- The 5 Different People You Meet At Crytpocurrency Meetups
The market capitalization from all cryptocurrencies has surpassed $750 billion, having gained more than 97% of that in just the last year…and more than 40% in the last month. Fortunes are being made and lost in an instant, and as someone who has invested a decent chunk of my net worth spread over 10 cryptocurrencies, I have a vested interest in finding out what’s next for the crypto space.
While some say that the current flavor of today’s market (tl;dr: altcoins are king) is akin to a “penny-stock casino,” I’ve heard from loads of friends that they’ve made 5x, 10x, or even more over the last six months. Even if this is some horrific roulette wheel of half-baked business plans, someone’s got to be winning.
Even though I’m a former economics teacher and feel pretty lonely doing all of this “moving tons of money mysteriously over the internet” thing. That’s why I signed up for about 2 or 3 cryptocurrency and blockchain events in NYC. Mostly held in bars, these places are dark, dim, and full of people from all walks of life coming to share their…erm…helpful perspectives. I learned a ton from attending these, but I could never have expected what I would take away from them.
1. The Bitcoin Novice
Lowest on the totem pole are folks who, for whatever reason, just got into the blockchain game and are learning to make a quick buck. Many of them are proud to show how they’ve diversified their hundred dollar portfolio into absurd projects like Dentacoin, or how they’re going “long” on Monacoin, a coin whose only claim-to-fame is that people in Japan supposedly like it.
I’m not expert, but many of these folks don’t have a clue about why blockchain technology is useful. Wide-eyed optimism pervades these neophytes as they cautiously ask what coins they should buy from people who look nerdier than they do.
2. The Trader
Wall Street’s finest hate admitting that they judged cryptocurrency too soon (*cough* Jamie Dimon *cough*), and many of them are strutting their stuff at these “grassroots” networking opportunities. Flouting their bespoke suits and Botox-smoothed foreheads, these guys strut around like they own the place, clutching two fingers the finest whiskey the dive bar has to offer their portfolio.
Standing alone? They’ll offer their knuckle-crushing handshake and bleached grin as they determine exactly how much they think you know about the future of crypto. Within 3 minutes, their eyes will start darting around, looking for someone to else to bother. Usually, the conversation isn’t too bad, but who knows? You might get a drink out of it, ironically paid for with a VISA card and a cash tip.
3. That Guy in the Backpack
It’s the funniest thing. You walk into these places expecting the weird, and up walks a white guy with dreadlocks, flip-flops, and a 50-liter backpack. He asks,”Hey man, wanna buy some…Bitcoin?” as though he were peddling a more…tangible product.
He claims to own thousands of BTC and usually nothing else. Is he the real thing? Is he a closet millionaire? Is he a genius?
Fortunately, a quick wallet check will help determine that. However, with the Bitcoin network clunkier than ever, you’d be beyond lucky to see that transaction verified before next month’s event.
4. The Mastermind
Chilling in his brand-new Bonobos bomber jacket and Bonobos patterned shirt, tastefully paired with his Bonobos jeans, this character couldn’t dress himself if he tried. But thankfully he doesn’t have to. Why? Oh, because he made a 100x return and doesn’t have to work anymore.
The aforementioned Traders flock to find these folks who made hundreds of thousands over the last few months…and indeed, I did too. After a few minutes of conversation though, I discovered that there usually wasn’t a lot of “smart” to their success. Usually, insider info combined with the lack of a nine-to-five enabled their day-trading habit a few months ago. After hitting their insane return, they lay back and bask in the love (and envy) of the cryptocommunity, serving on boards, “advisorships,” etc.
The conversation was generally good, but I couldn’t help notice how odd their social skills were, especially when they talked to the…
5. Women and Gays
Not absent, but usually ignored, openly LGBTQ+ folks and women made up less than 5% of the attendance at all of the events I went to. And when a woman I met did get noticed, she was asked if she was “looking for a Bitcoin Daddy.”
The two women I met were certainly remarkable. One had founded a highly successful Techstars-funded startup and the other managed all of her relatives’ crypto assets, earning them an excellent return over the last six months. #WhoRunTheWorld
Also, there were no other gay folks out of the hundreds in attendance. So much for me finding a Bitcoin Daddy. (But seriously, can someone start an ICO for my love life? We need some serious investment here.)
All jokes aside, blockchain events are useful for meeting other folks interested in the crytpoworld, but don’t expect to run into your future mentor by walking up to everyone in a suit. Even if you’re new to the space, go and ask questions. Meet others, and hopefully you’ll learn from someone else’s mistakes. Focus on the people you might not expect and you’re certain to at least walk away with a funny story.
Who knows? Maybe they’ll want to start a blockchain project with you!
- Date of publication:
- Mon, 01/15/2018 - 16:01
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