Bitcoin Editor at Large
The Bitcoin Bear Market Diaries are a series of interviews featuring various important voices and perspectives in the Bitcoin ecosystem. Each interviewee was carefully selected and asked the same group of questions. The main goal was to provide the world with a collection of commentary and opinions on the state of the current Bitcoin and crypto market. Some of the names you will recognize while others don’t wish for the limelight but have great insight and experience we all can learn from.
These interviews are raw and unfiltered with no agenda other than giving each individual their opportunity to speak their mind. If you like what you see, please share with your friends. If something offends you, you should probably X out and find another crypto fluff piece that gives you warm fuzzies.
Marty Bent is a long time Bitcoiner and is best known for his daily Bitcoin newsletter and podcast Tales from the Crypt that recently featured Twitter and Square Cofounder and CEO Jack Dorsey. Marty is an extremely knowledgable and articulate person that everyone should be paying attention to.
How do people know you?
Bitcoiners probably best know me from my daily newsletter about Bitcoin, Marty’s Ƀent, and my podcast, Tales from the Crypt, which includes an interview series with people interested in Bitcoin hosted by myself and a weekly topical news show called Rabbit Hole Recap that I co-host with Matt Odell.
How long have you been into Bitcoin?
Best Bitcoin experience?
That’s a hard one. To get cheesy, the best Bitcoin experience has been the journey it’s taken me on for many years now. Forcing me to question my beliefs about many things, pushing me into subjects I never thought I would explore, and introducing me to some of the smartest, most passionate people I have ever met in my life.
One particular experience of mine that still gives me goosebumps when I think about it was an “oh shit, this is crazy” moment I had while traveling. I budgeted very poorly and quickly ran through my allotted funds like a high time preference freak. Luckily, I acted preemptively, created a wallet, moved some BTC to it before leaving for my trip, and wrote the seed phrase down on the tiniest piece of paper. Stranded in a foreign land with no funds and in a pinch, I downloaded an Electrum wallet on a friend’s computer, used the seed from the tiny tear of paper to recover my wallet, and moved some funds to an account associated with a debit card I had for this specific emergency. I felt an incredible sense of security and power in that moment. Using 12 words to conjure money via software that is free and open to anyone in the world. That was MY money and only I could conjure it.
Worst Bitcoin experience?
Following David Seaman in the early days.
What do you think is Bitcoin’s biggest threat?
A solar flare.
What are your thoughts on the various Bitcoin forks?
Very uninteresting up to this point.
What are you optimistic about in this space?
I’m very optimistic about UX improvements in multisig wallets/schemes in the very near future. This has been a very unappreciated and under-adopted feature that a user(s) has when using Bitcoin and I believe the lack of adoption as been a UX problem up to this point. Vast improvements are on the way that will give Bitcoin users more certainty and peace of mind when holding bitcoin. Ultimately, this will make the “$5 wrench attack” less likely as potential attackers would be dissuaded from targeting users engaged in multisignature schemes.
Also, Schnorr signatures, as they will help provide material gains in efficiency, scalability and fungibility.
Biggest regret during the last bull market?
Getting caught up in the euphoria. It’s something you tell yourself you’re not going to do when we’re in the depths of the bear market (as we are now), but it’s hard not to get sucked into all the hype.
What have you learned during the current bear market?
There are a lot more people earnestly dedicated to helping Bitcoin succeed than I would have imagined. I was expecting many more people to be washed away with the price.
What is the biggest fail you have seen during the bear market?
People clinging to ideas + projects that the market has rejected.
What do you think helped trigger the current bear market?
Immaturity of the infrastructure, i.e., glitching of exchanges and mempool backup, compounded by overt scams and euphoria that wasn’t representative of the underlying fundamentals. Smart money saw this and took gains. Newer, overextended retail money experienced some volatility for the first time, panicked, and dumped. Likely locking in losses and precipitating the bear market.
What kind of damage do you think latest price drop has done to buyer sentiment?
It depends what someone bought. With that being said, there certainly hasn’t been enough damage to stop another retail-led rally. A string of green candles will cause people to develop amnesia real quick.
How do you feel about the current state and future of lightning network?
Cautiously optimistic. A lot further along than I thought it would ever be at this point. Though, most of the journey is still ahead of us though. There’s still a lot of things to test, implement, and battle harden.
What are your thoughts on HODLing Bitcoin?
I think it’s the logical thing to do if you believe Bitcoin has a chance at achieving its goal of providing the world with a distributed, peer-to-peer cash system.
What are you thoughts on alt-coins?
They are inevitable and provide cover and research for Bitcoin, but also lure in unsuspecting greater fools with siren calls of a “better Bitcoin”. They are a double edged sword.
Do you hold any? If not, why?
I do hold some privacy-focused alts, but they don’t make up a material percentage of my holdings and I am not as worried about Bitcoin’s fungibility issues as I was when I acquired them.
What kind of impact do you think the radical drop in alt-coins will have on their future?
For most, the same impact that has historically affected alts that experience a radical drop, zombie-fication that allows a new crop to enter and churn the “top” alts that follow in Bitcoin’s wake.
Thoughts on the notion of bitcoinization?
I think it’s happening. Slowly but surely. The number of people who are deciding to trade their work or fiat for BTC only seems to be increasing, precipitating bitcoinization at a slow pace, but a pace nonetheless. And even with that being said, the pace of bitcoinization is different depending on where you find yourself on this rock we call Earth.
What Bitcoin startups are you excited about?
Startups with a security focus, particularly around multisig custody. And gaming startups utilizing unique monetization paths enabled by BTC/LN.
What “crypto influencers” do you think get it wrong and why?
Those who take themselves too seriously and refuse to adapt their views in spite of overwhelming evidence that contradicts their position. Some people need more humility.
What “crypto influencer” do you think get it right and why?
I hate the phrase “crypto influencer”.
What’s it going to take for this bear market to turn around?
Green candles and forced adoption via survival + wealth preservation mode being enabled for some people in certain parts of the world.
How bullish are you on Bitcoin despite this recent pullback.
More bullish than I’ve ever been.
Any tips you want to give to people new to Bitcoin?
Make sure you understand the gravity that comes with a world in which Bitcoin succeeds. It is a disruptive force that could potentially be met by an opposing, coordinated force in the future. Be prepared for that reality. I believe wholeheartedly that Bitcoin will be a net positive for the world, but it will obsolete a lot of entrenched power in the process of accruing a massive amount of value, and that entrenched power may not be all too pleased about it.
Best tips for storing Bitcoin?
Practice. Diversify your holdings among multiple storage methods. Aim to develop a web of trust you can set up multisig schemes with to help protect yourself and your bitcoin.
Name some of your favorite information sources and/or podcasts in the space.
Twitter is my #1 source of information. I’ve been curating a list for years that provides me with a wealth of knowledge and links in a continuous stream.
Any last words of wisdom?
Don’t be afraid to join the fray.
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