The Bitcoin Bear Market Diaries are a series of interviews featuring various important voices and perspectives in the Bitcoin ecosystem. Each interviewee was carefully selected and asked the same group of questions. The main goal was to provide the world with a collection of commentary and opinions on the state of the current Bitcoin and crypto market. Some of the names you will recognize while others don’t wish for the limelight but have great insight and experience we all can learn from.
These interviews are raw and unfiltered with no agenda other than giving each individual their opportunity to speak their mind. If you like what you see, please share with your friends. If something offends you, you should probably X out and find another crypto fluff piece that gives you warm fuzzies.
Matt B is an Irish Bitcoin researcher and writer with a law degree. Most likely you have read some of his articles in various publications over the last few years. Matt writes about all cryptocurrencies, but his heart is with Bitcoin which makes his perspective interesting.
How do people know you?
@MattoshiN on Twitter/Medium
How long have you been into Bitcoin?
As a passing interest, probably around about 2014. All in since 2016.
Best Bitcoin experience?
Getting a node up and running for the first time and cackling at my newfound financial sovereignty.
Worst Bitcoin experience?
Locking myself out of a hardware wallet with no way to recover funds.
What do you think is Bitcoin’s biggest threat?
In these (relatively early) stages, a state-sponsored attack could set us back considerably. I’d say either that, or people finally waking up to the fact that Dentacoin is a vastly superior system.
What are your thoughts on the various Bitcoin forks?
What are you optimistic about in this space?
The infrastructure cropping up around the Lightning Network and the improvements to privacy on the horizon. Another area that’s come a long way recently that I’m excited about is the use of alternative networks (radio, mesh, satellites) to propagate transactions/blocks without reliance on an internet connection.
Biggest regret during the last bull market?
Shilling Bitcoin to Uber drivers after a night out.
What have you learned during the current bear market?
As cliché as it sounds, that most are in it for the tech. My non-Bitcoin clients are falling off the radar, while everyone I know in Bitcoin seems to be building something or other.
Honey badger truly don’t care.
What is the biggest fail you have seen during the bear market?
The ‘hash war’ between two altcoins fighting for relevance. That said, it made for great entertainment.
What do you think helped trigger the current bear market?
In my opinion, FOMO and ICO mania created a positive feedback loop. I don’t think the masses realised that they were buying into ‘pay-to-play’ databases for the most part, which certainly helped to prop up the valuation of even the most dismal projects.
What kind of damage do you think latest price drop has done to buyer sentiment?
My friends that wanted to buy in towards the top have now seemingly forgotten about the ‘dead’ Bitcoin project. Evidently, the demand is waning a bit, but I’m noticing an uptick in newcomers on social media — I think that once you understand the value proposition, the price has little effect if you’re investing sensibly and makes sense as a long-term investment.
How do you feel about the current state and future of lightning network?
It’s incredible. I started experimenting with it just under a year ago, and even then the UX left much to be desired. Fast forward to today and you have a myriad of different wallets, plug and play nodes and other improvements that make it all the easier for the less tech-savvy to jump in.
I’m really optimistic about the role BTCPay Server will play, not just in transforming e-commerce but in opening up new monetisation methods for content creators.
What are your thoughts on HODLing Bitcoin?
If you’re not earning in BTC, it’s probably a wise move if you believe in the long-term viability of the protocol. I make the bulk of my income in it, so I end up cashing out or spending most where I can. I just take from it that saving = good, no matter what you’re saving.
What are your thoughts on alt-coins?
I hope they don’t revoke my maximalist license, because I like privacy coins (though I’m doubtful as to their shelf life). I see very little utility in any others.
Do you hold any? If not, why?
I have one or two others, albeit in nominal amounts.
What kind of impact do you think the radical drop in alt-coins will have on their future?
Depends on the coin — some just get abandoned, while others weather the storm. One thing is clear, though, and that’s that they’re all dependent on the Bitcoin price.
Thoughts on the notion of bitcoinization?
Only a matter of time!
What Bitcoin startups are you excited about?
Azteco, FastBitcoins, Samourai Wallet, Zksnacks, Bitrefill and CoinKite.
What “crypto influencers” do you think get it wrong and why?
I wouldn’t like to name names, but I will say there are far too many that inevitably make their way to my Twitter feed.
What “crypto influencer” do you think get it right and why?
To be honest, I don’t understand why Andreas Antonopoulos gets so much flak (even though I don’t particularly care for Ethereum myself). He has been, without question, the most comprehensive source of information on Bitcoin for me.
Aside from him, it’s hard to top the indomitable Pirate Beachbum when it comes to A-grade content!
What’s it going to take for this bear market to turn around?
Some coins are still grossly overvalued, but I’m not sure we’ll see them disappear with this cycle. I think advances in Lightning may be the catalyst to set the bull free this time around.
How bullish are you on Bitcoin despite this recent pullback?
More so than ever.
Any tips you want to give to people new to Bitcoin?
Don’t waste time with every ‘Better Bitcoin’ that comes out, don’t invest more than you can afford to use, hold your own keys and read Mastering Bitcoin and The Bitcoin Standard. Join the conversation on Twitter.
Best tips for storing Bitcoin?
Use more than one hardware wallet so as not to keep all your funds in the wrong place — I recommend Ledger, Trezor and ShiftCrypto’s BitBox.
Name some of your favorite information sources and/or podcasts in the space.
Stephan Livera is absolutely killing it these days and Hasu has some fantastic pieces on Medium. BlockDigest is great, too.
Anything by Kyle Torpey is always top-notch (I’d also recommend following a bot he created, @cryptoretreats, which posts news on privacy and Bitcoin).
Any last words of wisdom?
When in doubt about OPSEC, just listen to Biggie’s Ten Crack Commandments.