5 Things We Learned About Crypto to Take into 2023
Last year saw a lot of upheaval and change in the crypto space, and while some of the underlying causes were obvious in hindsight, there were bigger picture lessons to be had. There’s a lot the industry needs to do going forward into 2023, and the lessons we learned in 2022 should be kept front of mind so we don’t have more FTXs.
Some of these are economic fundamentals that too many people think didn’t apply as much to the world of DeFi and cryptocurrency, but all five that Coindesk came up are important for the integrity of the industry.
But “crypto” is more than protocols, smart contracts and cryptography. It’s also the community of humans who have gathered around this amalgam of technologies. Without this community, the technology can’t enter real-world adoption and foster change for good. And unfortunately, the failures in 2022 were due to their actions. While a few people in particular are rightly lumped with the bulk of the blame, there is mass collective responsibility here. The theft, deception and staggering breach of trust happened on our watch.
If we are to take lessons from the wealth destruction of 2022, the conclusion cannot be that this is all the fault of Sam Bankman-Fried and his ilk. SBF deserves the prison time he seems sure to receive with his extradition to the U.S., but the real question is how do we create a system – not merely a technological system but one of laws and standards – that makes it much harder for people like him to do what they did.
If this industry is to thrive it can’t again be blindsided by revelations of wrongdoing as extreme as those uncovered in 2022. That requires vigilance to transparency and recognition that journalists who dig into issues at relevant institutions are doing a service to the longer-term interests of this industry rather than undermining it.