I see many parallels in the way that the crypto hierarchy is playing out and the way that previous monetary systems distributed their wealth in the past. If we use a bit of historical determinism, we can justify how early crypto enthusiasts became rich. More importantly, we can predict how the current class of crypto investors can use this new world to become wealthy.
The Class of 2015 (The Genesis Class)
The class of 2015 includes the truly early adopters who found out about bitcoin through small tech sites in the corners of the Internet. This is the time of the Bitcoin Pizza. People were happy when bitcoin rose from $3 to $6 or from $10 to $25. A great deal of wealth was lost and scuttled away because people didn't know what they had. The few who hodled are now billionaires and founders of the companies that improved adoption for the next wave of bitcoin investors.
These people will be the leaders in the political fight for financial sovereignty in the future as well. They are the tech specialists who understand bitcoin from a technical perspective as well as a financial and social one. They are also the political rebels who invested in bitcoin purely as an alternative to oppressive governments and scam banks regardless of price.
How they got rich: The earliest adopters in a world-changing innovation will always come out well ahead.
Why they deserve their wealth: They are the people who throw caution completely to the wind and put their energy and time into creating a new thing. At this point, bitcoin was nothing more than a whitepaper that could have been discarded like the digital currency efforts that preceded it. But they didn't. They fought oppressive structures and human nature to create something incredible that could completely change the world.
The Class of 2017 (The Nouveau Riche)
The Class of 2017 includes everyone who bought bitcoin or any altcoins before the 2017 Q4 mania (BTC near $20k). These are the folks who have the lambos with the bitcoin-themed license plates. (My favorite was SldAtThTop.) However, this group of folks did not have the same level of philosophical drive as the first class. They did, however, have more money. And that money wasn't theirs. These were the yuppies from New York and LA who could invest freely in speculative assets. And they did. Developers who built out blockchains and other innovations, such as early defi, also received great support and came out rich, although many of their innovations failed.
I consider myself a part of this class. But I didn't have any damn money at the time, so the little bit of bitcoin I got did not make me rich. So I guess I flunked out of this class and I'm currently retaking the coursework.
How they got rich: They used the tips they got from their avant garde friends and money they got from dad to invest throwaway money into bitcoin. They got lucky that bitcoin was actually a once in a lifetime, life changing technology.
Why they deserve their wealth: As unworthy as this class may be when compared to the Genesis Class, they put up the capital that allowed the Genesis Class to expand operations. They also spread the word to others without the use of mainstream media, which allowed bitcoin to decentralize under the radar long enough to survive government attacks when they came.
The Class of 2020 (YOU)
The first time you heard about bitcoin, you thought it was a scam. The second time you heard about it, it was at 5 digits. The third time you heard about it, you wanted in. Maybe you've watched a Bitboy video and you got a Binance account (before they started banning US users). You downloaded Metamask because it was easy, and you put some ether on it.
You are now experiencing the beginning of a bull market, so you're up a few percent. You're salivating waiting to experience the stories of 100X and lambos personally.
How they got rich: You're not rich yet.
Why they deserve their wealth: You don't deserve it unless you take the following tips to heart:
How the Class of 2020 Can Get Rich with Bitcoin
I hate to tell you, but the 2017 mania will not repeat itself. You will not find the entire market rising by triple digit multiples again. You will, however, have plenty of opportunity to get rich.
In 2015, bitcoin and crypto needed innovators and dreamers. Those are the people who got rich first.
In 2017, bitcoin and crypto needed capital and development. Those are the people who got rich second.
In 2020, bitcoin and crypto need education, marketing and labor. If you can do any of these things, you will get rich now.
Crypto is no longer viewed as a scam by the mainstream populace. With Paypal and other established financial institutions now in the game, people are now looking at how to get in. The people in the classes behind you will appreciate and pay for an education about crypto, especially if your credentials come from any of the previous classes.
Crypto needs adoption (not to the same level as education), but it does need to continue expanding. If you know how to bring people into a protocol, you can make a great deal of money. Most defi projects pay handsomely for referrals.
Because the bull run will not be as pronounced as 2017, you won't get rich in crypto by investing alone. You will need to put some of your daily labor into the industry. Social media especially. Look for the new platforms like Publish0x, Theta and LBRY. This is where you will get your real gains from. All of these platforms are coming out of the distribution/speculation phase and they need to start showing investors real usership. Who are those users? You! I can remember the days when YouTube paid like $100 per 10,000 views. Why? Because it was a new platform. It was more than willing to share large chunks of ad revenue with its users, plus there were less users to split that ad revenue between. You'll be lucky to make $100 on YouTube now with 100,000 views. But you CAN get those kinds of returns on the newer crypto-based platforms.
Also, crypto games like Axie Infinity are now a much better way to mine crypto than buying some huge rig. It's labor intensive, but you can make a living wage while you wait on capital gains from your investments. To get you started, join some free bitcoin faucets. It's still early enough that the output is substantial enough to make a difference.