7 Lessons for Crypto Pioneers

A few thoughts and lessons learned from my 6 years on the bankless journey
Nov 9, 20206 min read

Dear Bankless Nation,

I think Whitman captured the spirit of the Pioneer…

Come my tan-faced children,

Follow well in order, get your weapons ready,
Have you your pistols? have you your sharp-edged axes?
Pioneers! O pioneers!

For we cannot tarry here,
We must march my darlings, we must bear the brunt of danger,
We the youthful sinewy races, all the rest on us depend,
Pioneers! O pioneers!

Walt Whitman, Pioneers! O Pioneers!

Crypto natives are modern pioneers. Exploring the infinite whitespace of vast digital countries. There’s opportunity. Yet we also bear the brunt of danger.

How many of us assume we’re prepared to meet an untimely end in this dangerous new frontier? Are you prepared? Have you your sharp-edged axes?

Sometimes the best thing we can receive is simple advice from a fellow traveler.

So here are some things I’ve learned on my 6 year crypto journey. These are my sharp-edged axes. Seven thoughts for crypto pioneers:

1. Crypto is in price discovery mode for the next decade at least

There’s no rush. The market is in the process of figuring out how to value crypto assets. This will take decades. This is why we see the wild gyrations in price. It’s why we have repeating fractal patterns in boom-bust cycles. Expect irrationality. You’re early. The market will take years to figure out what you already know.

2. I’ve never seen a patient investor lose money in crypto

I’ve seen many crypto pioneers crash and burn many different ways. They over leverage. They follow a trend. They ignore fundamentals. They see someone else get rich, get greedy, and FOMO into a bad thing. I’ve seen investors get so rekt they never touch crypto again. But I’ve never ever seen a patient investor lose money in crypto.

3. 95% of you should stop trading and just hold

If you’re reading this you’re probably a terrible trader. That’s fine…so are the rest of us. But here’s the thing: you don’t have be a trader to make a 10x in crypto. You can just hold. It’s that easy. It’s that hard. Stop trading. Just hold.

4. I am responsible for everything that happens to me in crypto.

Here’s the truth. I am responsible for everything that happens to me in crypto. Not someone on twitter. Not the builder who built it. Not the dude who's newsletter I read. Not the token that promised me the moon. I am responsible. Start with that attitude. And never lose it. This is how you grow.

5. Own more crypto then the financial experts recommend, doubly so if you’re young

Before buying crypto, talk to a financial expert and bla bla bla. That’s what they say. But most experts don’t know jack about crypto. They don’t use it. They don’t understand it. They won’t lead, they’ll follow. They’re selling typewriters in the age of the PC and you’ll incur a lot of opportunity cost from their bad advice—doubly so if you’re young.

6. Don’t take crypto advice from someone who’s never used Uniswap

Be equally wary of the self-proclaimed crypto experts! VCs, pundits, influencers, and thought-leaders who peddle crypto without actually doing crypto. Mr. VC you seem to have a strong opinion about DeFi…have you ever used Uniswap? No…? Ok. Next!

7. Surround yourself with long-term people playing long-term games

This is something Naval says but it requires emphasis in crypto where so many actors are playing short-term games. Find the communities, the projects, the individuals who are playing long-term games and draw them close! Actions reveal them, not words.

I hope some of these were helpful to my fellow pioneers.

All the past we leave behind,
We debouch upon a newer mightier world, varied world,
Fresh and strong the world we seize, world of labor and the march,
Pioneers! O pioneers!

A newer mightier world.

All the past we leave behind.


P.S.. Crypto Pioneers! Build something on Filecoin and get $20K in grants and $1M in funding! A bankless future is a serverless one too! Apply here!

Not financial or tax advice. This newsletter is strictly educational and is not investment advice or a solicitation to buy or sell any assets or to make any financial decisions. This newsletter is not tax advice. Talk to your accountant. Do your own research.

Disclosure. From time-to-time I may add links in this newsletter to products I use. I may receive commission if you make a purchase through one of these links. Additionally, the Bankless writers hold crypto assets. See our investment disclosures here.

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