Eumeh had a short winter break between the last two semesters of her grueling but enriching Master’s Degree program. She and her friend Sophie were studying macroeconomics with a specialty in decentralized finance. They were neck-deep in the craziness of crypto, so the chance to get neck-deep in some holiday fun sounded delightful.
They decided to visit a city on both of their winter bucket lists – Sapporo, Japan. Known for its skiing and the Sapporo Snow Festival, it was the home of the 1972 Winter Olympics. Eumeh had imagined as a child how special a visit would be, once she was old enough to take in the views, adventure the ski slopes, and savor the many tastes of the Sapporo Beer Museum. Oh yeah, she also imagined, after a day of skiing, snuggling up warm and cozy on a cold night while sipping Hokkaido Milk Tea.
She and Sophie were immersed at school and in their internships. Sapporo would be a great winter respite, both from the stress of graduate studies as well as the heaviness of the current “crypto winter.” While they tried not to talk about school and work, it finally caught up to them one night after exploring the slopes of Mt. Moiwa. Their flights and lodging had been booked using Travala.com, the world’s leading blockchain-based travel booking platform. Eumeh paid for the trip with TRX. The private vacation home they booked had a quaint kitchen, and Sophie had just prepared two cups of warm tea.
“I so love Hokkaido Milk Tea,” said Eumeh. “Can you believe we are drinking it in Sapporo?!?”
Sophie took a deep breath. “We needed this.”
After a bit of sweet, peaceful conversation, the topic turned to cryptocurrency. “I’m not sure how much more of this crypto winter I can take,” Eumeh admitted.
“Tell that to the OGs who weathered the crypto winter of 2014 and to the pioneers who braved the cold spell of 2018. March to May of 2020 was tough, too.” Sophie had recently written an in-depth comparison of the annual trends in the crypto market for the first draft of her final thesis.
“I know, I know. But 2022 has been brutal,” Eumeh reflected while holding her tea, warmly nestled in both of her hands. “My brother asked me recently why I seemed so introspective. I told him to ask ChatGPT what a “crypto winter” is.”
“Did he?” Sophie was curious.
“Yep. He texted me this.” Eumeh handed Sophie her phone.
Sophie read a recent message from Eumeh’s brother in their text thread:
A crypto winter is a period of time in the cryptocurrency market when prices are in a downward trend and there is a general lack of market activity or investor interest. This can be characterized by a decrease in the overall value of cryptocurrencies, a decrease in the number of transactions being conducted on the blockchain, and a decrease in the number of new projects being launched. It is called a “winter” metaphorically because it is seen as a cold and difficult time for the market.
“Apt and accurate. Well done, Artificial Intelligence,” Sophie responded with a smirk.
While Sophie had been reading the text, Eumeh pulled up her Twitter feed on her phone, like a comforting, reflexive habit. It had not been so comforting lately, though, and she had avoided doom-scrolling her crypto and DeFi feeds the whole trip. Until now. “Ryan Selkis just tweeted about it.”
This is the most frustrating crypto winter because of how many smart people pissed away businesses, reputations, and industry momentum to make a couple extra short-term dollars. I want to keep playing long-term games with long-term builders and clear the rest of the trash ASAP.
“Whoa. True. Needed to vent there it sounds like,” Sophie retorted.
“Ian Lee is always so insightful.” Eumeh appreciated him. “His recent post is so encouraging.”
This is my third crypto winter. The fundamentals are still there and things are 100x better now than in 2018. 10,000x better than 2014. Crypto and user-owned information systems and technologies are inevitable.
“He’s right. It’s inevitable.” Sophie was skilled at creative solutions and loved the crypto networks actually building user-friendly applications. “We just have to weather the winter. HODL, as they say. I wonder what the next crypto spring will bring?”
“Internet innovations? Big-tech battles? Wallet wars? Hopefully, no more exchanges will collapse. The ruling on Celsius is scary, too. Makes you want to read every word in user agreements. How in the world could they rule that people’s own money is not actually their own money?” Eumeh was trying to stay positive.
“Self-custody crypto wallets for coins and tokens are essential, no doubt.” There was a pause. “Hey, we know where this is going. Early adopters have to be both patient and productive, and we will win the long game.” Sophie could tell Eumeh was anxious, but her assuring words and kind eyes offered comfort and hope.
“For sure,” Eumeh gratefully replied. “I do believe cryptocurrency, decentralized finance, and blockchain tech will transform commerce, community, and culture. I’m here for it. And sticking with it. It’s just been a rough year. Thanks for the encouragement, though, Sophie.”
“The crypto springs that followed the previous crypto winters were unlike anything the finance world had seen before. Who knows really where it’s all going, but the shift is coming. And we will be ready!” Sophie always gave solid pep talks.
“Did I mention how much I love Hokkaido Milk Tea?” Eumeh took another sip. “Mmmmmm.”
“I think you mentioned that,” Sophie smiled. “You still want to go to the Historical Village of Hokkaido tomorrow?”
“Yeah, that would be great. Only two days left before we have to head back, so let’s make the most of them!” Eumeh’s spirits were lifted, encouraged to stay steadfast, warm, and cozy through a crypto winter.