Opinion

Welcome Crypto Class of 2021

The new cohort of crypto natives are here. Welcome!
David Hoffman David Hoffman Dec 20, 20213 min read
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Welcome Crypto Class of 2021

Dear Bankless Nation,

This industry has historically moved in cycles.

The class of 2013 came from the first Bitcoin bubble. The class of 2017 came from the ICO mania. Now, the NFT boom has formed the class of 2021.

To all new entrants, welcome and congratulations on making it through your first calendar year! 🥳

These thematic cycles are responsible for bringing in a wave of new interest into the industry, and a lot of crypto natives identify with the cycle that brought them in.

While crypto has done a lot in 2020 and 2021, NFTs definitely took the #1 spot for what defined this leg of the crypto bull run.

The best marketing trick for crypto is number go up. Prices make headlines. Headlines are what drives so many new people into the industry. And NFTs were grabbing headlines this year.

Weird JPEG sells for $69M”

300-year old auction house Sotheby’s crosses $100M in NFT sales”

No wonder so many individuals and companies got into crypto in 2021.

Jay Z repping a Punk. Probably nothing.

Crypto is mainstream

The sheer magnitude of people that have arrived into this industry via NFTs is astounding. Creators, collectors, celebrities, corporations all got involved. Many crypto job positions are being filled by 2021 entrants, and overall crypto discourse across social media platforms is maintained by people that have arrived in crypto in 2020 or later.

While NFTs are different, many of the experiences that the newest generations feel are the same experiences that the other crypto natives have felt:

  • Excitement and exuberance at the possibility of making money.
  • Markets sobering you up.
  • Exploits, rugs, and scams.
  • Excessive copy-catting of a successful project/concept.
  • A backdrop of the general adoption of the underlying systems.

We’ve all experienced it before, and now you have too. Congrats! These are the experiences that are required to make it in this industry.

Even though there are still some experiences yet to be had, like a long-term bear market or the excitement of a new cycle beginning, I’m not convinced that these will be repeated with the same level of fidelity that they have in previous cycles.

Why is that?

Because there’s a chance that the class of 2021 is the last significant generation of crypto adopters. Crypto is mainstream now. Crypto applications are progressing in so many different industries at once that people are constantly being pulled from all directions.

Since NFTs cover an extremely broad category of possibilities, the main thing left for crypto could be slow, sustainable, and steady market adoption and maturation of NFTs.

If we’re truly in the supercycle, we’re going to see these ‘generations’ of adopters turn into a steady inflow of new entrants, not defined by any one thing in specific.

Either way…

Welcome Class of 2021

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Graduates from Crypto Class of 2021 (Colorized, 2021)

Class of 2021, I have high hopes for what you can do in this industry!

The last defining phase of your cohort’s development will be: what will you build?

What will you do for crypto?

I hope to see some answers to this question show up in 2022.

Happy holidays :)

- David


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David Hoffman

Written by David Hoffman

149 Articles View all      

Co-owner at Bankless. Optimistic storyteller of frontier technology.

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