CryptoCurious, New NFTArt, and a Personal Story
I wasn’t going to do another Cryptoday newsletter until Friday, but I wanted to do an off-schedule letter to talk about a few things that I’ve been working on recently. The first is that I’m planning on doing another regular crypto show on FB live again, fully focusing on the newbies and beginners that are joining our community for the first time this year and next. The show will be called CryptoCurious, and will be co-hosted by trading coach Celeste Rodriguez. We will be doing a Facebook livestream once a week, and answering community questions about crypto in real-time. Celeste is already road-testing the idea on her personal vlog if you want to see her approach. We’ll announce a date for our first episode in the coming week!
Last night, I minted the NFT for my official poster for the first ever Bitcoin conference in El Salvador. If you’ve been hyper-focused on play-to-earn this year you might not know that El Salvador became the first country to accept Bitcoin as a national currency, so their first major Bitcoin conference is a pretty big deal. The poster is available as a 1/1 NFT on Makersplace right here.
I occasionally get letters from readers of Cryptoday and a few days ago I received one that I felt deserved a more public reply. The email was from Ana from UP Baguio. One of her questions was particularly interesting. She asked, “How were you able to pivot your career trajectory to working in crypto? In a similar vein, how did you find out that this was the industry that you wanted to pursue?” So here you go, Ana, thank you for taking the time to write in.
Most business decisions that we make when we are poor tend to be small and incremental. Typically, only the wealthy can afford to draw a line in the sand and make momentous decisions (“we pivoted into the digital banking business in 2021” or “we swapped our entire stock portfolio into tech startups during the pandemic”) because the penalty for making a bad call doesn't bankrupt them. Contrast that with the low-income person who opens a sari-sari store but only has enough capital for that first batch of supplies. If the store does well in its first few weeks, then it’s all good, but if it does badly, that’s a year’s worth of savings gone. Even if the odds of failure are relatively low (say 1 in 5), the penalty for failure is often too high for low-income people to take that bet. (The average lifespan of your neighborhood sari-sari store is only about 7 months, FYI.)
When I got into Bitcoin in 2014, I was buried in personal debt. I couldn’t really take advantage of the super low prices back then, because my primary motivation was paying off a substantial basket of personal liabilities. The little $BTC that I could afford to buy would often get liquidated as soon as the price went up 20-30%, because I had to prioritize all of my overdue bills and disconnection notices. I didn’t “pivot” into crypto, I crawled into it. I actually own very little Bitcoin because of those tough years, not because I didn’t believe in it, but because it simply wasn’t possible for me to put more capital behind my beliefs. All that being said, the technological implications were just too good to ignore. Once I had figured out how it all worked, it became an imperative to teach other people how to get into it safely. Objectively, factually, and without brand bias.
Confusingly, it was my work in the crypto art space that ultimately saved my ass. My Cryptopop art sales peaked in early 2021 with a couple of massive drops that wiped away all my personal debt. Crucially, it gave me enough money to actually make some of those high-risk investments that I couldn’t afford back when I was in the red. As luck would have it, every single one of those high-risk investments did well over the proceeding months, with a handful of them like $AXS and $YGG producing returns of 10x or more.
But what we do when we DON’T have resources is a stronger indicator of our commitment than when we do. All of my community education efforts (the Cryptonight blog from 2014, the books I published in 2017 and 2019, the BloomCast in 2020, etc.) were launched with zero resources, and I’ve never tried to earn from any of those. And now that I finally have some resources to throw around, I’m tripling down on all of those initiatives. The Play-to-Earn phenomenon is welcoming hundreds of thousands of Pinoys into crypto for the first time, and free education could not be more important.
This newsletter that you’re reading right now, Cryptoday, will always be available for free. The Axie and art mentoring sessions that we broadcast at CPAG will always be available for free. The show that I’m producing with Celeste, CryptoCurious, will always be available for free. And the new community education project that we’ll be launching very soon at YGG will always be available for free.
See you on Friday, cryptofam! WAGMI!