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One of the leading arguments against crypto is its extreme volatility.
Between April and June 2022, Bitcoin's value more than halved. Established companies like Coinbase, a popular crypto exchange, have announced layoffs. Crypto sceptics argue that the crash has revealed crypto as a Ponzi scheme.
While some of the criticism is well deserved, the focus on price volatility isn't as strong an argument. Instead, it reveals a misunderstanding of what different crypto assets represent.
Most projects are barely five years old. Eventually, different coins are meant to serve different functions.
Today, they all more or less act as startup equity with the distinctive properties of having liquidity and price discovery from the start.
With Cryptocurrency, everything is borderless and the total addressable market is huge. Success could mean significant value accrual to its token, but the project could also fail.
The dilemma is increased because most digital assets can’t be pigeonholed into traditional categories, making valuation much harder. Crypto investors can't rely on established metrics such as a stock's price-to-earnings (PE) ratio. Most digital assets are a hybrid and change from one category to another throughout their lifecycle.
Price swings give important information to founders and investors, especially during the crucial adolescent stage of any startup.
Universal access, immediate price discovery, and greater transparency contribute to scams and shady behaviour in crypto. But with crypto, even the scams are transparent.
The crypto industry has a lot of growing to do and the current downturn clearly offers some hard lessons. Investors and entrepreneurs are learning not only what is possible in this new ecosystem, but also what isn’t.
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