Amid the carnage of the FTX drama, a moment of clarity illuminated the Twittersphere. Michael Saylor’s words were the signal in the noise resulting from the disastrous wreck of the train known without affection as “crypto”. Before we can truly appreciate his insights, we should first meditate on what makes this relationship dysfunctional or, in the context of couples therapy, a toxic relationship.
While many in the cryptocurrency industry were happily living their lives by seeing their relationship with money (trust, commitment, support, etc.) in a positive light, they were ignoring the warning signs that their relationship was far from healthy. . Of course, all good relationships have their ups and downs. Disagreements happen, but overall you share common goals and trust each other to have your best interests at heart. There is a certain level of expectation that your partner will support you, communicate openly and honestly, and refrain from controlling behaviors. Life in this way is liberating and you are generally able to thrive.
But what if one party doesn’t have your best interests at heart? What if they are dishonest? What if it becomes a disrespect scheme? What if they ignore your needs? Sure, you can hope for a change, but you still feel exhausted, stressed, anxious or depressed. Eventually, you want to get out. Your need for a positive and healthy relationship overwhelms the comfort of the known and current relationship. The first step is to admit that there is a problem. It is necessary to recognize the signs of a toxic relationship.
Signs Of A Toxic Relationship
When it comes to our relationship with money, support can be shown in many ways. One way we support each other is through the ability to trust that our counterpart has our best interests at heart. The overwhelming problem with the cryptocurrency sphere (defined here as anything other than Bitcoin) is that it is still largely based on an expectation of trust. Whether it’s FTX, Celsius, LUNA or the countless other scams and Ponzis that are sewn into the fabric of the cryptocurrency industry, it’s clear that having centralized entities controlling your value requires you to trust fallible seamstresses and their incentives. . It is as if trust falls; an exercise in which a person lets himself fall without trying to stop him, relying on his friends to catch them. How many times do you allow yourself to fall to the ground before losing confidence?
These recent fallout into cryptocurrencies continue to illuminate the dishonesty inherent in its DNA. Investors are fooled into a false sense of security in the relationship; it is a form of dishonest communication based on non-transparency and excessive trading leverage. Allowing humans to control money allows for controlling behaviors to be coded into the system, which leads to growing resentment in the relationship … The relationship is further strained when the toxic side puts their needs before yours. The needs of some CEOs often incentivize them to leverage customer trust for their own gain. This display of negative financial behaviors is becoming all too common in the cryptocurrency industry (again, entities not just Bitcoin). At some point, as my father would say, you have to separate the wheat from the chaff.
Steps to resolve a toxic relationship
The first step is to take responsibility. Not that you caused the situation itself, but that you recognize the situation you are in and start defending yourself. This can be done by investing in yourself. In the context of this article, that investment is education in Bitcoin as well as understanding the unintended consequences of adopting a “digital fiat” mentality present in all altcoins and centralized trading sectors. Once we move from blaming to understanding, we allow ourselves to begin to heal. The pain from recent developments will last for a while, but it is our responsibility not to dwell on the past but to move forward with compassion. The next step on the journey to healing is to allow yourself to be vulnerable again. This can be achieved by sharing your self-love with others; calmly and clearly explain the benefits of Bitcoin, self-custody and proof of reserves to friends and family.
People recovering from a toxic relationship can benefit from finding support. It is the author’s opinion that Bitcoiners should be that support structure. It is ironic that many Bitcoiners are known as the toxic ones when they are the ones trying to illuminate the toxicity inherent in the ecosystem. That said, a “I told you so” doesn’t help in the healing process. This is the time when we need to rise above and lead with compassion. We should keep a space in our heart and allow others time to heal and change.
There will be many who will not recover from a toxic relationship of this magnitude. While we can continue to educate from a place of humility, we need to remember that, “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.” Each will eventually heal in their own way at their own pace. Some may never learn. We’ve probably all had a friend who jumped from one toxic relationship to another. As much as you may want to help, they must first choose to help themselves. Even more, some people will continue to “hang around” with unhealthy cryptocurrency relationships. This is their prerogative. If a friend of ours wants to be part of the hookup culture, he’s on them. They have to face the consequences of sexually transmitted diseases and the like.
Regardless of the stocks of some exchanges or cryptocurrencies in general, we need to continue marrying the benefits of Bitcoin in a positive light. Tell them how the truth arises from a lack of trust. Demonstrate how effective decentralization leads to pure democracy. It sheds light on how immutability and permissionless systems enable a cooperative, free-flowing society. Michael Saylor has acutely recognized the toxicity we are allowing to proliferate through the perceived connection to cryptocurrencies. We must choose to move towards a bitcoin standard for ourselves, our friends and our family and ultimately for society to thrive.
This is a guest post by Tim Niemeyer. The views expressed are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC Inc or Bitcoin Magazine.