Late 2020 and early 2021 was a different time. Citizens throughout the world were still largely isolated in their homes as the Coronavirus was used as an excuse for governments to print money and exert unprecedented authority over every day people's lives. It was also the beginning of the last Bitcoin bull market which saw the Bitcoin price soar from $10,000 to nearly $70,000 in a matter of months. Conditions like that can lead to unexpected results. It also creates strange bedfellows.
After a brutal drawdown from its $20,000 high in 2017 and subsequent bear market in 2018, Bitcoin was anything but mainstream until it came roaring back to life in late 2020. Bitcoiners began flocking to Twitter, no longer relegated to a handful of niche subreddits where they lurked and posted for years. 2021 saw the emergence of Bitcoin Twitter as hodlers and noobs discovered each other posting euphorically as their net worths continued to rise with the price of Bitcoin. Of course, like all unique circumstances, it wouldn't last. As Bitcoin's pumps began to lose steam and the inevitable price corrections became more frequent and more severe, Bitcoin Twitter slowly became less friendly and more hostile as users searched for who to blame for Bitcoin's disappointing performance.
They started targeting crypto scammers, Twitter Spaces hosts, grifters, and shitcoiners. But before long, Bitcoiners turned on each other, seeking to purge the ranks of high time preference and fiat incentives. Once stars in the Bitcoin community, personalities like Jason Williams (@GoingParabolic), author of Hard Money You Can't F*ck With, and Anthony Pompliano aka "Pomp", became pariahs as they became viewed as being too comfortable with shitcoins. Even Bitcoiners who never strayed from the Bitcoin Only message were called out and criticized in public spaces. Infamous Twitter troll "Deater Bob", known for his early recognition of scammers and his boldness in calling them out, his a cozy history of promoting influencers who are now his mortal enemies. Notable "culture war" critic and host of the popular What Bitcoin Did podcast Peter McCormack even turned on cringefluencer and frequent Spaces speaker, Mike Alfred, who he had a history of IRL friendship.
It didn't take long for Bitcoin Twitter users to start turning on entire companies. Once heralded as helping usher in Bitcoin adoption, users often looked the other way as companies like BlockFi and Celsius supported alternative cryptocurrencies. Once the bull market began to stall, all that changed. It wasn't long before Swan came under fire for complying with government KYC requirements. However, despite the tone shift online, some of the most outspoken critics weren't always so harsh on their new enemies.
But not all Bitcoiners on Bitcoin Twitter became so hostile so quickly. Some remained upbeat, positive, and hopeful that the bull market would commence once again, if only the Fed would resume quantitative easing. It turns out their faith and positivity was futile. It became quite apparent the Fed was not going to pivot in 2022. They kept raising interest rates and markets kept declining, including Bitcoin. Then, after a slew of liquidations, rug pulls, and bankruptcies which affected hedge funds like 3AC, projects like Terra Luna, and crypto lending operations like Celsius, Bitcoin crashed hard and took everyones optimism down with it. Perhaps most heartbreaking development was all the Bitcoin maximalists who's names turned up on leaked Celsius bankruptcy lists which revealed they owned shitcoins.
2022 was just the beginning. By 2023 Bitcoin Twitter had broken out into total war. Meme gangs began prowling the timeline looking for influencer activity, seeking to purge all but the purest Bitcoin maximalists from the ranks. A situation that still persists. Perhaps the next bull market will lead to a ceasefire and everyone will once again post in harmony. This author is skeptical but its worth remembering that, if it happens, one must be critical of all the hype and replication that occurs during bull markets. That's why Bitcoiners must always remember not to trust, but to verify.