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Building for Bulls, Bears and the Crypto Revolution

Taylor Monahan is the founder and CEO of MyCrypto, a free open source interface to interact with the blockchain.

The following is an exclusive contribution for the 2018 year of CoinDesk under consideration.

2018 years in review

Last year, I ended my 2017 Year in Review article with the following statement:

"Those who change the world do not always have the intention to do it, just make a decision to do something today, do it better tomorrow and do not stop doing it … ever. One day you will lean back, zoom in. and you will realize that the peaks and valleys that have consumed you were only the trail and the real take-off has not yet happened. "

It seems right to start my review this year with the same statement and observe how its kaleidoscopic meaning in the new light of 2018.

For the context, in December 2017, the price of bitcoin had just reached its all-time high of $ 19,783.06.06. The price of the ether was about to reach its all-time high of $ 1,417.38. The CryptoKitties were spreading across the entire ethereum network, thousands of ICOs had been launched in 2017 and hundreds of dedicated encrypted funds opened their doors.

Today, the environment is a bit different. Those crypto funds are starting to close. The ICOs who raised capital in the crypt in 2017 saw their tracks halve and halve again. The price of bitcoins is around $ 3,500 and the price of ether has plummeted below $ 100. CryptoKitties has a meager 378 active users every day, down from more than 15,000 active users a day this time. 39; last year. Ouch.

What I failed to mention with last year's statement is that the track is not always smooth and will not be on a constant slope.

Such as Meltem Demirors put it so well"Technology that changes industries and markets has not been built for a day at a time." There are accesses, starts and failures. "Obviously, this market is taking shape. Furthermore, we builders should talk about it.

But the builders do not talk about the price

As far as I can remember, it was a significant taboo for space builders to talk about price. Market conditions should not affect our attitudes or the way we build. We actively avoid being caught in the hype during the climb and avoid falling into depression during the descent.

We have turned "HODL" into "BUIDL" and we also talked briefly about "SHIPL".

However, the refusal to engage in "price talks" does not mean that we can or should ignore fluctuations in the market. This ecosystem is highly speculative and our roadmaps, tracks and design choices are influenced by broader macroeconomic conditions. To deny that the market conditions affect your work, the company, financials and culture is an intentional ignorance and is dangerous in the short and long term.

2017: Unprecedented hype

As we saw in 2017, the bull market has garnered unprecedented clamor, which has led new inexperienced users to enter the space en masse. Coinbase was adding hundreds of thousands of new users a day. The companies were hiring support teams from dozens in an attempt to beat inboxes.

The things we did in 2017 were reactionary. Building for the short term has been a long-term priority.

We had no refined processes or marching tables – we had fires that had to be put out yesterday. We hired those who were willing to wear a lot of hats and did not need to sleep much. We put the patches on the most obvious user experience issues when they popped up, and we promised to iterate later. The ambitious recovery of the market was not linked to technology and the experience gained.

2018: The Downward Spiral

2018 was a completely new world. The number of support tickets decreased as fewer new users entered the space. The types of questions we have put in place on ICO have collapsed and other technical questions have emerged once again.

The members of my team who were fed exclusively by the adrenaline of 2017 had to evolve or move on to different projects. Some have even left the crypto-space entirely. Our recruitment and recruitment practices have evolved and the skills and personality traits we have sought have become more refined.

The actions taken by users in 2018 have also changed.

Whether it's taxes, SEC, a more bearish market or the awareness that the scope of cases of use of blockchain is still limited, these days people are not doing much. Even when we look beyond trading and investment through DappRadar and Dapp.com, we can see how little activity is happening.

The market questions how "decentralized" applies to a world outside of us cypherpunks and early adopters. It is a valid question that we builders should also ask.

2019: Blood in the Streets?

To steal from Anthony Pompliano (who probably stole it from someone else), there is still "blood in the streets". Blood is coming, but it's not just from people who have wallets that are down more than 100 percent.

It is from anyone and everyone who has not been able to anticipate how long this revolution will take. It is from people who did not believe in the possibility of a market crash or a long winter. They are the Ico who have all their participations in the crypt. It comes from those who measure growth and value in terms of months, not years or decades.

The firmer companies can reduce the size of their teams and cease to launch extravagant parties to lengthen their tracks.

The less seasoned companies will have no choice but to close. And the most important companies are probably the ones you have not heard yet or that have yet to be created.

2019 and beyond

The coming years have the potential for people to create real and revolutionary value. This will not be the short-term capital creation that ICOs brought in 2017. It will be significantly deeper, take much longer and generate from unlikely sources.

React to new users and irrational exuberance is a different game of ball compared to the construction of products that break down the barriers of cryptocurrencies. To be relevant and stay relevant, you need to do more.

Those that will have a lasting impact and will create the maximum value will be those that can build both for the bull market, both for the bear market and beyond the market. They will have the foresight to expect the unexpected, hindsight to learn from the past and the insight to solve problems in ways unprecedented.

They will use their teams, tools, knowledge and communities to not only build for the next wave of users, but also to help bring the next wave of users. They will not build "on the blockchain" or "for the blockchain". They will build better solutions that use blockchain.

It's easier to create products for your existing environment and for existing users, but it's short-sighted and will leave you with no problems in the long run. Look out of this space for inspiration. Learn from traditional companies that have existed for decades or even centuries. Take the time to understand the motivations and needs of people around the world. Do not make decisions on products based on the graveyard of activity today. Do not create characters based on a survey on Twitter that you activated yesterday.

Look to the future and anticipate. Your job is no longer to react to current conditions. He must be a fortune teller of tomorrow's landscape.

Sparking the Revolution

Many aim for the dot-com bubble when they analyze cryptocurrency markets in 2017.

Both have seen yields of 1,000 percent, rampant daily exchanges, frauds, the flow of capital to any company with ".com" or "blockchain" in its name and the creation of night millionaires even when those millionaires had neither supplied products nor profits . It's an easy comparison. But it's just a slice of the story.

The repetition of history will not manifest itself as a carbon copy of itself, so it is difficult to know exactly how this decentralized revolution will develop in totality. The revolution will be simultaneously subtle and profound. What we are building can not be measured in months or judged by the cycles of hype. We aim to transform almost every existing sector, starting with the financial sector.

The blockchain has come a long way from Satoshi's white paper and it will take at least a long time to stop life significantly.

We must continue to zoom in to keep our perspective broad. The dot-com bubble is not what has turned the Internet, nor will it be the last two years to transform the blockchain. We must look at the whole history of the Internet and observe how it has evolved over time. We must examine how the industrial revolution has managed to touch almost every aspect of daily life. We must remember the lasting influence of the Renaissance on intellectual research.

And, as we do, we should be intimidated by what we still have to achieve and be inspired by the opportunity to forge the trail ahead of us. Remember, the real take-off has yet to occur.

Do you have a strong vision of 2018? News via e-mail [at] coindesk.com to submit an opinion to our year under review.

Hard hat through Shutterstock

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