The world can be a mean place, and never is this more evident than on Crypto Twitter (CT) and Telegram. In addition to enduring the anguish of seeing their portfolio shed 95%, investors are having their downfall shared with the rest of the cryptoverse for others’ entertainment. The practice, while occasionally cruel, does have its upsides, providing relief and raising awareness of some of the most egregious scams.
First They Shill You Their Bags, Then You Lose 95%, Then They Laugh
Crypto has a favorite game, whose popularity has soared in recent weeks as the bear market has begun to bite: laughing at the misfortune of others. On CT and Telegram, popular accounts share posts from despairing traders who are at their wit’s end after betting everything on a cherished coin and then losing. “I hodl since January,” wails one unfortunate, whose plight, like that of many, can be found in the charitably named Rekt Plebs Telegram channel. “But fuck this bear market. It’s impossible to hodl. I pay 12 USD for one icx [Icon token] back in time. So even a 200x is still a loss for me.”
Deriving pleasure from the unhappiness of others, or schadenfreude, is a primal instinct; a guilty pleasure that is best shared. In the 19th and early 20th centuries, crowds would flock to freak shows to gawp at the medical curiosities placed before them, people whose only crime was to have been born with an abnormal physical deformity. In the 21st century, something similar can be observed in accounts such as Bitmex Rekt, which calls out traders who’ve been margin called.
Salt, Anger, and Despair
On Reddit, Twitter, Telegram, and crypto forums, the salt, anger, and despair of investors who were naive or greedy piles up every day. Some want revenge. Some want a class action lawsuit against the masternode coin or ICO they were “duped” by. Others simply want a chance to vent. Their outpourings are now collated for the amusement of their fellow investors and broadcast far and wide. It is hard not to feel sorry for some of those affected, whose solitary sin has been to purchase an asset near its all-time high and then watch it dwindle to zero. With others, who were caught crowing back in January as their pet altcoin mooned, and have now been brought back down to earth, it’s hard not to feel smug.
“I bought raiblocks at 10c and sold at 30usd,” confesses one trader. “Issue is, I then invested my earnings into bitconnect…” While seeing their tweets of rage spread far and wide can only add to the anguish of those affected, they can take solace in the fact that most of those sharing their posts are doing so as a coping mechanism. Everyone’s in the same boat to a large extent and are laughing at their own stupidity as much as anything. It is important to bear in mind, amidst all the merriment, that for some of those who got rekt, this is more than just a game: they borrowed beyond their means or quit their job to pursue their cryptocurrency dream, and while their demise is largely self-inflicted, the repercussions can be serious.
Most traders, mercifully, are suffering from nothing more serious than wounded pride and a depleted portfolio. One of the biggest scourges in the cryptocurrency space has been the influx of gold-diggers over the past year who care about nothing but the sick gains to be made. It didn’t use to be that way. While profit was always at the heart of bitcoin and shitcoin trading back in the day, there wasn’t the same crass obsession over wealth, lambos, and all the other trappings of success. Studying the downfall of traders who thought they’d made it is a sobering lesson of what not to do when the next bull market comes around. Until such a time, laughing at the misfortune of others is one of the few pleasures left for the traders who remain.