We’ve been in a slump for a while now, and by the looks of it will remain in one for a good while longer. How long, how low, and how slow the recovery is anyone’s guess. If you’re reading these words, you’re still here, and thus it’s safe to assume you’re in this for the long haul. Even the most ardent of bitcoin believers is apt to feel despondent amidst the prolonged doom and gloom, but it’s not all bad; in fact bear markets can bestow some considerable benefits.
You Discover Who You Can Trust
Crypto Twitter (CT) tends to be bipolar: when things are good, they’re great, and when they’re bad, they’re awful. Right now, things have been so bad for so long that most pro traders have stopped dispensing tips and switched to full-time shitposting. Meanwhile, the less scrupulous “experts” have been quietly deleting all their previous tweets predicting the moon, sun and every other planetary position a crypto asset can conceivably reach. Bear markets are great for discovering who you can trust. The CT veterans you learn to rely on aren’t the ones who’ve never issued a wrong call – it’s the ones who have the humility to admit when they’re wrong, and who refuse to take a lengthy hiatus when the market turns sour you can trust.
Bad Coins Die Faster
Bear markets are great for separating the wheat from the chaff. This applies to identifying influencers and “experts” you can trust and it also applies to coins. There’s schadenfreude in watching your most hated altcoins get rekt, or that moon-bound ICO you missed out on return to its starting price, but don’t obsess over their fate – all that stuff’s just popcorn. The real benefit with bear markets is that the literal scamcoins die faster. The ponzi schemes, lending scams and arbitrage rackets fall faster and then rebound slower when conditions improve. Despite Bitconnect exit scamming six months ago, watchdog @bccponzi has continued to monitor the projects that have emerged to take its place. There will always be scam, but you can thank a protracted bear market for killing off the worst of the worst. Oh, and for inspiring better memes…
There’s Time to Learn
During peak mania, such as in late 2017, there’s no time to study trades and no incentive to either. You could print out the first page of Coinmarketcap, throw darts at it and be guaranteed to profit from your picks. In a bear market, when there’s no dopamine rush to be gained from refreshing your portfolio every two minutes, and profitable trades are few and far between, there’s actually time in which to educate yourself. That could involve improving your technical analysis, learning leverage, identifying signs of the inevitable full market reversal, or researching the next moon-bound coins. The work you put in now will pay off 10x over the next time bulls reign supreme.
There’s Time to Accumulate
It’s easy to talk about accumulating crypto, but that’s not so easy when your portfolio’s down 80% and you have nothing else to invest. If you remain a crypto maximialist, however, and are convinced that it’s a case of when, not if, major digital assets such as bitcoin test record highs again, now is the time to act. The building work hasn’t stopped just because the markets have turned red – in fact it’s been ramping up all year, as the infrastructure that will power the next bull run is assembled. Getting a crypto job is one way to stock up on satoshis while they’re going cheap. Spend what you need to survive and keep the rest locked away till alt season – or even just bitcoin season – returns.
There’s Time to Develop New Interests
The world of cryptocurrency is a wonderful one, but it can be all-consuming. It’s not healthy to spend your every waking hour glued to a screen – or three screens if you’re a serious trader – powered by a cocktail of nootropics and jolted from infrequent slumber by an alarm every time a target is reached. Don’t give up on crypto, but use the market downturn as an opportunity to step away from the screen and get out of the house. Take up a new sport; go hiking; read more books; enroll in evening classes; pursue that thing you’ve always wanted to pursue.
In the words of Ferris Bueller, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” Cryptocurrency isn’t going anywhere. When you’re ready to make it your oneitis again, it’ll still be here, right where you left it. While powerless to control the mood of the markets, you have the power to control your own. Spend your time and choose your associates – both on crypto Twitter and in real life – wisely. The investment, educational, and personal decisions you make now, in the darkest depths of this bear market, could be some of the best decisions you will ever make.