Hackernoon logoBitcoin Bear Market Diaries Volume 5 John Carvalho by@piratebeachbum

Bitcoin Bear Market Diaries Volume 5 John Carvalho

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@piratebeachbumPirate Beachbum

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.

John Carvalho or @BitcoinErrorLog is an outspoken OG Bitcoiner who once debated Roger Ver in the notorious middle-finger video where Roger melts down and rage quits the debate. John has an interesting perspective and is never shy about voicing his opinions.


John Carvalho


Portuguese American living in Romania, working for a company in Sweden

How do people know you?

Depends when you got here, I suppose. Some know me from Whale Club, some from Twitter, some from my video interview with Roger Ver, some from my work on Xotika or Bitrefill and some from Bitcoin Meetups I host, etc.

How long have you been into Bitcoin?

74 long months that went by really quickly.

Best Bitcoin experience?

I have a lot to choose from, but I guess I have to say the days (and memes) following the infamous Roger Ver middle-finger interview. Lately I really feel good when people privately thank me for helping or defending Bitcoin. I’m also inspired every work day by all of potential I see while working with Bitrefill.

Worst Bitcoin experience?

I have a lot to choose from, but I guess I’d say when I traded full-time. That shit will kill you, whether you are profiting or losing. Dear readers, stop trading, start providing more than liquidity.

What do you think is Bitcoin’s biggest threat?

Probably buggy code. I know it’s not a popular sentiment, but we really should be treating every code “upgrade” as an attack on Bitcoin and be more careful with updating to the latest software available, even when it comes from reputable developers.

What are your thoughts on the various Bitcoin forks?

They are all people scamming others or scamming themselves. Purely. It was a cute iteration of older scams like pre-mines and centralized altcoins, but in the end, they are just market-distorting distractions. Maybe hard forks will become interesting if someone can design a way to migrate a whole network of value programmatically.

What are you optimistic about in this space?

Bitcoin’s power to correct all behavior that is inefficient in its regard. It might seem like I spend a lot of time defending it, or “worrying” about Bitcoin stuff, but I really do take comfort in seeing things eventually unfold as they should under the incentive design. It’s a real phenomenon.

Biggest regret during the last bull market?

Living off of Bitcoin instead of earning it.

What have you learned during the current bear market?

To trust my experience with the previous cycles. To focus on my career and ignore the price. My new view is that Bitcoin is always worth its all-time-high price. You just have to be financially secure enough to wait for it.

What is the biggest fail you have seen during the bear market?

Traders trading, particularly those that got attached to picking bottoms on altcoins.

What do you think helped trigger the current bear market?

The inefficiency of information propagation. I could be more specific and say things like “ICOs investing in ICOs” or “greed”, but mostly it comes from ignorance, I think.

What kind of damage do you think latest price drop has done to buyer sentiment?

The same as it always does. People are the most interested in buying at the top, and the most interested in selling at the bottom. Really it’s just a cycle and people should have better strategies than trying to pick tops and bottoms. The damage hits people the hardest when they are overexposed.

How do you feel about the current state and future of lightning network?

I am super excited about it, truly. Working on Bitrefill.com and seeing what we have planned really makes me stoked about the coming years. The people dismissing it and biding their time to integrate will probably regret it. People are severely underestimating what the LN can facilitate, and I intend to take part of demonstrating examples of what is possible.

What are your thoughts on HODLing Bitcoin?

It’s the best way to save on the planet, but you do have to live your life and that does mean earening & spending value as appropriate. Ask not what Bitcoin can do for you, ask what you can do for Bitcoin.

What are you thoughts on alt-coins?

The best I can say about them is they are at least a better way to gamble than most options in a casino. The worst I can say is they are total distraction and delaying the world from access to sound money by wasting billions in resources and gambling losses.

Do you hold any? If not, why?

No. I prefer to add value to the world, not to spend my time pressing my luck.

What kind of impact do you think the radical drop in alt-coins will have on their future?

I think each Bitcoin bull market will make it harder and harder to pick winners, and that people will eventually associate altcoining similarly to gambling.

Thoughts on the notion of bitcoinization?

I think I’ll probably be dead before Bitcoin has any chance of being the primary money of the world, but that it’s still a sound theory to ride.

What Bitcoin startups are you excited about?

Bitrefill, of course. I’ve never been more excited about a Bitcoin company than this one. I really hope I get to see all of our crazy ideas come to life.

What “crypto influencers” do you think get it wrong and why?

They all do sometimes. As humans we get overconfident or lazy sometimes. I make an effort to keep my chops up in various ways, but it is hard to keep up with all of the facets of Bitcoin. All we can do is try to zoom out and be humble as best we can. The ones that lack humility, morality, etc, they end up stuck with shitty tribes and losing their signal amplification where it counts.

What “crypto influencer” do you think gets it right and why?

I can’t think of any single one that I’d point you to without a disclaimer. I’m more interested in current events and trends and topics than any specific people. What’s important or interesting emerges if you curate your inputs well.

What’s it going to take for this bear market to turn around?

Time. I’d say capitulation, but I’m not so sure we’ll get that in any obvious way this time.

How bullish are you on Bitcoin despite this recent pullback.

I think Bitcoin is always worth at least its all-time-high price. So I guess going from $3000 to $20000 makes me pretty bullish!

Any tips you want to give to people new to Bitcoin?

Be skeptical of everyone, and don’t fancy yourself a trader unless you already were one before you came to Bitcoin.

Best tips for storing Bitcoin?

Be a moving target. Don’t be lazy. Double check your backup methods.

Name some of your favorite information sources and/or podcasts in the space.

My current favorite is What Bitcoin Did by Peter McCormack. I love that he is a former noob and going through all the conflicts of becoming a Bitcoin OG while surrounded by Shitcoiners.

Any last words of wisdom?

Get a job in the Bitcoin world. You’ll love it and it’ll set you up really well for the new paradigm.

Stay tuned for the next Bear Market Bitcoin Diaries. You can find more volumes and articles here!


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