Ian ✺ Profile picture
May 12 24 tweets 7 min read
1/ This week's events may become one of a few historic moments in crypto that not only ushers in a new protracted crypto bear market (12-18+ months)—but in time, leads to greater regulation, maturation, and ultimately the next (and even bigger) bull market.

Some insights...
2/ As a builder (@SyndicateDAO) and investor (@IDEOVC, @CitiVentures), I've been in crypto full-time for the last 8 years, since 2014.

To me, this is starting to have a very similar feeling to the breadth, scale, and impact that Mt Gox (2014) and ICOs (2017) had on the industry.
3/ As some may remember, the 18 months after Mt. Gox and ICOs were not fun.

People working on Bitcoin in 2014 were ridiculed. My bosses, peers, and friends said I should spend my time elsewhere. People I respected told me it was a 'career limiting move,' 'ponzi,' and 'tulips.'
4/ 2018 was very similar, but the jabs were a bit different. People still described the then crypto and blockchain industry as a 'ponzi,' but they also used terms like 'vaporware' and more sophisticated lines like "you don't need a blockchain, you can just use a database."
5/ VC funding dried up except at the seed stage. LP interest waned and concentrated into established firms like @a16z.

Valuations and round sizes were low. Teams were lean (3-10 ppl).

Fewer new startups were funded, many failed, and talent went elsewhere (AI/ML).

It was tough.
6/ 2014 and 2018 were like deserts: barren, grey, no easy ways out.

That's what a bear market feels like: when the easier thing to do is give up and leave entirely—and the harder thing to do is to (re)commit and keep building, not knowing when or how you'll make it out, if ever.
7/ But it was also in those times that our industry actually came back together, to work with and support one another, learn from each other, co-create, co-innovate, and ultimately grow up and succeed together.

The bear markets were some of my favorite years.
8/ Long held beliefs and assumptions were reevaluated. There was less dogmatism and fighting.

People became more open minded, humble, inclusive, creative, kind, caring, and helpful.

We focused on positive-sum outcomes for the industry, not just ourselves. wagmi was real.
9/ Both crypto bear markets also had a similar cycle:

Months 1-3: unwinding and stabilizing

Months 4-9: restructuring, refocusing, collaboration

Months 10-12: breakthrough discoveries

Months 13-18: new building and growth

Months 18+: new bull market (bigger than previous)
10/ What's non-obvious however is that knowledge and learning compounded continuously through the bear markets—and the people who exited in the first 3 months and came back in the next bull market missed out on 15 months of "earned secrets" that future unicorns were built around.
11/ For example, @ethereum @ledger @chainalysis @MakerDAO @Uniswap @opensea @falconxnetwork were founded during the 2014 and 2018 bear markets, and so many more were hard built through them.

And when the next bull market came, those teams had substantial capabilities and leads.
12/ They absorbed the users, demand, market, talent, and growth as they came back.

And the new founders or ones reentering the space had to catch up on 15+ months of learning, parse through the noise, and find differentiated (often narrower) wedges into the market.
13/ Regulation also reshaped the landscape, closing off some markets and opening new ones in the process.

They also led to new design patterns, principles, and disciplines in the areas of web3-native company, network, and community building that were difficult to learn and copy.
14/ I appreciate all of the builders (and investors) who remained steadfast and committed over the years through the bear markets to build what web3 is today.

We all know each other (directly or indirectly) and have a mutual respect for one another, even we disagree at times.
15/ There aren't many of us, but it grows with each bear.

Bull markets bring in incredible new talent—but it's the bear markets that show us who's in it for the right reasons and forge lasting relationships with the people who stick around.
16/ Adversity and bear markets are where you get to show the world who you really are. They're an opportunity for you to shine and grow.

It's a gift to take a stand, fight for something, and build what you believe in against the odds.

17/ If you're an entrepreneur, think longer-term, have deep conviction, cut out the noise, attack hard problems, focus on the right markets, and be principled, pragmatic, and efficient.

And stay well capitalized, ideally with investors who have built through the bears before.
18/ If you're a designer, engineer, lawyer, marketer, or builder in web3, join people, teams, projects, and companies who are in it for the right reasons, have deep conviction in their missions, and are working on hard problems.

The only way out is through. No shortcuts.
19/ For investors, bears are the best time to invest.

Lower valuations, less noise, more time to think, more time to work with founders, and more breakthrough innovations if you can find it.

Smart contracts, ERC-20, ERC-721, DAOs, and DeFi were all discovered during bears.
20/ While we still have a few months ahead for the market to unwind and work through new regulation, I can already see some pathways out of the bear months from now.

This bear is a bit different—unlike previous ones we have a lot more infrastructure, apps, users, and talent.
21/ First, regulation is coming. We hoped it wouldn't anytime soon, but it always was, and we now need to approach it in a mature, pragmatic, and principled way.

I believe this bear will finally reveal the pathways to get the best of both worlds: compliance + decentralization.
22/ Second, I believe the new standard for what it means to build a top web3 company will emerge during this bear. It'll take the best of web2 and web3 on all fronts: tech, team, ops, gtm, etc—and do what no web2 or web3 company can alone.

These startups will lead the next bull.
23/ Finally, like with previous versions of the web, we will see web3 finally converge multiple technologies like DeFi, NFTs, DAOs, etc. into integrated solutions, platforms, and networks that unlock higher order experiences and solve important problems together.
24/ The knowledge, expertise, capabilities, talent, partnerships, and funding to do these all well will be hard to learn, acquire, build.

But they will be learned and built in the next 18 months. Some of already are, and it's going to be amazing.

Brick by brick.


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More from @ianDAOs

Dec 31, 2021
Ten predictions on web3 in 2022:

1/ BTC breaks $100k. ETH breaks ATH.

But 2022 will be the year of the “alts” in terms of returns as the web3 narrative gains significant traction and true believers.
2/ DeFi (especially), NFT & DAO protocols get commoditized and fees race to zero. Value moves up the stack to the social layer.

New web3 projects combine DeFi, NFTs & DAOs together—and work together.

Social tokens become bigger than governance tokens as a construct.
Read 11 tweets
Apr 8, 2021
1/ 100% agree that DAOs in of themselves & decentralized governance are not “the thing”.

But the structural unfair advantages that “DAO tech” offers (especially when paired with DeFi) and the applications they can enable will be revolutionary, very, very soon.

Let me explain 👇
2/ Bitcoin, blockchains, crypto, DeFi & NFTs were all at one point misunderstood. Many of them are now well understood, but it’s important to remember they were once viewed very skeptically.

People now get DeFi. NFTs are getting there.

DAOs are still further behind IMO.

3/ Let’s take NFTs. They started over 3 years ago in 2017 with @CryptoKitties.

There was a boom, there was a bust, then we didn’t hear about them for years until recently. What changed?


DeFi infrastructure enabled things with NFTs that weren’t possible before.
Read 18 tweets
Mar 18, 2021
1/ Very excited to share that @WillPapper & I are launching @SyndicateDAO, a protocol & social network to democratize investing for all.

I will continue to be investing @IDEOVC (which led Syndicate's round) & am excited to continue to work with founders in my new combined role.
2/ In fact, because of what Syndicate is and enables, it's already led to many new relationships, collaborations & opportunities—I'm excited to continue investing at @IDEOVC & helping take the firm to new heights.

Especially since we believe Syndicate is the future of investing.
3/ I've been in crypto since 2014 and have dedicated my life & career to it because of its transformative potential to make our world more open, free, fair, equitable, democratic & meritocratic.

This passion is part of my life's quest to bring more equitableness to our society.
Read 38 tweets
Dec 30, 2020
1/ Crypto’s biggest potential impact to society is in sustainably distributing wealth, capital & ownership to a larger % of the world.

This is also its biggest risk: crypto can exacerbate inequality if it is not made accessible to everyone—especially those who need it most.
2/ Inequality is growing to unsustainable levels comparable to that in the early 1900s prior to WWI & the 1700s prior to the French Revolution & sweeping changes throughout Europe.

The top 1% (~80M people) now owns the same amount of capital as the remaining 99% (~7.9B people).
3/ Historically, there are only two solutions to extreme levels of inequality:

1. Revolution: Violence or war that leads to wealth redistribution to those who fought & won

2. Intervention: Political change that raises taxes on the rich & increases benefits to the poor
Read 13 tweets
Dec 5, 2020
How I learned Solidity programming in a month:

In April during lockdowns, I decided to invest in learning Solidity. Given that I haven't seriously coded beyond HTML in almost 20 years, it was daunting 😨

But it doesn't have to be hard or scary to get started.

Here's how 👇
1/ Latest Solidity Documentation

Here's all the latest dev stuff/updates to @ethereum Solidity. I search for things in here a lot when I'm trying to see how to do something very specific. Don't try to read this like a book. Just search for things in it.

2/ @udemy Solidity Course

For me this was really great and fun. Starts from first principles and teaches via real smart contract examples. It cost only $14.99 and I did it in 3 weeks very casually. You could do it in less than a week (I have a day job!).

Read 16 tweets
Dec 5, 2020
1/ IMO, @iearnfinance's DeFi Voltron is the most interesting in thing happening in DeFi right now. 🤔

Are these just friendly collaborations like anything else in crypto? Are several semi-closed DeFi Collectives starting to emerge?

A thread on what I call "DeFi Collectives" 👇
2/ Is it nothing to think about? Or could it be laddering up to something more profound in 2021 and beyond in DeFi?

One view is that it's an innocuous thing (which could be true, for now). Another is that it'll take competitive strategy and game theory in crypto to a new level.
3/ I wrote a lot about competitive strategy in DeFi this year when @SushiSwap vampire attacked @UniswapProtocol via a fast follower fork. Below is my piece in @BanklessHQ in September about Fork Defense Strategies in DeFi.

Read 12 tweets

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