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On Bear Markets and Nuclear Winters

I remember it well. It was November 2018, and the BCH/BSV hash war had just resulted in the entire cryptosphere crashing to new lows. From November to December, my BCH went from roughly $500/coin to $75/coin. And as if that wasn’t brutal enough, you’re talking to someone who once bought 1 BCH at the absolute peak of $4000/coin in December of 2017.

It was around that time when I found myself standing on the corner near my son’s elementary school, waiting to cross the street to drop him off. Another dad apparently saw me, and the next time we ran into each other he asked me why I had looked so depressed that day. I didn’t have the heart to tell him the truth, that I’d lost more than 80% of what I’d invested into crypto and that a significant percentage of my net worth had just vanished into thin air.

Looking back, you have to wonder why I didn’t just cut my losses, salvage what I had left, and moved on with my life. I’m guessing a lot of it was due to the fear of missing out, of finding myself in the nightmare scenario of having sold the bottom and watching the price pump without me.

But it wasn’t just that. The truth is that deep down I still believed in the idea of peer-to-peer electronic cash and that it was capable of changing the world. I didn’t just want to be rich, I wanted to be a part of something special that might help make the world a better place.

So I held. Eventually the market rebounded, and though I wasn’t rich, at least I had survived.

I share this story because I know that right now some of you must be feeling how I did back in 2018. And while there’s no guarantee that prices are going to rebound anytime soon, or that they won’t fall even further, I thought I’d share my experience on how I survived at least one nuclear winter.

After recovering from the depths of my despair, I decided that instead of just sitting there and hoping for the best, I would invest my time and energy into learning more about the project and searching for ways to contribute in any way that I could.

I read articles, watched interviews and presentations. I even started transcribing some of my favorites so others could easily read or translate them. By doing so, I gained a better understanding of what the project was all about, which made it easier for me to invest more of my capital as well.

I became more active on Twitter and Telegram and wasn’t afraid to ask questions. All of this was invaluable in helping me fully grasp the problem that peer-to-peer electronic cash was intended to solve, and that Bitcoin ABC’s roadmap represented our best shot at success. It also helped me realize who the real leaders of the BCH project were.

I wish I could tell you that it all worked out perfectly in the end. That the BCH community regrouped, got its act together, and completed the roadmap on its way to becoming one of the most valuable coins in all of crypto. But we all know that’s not what happened. Instead, a mere two years later, there was yet another contentious hardfork, another split in the community, and another period of rebuilding.

You might think at this point I would have surely given up. You know the saying, fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.

And maybe I would have given up had I not spent so much time learning about the project, the importance of its mission, as well as getting to know the people doing the actual work. So after the BCH/XEC split in November 2020, I began slowly dumping my BCH for XEC, because I knew who I could trust, and who I couldn’t. So far, it has proven to be a wise decision.

As I’ve said a million times before, I can’t see the future. I can’t tell you how much longer this bear market is going to continue, or promise you we aren’t going lower. But what I can say is that everything I’ve witnessed in these last couple of years has only made it more obvious why this project is necessary. From the Canadian trucker convoy, to the rise of CBDCs, and the increasing amount of inflation around the world, you’d have to be blind not to see why we need eCash more than ever.

Another undeniable fact is that Bitcoin ABC is closer to completing their roadmap than they’ve ever been in their history. They also have more engineers contributing to the code than ever before, and a predictable source of funding that didn’t exist in the days of BCH. All of this is why I’m not nearly as worried as I was the last time a bear market reared its ugly head.

So while I never offer investment advice, what advice I am willing to offer is that nothing beats investing in yourself. Don’t blindly follow others, whether it’s your government, or some anonymous account on Twitter, instead learn as much as you can and decide for yourself what you think is best.

For me, I’ve decided what I want more than anything is economic freedom for all, and the project I believe with the best chance of ultimately delivering is none other than eCash.