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Why The Stock Market Couldn’t Foster An Online Community Like Cryptocurrencies


cryptoknowmics.com 25 April 2022 15:19, UTC
Reading time: ~3 m

Those of us who keep up with financial news will recall the Gamestop catastrophe in early 2021. During that time, a group of Reddit users planned to deliberately boost the price of GameStop stock in order to strike against hedge funds that had been undercutting the stock for years. Because of this, the stock of Gamestop soared and many shorted firms went bankrupt. It was a milestone moment in history, illustrating the strength of internet communities teaming together to take on the financial world. While this was a groundbreaking event, it wasn't the first time online communities have pooled their resources to support a worthy cause. It's true that the cryptocurrency industry has been doing this for years, and it has done so by utilizing relatively new technology rather than decades-old stock exchanges. Even while there are still web forums dedicated to stock purchasing, the cryptocurrency community has grown to be known as one of the most vocal and united in its goal in recent months. But, why is it the case exactly? Why has cryptocurrency inspired and garnered such a committed following in such a short period of time when compared to stocks that have been around for a longer amount of time?

The Anatomy of Internet Spaces

Since the Internet's inception, people have united to form communities around anything and everything. Everyone from sports to music to food to entertainment to finance has been a part of this story. Due to the massive growth of social media and platforms such as Twitter and Reddit, these sorts of groups have become much more accessible and much more niched. These venues were key in the growth of cryptocurrencies, as sub-Reddits, forums, and other communities sprouted up around it in the early 2010s, encouraging others to become involved. It's important to remember that bitcoin didn't have extensive media exposure when it first launched. There were no major media outlets reporting on the use of our cryptocurrency, and it was essentially a community-driven effort. It has been easier for cryptocurrencies to develop an Internet community than equities since the internet has always been at the core of it. Comparatively, stocks were not created by online groups and have always been considered a high-end investment product. Stocks have just become widely available to the general public over the last several decades. On the other hand, cryptocurrency has always been available to the entire population. This is why the Gamestop incident was so extraordinary: in the financial industry, it is not typical for a group of everyday people to take on conglomerates. In contrast, cryptocurrency has built up a reputation as a common instrument among everyday people. Decentralization is a central component of cryptocurrencies, which is why it has become so popular. Due to the decentralized nature of cryptocurrencies, which cannot be controlled by a single entity, they must rely on the collective efforts of many to grow. To sum up, Bitcoin has a passionate and united following since its online presence is organically related to its inception and its fundamental concept. Unlike the stock market, cryptocurrencies have depended largely on online communities since their inception and, as a result, do not inspire or generate as many people. It will be interesting to see if the stock market places a larger focus on community connections or if the community interactions of cryptocurrencies can simply not be replicated.  

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