Crypto is in the doldrums. A Bloomberg Crypto article about the year after the FTX blowup paints a sad picture. A lot of people lost a lot of money during crypto winter. However, market crashes happen. Strong industries and strong companies recover and resume growth. The momentum for crypto seems to be going the other way. Roughly 19 out of 20 of more than 70,000 NFT collections are pretty much worthless. A lukewarm future is about the best that many see for crypto. We are reminded of Apple when it was so desperate that it accepted a $150 million bailout from Bill Gates and archrival Microsoft. Today we see Apple as the model for crypto’s future.
From Near Bankruptcy to Being a $2.5 Trillion Company
Years ago Business Insider published the Apple comeback story. This was long before Apple became a trillion dollar company. The story has to do with Steve Jobs. Jobs and Wozniak founded Apple and created the personal computer. After several years Jobs was forced out of Apple. Subsequently the company faded and found itself on the verge of bankruptcy. They brought Jobs back. The company had lost the creative and technological spark that initially made it great. When Steve Jobs came back the company created the iPod, the iPad, the iPhone, the Apple store, iTunes and turned cell phones into essential personal devices. Some may see this as a series of new inventions and products. We see it as a return to the original purpose of Apple. We think there is a lesson here that crypto can learn from.
What Was Crypto’s Original Purpose?
The first cryptocurrency was Bitcoin. The Financial Crisis inspired its creation in 2009. A system anchored in blockchain technology would allow for peer to peer money transfers without middlemen. This sort of decentralized system would provide a degree of financial privacy as well. Nobody at a bank could see what you were doing. Just like when Apple invented the personal computer, Bitcoin was a fresh idea that had a lot of value. Apple got in trouble because it kicked out the guy who understood the basic idea behind the personal computer and brought in business people interested only in milking profit out of the company. A similar thing happened in crypto as the dollar value of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies skyrocketed. While many crypto businesses devoted themselves to finding bona fide uses of crypto, others only sought to milk the system in order to get rich.
Don’t Be Too Proud to Accept Help
Rather than remaining apart from the traditional financial system, crypto and especially decentralized finance are going to become part of the bigger financial picture. Some in the crypto world are concerned that traditional financial entities are moving into the crypto realm. But these folks are also bringing experience and expertise that was too often sadly lacking in many of the crypto businesses that went under during crypto winter. When Steve Jobs came back to Apple he swallowed his pride and accepted a $150 million loan from his archrival Bill Gates and Microsoft. Microsoft got preferred shares of stock which they later sold for a handsome profit. The financial lifeline from Microsoft allowed Jobs and Apple to start a creative streak virtually unparalleled in tech history.
Let Technology Innovators Lead
Another lesson for the crypto world from the Apple story is that the folks in charge need to be those with technological savvy and not those who are jumping in when they see the chance to make a lot of money. The invention of the smart contract for decentralized finance adds value to the crypto world. So will governmental digital currencies. Our opinion is that when people come into the system solely to suck out profits it will fail. When folks invent useful and exciting things in the crypto world they will be following the example of Apple’s recovery and further growth.
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