The Fracturing Crypto World

The Fracturing Crypto World

When discussing crypto, that word sometimes seems too broad to be appropriate. And, if you use it among the best of bitcoin maxis, they will not take kindly to it, insisting that bitcoin is not crypto and should never be included as such. The maxis tend to labor the point a bit, and might wave a 3D printed gun at you while doing so, but there is some truth to their point.

The crypto label is just too sweeping to be of more than limited utility, there are important distinctions between all the different blockchains and assets, and as we progress those differences are becoming wider.

In fact, there appear now to be meaningful decouplings, as each division becomes a definable area of technology and development, with its own functions and utility.

Where bitcoin maxis are arguably too extreme is in their implied assertion that there is just one division, between bitcoin and everything else, bitcoin and not bitcoin if you like, and that everything that falls into the not bitcoin box is, at best, a distraction.

Either way, if you make a statement such as crypto will replace money or crypto will function as a store of value, it becomes apparent how lacking in clarity the word crypto has become, as in either of those statements you could be referring to
 
 blockchain 
technology, or Bitcoin, Ethereum or Shiba Inu, or generative art NFTs, or Punk #6969, or any number of things that may or may not make sense.

There are clear distinctions to be drawn between things like, for example, stablecoins, memecoins and oracles, but I think what is more useful, moving forward, is to recognize how crypto as a whole is delineating into several separate but overlapping sectors.

Currencies and Stores of Value

This is where cryptocurrency started, and the clue is in the latter part of the name: currency. And, also in the coin part of bitcoin. Let’s not forget what bitcoin was, and still is, intended to be: a decentralized payment system.

If the ideal were attained, and we witnessed hyperbitcoinization, then BTC would replace existing currencies, globally and value would be weighed up in sats. And, bitcoin is already serving as a concurrent legal tender in El Salvador, and as an informal tender among many people around the world who choose to use it.

The Store of value is closely related, and it remains to be seen where
 
 bitcoin 
will finish up, as a currency, a store of value, or both. (Neither option looks increasingly unlikely).

Smart Contracts and DeFi

Ethereum and its imitators/competitors appear less explicitly financial, and more like tech platforms, enabling decentralized applications to be constructed and deployed. What these protocols will enable is a transition into web3, a version of the web in which there is reduced central control, and greater individual ownership of online property.

A connecting thread with cryptocurrency as currency is in the core intent: an enabling of decentralization and, when it comes down to it, individual liberty. And, what’s more, cryptos such as ETH, ADA and SOL certainly are used to pay for online assets.

NFTs

Tied in very closely with web3 are NFTs, as these enable secure online ownership, from virtual land, to art, to proof of purchase of real-world assets.

However, NFTs are becoming an entire crypto class in their own right, and have expanded so rapidly that to really keep on top of (and profit from) what is happening in the NFT ecosystem you could easily become dedicated to NFTs alone as a full-time occupation.

Metaverses and Gaming

Connected to web3 and NFTs, but branching out in a different direction, are metaversal and gaming projects. There is a strong crossover between the two, as the metaverse incorporate gaming elements, and blockchain games build out the metaverse.

And, it all becomes another region of web3. If the metaverse unfolds ideally, then they will be decentralized to virtual worlds owned and governed by their users. In-world transactions will be crypto-based, and assets will be owned and traded on-chain as NFTs.

Social Tokens

Expect to see an increase in community, fan and social tokens, as creators and brands ask supporters to buy into their projects and products.

This is a developing model and will go in different directions to be implemented in a variety of ways. For the creator, it monetizes their work and builds support and a community around what they are doing.

For buyers, it can take different forms. On one level it simply serves as an investment, in which case it is like buying shares but in anyone or anything that utilizes the crypto model. Additionally, social tokens will buy access to a network with whatever benefits the issuer decides to implement.

DAOs

These are Decentralized Autonomous Organizations. That means a self-starting online community, the rules and workings of which exist and operate through code and smart contracts, making them transparent and fair.

Tokens issued by a DAO can provide you with access and voting rights, and, as always in crypto, can serve as a speculative asset. And, the purpose of the DAO may be just about anything that would benefit from pooling resources and building a network or community.

A closely crypto-related example would be a DAO to buy up blue-chip NFTs or invest in metaverse and gaming assets, but a DAO really could have any ambition.

While all these sectors are interlinked, the differences between them are significant. We have dedicated bitcoiners stacking sats and keeping an eye on El Salvador, web3 opportunists flipping metaverse tokens for a quick profit, digital artists monetizing their work through NFTs and everything in between.

We can call it all crypto for shorthand, but as the map grows larger, each region within takes on its own distinct character and objectives.

When discussing crypto, that word sometimes seems too broad to be appropriate. And, if you use it among the best of bitcoin maxis, they will not take kindly to it, insisting that bitcoin is not crypto and should never be included as such. The maxis tend to labor the point a bit, and might wave a 3D printed gun at you while doing so, but there is some truth to their point.

The crypto label is just too sweeping to be of more than limited utility, there are important distinctions between all the different blockchains and assets, and as we progress those differences are becoming wider.

In fact, there appear now to be meaningful decouplings, as each division becomes a definable area of technology and development, with its own functions and utility.

Where bitcoin maxis are arguably too extreme is in their implied assertion that there is just one division, between bitcoin and everything else, bitcoin and not bitcoin if you like, and that everything that falls into the not bitcoin box is, at best, a distraction.

Either way, if you make a statement such as crypto will replace money or crypto will function as a store of value, it becomes apparent how lacking in clarity the word crypto has become, as in either of those statements you could be referring to
 
 blockchain 
technology, or Bitcoin, Ethereum or Shiba Inu, or generative art NFTs, or Punk #6969, or any number of things that may or may not make sense.

There are clear distinctions to be drawn between things like, for example, stablecoins, memecoins and oracles, but I think what is more useful, moving forward, is to recognize how crypto as a whole is delineating into several separate but overlapping sectors.

Currencies and Stores of Value

This is where cryptocurrency started, and the clue is in the latter part of the name: currency. And, also in the coin part of bitcoin. Let’s not forget what bitcoin was, and still is, intended to be: a decentralized payment system.

If the ideal were attained, and we witnessed hyperbitcoinization, then BTC would replace existing currencies, globally and value would be weighed up in sats. And, bitcoin is already serving as a concurrent legal tender in El Salvador, and as an informal tender among many people around the world who choose to use it.

The Store of value is closely related, and it remains to be seen where
 
 bitcoin 
will finish up, as a currency, a store of value, or both. (Neither option looks increasingly unlikely).

Smart Contracts and DeFi

Ethereum and its imitators/competitors appear less explicitly financial, and more like tech platforms, enabling decentralized applications to be constructed and deployed. What these protocols will enable is a transition into web3, a version of the web in which there is reduced central control, and greater individual ownership of online property.

A connecting thread with cryptocurrency as currency is in the core intent: an enabling of decentralization and, when it comes down to it, individual liberty. And, what’s more, cryptos such as ETH, ADA and SOL certainly are used to pay for online assets.

NFTs

Tied in very closely with web3 are NFTs, as these enable secure online ownership, from virtual land, to art, to proof of purchase of real-world assets.

However, NFTs are becoming an entire crypto class in their own right, and have expanded so rapidly that to really keep on top of (and profit from) what is happening in the NFT ecosystem you could easily become dedicated to NFTs alone as a full-time occupation.

Metaverses and Gaming

Connected to web3 and NFTs, but branching out in a different direction, are metaversal and gaming projects. There is a strong crossover between the two, as the metaverse incorporate gaming elements, and blockchain games build out the metaverse.

And, it all becomes another region of web3. If the metaverse unfolds ideally, then they will be decentralized to virtual worlds owned and governed by their users. In-world transactions will be crypto-based, and assets will be owned and traded on-chain as NFTs.

Social Tokens

Expect to see an increase in community, fan and social tokens, as creators and brands ask supporters to buy into their projects and products.

This is a developing model and will go in different directions to be implemented in a variety of ways. For the creator, it monetizes their work and builds support and a community around what they are doing.

For buyers, it can take different forms. On one level it simply serves as an investment, in which case it is like buying shares but in anyone or anything that utilizes the crypto model. Additionally, social tokens will buy access to a network with whatever benefits the issuer decides to implement.

DAOs

These are Decentralized Autonomous Organizations. That means a self-starting online community, the rules and workings of which exist and operate through code and smart contracts, making them transparent and fair.

Tokens issued by a DAO can provide you with access and voting rights, and, as always in crypto, can serve as a speculative asset. And, the purpose of the DAO may be just about anything that would benefit from pooling resources and building a network or community.

A closely crypto-related example would be a DAO to buy up blue-chip NFTs or invest in metaverse and gaming assets, but a DAO really could have any ambition.

While all these sectors are interlinked, the differences between them are significant. We have dedicated bitcoiners stacking sats and keeping an eye on El Salvador, web3 opportunists flipping metaverse tokens for a quick profit, digital artists monetizing their work through NFTs and everything in between.

We can call it all crypto for shorthand, but as the map grows larger, each region within takes on its own distinct character and objectives.