a broad variety of layer-1 protocols, or layer-2 solutions focused on scaling the Ethereum blockchain, as well as tokens or blockchains representing various data management, storage, and interactivity solutions, are building for the long term. Seek out the projects solving for problems you’re familiar with and providing solutions you believe in. Or just keep following along with this little thing of ours. From now on, we’ll be doing the legwork for you. 

So, to all my fellow addicts going through hopium withdrawal, don’t despair. Any doom and gloom from here on out is simply to make the light at the end of the tunnel burn brighter. (And its not just the crude oil being burned to secure the Bitcoin protocol.) Stay tuned for more uplifting coverage of projects solving real world problems.

ₛᵤₘ gₒₒd ₙₑwₛ fₒᵣ ₐ cₕₐₙgₑ

Image: @goblintownwtf

If El Prof can eat his own words, I can, too. A month ago, I directed my patented brand of irreverent assholery at the latest NFT craze of the time, Goblintown, a meme PFP which in its initial run could be minted for free and proudly boasted no utility. In other words, an easy, if painfully obvious, target. 

Now, they have proven themselves to be more than just a trend, with a floor price sitting comfortably above 3eth, even as the bear market continues to roar. Also, they have proven themselves not to be, as I posited, the ‘brainchild of some coordinated VC-funded guerilla marketing campaign […] designed to tap the wallets of a bunch of deprived gambling addicts desperate for another fix while hodling more rapidly deflating fake money than they know what to do with.’ The entire Goblintown team self-doxxed this morning, revealing themselves to be… some people. 

Yes, the big reveal, delivered via tweet, was that there was no one of note behind the Goblintown project. No a16z plants, no famous rugpullers ducking behind anonymity, not Yuga Labs as was widely rumored initially. Just a collective of creatives, building an immersive experience, not just for hodlers, but for anyone and everyone.

Per the doxx video, the ‘no utility’ thing turns out to be less of a meme and more of a mission statement. They are also opposed to roadmaps — because they are transparently building as they go — or Discords — because ‘Goblintown is open to all’. In fact, they are focused on creating something more akin to performance art and/or group therapy than any sort of NFT-powered community or investment opp. Their stated goal is simply to ‘spread happiness in the face of adversity’ and ’cause mischief on the blockchain’, at which it’s safe to say they’ve already succeeded in spades. (And, serendipitously, as of today, it happens to align perfectly with our own.)

Unlike a similar twist in a Star Wars movie that shall not be named, degens received this news with open, non-sexist, non-racist arms. Goblintown, already hailed as a milestone of marketing in the NFT space, is now for many the gold standard in terms of transparency and authenticity. Even I am inclined to agree. If blue chip NFT projects are going to be light on utility anyway, they may as well make a thing of it. And one more immersive, inclusive community spreading humor and good vibes on the internet is worth cheering on no matter what. Now let’s just pray they don’t roll out the mystery box airdrops and retcon the whole thing.

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