During Recessions, Cash is King - Where Does Crypto Fit In?

During recessionary economies, the money-classes that take the biggest hits are usually assets - stocks, real-estate, speculative assets, which, yes, also includes NFTs. As they say, during tough times, "cash is king". As we get deeper into it, we're going to see a big shift in the way people use and talk about their money.

For crypto investors out there (or anyone in general who wants to prepare themselves for the new era that's about to unfold) the things to keep in mind are:

- Asset ownership tends to skew upwards in the income bracket, which means that there will be lots of doom-and-gloom narratives coming from the top. For most people a "market crash" will be a good thing (better than getting priced out by inflation, anyway), and the result will be that the top earners will have slightly less money in relation to the bottom, evening the "playing field" so to speak.

Take everything you read with a grain of salt, either way.

- Cryptocurrencies are in an interesting position where they're able to function both as assets AND cash - even legally, the definition of where the technology lies in regards to the two is still unclear. But we see that some coins tend to "lean" towards one end of the spectrum more than the other. Bitcoin is largely classified as an asset ("store-of-value"), Ethereum is the former trying to move towards the latter (the "merge", "sharding"), though the fate of the latter is still unclear.

Dogecoin, on the other hand, may actually see a bump in interest due to the fact that it's currently treated more as cash than an asset. (The chain also has plans on moving towards Proof-of-Stake, though the timeline is still unclear.) If cash is king, the loveable Shiba Inu mascot may, in fact, be the one to dethrone King Bitcoin sitting at the top.

- The strategy for most investors during recessionary times will switch from "beating" inflation to "keeping up" with inflation - inflation will naturally drop as interest rates rise, eventually reaching an equilibrium. This presents an opportunity for coins that offer reliable staking rewards since they're currently beating the banks by a very large margin right now. (Some banks are still stuck at 0, for the record.) The average person is likely to benefit from this transition in the long run in the form of cheaper goods. (Especially for essentials, which are obviously out of control right now.)

- The 0 interest rate decade-long experiment in the US economy is about to come to an end, having peaked during the COVID era where money-printing and cheap loans became at an all-time-high. (Some would describe it as the "apocalypse economy", but that's for another discussion altogether.) Many "Web3" startups of last year were part of that cash grab, and will likely run out of runway in 2023-24. (If you're having second thoughts about the "investments" you made last year, the time to get out would probably be now, in other words.)

- As interest rates rise, it will get exponentially harder to raise money, even for Web3 projects. CEOs and founders will be chosen for their ability to generate revenue and turn a profit, rather than their marketing and fundraising skills. (The current crop of "thought leaders" we see in public today are a result of the low-interest "casino economy" we had over this past decade.) We're likely going to see a dramatic shift in the way people talk about startups in general, cryptocurrency projects included.

- Higher interest rates will encourage people to save rather than spend, which will also change the focus of the types of products and services that companies and startups start to offer to the general public. The economy having been in overconsumption mode for so long, this will be a big adjustment for most people out there.


Long story short, there will still be ways to "come out ahead" even during recessions, but the benefits will be more complex than seeing the numbers in your bank account simply going up. It's more that you're losing less money relative to everything else, which, in turn, increases your purchasing power overall. (If you're making the same money but rent gets cut in half, for example, you're still "winning".)

I still do believe that in the long run the recession will be a good thing for most people, and that the economy will come out stronger after the dust eventually settles. The path to getting there, though, will be a rough one no matter how you put it. Good luck folks. 🤞


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