Crypto has acquired a lot of baggage over the past decade, much of which manifests in the same tired soundbites and asinine aphorisms. These bitcoin cliches really need to die.
Cliches are unavoidable, sometimes helpful, and often true. If they weren’t, they wouldn’t have achieved cliche status in the first place. Still, some of crypto’s stereotypes are way past played out, and even outright inaccurate. Yet much like bitcoin itself, they keep coming back, unkillable and growing in popularity. Here are 10 cliches that the cryptosphere could do without.
1. Bitcoin = Digital Gold
If you had a satoshi for every bitcoin ‘gold coin’ picture you saw, it’d put the fortunes of Bezos, Buffet and Gates to shame. Recycled and proliferated ad nauseum for years now, images of ‘physical bitcoins’ pervade the internet and stock photo sites like a zombie plague.
Of course, it’s clear to see why they are used, and the immediacy of the images points to the widely held view that bitcoin is a new kind of gold, and a real store of value against fiat currencies’ poor fundamentals and endless government printing. Still, this is bitcoin, not gold. Do we have to keep representing a digital item as the one thing it’s not – physical?
2. ‘Bitcoin Fixes This’
If you’ve spent more than a moment or two cruising crypto-twitter, you know that you no longer need to worry about central banks, scientific progress, healthcare, mowing the lawn, or that stubborn grease stain in your favorite Hilfiger polo. Why? Bitcoin fixes it all, of course.
3. Bitcoin Is Anonymous
No, it’s not. But there are ways to obscure transactions using things like coin joins and coin shuffling. While your name might not show up on the blockchain, addresses do, and users who aren’t careful can actually give away a lot about themselves by recycling these addresses, practicing poor opsec, and posting info connecting a name or identity with a wallet. Just because the famous bitcoin ‘B’ is often juxtaposed with images of Guy Fawkes masks and Anonymous doesn’t mean your last BTC darknet buy was disguised.
4. Crypto Is for Criminals
One of the most inaccurate, pervasive, and reputationally detrimental cliches to take hold, mainstream media and government have done little to curb its influence. In fact, they blow this narrative way out of proportion. It’s true that crypto is sometimes used for illegal or harmful activities. It’s also true that statistically the overwhelming majority of terrorism, trafficking, and other illegal activities globally are done with the world’s preferred, printed ad infinitum, coke-laced American dollar.
5. Bitcoin Can Be Hacked
Well, your computer can. A centralized exchange can. But not ‘bitcoin’ itself. Bitcoin is just a decentralized network of nodes storing a record of transactions, and miners processing these transactions. Power could theoretically centralize in other ways, but there’s no bitcoin central server vulnerable to the wiles of bad actors.
6. When Lambo, When Moon?
Okay, honestly I think we all like this one. But still, if this crypto shit is going to be taken seriously it will have to continue evolving beyond being a last ditch effort to get rich quick, and become a real, widespread means of easy, everyday transaction.
7. ‘The Next Few Days Will Be Critical…’
On crypto-twitter and other social media, prices are always just about to tank to horrible lows or skyrocket to new, euphoric highs. We’ll just have to watch how things go over the next hours. In the meantime, be sure to RT, follow, like, share and sign up for my heavily paywalled insider course on day trading like the pros. With everyone and they mama now a TA expert, this cliche has been critically overplayed.
8. Institutional Adoption Is Everything
While institutional interest in crypto is great, and can be a big boon to rises in price and mainstreaming, it’s not a magic bullet. Bitcoin futures markets did not sell your grandma on the utility of permissionless, peer-to-peer transactions, and the markets still surge and dip even after crypto ETPs launched on the Swiss stock exchange. Coinbase has a lot of big name connections, but still chose to hand over private customer information to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, at the end of the day. The moral of the story: with big companies comes bigger regulations. There’s always a trade-off, so don’t wait for anything — just use crypto.
9. You Can’t Buy Anything with Bitcoin
This is a normie stereotype, granted, but it’s one any crypto connoisseur will come across regularly. Sounds cool bro, but can you buy anything with it? It’s a good question, to be sure, and needs to not be a cliche. The fact that it is says something about the state of crypto adoption globally, but all it takes is a little looking around to find ways to use your bitcoin and other cryptos. From OTC trading for goods and currency via meatspace connections or encrypted platforms, to crypto-friendly brick and mortar vendors and the darknet, it just takes a little sleuthing to find cool and useful ways to sling those sats and coins.
10. Influencers = Coins
Ver is not bitcoin cash. Vitalik is not ether. Even Satoshi himself (or themselves) is not bitcoin. Justin Sun is not…nevermind. He basically is. But the point remains. Any network worth its salt with a solid value proposition should be able to stand on its own merits, with or without a shiny leader standing out front. An encouraging trend as the crypto space continues to evolve is the growing ideological variety, and the divergence of coin holders and communities from their famous founders. Does the money work, or not? That’s all that matters.
Which cliches do you think should be tossed down the crypto memory hole?