This is an opinion editorial by Anthony Feliciano, Bitcoin Events Organizer and contributor to Bitcoin Magazine.
On Wednesday, June 15, 2022, the Federal Reserve announced a 75 basis point rate hike and possibly another 75 basis points in July. On Friday, June 17th, Bitcoin saw a massive sell-off along with the rest of the crypto markets, resulting in billions in total market cap losses. It also happened for Bitcoin for the first time – we fell below the all-time high of $19,756 from the previous cycle. Bitcoin fell to ~$17,000 not once, but twice, reaching the $20,000 level on Sunday. Many spoke of the “R-word” for the economy and another “crypto winter” that took place from January 2018 to December 2020.
Not all bear markets are created equal.
I say that not all bear markets are created equal because we are being presented with a unique opportunity. During the last crypto winter, I took a different approach to bitcoin – I went down the rabbit hole. Well, if you are just an investor in bitcoin and want to make money, then yes, you do not like this period. I would guess that there is a very high percentage that are more investors than just going down the rabbit hole. For those who’ve been looking down the rabbit hole, if we really are getting another “crypto winter,” it’s time to fall down the bear market rabbit hole.
Fall down the “rabbit hole”
Four years ago I fell down the rabbit hole. My god, what a bumpy, rocky, uneven descent into bitcoin projects it has been. The projects you hear and see today are very different from what we had in 2017 and 2018. Now if, like me, you’re not a programmer and your eyes light up at the blinking cursor in the terminal, you probably turned around, got out, and poured all that shit back down the hole. Although I’m not a programmer, I decided to post this anyway; A foodie for puns, I suppose, but gratefully I decided to smooth out those bumps into smoother, more manageable routes.
I first decided to start building my own Lightning Network (LN) node a few years ago. I briefly described some of the projects in the article “DIY Bitcoin Nodes”. I chose Raspiblitz as my node for no particular reason compared to other projects – I just picked one and decided to build it. With the wealth of options within the RaspiBlitz suite, I’ve learned a lot about Electrum, how to properly run it from my own node versus public nodes, and JoinMarket to increase my privacy when moving UTXOs between wallets.
Then came the obsession with privacy, especially with smartphones. I rooted my phone in the early 2010s, ran a lot of custom ROMs – again, I’m not a programmer, so I’ve hooked up a few phones along the way. It found out about a de-google phone project called Grapheneos so now I have a spare phone with no sim, never got registered and de-google it. But what is important is that I am able to download multiple Bitcoin Project APK files onto this device while still maintaining a working UI connecting to my ln node on Tor. Think of it as a bugged phone, without any spyware and with all the features to interact with your LN node and the Bitcoin network.
Now we’re getting to where I am today, trying to help onboard merchants accept bitcoin as payment, which in itself is a different kind of struggle. Imagine walking coldly into a brick-and-mortar store and speaking to the owner about their ability to accept bitcoin payments, the last two years of stress they’ve had to deal with. you get the picture Again I worked through what resulted in January 2022: the first successful CryptoBearKings LN event.
Hear the Bitcoin ethos and mute the noise
Even though we’re about to enter a recession and/or another “crypto winter,” I’ve learned one thing that doesn’t stop: growth. Developers will continue to develop for the Bitcoin network no matter what. If they don’t stop in 2018, they certainly won’t stop in 2022 either. If you are a growing developer yourself, this is an even better time for you than the previous cycle as the coding and tools are becoming more sophisticated. If, like me, you find yourself on the other side of the coin, then applying is the way to go. Take a moment to learn more about some of the projects and how you can use them in your daily bitcoin bunny life. This is an auspicious time to hone your craft, regardless of your skill level or what interests you most. If you can “listen to the Bitcoin ethos and stand up to the noise,” then I guarantee you will be bright-eyed and ready to go down your rabbit hole by the time the next cycle comes.
This is a guest post by Anthony Feliciano. The opinions expressed are solely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC Inc. or Bitcoin Magazine.