Those of us who keep up with financial news will recall the Gamestop debacle in early 2021. During that time, a group of Reddit users conspired to artificially inflate the price of GameStop stock in order to retaliate against hedge funds that had been shorting the stock for years.
As a result, the stock of Gamestop surged dramatically, and many of the companies that had shorted the stock went bankrupt. It was a watershed event in history, demonstrating the strength of online communities banding together to take on the financial world.
The only problem was that, while this was historic, it was not the first time that online communities banded together to support a financial asset. Actually, the crypto business has been doing this for years, and it's done so using relatively new technology rather than decades-old stock markets.
While there are still online forums dedicated to stock buying in the months since the cryptocurrency community has become renowned as one of the most vociferous and united in its objective. But why is that? Why has cryptocurrency inspired and attracted such a devoted following in such a short period of time when compared to stocks that have been around for a longer period of time?
The Anatomy of Internet Spaces and the Importance of Underdogs
Users have gathered to build communities around everything and everything since the Internet's inception. Sports, food, entertainment, and even finance have all been involved. Because of the rise of social media and platforms like Twitter and Reddit, this type of group can now be found even more easily and is much more niched.
These venues were crucial in the emergence of cryptocurrencies, as sub-Reddits, forums, and other communities sprang up around it in the early 2010s, encouraging others to get involved. It's worth noting that cryptocurrency did not have widespread media backing when it first launched.
The use of our cryptocurrency was not covered by mainstream news, big websites did not report on it, and it was largely a community-led initiative. Because the internet has always been at the heart of cryptocurrencies, it has been able to build a more dedicated Internet community than stocks of its inception.
Stocks, on the other hand, were not developed through internet communities and have always been seen as a high-end investment vehicle. Every day people have only had easy access to stocks in the last several decades. Cryptocurrency, on the other hand, has always been accessible to the general public.
This is why the Gamestop tale was so unusual: in the financial business, a group of ordinary people banding together to take on multinationals is not the norm. Cryptocurrency, on the other hand, has a reputation for being a common tool, man's which it has maintained over time.
By definition, cryptocurrency emphasizes decentralized technology and initiatives. In essence, no single person owns cryptocurrency as a concept, which means that it must rely on decentralized community effort to thrive, which is exactly what internet spaces are.
Finally, cryptocurrency's internet presence is intrinsically linked to its inception and basic premise, which is why it has such a passionate and united following. Stocks, from their creation to their current form, have relied less on online communities and, as a result, do not inspire or generate as many as cryptocurrencies do.
Moving forward, it will be fascinating to observe if the stock market places a greater emphasis on community connection or if the community interactions of cryptocurrencies cannot be easily imitated.
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