3 Reasons I'm Bullish
Dear Bankless Nation,
It’s difficult to be optimistic about crypto right now.
Markets are in the gutter. Inflation rages. Recession looms. Hacks, scams, and scandals run rampant through Web3. And we’re still digging through the wreckage of Terra’s fall to Earth, which saw the destruction of tens of billions in value.
Witnessing the carnage of my first ever crypto bear market unfold, I admit I’m shaken. People are calling this the worst shock to crypto since Mt. Gox.
I’ve been guided by a belief that decentralization is the great force for good in my lifetime—that’s why I work at Bankless—yet the events of the past few weeks have caused me to question my beliefs more than ever.
The Permissionless conference over the weekend changed all of that. It showed me that bear markets are where the learning, the building, the actual alpha gets forged. The warm Palm Beach sun, glisten of the Atlantic, and surprisingly decent (if overpriced) pulled pork sandwiches at the conference venue were nice, but it was spending time with the people of this industry that reaffirmed my conviction in Web3.
I may have landed in Miami still with the bruised sheen of a first cycle degen, but I walked out something closer to a grizzled crypto lifer.
Here are three reasons why:
1. The Dewy Leaves of L2 Spring
Wandering the Palm Beach Convention Center, I was blown away by the sheer number of teams I met that are building on Ethereum L2s.
Synthetix, Lyra Finance, Tracer DAO, Galleon DAO made up a big presence at the conference. Upgrades like Tracer’s Perpetual Pools V2 were rolled-out from the conference floor itself.
On stage at Permissionless, Ethereum core devs Preston van Loon and Justin Drake signaled August as launch month for the long-awaited 2.0 Merge. 🤯
**Check out Bankless’ previous piece on why the Merge is a game-changer.**
The halls were also filled with growing support behind the L2-friendly EIP-4844— AKA danksharding.
All this lead to one thing: L2 Spring.
While the fabled L2 Summer' has yet to fully arrive, I think we are in the midst of an L2 Spring. The enthusiasm and quality of teams building out this new frontier is palpable and the dissipation of bull market noise has only increased their focus and drive, leaving me more excited than ever for the future of Ethereum scaling.
2. Nobody’s Jumping Ship, They’re Too Busy Shipping
True crypto natives stick around regardless of price. But interest among non-native institutions typically waxes and wanes with market conditions.
Usually, I don’t care much about onboarding TradFi or Web2 into Web3. While I believe anyone has a right to use credibly neutral systems, I feel that the industry should not bend-over backwards or compromise its values to support on-boarding these meatspace entities. I also used to believe that these entities were the epitome of the “crypto tourist” that I mentioned above: as soon as the hype died down, they’d leave.
With that said, after my time at Permissionless I can confidently say that outside interest in Web3 is as strong as I’ve ever seen it. The conference was littered with representatives from TradFi firms, Web2 employees, and people curious to learn more about our no-longer-little industry.
Ryan and David even got to sit down with Vlad from Robinhood, the CEO of the brokerage that sits at the intersection of TradFi, Web2, and now Web3.
**Watch the full interview with Vlad here.**
While I still believe that we have a fine line to walk between onboarding these entities, who command trillions in capital with billions of users, whilst simultaneously making the space resistant to their capture, I am confident after the conference that despite BTC and ETH being well off their all-time-highs, interest in Web3 among crypto natives and institutions remains near its peak.
3. Bankless Nation Came Out in Full Force
Along with our fantastic partners in Blockworks, Permissionless was a Bankless sponsored conference.
It’s safe to say that Bankless Nation got that message. The conference venue was flooded with Bankless t-shirts, hats, and other merch. I wondered how Ryan and David got anywhere—they were constantly being stopped and asked to take selfies.
I admire how kind they were—they took a picture with every single person who wanted one. I know I probably wouldn’t have had nearly the same degree of patience, but I guess that’s why I write for this newsletter and don’t host shows like they do.
All kidding aside, there was no greater source of motivation or joy than meeting and talking to Bankless fans and community members. Through my conversations with them, I was able to realize the impact the work that myself and the rest of the Bankless team has had on others.
Thank you, Bankless Nation. 🏴
It made me feel that despite the difficulty of the past few weeks and months, there is meaning to what I’ve chosen to do with my life.
Web3 matters. What we’re doing matters.
Bankless DAO also had an especially strong presence. There were members everywhere, and it was really great to put faces to the voices and names I’ve seen and heard over the past several months.
Bullish On People
All in all, Permissionless reignited my inner permabull. Adoption of L2s is on the horizon as teams continue to build and ship, institutional interest is as strong as ever, and Bankless Nation is thriving.
It’s why we have a dedicated podcast to the people of Web3—what we call Layer0.
My time at the conference made me realize that I should not base my conviction in this industry on code and charts - but instead by the people within it.
And by that measure, I’ve never been more bullish.