I’ve been quiet in crypto for most of this year. Without getting into any long, boring, invasive details, I had a lot to work through in my personal life. I’ve dealt with illnesses off and on for years and in March, I spent some time hospitalized for exhaustion. I also had a birthday recently and feel that entering my next decade is a good enough time as any to take inventory. As developers stay heads down and markets continue to mostly move sideways a year after the FTX collapse, I’ve been asking myself a lot of questions about what I want: out of participating in this space, the types of people I want in my life, all that stuff.

I still think some projects in Cosmos have enormous potential (if they can keep it), but I’ve pulled back from development and discussion almost completely. This is mostly so I don’t get carried away and ruin my health, but I’ve felt disillusioned for some time on top of it. My attitude most days is something like, “I don’t know man, you fucking figure it out.” I think most governance decisions are questionable at best and I can’t say I trust many people in this space. I feel the most meaningful paths forward are too unattractive to gain traction and at the end of the day, the mob rules. As much as I’d love to live the crypto-anarchist dream in a parallel economy right now, we’re not there yet and we won’t be anywhere close for a while. We still perform our daily transactions in Federal Reserve notes and Gresham’s Law says we will for quite some time, so fiat lust will continue. The revolving door of grifters, scammers, snake oil salesmen - whatever you want to call them - will continue to move. They’ll put a new coat of paint over protocols ripped off from Ethereum and walk from ecosystem to ecosystem in hopes of getting suckers to bite. Or they might believe their own bullshit - I don’t know if that’s better or worse. Technical or governance discussions will continue to be secondary to token price. If you ever need a proposal to pass, just use the word “airdrop” and you’ll immediately get a large chunk of supporters no matter how insane your ideas are. You might not even have to use it, readers might just make things up on their own. I don’t know. I’m not sure I care very much anymore.

Maybe I’m wired differently. Maybe coming from a tech background instead of a finance background means that I’m more interested in processes than outcomes. Maybe my priorities or my values are too different. I’m tired of extortion. I’m tired of seeing people put their finger on the scale while pretending to be team players. I’m tired of duplicity, I’m tired of people talking out of both sides of their mouth. I’m tired of social media agitators. I’m tired of backroom deals. I’m tired of people introducing systemic risks for short-term gains. I guess this is how I know I’m not cut out for the business world, or at least the Mean Streets Of Crypto. If having these feelings means that I can’t compete on the same playing field, oh well. I don’t want to hurt people for money, I don’t want to be dishonest, I don’t want to be deceptive. I’m not interested in being the kid who dies with the most toys in his toybox. Maybe that means I never truly “make it” or I don’t become the next business magnate or I don’t land on a leaderboard for Most United States Federal Reserve Notes. What a loss.

Do I regret getting involved? Not at all. I’ve learned an enormous amount about myself, what I care about, how I operate. I’ve learned I’m not a great team player. I’m a control freak. I’m not interested in being a public figure in any scope of the term. Regardless of my current feelings, I think it was all helpful for me and hopefully I’m not too worse for wear. As for software, I’ve come up with a lot of ideas, but I don’t want to build them in public anymore. While the solutions are collaborative in nature, I don’t think I’m suited for working in a group most of the time. I don’t have the energy to be a project manager. If this means they never end up being built, oh well. Maybe I’m too apathetic, maybe I’m too noncommittal. A report card of mine from high school said, “[Envy] is very talented but often settles for less than he’s capable of.” That’s still pretty accurate.

Despite my strengths in tech, I never wanted to be defined by it; rather, to let it define me. It’s a tool, not a lifestyle. I wanted to be a writer. I half-joked with people in college that I wanted to make a lot of money really fast in tech, then peace out to some cottage in the midwest, live a minimalist lifestyle, and bang away on a keyboard for the rest of my life. Some form of that plan is still on the table, but nothing’s stopping me from doing that now. I’ve written some fairly successful threads on Twitter and have a few posts here that I’ve received positive feedback on. A friend called me “the steady pen of the Cosmos” a while back, it was one of my favorite compliments. I’ll keep writing here on occasion, it’s an outlet and people seem to like me. Maybe that’s all that I really wanted.

I don’t really know what my conclusion is or why exactly I felt the need to write this. I don’t know where I want to go from here, but I’m grateful to everyone who’s been supportive. I’ll be around - maybe not in the same way as before, but I’m not going anywhere.