Crypto Winter Is Here. The Weak Will Die, and the Strong Will Eat Their Bones
On the other hand, we’ve seen an enormous fall in crypto markets in the two days since Consensus finished, with bitcoin (BTC) and ether (ETH) both plummeting approximately 20%.
The centralized lending platform Celsius Network is currently showing signs of a liquidity shortage, and perhaps insolvency – likely the “second shoe” dropping after the LUNA/UST unwind. Traders are concerned about stETH, an important bond-like token linked to the Ethereum 2.0 Merge, as a result of the problems at Celsius. Three Arrows Capital is also reportedly experiencing liquidity concerns, and to top it off, cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase recently laid off 1,100 employees.
There’s a lot to say about this moment, and we’ll be saying it all here at CoinDesk in the coming weeks and months as we assist you in navigating the crypto crisis. But, before the dominoes began to fall at a massive scale, I had planned for this piece to be on the incredible power of consensus. And I still believe that’s critical, because the vision and passion on display last weekend in Austin, Texas, is exactly how we’ll get out of this problem.
A large tent
Consensus was, above all, a vast tent. Huge, both physically and metaphorically. The conference itself drew 17,000 people, with an additional 3,000 attending satellite events.
The breadth of programming and perspectives, on the other hand, was mind-boggling. For example, I was on my way to moderate a panel and had a few minutes to kill, so I went into a random auditorium — and there was Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen, who has little to do with crypto but shares my worry about data harvesting.
I got to watch Neal Stephenson, a science fiction author, and Jaron Lanier, a technologist, in conversation with Leah Callon-Butler, a CoinDesk contributor. I had the opportunity to interview one of Baylor University’s bitcoin researchers, as well as have a fantastically bizarre talk about memetics, Freud, black magic, and the CIA with Chris Gabriel, aka MemeAnalysis.
There is money accessible.
Those willing to develop something from the ground up will succeed in this environment, especially since, unlike 2018, it appears that substantial venture money will still be accessible. Consider OpenSea, which produced $20 billion in NFT sales in 2021 after being created in 2017 and undergoing significant development in 2018 and 2019. Not only was this during a crypto bear market, but it was also before most people had heard of the term non-fungible token.