Well, you might be thankful that this time last year you didn’t understand enough of NFTs and cryptocurrencies to make recommendations to your relatives. That or… Thanksgiving dinner is about to get a little awkward.
So, if everyone you told to “buy at the top” in 2021 is now at the dinner table staring at you and wanting to know why their portfolio is down a painful lot, fear not.
Here are a few explanations that will help you save face this holiday season.
“Mom read on the news about FTX and the crypto crash”
Yes, ok. The FTX blowup wasn’t exactly something on your bingo card for 2022. I mean, not much out there has been exactly predictable this year, from Elon taking over Twitter to Argentina losing to Saudi Arabia at the World Cup. That said, you can always explain that crypto-as-tech and as a crypto-as-scam are, naturally, wildly different things.
FTX’s spectacular downfall had, in fact, little to do with crypto, but more with Sam Bankman-Fried’s alleged plan to inflate balance sheets of his trading company, Alameda, to secure bank loans and convince starstruck investors he was the world’s crypto wonder boy. There’s lots of other (alleged) accounting trickery and math sorcery going on as well, but you don’t have to get into that.
If you want to stay clear from accidentally pouring more fuel into the raging Thanksgiving crypto bonfire, better side with a simple explanation about how blockchain technology can be beneficial. So simple in fact that any five-year-old at the table will understand.
And if this isn’t enough to convince your family, just vaguely allude to the Forbes cover curse, whereby a string of Silicon Valley billionaire darlings dubbed “The Next Warren Buffett” have invariably end up being at the center of an implosion.
Bloomberg seems to think it isn’t always fatal to land the coveted magazine's leading story though…
“Sweetie, why is my NFT so cheap now?”
The one-time booming NFT market is going through a very long dry spell.
November is yet to wrap up but judging by the trend up until now, we shouldn’t be crossing our fingers much for an overnight miracle. However, despite the barrage of sullen headlines about - among other depressing figures - Justin Bieber’s $1.29 million Bored Ape NFT now being worth some $69k, there’s a ray of hope.
Plenty of big name players are doubling down on non-fungible tokens, particularly as the technology matures and more real-life use cases emerge. And you can point out to your relatives that not all NFTs are doing badly. Virtual real estate continues to be a hot investment for many.
For now, the consensus seems to be that this is not the end for the NFT market given how beneficial the technology can be. It’s not all about the CryptoPunks and Bored Apes anymore.
“Surely, now’s the time to call it a day and give up on crypto”
But is it, really? Again, situations like FTX and Three Arrows Capital have little to do with actual crypto and more with a perversion of the principles and economics behind it. Many will say that “real crypto” is doing just fine, which is sort of true. When you look at DeFi and decentralized exchanges, for the most part they’ve been able to dodge crypto train wreck after crypto train wreck. If you focus on mentioning some benefits of decentralized finance (transparency, peer-to-peer transactions, that users keep their private keys, why it can’t be abused, etc.), you might be able to make your case without many objections. Will your grandma be opening a Uniswap account tomorrow? Maybe not. But you’ll have managed to make Thanksgiving’s crypto talk a little more digestible.
“I told you so”
There’s hardly another four-word combination that comes closer to the feeling of being run over by a Walmart truck, especially when it’s your mom telling you off.
But it's ok to have misjudged the market when, this time last year, Wall Street bigwigs were joining the game, cash was pouring into all sorts of projects and coins, and confidence in crypto was at an all-time high. As we’re all now discovering, life comes at you fast in crypto.
Perhaps foreseeing a market downturn wasn’t that hard, but with so many people violently dumping their coins and the crypto reaper knocking on the door of even the most reputed exchanges and lenders, a crystal ball reading would have been as effective.
Expect your relatives to be critical of the situation, so you might have to take a bite of the humble piece. Besides, there are plenty of other financial woes to discuss this Thanksgiving since stocks and bonds (aka traditional finance) have also seen massive losses this year.
“What are these crypto cats Cousin Greg seems to like so much”
You were talking about crypto at Thanksgiving last year and your cousin got excited about crypto games. But now your aunt is giving you a hard time because he’s at the dinner table eating stuffed turkey and gravy with one hand while playing Axie Infinity with the other.
Greg has apparently become a bona fide crypto champ and he’s making some money on the side while talking to his school friends about something called “play-to-earn”. Your relatives are perplexed, at best, and you’re now being quizzed about if these games are safe.
Online gaming is not new and kids today are a digital-first generation anyways. And since they spend so much time glued to their phones, why not engage in games that have both better gameplay and mechanics? Blockchain gaming is becoming wildly popular because players can not only create original content but own their virtual characters and gaming items, and move them between different games. They can also make money trading it for real-world money, undoubtedly a huge sweetener that old-school titles don’t have.
Because of all the rewards crypto gaming offers, it’s logical to imagine that it will continue growing in the coming years. And yes, your cousin will be ok - although he could probably be spending less time on his phone.
This is an op-ed article. Neither the opinions expressed by the author, nor the conclusions drawn in this article, reflect the opinions, viewpoints, or beliefs of Sensorium, its staff, or any organizations with which Sensorium is affiliated.