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Crypto Market: Advocate, Don’t Manipulate


Hans Koning

If there is one thing all crypto lovers and haters can agree on, it is that there is a lot of activity lately. Especially from Q4 2020 onwards when Bitcoin started to scratch its hoofs, slaying every $1,000 mark in its path with an ease not seen before. Last couple of weeks BTC reached a new all time high of over $58,000. Most people tend to focus on the price of BTC, but it is also worth considering the market cap: BTC crossed the 1 trillion dollar mark. That is a 1 with 12 a whopping zeros, giving it the #6 position of market caps of companies. Impressive, especially so for an anonymously created technology that never raised funds, didn’t go public, or is owned by anyone.

But, the track record of BTC isn’t my topic here, the crypto market and the almost constantly chiming in from celebrities, influencers, wannabees and sometimes even right-out idiots is. That I find unwelcome, and see as noise, distraction and sometimes even as possible manipulation. Be it deliberate or unknowingly, that manipulation needs to stop.

21-12-2020 18:00:02  |   News
To make sure you understand what I mean, I am not complaining about people listing their favorite project, discussing developments, analyzing trends, have an opinion about price, or share their excitement or disappointment. That is in my view all part of the crypto twitter ecosystem. I like and sometimes hate the CT, but am also part of it. What I really do not like is that someone more or less blatantly and/or unfounded makes claims or statements.

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Recently Elon Musk, Snoop Dogg and Gene Simmons have tweeted about cryptocurrency. Let me give an example. On February 4 Elon Musk tweeted “Doge” with a picture of a rocket flying towards the moon. With 46 million followers, not to mention a crypto twitter community desperately looking to more or less anyone for direction, an impactful statement. Especially so knowing he has a certain flamboyant streak, is a billionaire and — here comes my gripe — uses a visual of a rocket hurling toward the moon. Using that symbolism is literally seen by the crypto community as an endorsement from Elon to buy Doge. And guess what? We, the crypto community at large, did precisely that. Was DOGE hovering at 87 ‘sats’ on February 3, it peaked at 199 on February 7th. Needless to say I cannot prove that to be causal (meaning because of Elon the price of $DOGE went up) but I dare to say the tweet and the price 

12-02-2021 11:20:23  |   Investments
fluctuation are related.

As some of you know I am also the Chairman of the DigiByte Foundation. Now I can hear you think, what if Elon had said DigiByte instead of Doge, would I have written this article too? The political correct answer would be ‘yes, of course’. That said, I would have enjoyed the publicity and possible price effect of $DGB like most of us in the community would have. Who can resist “validation” by a celebrity? But, within the DigiByte community we would never make bold claims regarding price. Actually as a DigiByte community we live and act under the premise “underpromise, but overdeliver”. As DigiByte Foundation we also steer clear from price. Tempting as it is sometimes, we simply do not comment on price or price developments. So yes, I would have voiced my concern, and invited Elon to learn (even) more about DigiByte. That offer is of course always available Elon: I can easily connect you with some really smart people.

Just to make sure, I am not Elon-bashing; am merely using his tweet as an example. As a matter of fact when Elon Musk was trying to scale up Tesla, he realized that the battery was his proverbial Achilles heel. Charging the battery takes a while, and the radius a car could drive was limited. Those are two critical success factors for (mass) adaptation of electric vehicles. Rather than restricting access to R&D, he released Tesla’s research, and invited everyone to help solve the “battery problem”. Till today I find that an amazing and unprecedented step, and a step that not only shows confidence, but also an acknowledgement of 2.0 market dynamics. Not fearing competition, or desperately trying to protect a position, but inviting and seeking help, more or less anywhere anyhow. By doing so you were an advocate for change, innovation and entrepreneurism. That was and is an amazing example of leadership Elon, a step I applaud, commend you for, and elevated you to an entrepreneur extraordinaire.

That maturity Elon (and everyone else this applies to), that wisdom that confidence is something I would love to see applied to the crypto market too. Can we see that from here on out? We are not only hoping for that, we are expecting that.

About the Author

Hans Koning is Chair & co-founder of DigiByte Foundation, PhD candidate in Blockchain governance (VU University Amsterdam)


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