Large sections of the cryptocurrency community are now in a state of starvation and sorrow due to the abrupt, multibillion dollar collapse of the crypto exchange FTX. Poor retail investors are suffering. Flagship exchanges are in danger of going bankrupt. Critics of crypto are ecstatic. The toilet is in the dump, and the toilet is institutional support.
Another PR professional who worked on a number of significant DeFi initiatives but who wished to remain unnamed for the sake of candour stated it more succinctly: “All our team meetings revolve on attempting to turn terrible news into bearable news.”
Many smaller companies completely postpone their PR efforts in the hopes that customers will eventually focus their attention elsewhere. According to Samantha Yap, CEO of cryptocurrency PR agency Yap Global, “We’ve been telling our clients to hold off before making any announcements.” “We’re aware that as the epidemic develops over the coming weeks, the entire media and the general public will be following this story.”
His current only concern is extracting as much money as he can from the industry before it finally collapses. As a community and project manager for three prestigious DeFi protocols, he noted, “I’ve been doing three jobs.” “Two of them are blatant scams, while the third is not very promising. Except tell that to my $8,000 monthly salary for doing nothing but sitting on my behind.
Alternatively, is crypto slouching toward a new, improved form of itself that can (allegedly) endure future crises or are these really the last, hateful emissions of a dying creature?
However, if you pay closer attention, you can discern signs of life in this beaten-up elderly dog. An effort was made to generate $1.5 billion for Matrixport. a brand-new $100 million “institutional clientele” fund. a private market centred on NFTs that are next to apes. Some central bank cryptocurrency project that Japan sponsored.
Kristian Srenson, a serious Danish man who thinks the FTX scandal provides a perfect opportunity for cryptocurrency to break free from its dark past and embrace the warm and rational light of regulatory compliance, is one individual who would answer “yes” with a definite and passionate “yes.”
The FTX aftermath has been somewhat advantageous for Srenson, who manages the data analytics company Tokenizer as well as a PR platform concentrating in regulated clients. Since we mostly interact with these regulated players, he explained to me, “most have tried to profit from the situation.” This is an excellent opportunity to describe what we actually accomplish and how it differs from the more speculative aspects of the industry.
According to Srenson, the relative laxity of crypto regulation was the primary contributor to the current catastrophe. He claimed that many businesses run without licences, and that those that do were carelessly granted without the subsequent and essential auditing. Regulators’ current increased scrutiny, he claimed, “will aid in accelerating the more healthy phase of the industry—rather than get-rich-quick ambitions.” Cover your ears, cypherpunks and Silk Road drug dealers! Srenson’s vision for cryptocurrency is for the “uses cases” to be severely restricted while the underlying technology is used in safe, responsible contexts, for enterprise-blockchain era things like crowdsourcing and verification.
Farmy, a cryptocurrency-based online grocery in Switzerland, is one initiative that Srenson finds particularly exciting. He exclaimed, “They do a crowdfunding where they tokenized equity in the company. They offer organic food and diverse vegetables and they wanted to extend their platform.” “Through tokenization, they were able to really reach their fundraising targets, making their key clients co-owners of the platform, which will only boost their loyalty.” Srenson is not the only person calling for greater caution in the cryptosphere. Almost every new crypto product launch that is being offered to me right now is a response to FTX in some way. There are currently reams (well, two, since no one really contacts me anymore) of press releases emphasising regulations, guardrails, strict policies against gambling with billions of dollars in customer funds, and responsible “we would never do that” pitches in my inadequately protected Gmail inbox.
Others are more trustworthy than others. The enormous Chinese exchange Huobi announced in one press release an ambitious plan to “help Huobi return to the world’s top three exchanges,” noting incomprehensibly that “technology drives development and technology for good”—never mind that the project is being led by one of cryptoland’s least savoury figures. Not just exchanges and firms close to exchanges are seeking a fresh start. The lunacy of November has enabled Alexandra Fanning, a publicist who has worked with crypto artists, to better pursue her goal of “working with artists who have long worked in new media art, and to avoid those who are just jumping on the bandwagon with the assumption that it will make them some fast cash,” she told me.
On the other opposite end of the spectrum are those who think that FTX was, if anything, the result of excessive deference to conventional wisdom. Among them is Cindy Leow, the creator of the decentralised exchange Nexus, which, according to Leow, has witnessed a sharp increase in users since the meltdown. Leow stated, “So many people can’t access their crypto anyplace else outside of Nexus.” People are claiming, “I’m logged out of Binance for some reason,” and “Nexus is the only place I can trade,” therefore I have to trade there. According to Leow, the catastrophe is evidence that centralised, mainstream exchanges are still too young to be trusted with people’s hard-earned life savings and that regulation will always just provide a thin layer of protection and legitimacy. Nevertheless, she believes people should still be able to enjoy that “speculative thrill without compromising the safety of their funds.”
Users own their own keys, but Nexus “looks and feels like a centralised exchange,” she claimed. In this manner, it will be their own darn responsibility if and when they inevitably lose all of their money.
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