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The 5 Archetypes of Bitcoin Hype

We’re going to go through the 5 kinds of people you’ll hear from next time Bitcoin goes on a bull run.


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Graham Sahagian

3 years ago | 4 min read

Every time Bitcoin goes on one of its, now infamous, bull-runs, online communities, bloggers, and media outlets across the world frantically publish stories to cache in on the hype or to give their 2 cents on the digital currency.

These discussions are marked by the same few critiques, predictions, and stories — so much so that each of them, have sort of become a meme in the community. We’re going to go through the 5 kinds of people you’ll hear from next time Bitcoin goes on a bull run.

1. “The Bubble Boys” (or girls)

This is probably the most common trope we see in the media — whenever Bitcoin hits a new ATH, you’ll see everyone crying ‘bubble’ this or ‘it’s going to pop’ that — as if Bitcoin is the only speculative asset to experience seemingly illogical, feverish bull market swings. Speculative asset prices can often be illogical, lacking a fundamental basis.

This is, of course, because human behavior is illogical. It’s sort of a Catch-22, because if illogical human behavior dictates a high-price point, then is that high price point really illogical? If the prices came down in a few days or weeks, the answer would be a resounding yes.

But if this surge, spurred on by illogical human buying patterns, created a positive feedback loop that consolidated said asset at this higher price point — is that really a ‘bubble’? But I digress.

another bubble claim

Legacy finance-bros and mainstream media like to shout ‘BUBBLE!” whenever Bitcoin shoots up in price because they can’t find the reason behind the “Why?”. They then proceed to (semi-)baselessly flame investors of the digital currency for their ignorance and sheep-like behavior (how ironic).

2. “The McAfees”

This hilarious trope, although less ubiquitous, pops up every now-and-again in discussions of Bitcoin. A ‘McAfee’ is a person who swears Bitcoin will hit some astronomical number by some date that’s way too close to now.

The trope’s name, of course, comes from John McAfee, who (in)famously promised to “eat [his] own dick” if Bitcoin did not hit $1mn by December 31st, 2020.

Well, it’s 2021, ‘The Dickening” has finally elapsed and John McAfee’s dick awaits reckoning. Although the trope’s titular anti-hero has found himself between a rock and eating his own dick, “The McAfee” still lives on with Bitcoin. Watch out for them next time Bitcoin hits a bull run.

The Dickening begins…

3. “The FOMOngers”

The ‘everyman’. The underdog. The fool. Perhaps the most diverse group of individuals, any Bitcoin investor has felt the all-too-familiar FOMO at some point.

This group of naive investors and bloggers try to board the hype train a bit too late and end up hopping on just as the train reaches its destination. You really can’t blame “The FOMOngers”, they had heard about Bitcoin before but get enthralled in the hype at the wrong time. We’ve all been here at some point, it's only natural.

That’s why this demographic is my favorite and the least obtuse of the bunch. They keep an open mind and have a healthy curiosity. The dangerous part is when this FOMO manifests itself in refinancing your house or selling your car to place a wall-street bet on Bitcoin.

4. “The Oracles” (or “The Chosen Ones”)

Here we go. These guys again. Everyone knows a guy who knows a guy who had a hunch about Bitcoin; maybe they actually read the white paper — maybe they understood cryptography or believed in the power of DLT. Regardless, they’re likely rich now.

“The Oracles” are computer nerds who probably used their school’s computer’s to secretly mine Bitcoin before the age of ASICs and increased block difficulty.

“The Chosen Ones” represent another form of this trope, characterized by the fact that they never bought any Bitcoin but rather were paid in Bitcoin.

They offhandedly accepted this digital currency when they sold some old headphones on Craiglist or a couple of pizzas. Now the internet won’t stop reminding you.

5. “The Lost Boys

Without a doubt, the most tragic character in the lineup. This group of individuals, through some series of unfortunate events, ended up losing their private Bitcoin key. If you didn’t know, your private key, a series of letters and numbers, stores your Bitcoin holdings.

As a human, you’d have to write this key down to remember it. If you lose the piece of paper you wrote it on, or the notepad document you wrote it on (don’t write your key on a notepad file, please… ) then your Bitcoin is lost to the nether forever.

“The Lost Boys” will never claim their cache of untapped wealth and thus will aimlessly walk the Earth in a perpetual state of non-filthy-richness.

Did I Miss Any?

This wasn’t an exhaustive list by any means. I’m curious to see what other people think of these 5 tropes and if there are any significant ones I may have missed.

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