'Community' Cannot Be Purchased By Crypto VCs

2022-05-16 | Selina Mathew

'Community' Cannot Be Purchased By Crypto VCs

There's no other way to describe this week for crypto investors. But it was a different type of disaster than the previous ones.

In a nutshell, hundreds of billions of dollars were wiped off the global crypto market cap last week as popular currencies like Ethereum and Bitcoin plummeted while other blockchain networks effectively disintegrated. Hundreds of thousands of crypto investors were liquidated on trades as tokens crashed indiscriminately across the board, while Terra's stablecoin fiasco — which my colleague Jacquie has plenty of details on here — appears to have vapourized tens of billions in crypto wealth in the span of a day or two.

The enormous downward pressure on the markets may seem familiar to long-time crypto traders, but the amount of money lost and the number of people losing money is an order of magnitude higher than ever before, thanks to the fact that crypto markets have expanded so drastically during this bull run. If the crypto markets continue to go to hell in a handbasket, web3's paid acquisition budget will run out due to lower volumes, causing significant long-term harm to consumer onboarding.

Consumers were ready for crypto after many years of Robinhood and r/wallstreetbets retail investor gambling on public equities, and the industry welcomed them with wide arms. VCs have been betting on crypto verticals aimed at consumers for the past few years, gamifying investing with genuine games that included tokens and NFT interfaces. While this has been going on, web3 acolytes have emphasized "community" as one of the key benefits of crypto-based platforms, claiming that giving users a financial stake in the platform will encourage them to behave in the platform's best interests and spread the gospel appropriately.

This has all played out nicely throughout the crypto bull run's "up-only" phase, but now comes the fun part.


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