“All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances, And one man in his time plays many parts.” – William Shakespeare
To pull off an excellent drama production, requires the basic elements of Stage, Lights, Action to be well suited to the audience’s needs. The action is crucial in drama, as even with the best stage, lights, and compelling script, the play would fall to pieces without a captivating main actor who keeps the audience riveted and strong supporting casts with their own story to tell who subsequently come to the foreground in the story plot.
As Shakespeare famously notes in As You Like It, these actors are the players who grace the scenes of the stage with their entrances and exits, playing many parts, keeping the rhythm of the story flowing, and riveting our attention, making us desirous of MORE. ENCORE!
Whilst I understand that Shakespeare used his famous statement to allude to the lives of everyday people through the phases of life, I see this statement playing out someway in the drama of cryptocurrency.
So, exactly what is drama like in cryptocurrency sphere?
Well… this is how I see it.
First I’ll start my analogy based on the key elements of Stage, Lights and Action, required for an excellent drama production, and then provide my narrative of what the stage action is.
The cryptocurrency stage was inadvertently set during the 2007 – 2008 financial crisis. Investors and ordinary people had lost money, jobs, and trust in the financial system, and there was little glimmer of hope on the financial horizon. Then, in November 2008, Satoshi Nakamoto the creator of Bitcoin released a paper that provided a different narrative: the possibility of engaging in peer-to-peer e-cash transactions that was solidly backed by mathematical algorithms and not based on trust, and before long, the blockchain stage was set, and the initial few audience were interested to see MORE.
The initial audience didn’t have to wait long as two months later in January 2009, the bitcoin network launched and the first bitcoins were transacted. In the early days, one bitcoin cost barely a few cents and did not generate much interest outside a small circle of cryptographers, and developers. Somehow, the value began to rise and between 2010 – 2011, it grew by 1000% in 5 days, though the value of a bitcoin was still small, it eventually took parity with the US dollars, and suddenly, the lights turned on the stage, and the main actor! This drew in a wider audience of ticket buyers: early investors.
The stage was set, the lights were on, and so naturally the action began. It started slowly but the first real tension in the drama was towards the end of 2011, when the bitcoin had its initial price crash. Before the audience could catch their breath, the price went up again in early 2012, and then down, and then up! Between December 2011 to December 2013, through ups and downs, the value of the bitcoin fell to as low as $2 and went as high as $1000. The suspense was incredible, the few audience members who had bought tickets to the show expecting some return on their investments, hung on for the ride of their lives in this amazing, gut-wrenching, thrilling, rollercaster that they had inadvertently entered into once they decided to become part of this unruly actor’s story!
A twist in the plot
And in early 2014, just as this actor’s behaviour seemed curtailed at a steady price, a major twist to the plot… Gatecrashers bombarded the stage!
“Oh come on! You’ve got to be kidding!” yelled the irate audience.
At least they did, those who still had a voice. Others broke down in tears overcome by emotion, and others still were left astounded and speechless. To be clear, this was an unfortunate and terrible event. For it was like the thief in the night scene that no one, not the producers, nor the audience, not even the main actor, saw coming. The production team and audience literally woke up in the morning hoping for the continuation of a good story only to discover that a massive hack had entered into the story overnight which cost them $350m.
As can be expected, the whole cast and audience were thrown into confusion. The producers tried to calm everyone down but the ensuing pandemonium cast a bleak picture on the future of the story and it seemed like the stage curtains were finally drawn.
“But hang on… Don’t go just yet!” The producers called out to the diminishing audiences. “That was just ACT 1, Scenes 1 and 2. We still have a lot to give. Remember how we gave you a great show before now, this is just an unexpected glitch and we can fix it. Surely!”
The boos ensued from the skeptics who were not convinced, whilst some sympathisers hung around not sure what else to expect, the main actor was simply stunned, and struggled to recover.
What next? Was the unspoken question that loomed.
Meanwhile behind the scenes, other members of the cast discussed anxiously. They had not even made their debut yet and their ship was about to sink – complete with stage and story? Surely not!
So, in a big collaborative effort, the drama group got together. New producers came onboard, new plots and subplots were woven together with fresh supporting casts recruited for the stage, the stage was given a fresh look with multiple settings to it, existing and new audience interests were sought and the story was adapted to play to such interests, and the fainting spirit of the main actor was revived for a comeback.
And what a comeback it was!
(At this point the main narrative gives way to the stage action)
ACT 2 Scene 1. 29th September 2017.
(The main actor is soliloquising)
Bitcoin: It’s been three turbulent years, (with a head nod). Yes, three turbulent years of ups and downs. I wasn’t sure I would make it through, but thanks to the confidence of well wishers (with arms outstretched to the audience fanbase), I am still standing and standing strong.
(A reflective pause)
Who knew back then, during those turbulent times that I would be trading today at a steady value well over $4000? I mean at one point I hit an all time high of $5000 and I, who was once the skepticism of many, have finally gained meaningful attention on the world’s stage. Today, not only investors, but regulators, local and international governments, and various financial institutions are finally paying attention to what I have to say. Who knew this would be the outcome, when I first made my debut? Who knew?
(With a head shake and another reflective pause)
If I am honest, I have to thank a lot of friends for my good health today. Ether and others, have been putting up a good show too and have contributed to this continued investor confidence.
(Ether who had been eavesdropping from its Ethereum platform rises and acknowledges the remark)
Ether: Indeed we have.
Bitcoin: What do you suppose the future holds my friend? (Bitcoin enquires with a quizzical look). Would we outlive this jolly ride, or end up just being regarded as a fad, or would something else quickly wipe away our story? I mean let’s face it, despite our fans, there are threats looming on many sides. And there are still many, many skeptics out there.
Ether: You worry too much about the future my friend. Why worry so much? Let us celebrate the good today. I mean look at the scene, the audience are happy and satisfied. And why not? Those who bought early tickets into our show have more than received their money’s worth in multiples of hundreds, thousands and ten thousands. Then think about all the new plots and action that we are propelling onto our stage: Initial Coin Offerings across many industries, ICO’s successfully raising millions for businesses – like the $100 million we enabled Kik to raise (Ether shows a recent news clip from Inc.), fast and cheap currency transactions across users in multiple continents, ease of trade in large commercial transactions, and many more innovations that we are bringing onto this stage as part of our plot, I tell you my friend, you need not worry. The future is bright. And this stage that we are currently standing on, (Ether says hitting the blockchain underneath them) is rock solid. So for today, let us cheer and be merry, for who ever knows for sure what tomorrow would bring? But be assured that whatever comes, we have ushered in a new era and we would only change and adapt our story and plot to face the challenges on our path. Think of it as a kind of metamorphosis. But we shall not easily be extinguished. And the reason is simply because of our audience who need us. And in a very real way, this has not been our story, but their story.
(Ether finishes off its statement, with a broad smile as it gestures approval to the enthralled audience).
Bitcoin: You speak wisely my friend. Indeed they do need us! Indeed they do!
(Bitcoin speaks and casually returns to sit on its bitcoin platform, trying to conceal its apprehension)
END OF SCENE
This is an open ended drama, still playing out, so please contribute as you feel to the dialogue, scenes or acts by leaving a comment.
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