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Bitcoin Bear Market Diaries 2022: Volume 4 with Mandrik
How do people know you?
I sold baklava for bitcoin in 2011, and that led to me meeting new people and working in the industry from 2012-2018. Lately, I’ve been going to Bitcoin conferences and handing out free baklava as a fun way to share a piece of Bitcoin history. I also shitpost & share meat pics on Twitter.
How long have you been into Bitcoin?
11 years this winter.
How many Bitcon market cycles have you been through?
I came into Bitcoin during the bear market of winter 2011. When I got my first sats the price was around $5, down from the $30 summer high. Actually, we just called them “bitcoins” back then, not sats. But yeah, I’ve been through every cycle since.
What are you optimistic about in this space despite the current state of the market?
I think Bitcoin will face many challenges in the future. There is no doubt about that. I’m optimistic that making major changes on the protocol level is getting more and more difficult. It’s a double edged sword, since some updates are needed, but I can’t see a future where Bitcoin is co-opted by Proof of Stake supporters or something else equally nefarious.
We have to remain vigilant, but I’m optimistic.
What tips do you have to those who are new to this or who might be upside down?
It gets easier with time. Also, I’ve been there. In April 2013 I YOLOed my meager 401k on MtGox at $130/btc. Then I watched the price plummet to $60. It hurt A LOT, but I embraced the pain.
I kept stacking, and that’s what I recommend - keep stacking. Focus less on price and more on fundamentals. Zoom out. Get a hobby to distract yourself. Work out a lot. Do whatever you need to do to make sure you don’t stop stacking. Otherwise you’ll regret it down the road.
Biggest regret during the last bull market?
I think I was fairly grounded during the whole thing. I never bought into the supercycle hype. I assumed we’d have a bear market. The main thing I was very wrong on was $100k+ btc price. I assumed we’d have another parabolic spike like always before the inevitable crash. It never happened.
Going forward, I’m not going to pretend like I know what’s going to happen during a bull market (or a bear market!)
What have you learned so far in this bear market?
How to fly a plane! I started flight school in May of this year, and it has become an obsession. I have class 4-5 times a week and spend my time on the ground wishing I was flying.
That may not seem related to Bitcoin, but in a way it is. Recently I started to feel less interested in the daily stuff happening in the bitcoin world. That’s a new feeling for me. I’m also an action junkie, and right now the action is less intense. So I decided to take up a challenging, scary, and fun hobby.
What is the biggest fail you have seen during the last bull cycle?
In Bitcoin I’d say the supercycle hype. People promoting Bitcoin going up forever vs USD like it was destined to happen. They were obviously very wrong, at least on the short term.
What do you think helped trigger the current bear market?
Overleveraged shitcoins and scams like Luna. People will never learn-we’ll see this type of thing again in the future.
Who were the biggest scammers exposed during this last market meltdown?
Do Kwon is up there for sure, but I’ll always consider governments to be the biggest scammers of all times in all markets.
What kind of damage do you think the latest price drop has done to buyer sentiment?
The cycle will continue. People will lose hope, have despair, and sell at a loss. Then the regret will kick in when Bitcoin price climbs out of the ashes. It’s hard to measure exactly how damaging this is on a large scale, but I don’t think it damages Bitcoin fundamentally.
What is it going to take to turn this around?
Time. I’m thinking we’re in for a 2+ year bear market, but I can’t know for sure. That’s what I’m preparing for.
What type of carnage do you expect to see in Bitcoin startups?
I’m not sure! I suspect many will be fine, but it’s hard to say without being personally involved with any. I would think the ones that have been around the longest would be prepared for a bear market, but you never know.
What are your tips for HODLing Bitcoin through downturns?
Stay busy, stay humble, stack sats, and HODL.
How do you feel about alt-coins and NFT’s?
I don’t feel anything and waste as little time as possible thinking about them.
What kind of impact do you think the radical drop in alt-coins and NFT’s will have on their future?
New shitcoins and scams will emerge, and new suckers will be there to throw their money at them. I don’t see that ever changing.
What do you think about shitcoins like Luna, Celsus, etc imploding?
I get no pleasure out of these things imploding. I don’t want to see people lose lots of money, but we’re adults. We make decisions with our money and need to prepare for the consequences.
What is your take on Blockfi’s business model in trouble being acquired by FTX?
I don’t have much of a take here. It’s so far off my radar. I pay very little attention to these types of businesses. I did have some friends ask me about using BlockFi last year, and I strongly advised against it.
What is the best way to accumulate Bitcoin during a down market?
What I always did was earn 100% of my income in Bitcoin and live below my means. This way I had to sell as little as possible and was able to stack the maximum number of sats.
Maybe this is reckless for some, but it worked for me. When the price dropped I always thought of it as a raise since I ended up earning more sats for my labor.
How bullish are you on Bitcoin despite this recent pullback?
Has anything major changed on the protocol level? Are blocks still being found about every 10 minutes? As long as Bitcoin keeps operating nothing has changed in my mind. I’m more bullish than ever.
Any tips you want to give to people new to Bitcoin?
Have fun! Ride the market up and down, feel the panic, but don’t let it control you. I know it’s cliche, but price isn’t everything. Meet other bitcoiners. Work on your security practices and, make sure to self-custody your bitcoin!
Any last words of wisdom?
Expand your time preference. Bitcoin will be multi-generational. Things may not happen in the time frame you expect them to, while others may happen faster than anyone could have imagined. Stack sats for your children’s children’s children and beyond.
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