"Nothing has intrinsic value, intrinsic value is a meaningless term because value has to be subjective in the eyes of the valuer"
Erik Vorhees, CEO of Shapeshift, in his debate with Peter Schiff
I do not agree with this previous quote from Erik Vorhees, I do know that intrinsic value exists, but that is a topic for a future article that I'm baking on my brain and I have on queue to deliver in the near future. However, I do think that, to some extent, it is inevitable that value is subject to non-objective judgment. This article is based on the possible effects that subjective valuation would probably have on the future, taking into account the current context, in which different economies and cultures, with different languages, and different ideas will come to collide on the crypto market.
Bold Statement Incoming
I will posit to you a bold forecast for cryptoland in the next years, are you ready? yes? okay. I present to you the following idea:
In the next years, the idea of what represents a good cryptocurrency and what is a bad cryptocurrency (or in slang terms, a s**coin) will fundamentally change.
The reason for such a dramatic change? Primarily five things, namely:
Culture and Identity
Local Fiat Currencies
Local Cost of Life
Centralization of Gains and Possibility of Upside Potential
Global Communication of Ideas and Goods
Let's go over one by one.
Culture & Identity
I'm Mexican and I am a Traditional Catholic. Those two things might be irrelevant to many people, just meaningless tags that don't really amount to much, (as far as crypto goes) so in order to convey my ideas in a better way, let me write to you two quick examples of how this impacts my decisions and what I consider to be valuable:
Since I'm Mexican I am heavily biased towards cryptocurrencies that have a built-in, tutorial-less system to send money really quick across borders. Stellar Lumens is my favorite crypto in that area, but I also use XRP whenever is expedient. For my set of experiences and priorities, these two cryptos are not worthless to me, much less s**coins, to me these cryptos are indeed very valuable, and so much so that I'm willing to use them, promote them (at least XLM) and schedule on my life to create systems that connect to at least one of those blockchains for free, on my own time and effort.
Now, last time I checked, Mexico had millions of people going around, and indeed, Mexico is one of the countries which sends and receives more money via the broken, buggy, rusty, unjust, bureaucratic, KYC filled no-good remittance fiat system.
Just think for a moment the impact that millions of persons could affect in the entire crypto market if they are heavily biased towards cryptocurrencies that are easy to send anywhere. People who had a similar set of experiences than me, similar economic priorities than me, and similar ideas than me.
Now add upon that explosive mix, programmers, bankers, businesses, phone makers, app makers of those countries and you might get the picture of what's incoming in that area.
Since I am a Traditional Catholic, I am heavily biased towards blockchains and cryptocurrencies that would create systems to spread and preserve the Traditional Catholic faith in the world, systems that are very, very, very, VERY censorship-resistant. By the path we are currently in, some parts of Leviticus, Genesis (The destruction of Sodom) or the Gospels might become illegal in the no so distant future in antichristian nanny states like the UK or Australia, or within liberal machines like Facebook and Youtube. In fact, this result might already have a date, with article 13 of the European Union with scheduled implementation by 2021.
I personally cannot wait to get away from a Google-based content creation system and distribution. I despise and feel revolted by such a large company (Google) imposing their support of abortion (even late-term abortion) to the masses, via choices on design, as well as selective censorship of content creators and search terms.
Because of that, I despise and see as un-aspirational Silicon Valley and the San Francisco Bay area. I do not want to travel, visit, support, promote or have anything to do with those stinky places unless there is a huge upside on the side of promoting conservative ideas and the Traditional Catholic faith. (I know, almost zero chance, I might even get deported)
In fact, I do not only reject those cities in a passive way but, if I become a crypto millionaire, which, statistically speaking is not that far fetched, I would never, ever, ever funnel money in a significant way to those places, (if I can avoid it), and I would do whatever I can to siphon money away from those liberal cesspools.
Here is an interesting tweet I've found somewhat connected with what I'm describing
Since there are not many Traditional Catholics (just a few thousand in global terms) you might feel that this example amounts to nothing, no noticeable effect of my stance, and you'd be partially correct, however, since my identity is not just being a Traditional Catholic, but also as Mexican, bilingual, extremely conservative, who also has an interest in many secular areas (including programming, marketing, writing, fast language acquisition, entrepreneurship and sales) the possibility of finding leverage in any of those areas and the people involved in those endeavours, significantly increases. And thus, the possibility of finding common ground with any of those groups, while also advancing my own project and intention of competing against silicon valley on an ideological basis, is not that far away.
Now, with all of that being said, that means that I value highly projects that basically are not necessarily or uniquely bitcoin, although not a clear leader in this area has arrived yet.
Many people would consider the Basic Attention Token as a s**coin, but since it competes directly with google chrome, I consider that project necessary and fundamental for my interests, with real potential to change the current system we have.
Now, let's move to the next big factor in what would change the valuation and consideration of a s**coin in the future.
Local fiat currencies.
In the last bull run of Bitcoin, bitcoin scored an all-time high of $20,089 USD, in the next bull run people are hoping to get to 100,000 US dollars. And the final end game for some is 1 million US dollars.
Notice something? They are round numbers, denominated in US fiat currency.
People are kind of predictable in some areas, one of those is that they like round numbers.
However, if we check the price of Bitcoin, denominated in Mexican pesos, which is (at the time of writing) 190,338 Mexican pesos, very interesting psychological effects happen (at least to me) let me enumerate some of them
To me, as a Mexican, seeing the value of bitcoin on 190,338 means that it is extremely high already, this is due to the cost of living in Mexico (which I will address in the next point) but also due to the sheer numeric "highness" of the price at this point. The only way I could describe it to a person from the US or Europe is that it is similar to what I imagine people would feel when bitcoin hits 100k USD
Now, because of that my strategy has changed, instead of dollar-cost averaging my way into BTC with my salary, (too little, too slow) I am putting effort into building fiat-based companies that give me a lot of money in a short period of time so that I can get to own at least 1 Bitcoin before it gets to a million dollars, but apart from that, my overall view of the value of every other cryptocurrency it's very different from people of the US or Europe. Coins that to some Americans had horribly low prices, even to the point of economic despair and panic-sell, to me seem like strong coins, (price-wise) when compared to the Mexican peso. (My "coin")
For instance, at the of this writing:
- 1 XLM = 1.27 Mexican pesos
- A good headline to put this in perspective could be:
"Stellar Lumens now is more valuable than the currency of the 15th largest economy in the world. Mexico."
- 1 XRP = 5.45 pesos
- 1 Basic Attention Token = 3.81 pesos
- 1 Tezos = 21.12 pesos
- 1 ETH = 4024.74 pesos
Perhaps because of this difference between subjective price valuation and local fiat currencies is that Binance has included on its platform a lot of cryptocurrencies that people in the US call s**coins, but that Chinese people and people in the Asian markets, happily buy, sell and even hodl by the thousands. The point of reference is completely different.
You might say
"Well, even if people in Latin America would come to value XLM or XRP more, that doesn't matter, because retail investors from those countries would not mean that much money anyway"
That is a fair point, but you forget to factor in the millionaires from those countries. At this point, they are still relying heavily on the US dollar, but a lot of their holdings might be already in Mexican pesos (in the case of my wealthy countrymen) or different weak fiat currency that has speedy inflation rates. With that being the case, the pressure towards a higher valuation of different cryptocurrencies, especially those aligned with their interests, (and those of their customers) becomes more and more probable.
The US has Tim Draper, the Winklevoss twins and Chamath Palihapitiya, Mexico also has millionaires that in the future might advocate Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies, and the remittance system is just one of many highly probable options on the line. Especially since they can score so many emotional points by making this whole thing about helping families.
And that leads me to my next point.
Local Cost of Life
In Mexico, the minimum wage (for eight hours of work) is around 80 Mexican pesos. Which is like:
While some people in the USA are "fighting" to get 15 USD per hour to flip burgers at McDonald's, in Mexico, some people are building houses at a rate of 18.74 XLM per hour.
Do you think that those people, once informed of the value and the opportunity of crypto, and taking into account their own cost of living will become bitcoin maximalists? Hardly.
For instance, in Mexico:
2 XLM could buy you = 1 Birote (picture attached, you can create a lunch with one birote and some pieces of jam)
2 XRP could buy you = Half a kilo of tortillas, enough to get tacos in two meals.
0.5 ETH could buy you = an entire house for rent in a reasonably priced area within a big city in Mexico.
What is more, for the most significant purchases on life, the following happens:
1 BTC could buy you = A downpayment on a high-end house. Like the ones who appear on television (example picture attached)
83k XRP could buy you = an upper-middle-class new home, in Mexico. (picture attached)
Just think about this last stat, that means that a person who is a "bag" hodler of XRP, a target of memes, who has like 300k XRP, a person that by today's standards or expectations of what parabolic means, it's a "loser" that didn't invest in BTC instead, that same person, could cash out it's XRP holding, and be an XRP millionaire in Mexico. And have essentially money to go around for like 9 years. (yes, on top of the house totally paid out)
Some people might say that the same person investing on bitcoin could have been even richer, and that would have been true if he got onto BTC on the bear market, but still, the point that I'm trying to make, is that with cost of living alone, many people today could retire and live comfortably with a "low sat" cryptocurrency, provided it goes up at least a little bit.
Since the economic effects of a vastly different cost of life on the cryptocurrency market and valuation are rather self-explanatory, I will like to move on to my next point.
Centralization of Gains and Possibility of upside potential
(or macro pump and dumps)
Unless you want to live your entire life on crypto, without ever converting that crypto onto any fiat. You are, also, a pump and dumper. The psychological stage so far is that people most likely would dump bitcoin when it hits 1 million dollars. It is just that the pump and dump horizon is rather large and ambitious, but essentially, still a pump and dump.
Now, the important thing to note is that bitcoin already has a very high cost to many people, and even if you want to own at least one bitcoin (like me) the party you would arrive is already kind of early-late,.. that is to say, we are still "early" adopters, but, not that early, and this is a huge factor that could completely shift the priorities of any investor or crypto enthusiast.
Since this BTC party is already kind of late, my interest is to find the next high growth cryptocurrency wave that I can join in the ICO stage, which, when seeing ethereum or chainlink, is not that unheard of. But that incentive (which trust me, is rather strong) would inevitably pull me away from bitcoin in proportion.
Since the possibility of upside potential is already centralized by the people who got into bitcoin the first 3 or 4 years of its existence, the incentives for me to become a bitcoin maximalists are not quite there.
And that's the point, just the possibility of a great thing (yes, the possibility) has a strong pull onto some people, and thus, finding the new ethereum when it's priced on 0.00004 USD, is a valuable endeavor for many people, including me.
And that leads me to my next and last point.
Global Communication of ideas and goods
When people based on the US and Europe see people on Binance buying what they consider to be s**coins, they are sometimes perplexed, sometimes angry, sometimes scornful, sometimes all of the above. Very few times they would considering FOMO-ing into any coin that the Asian markets had chosen, with very few exceptions.
Well, IMO, what is happening is that a piece of the puzzle is missing, and that is the communication of ideas and goods.
On the part of the communication of ideas, I think that Latin America, and especially Mexico, are in a unique position to break the current pattern of silos in cryptoland, let me elaborate.
The term "Crypto Twitter" refers to the ecosystem of crypto enthusiasts that have a twitter account, you can find John McAfee, Andreas Antonopoulos, and many others.
Now, let me ask you a simple question, what do you think are the odds that those same people would be the most influential folks in cryptoland for people who only and exclusively speak Spanish?
- how about people who only and exclusively speak Japanese?
- how about people who only and exclusively speak Arabic?
Although English is at the moment the lingua franca of the world, that doesn't mean that an exclusively English crypto influencer would reach the people mentioned above, because they do not (for a variety of reasons) speak English themselves.
This is were the role of interpreters and translators come to be of capital importance, not just for the people who only speak their local language, but also, and more importantly, for the inhabitants of cryptoland that only speak English.
In this case, bilingual crypto influencers would be not only needed but IMO, inevitable. (for the economic incentives themselves)
Case in point. Myself.
Here I am, trying to explain to an English speaking audience a variety of ideas that, in some cases, collide directly with some mainstream notions within English cryptoland. But that within my economic context makes sense.
I might not succeed completely, but I am confident that I can persuade at least some of you, in that process, the audience that will listen to my ideas will come to change their point of view.
Now, notice that I am bilingual, and some of you are not. That means that I can single-handedly choose what angles of crypto to enhance and what to mute for my fellow Hispanics. Just because I can work and speak with two different sets of people (who happened to also be numerically very large) I have a significant advantage when it comes to many crucial aspects of crypto advocacy. This advantage will only increase if in the near future I continue to work to create tutorials, videos, articles, courses, websites, and dapps. Which I am totally planning in doing. (correction, I'm totally doing)
Now multiply that for many millions of Latinos who are bilingual, and understand the importance of influence and persuasion in all of this, and eventually, although gradually, the valuation will move accordingly, IMO.
The fact that the valuation hasn't moved yet as a result of Asians picking certain cryptos is, IMO, the result of the firewall in china that basically stops the majority of the flow of information to get to us, followed in close succession by language. Just think about this:
1.- If you would consume youtube videos from someone in Beijing that speaks fluent English, were this person is all in on VeChain and is detailing in a persuasive manner why you should research this coin. It is basically guaranteed that some people will listen.
2.- If a person from South Korea who speaks fluent English would be totally dedicated to sharing tutorials and charts about ICON, you might say
"hey, maybe I should jump on that train before it goes parabolic"
3.- If a highly intelligent programmer from Japan, were to explain why the code of Nano is so great and why he is putting all his savings on it, some might get convinced of that possibility.
But unfortunately, people in Asia tend to be so monocultural that usually, they are not bilingual, and even if they are, their English is not fluent, and even if it is, they are not interested in using it the way I've described it so far, mostly (I guess) for cultural reasons.
This is kind of different from Latin American bilingual people, I know many examples of this.
But essentially you get the idea.
So, once the perceived valuation of a coin is moved, through adoption, tutorials, and countless youtube videos, the exchange of goods will follow, exchanges will adopt currencies that are not known on the USA or Europe, and once that happens, the whole perception of value as it currently stands will be shattered.
I am a crypto maximalist, not a bitcoin maximalist, I will kick, fight, produce articles, videos, websites, and dapps to reflect this position because it is the only sensible position I can hold. As far as for the near future, if this world continues for a couple of years more, I think it's possible that a plethora of cryptos will be used in a steady manner, some of them may be just locally but used nevertheless. From this context, some new cryptos might go parabolic, while others will simply hold their value and go sideways permanently, but with a steady user base.
However, the concept of what is an s**coin might completely vanish, or expand significantly, it might occur that a new word might be invented to designate the top 5, or 7, or 10 or 100 cryptocurrencies by market cap as the legit options and thus, the term s**coin might just be applicable in the future to coins after that threshold. Similar terms have been used with the G-7, G-20, BRIC, etc, to designate other economic terms of importance, and it is only sensible that this terminology might migrate to crypto in a similar fashion.
And that's it, go buy some dogecoin :) N-O-W.... :U
P.S: This article is not financial advice, Do your own research
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