Joining the Crypto Economy: What is the Hold-Up?

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The the last decade, quite a number of things became mainstream. We had the film adaptation of George R. R. Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire series which came to be known as A Game of Thrones and threatened to upend the Harry Potter fanbase universe. Netflix also became a big deal thanks to a deluge of TV shows. But neither of these comes close to the crypto-verse in terms of popularity, controversy, and clout.

When Bitcoin developer Satoshi Nakamoto published the legendary white paper on peer-to-peer finance in 2008, it didn’t raise that much dust. At least, not among everyday people who are more interested in checking the boxes on their December grocery lists. But it is 2022 and the concept of blockchains, virtual currencies, and non-fungible tokens (NFT) are no longer loony issues.

Even so, there is still a lot of skepticism and suspicion towards the workability of crypto-assets and their neighbors (the metaverse, Web 3.0, etc.). So this article highlights some of the points raised by crypto critics and the occasional crypto-gnostic who wants to join the crypto wagon but turns back at the last step.

Learning Curve

Learning Curve

A newcomer to the blockchain-crypto universe is definitely going to ram into words like peer-to-peer, decentralization, decentralized finance (DeFi), cryptography, fungibility, and much more. And while these words are not Bermuda Triangles themselves, they positively induce spasms in the mind of the ‘unlearned.’ But that is not the primary issue; that award goes to the learning curve.

Unless the individual interested in understanding blockchains and cryptos is a seasoned IT person, a web developer, or a marketer who is used to learning new things on the go, getting used to the crypto lingo takes a lot of time. At least, we’re looking at a minimum of a month to get the basics down.

Consider the integration of NFTs and the metaverse that is currently growing more popular. It takes quite a bit of bravery to wrap one’s mind around the idea of a virtual city where real people can get married (that actually happened). Having successfully wrapped one’s mind around the idea, one needs to understand the basics of smart contracts, utility tokens, decentralized autonomous organization (DAO), etc. And then one begins to use these in everyday investment and trading decisions.

To the average person who is not easily swayed by the billions of dollars being transacted on the crypto market, going from noob to master takes quite a lot of time. And in this fast-paced world, time is a luxury.

Lack of Regulation

Lack of Regulation

One of the original selling points of Nakamoto’s proposal was decentralization and replacing the decision-making power of banks and other financial agencies with that of customers. The point of this characteristic is to make you the manager of your assets without having someone else decide what goes. But this has resulted in a host of problems.

For one, the lack of legal infrastructure in the crypto market opens it up to abuse. Without an established framework to maintain the flow of transactions and a gatekeeper to supervise the entire system, the idea of value exchange which the crypto-verse is based on will collapse. This is why some countries have refused to acknowledge the opportunities and possibilities of sustainable growth and development that are within reach with blockchain technology.

Even for crypto enthusiasts with a practical understanding of the basics of the technology, there is often a bit of a drag when faced with running with centralized exchanges (CEX) or decentralized exchanges (DEX). The former is constantly being monitored by someone, so it is reliable and relatively safe. The latter is a free zone without administrative supervision. So even if someone breaks into your crypto wallet and steals your funds, you can hold the CEX platform responsible. There’s nobody to hold responsible for DEX platforms.

This is not to say that CEX platforms are porous. Consider Kyrrex, for example. It is a highly-regulated platform that allows you to trade without fear of break-ins and fraud. The platform system is built on a system that prioritizes security and therefore uses regulatory processes like KYC (Know Your Customer) and AML (anti-money laundering) to guarantee low risks of fraudulent activities.

High Volatility

High Volatility

There is no denying that the world of cryptos and blockchains is a world of opportunities. The internet is rife with accounts of individuals with next to nothing on their bank accounts suddenly making millions and billions because they happened to buy a particular coin on time. So what is stopping you from jumping on this express train that is bound to take you all the way into mint paradise? High volatility, that’s what.

There is no suitably accurate metaphor that we can use to describe how fast cryptos can rise and fall. The only proper descriptor of this unpredictability is the price of cryptocurrencies which goes up and down depending on a number of factors. Thus, price whiplash is a fact that dedicated investors and traders have gotten used to in the crypto market. But this is no easy decision for the newcomer.

Imagine for a moment that you bought a crypto coin worth $1 for a whole token in January. Fast-forward six months and that single token is now worth $1,000! Then comes July and it begins to droop, first to $800, then to $600, rising again to $750 and falling again to $600. Now imagine that you let chance take the wheel and throw this coin to the back of your mind. Then you check again in November and the coin is now worth a little over $0.21.

This is the sort of fluctuation that pumps the blood through the wrong arteries and causes untimely deaths.

Of course, while no crypto investor or trader can claim to have a perfect grasp of the market, some people know enough of the market’s wheels and wires to make smart decisions. These are the ones that always come on top. Even so, it is a gamble for some of them.

This volatility does not extend to every crypto asset. However, it is a core characteristic and one of the primary features that distinguish it from fiat currencies and physical assets.

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