Hodlers rally in Times Square as crypto winter sets in

NFT Ads in Times Square | Bloomberg

At a conference on non-fungible tokens in Times Square last week, NBC News reporter Kevin Collier ran into Snoop Dogg and asked for an interview. The manager said it was actually a Snoop impersonator who had been brought in “to stir up excitement”.

It’s easy to make fun of the crypto world. Fun too.

The market value of the sector has decreased by 70% and NFTs even more. So-called stablecoins have shown that they are anything but stable. Crypto lender Celsius Network has halted withdrawals and hedge fund Three Arrows Capital is facing margin calls. Another crypto lender, BlockFi, was bailed out by Sam Bankman-Fried, founder of crypto exchange FTX. We are in the midst of another crypto winter.

To get through the tough times, the hodlers got together in New York last week to support each other and watch Madonna get intimate on stage with Tokischa. Over 15,000 people reportedly signed up for the NFT.NYC gabfest featuring fake Snoop Dogg. The general theme was defiance in the face of market collapse.

“We haven’t reached zero yet – it’s not over yet,” a supportive venture capitalist told the crowd.

It might not be the most convincing pep talk, but you go to war with the army you have.

Crypto-evangelists remind skeptics like me that Amazon is out of the dot-com meltdown and maybe something like that will happen here. But I admit that when I hear about the wonderful future of crypto, my mind wanders. First, I remember the saying that hope is not a strategy. Then I think of Madonna’s “Like a Prayer” video and John Lennon’s catchy tune that anything that gets you through the night is good. I plan to tokenize this memory chain. Bidding on my NFT starts at $1 million.

OK, now some glimmers of hope. Here’s one: some stablecoins are actually stable. One, the USDC, has attracted new funds.

Unlike Luna and Terra, the stablecoins that crashed in May, USDC is fully backed by dollars and short-term US government bonds. It even produces financial statements signed by accounting firm Grant Thornton and is licensed in 46 states. USDC bills itself as cutting-edge crypto, but in many ways resembles an old-school bank.

Perhaps the long and strange crypto journey ends where we began, in a world controlled by banks and other guardians of the establishment. It’s not the new financial order that true believers want, but if that’s how crypto evolves to survive, well, survival has its benefits. As Dorothy realized after her long walk down the yellow brick road, there is no place like home.

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