Bitcoin Editor at Large
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 Odell is a tried and true Bitcoiner and has been in the game since 2013. Most people know him as CoHost of the Rabbit Hole Recap on the Tales from the Crypt podcast. Matt is one of those guys with a wealth of practical Bitcoin knowledge and experience that everyone can learn from.
How do people know you?
How long have you been into Bitcoin?
Discovered it in 2012 — thought it could never work. Realized I was wrong in 2013 — never looked back.
Best Bitcoin experience?
Bitcoiners are awesome.
Worst Bitcoin experience?
I should have bought more.
What do you think is Bitcoin’s biggest threat?
The US government, but I’m growing increasingly convinced they don’t have the willpower or awareness to take Bitcoin down. Every day they don’t it becomes much more difficult. The only two other governments that could reasonably have a shot at fatally crippling Bitcoin are China and Russia and both seem to have more to gain by letting it play out. It would be hard to effectively enforce anything without global collaboration which seems increasingly unlikely.
Also a massive solar flare would be pretty bad, but the traditional financial system would get rekt as well.
What are your thoughts on the various Bitcoin forks?
Generally speaking, forks without a premine that maintain the most recent bitcoin utxo set are a good thing. People shouldn’t be afraid of forks. They are a key aspect of bitcoin’s ability to upgrade through rough consensus and game theory. In general, chains that use bitcoin’s current utxo set should be encouraged. They are a net benefit for bitcoin holders who have the option whether to sell or hold either chain. The only reason it isn’t more common is because devs can make a lot more money starting with a fresh chain and/or premine.
Once a fork occurs, the market (users) will dictate which chain has more value to them. This process could last days or weeks; shorter if there are liquid futures markets ahead of time, but once a month or two have passed, it will become absolutely clear which chain is the dominant one. The incumbent chain is heavily favored in these situations since bitcoin is extremely resistant to change by design — a feature not a bug. If it were easy to change, then attack vectors could be introduced by malicious or inept actors easily, jeopardizing the whole system. Failed minority forks — including bch, bchsv, btg — will trend to zero over time because they will always be at risk of having a new fork of the dominant chain poach their market positioning. For example, a new fork of bitcoin with a larger block size/weight would probably be valued higher than Bitcoin Cash.
What are you optimistic about in this space?
Lightning is progressing way faster than I expected. More user friendly privacy tools such as Wasabi Wallet and soon Whirlpool by the Samourai team. Schnorr in 2020. More user friendly non-custodial multisig options coming to the market. Hardware nodes and the ability to easily connect them to your hardware wallets and phone will lead to many more full node operators over the next few years. Bitcoin “cash back” rewards from Lolli, Square, and others will introduce millions of new users to bitcoin.
Biggest regret during the last Bull market?
Next time the Mayer Multiple is over 4 I’m taking some profits and buying a ranch with a dope podcast studio.
What have you learned during the current bear market?
The same narratives are going to play out every cycle with some new ones mixed in. Think mining death spiral, fees are too low so a tail emission will be needed, bitcoin is tulips, halving is priced in, etc. On a more positive note, bear markets are the best time to focus and learn more about bitcoin. I have doubled down on my efforts to help others, as well as diving head first into lightning.
What is the biggest fail you have seen during the bear market?
Pham and the whole SV crew. They’ve lost the plot.
What do you think helped trigger the current bear market?
It’s just bitcoin being bitcoin. The first truly scarce asset the world has ever seen going through its adoption phase results in boom and bust cycles. The price should trend up over time and volatility should trend down as adoption — and therefore liquidity — increases.
What kind of damage do you think latest price drop has done to buyer sentiment?
We have a new class of hardened bitcoiners ready to drive bitcoin into the next bull cycle. Human psychology is fascinating, few come in at bottoms, most come in during bull run euphoria near the top, lose a bunch of money, and then sell for major losses. The few that stick around prep the next cycle with existing bitcoiners through the halving. And it repeats.
How do you feel about the current state and future of lightning network?
It has beaten all my expectations so far. I am incredibly impressed by the work of the community and more optimistic than I have ever been.
What are your thoughts on HODLing Bitcoin?
Most people suck at trading. 95% of people are better off dollar cost averaging with money they are comfortable losing — money they can live without if the worst case scenarios happen. Otherwise it’s easy to get sucked into fomo buying and panic selling. HODL comes with the added benefit of not relying on trusted third parties, storing bitcoin on exchanges is a risk traders take on but hodlers can avoid. Last but not least, when you need bitcoin it may be hard to obtain — especially at a reasonable price. I think if someone truly understands the value prop of bitcoin, they would never go full fiat, even in a bear market.
What are you thoughts on alt-coins?
Altcoins aren’t a threat to bitcoin — they are a threat to uneducated users who choose to speculate on them and end up losing their shirts. Alts are essentially a free market bug bounty program. The best ideas will be merged into bitcoin. The failed ideas will be ignored with real world examples showing why.
Do you hold any? If not, why?
There’s nothing wrong with trading alts for more bitcoin. Alt-coin traders who measure their profits in bitcoin, are bitcoiners in the truest sense of the word. That said, shilling alts to the general public through the use of false claims, promises, and straight up lies is extremely unethical. The overwhelming majority of people are better off focusing on stacking sats than trading alts. Altcoin markets are brutal.
What kind of impact do you think the radical drop in alt coins will have on their future.
Alts aren’t going anywhere. There’s too much incentive to keep creating new chains. Most alts will trend to zero in bitcoin terms long term, some will survive longer than others, new ones will be created, and the cycle continues. There will be many different cryptocurrencies & tokens in our future, but most will fail due to intense competition. Just look at the top 10 list from last cycle, it looked completely different than this cycle. Bitcoin will back the whole system as a reserve currency / store of value / immutable ledger. Its chain the most secure with trust minimized swaps connecting it all. Altchains will effectively become unpegged side chains with a utility token.
Thoughts on the notion of bitcoinization?
There are few things more powerful than free speech and sound money.
What Bitcoin startups are you excited about?
ZkSnacks, Samourai, Nodl, Casa, Unchained Cap, Lolli, Lightning Labs, ACINQ, Blockstream, OpenNode, Trezor, Coinkite, Zap, Joule, Bitrefill, Koala Studios, Bisq, GoTenna. Special mention to Square, although no longer a startup, their bitcoin push is a big deal.
What “crypto influencers” do you think get it wrong and why?
90%. Some are legitimately confused, but there’s a special place in hell for the ones who know what they are doing and intentionally mislead their followers. Too many to list so I’ll just stick to three: Emin, Rhett, Tiffany Hayden.
What “crypto influencers” do you think get it right and why?
Nobody is perfect, myself included, but if you follow me on twitter, it should become pretty obvious who has earned my respect. Also the term “crypto influencer” should die.
What’s it going to take for this bear market to turn around?
How bullish are you on Bitcoin despite this recent pullback.
This is the most bullish bear market there has ever been.
Any tips you want to give to people new to Bitcoin?
This community is extremely welcoming and many of us are happy to help. Stay humble and don’t overextend yourself. Always be skeptical. You have to look out for yourself or you will get burned. I have a twitter thread for newcomers here.
Best tips for storing Bitcoin?
Not your keys, not your coins. Use multiple methods. Keep it simple, yet creative. Adapt your setup to your needs. Start with a hardware wallet from trezor, ledger, or coldcard, get comfortable storing and interacting with your own keys, then graduate to cold storage for the majority of your funds. A solid guide for cold storage is here.
Name some of your favorite information sources and/or podcasts in the space.
Twitter can be extremely useful. The hard part is learning how to cut out useless noise.
I make sure to listen to every episode of these podcasts: Noded Podcast, Stephan Livera Podcast, Block Digest, Reckless Review. I listen to most episodes of these podcasts: What Bitcoin Did, Crypto Voices.
Some solid websites: bitcoin.page, theblockcrypto.com, bitcoinmagazine.com, coinmetrics.io, bitcoinacks.com, onchainfx.com, oxt.me, blockstream.info, fork.lol, mempool.space, jochen-hoenicke.de/queue/#0,30d, coin.dance, 1ml.com.
Some sites you should avoid: bitcoin.com, ccn.com, bitcoinist.com, newsbtc.com, blockchain.com
Any last words of wisdom?
Stay humble. Stack Sats.