The tl;dr here is that I believe BTC is going to go up sooner or later because it will benefit the already-wealthy and their institutions.
Now, here's the LONG VERSION:
Capitalism is a system of wealth accumulation which allows people with a lot of money to put that money to work so that they can generate more money. It's hard for most workaday schlubs to understand this because our experience with money is totally different.
We sell our labor as a commodity to get money so we can buy food and shelter and other commodities we need to live. There's rarely enough money left over for more than a few little luxuries, but if you're very strategic, willing to sacrifice short term pleasure for long-term rewards, and also very lucky, you MIGHT be able to make some of your money work for you and scrape together an early retirement or even buy your way into the capitalist class by starting a business of your own.
Assuming your business doesn't fail, like most small business startups, then eventually you will find yourself having a different relationship with money and commodities:
Rather than selling your labor as a commodity, you will invest your surplus wealth (your CAPITAL) into commodities (which might include the commoditized labor of other working schlubs) so that you can generate EVEN MORE MONEY for yourself. At this point, you are a CAPITALIST, and your money — your CAPITAL — is doing the majority of the work for you.
This is what is meant when people say CEOs are in the business of "allocating capital." The real job of a REAL capitalist (someone who is a real mover, not just some poor small business owner working 60 hours a week running a small business with modest profits to pay his mortgage but a REAL ACTUAL CAPITALIST) is to put money to work and let others do the labor and take the real risks for him.
As an example, look at the way venture capital and tech startups typically operate. Investors pay for little tech companies to startup with the goal and ambition of being bought out by much larger companies. In this relationship, the smaller investors and startups take on a huge risk (again, most startups fail) with the hopes of a jackpot chance at getting bought for millions by Google/Apple/etc.
This arrangement is really great for the Googles and Apples of the world because they can just come in and buy out the company AFTER the majority of the risk has been taken and the basic infrastructure of the business has been built. At this level, capitalists aren't even making money by buying and selling commodities any more, they're actually making money by buying and selling entire companies.
The key takeaway here is that people, corporations, and institutions with an INCREDIBLE amount of money make their money not through labor but through throwing money around, making money work for them, at scales most people can never imagine. Even if you do pretty well, your life savings are probably a drop in the bucket for these folks.
And this brings us to Bitcoin.
Bitcoin is not a company, nor a tech startup, nor a software product. It really is something totally new and unprecedented. For most of us who got in earlier, it was a dream of escaping state financial oppression and monetary mismanagement, a chance to put our savings into an asset that would resist inflation and grow our wealth, and an opportunity to decentralize wealth that would liberate normal working folks so that we could have more control of our own assets.
After all, BTC can be very easily hidden, it can't be seized by any government (assuming they can't get your keys), it can be used anonymously, and it levels the playing field so that everyone can buy in on equal footing since there's no central authority to pull the puppet strings.
And for years, this dream was more or less a reality, and to this day, BTC remains incredibly state-resistant. It's very difficult for states to govern BTC, and banning it would be as difficult as banning the internet. So, yeah, that's awesome.
And it didn't come easily. BTC had to be built out over many years by true believers. A lot of people invested a lot of time, tears, and labor power into making BTC what it is today. People with modest means took huge risks, held through ups and downs, added layers of tech like lightning network, hardwre wallets, exchanges, P2P networks, and so much more, so that BTC could become established like it is today as the king of crypto.
All along the way, there were detractors saying BTC would fail, and plenty of huge dips where it seemed like that would be exactly the case, but the people who built BTC kept chipping away at the problems, finding solutions, and HOLDING ON because they believed in the dream. Some people got very very wealthy because of these efforts, and even more people lost their shirts.
But by 2021, the hard work and risk-taking had paid off, and BTC sarted hitting big in the mainstream, making massive gains, getting attention and positive press.
Now, imagine you are a tech-savvy and already extremely wealthy CEO, fund manager, or capitalist who has been watching BTC all along. Someone with access to *billions* of dollars to invest. You understand and believe in BTC, but right now it's 2012, or 2017, or 2019, and BTC is cheap, yes, but there seem to be problems to work out and infrastructure that remains to be built.
Of course you COULD enter now, take a huge risk, and maybe that big risk will take off. And that's what some CEOs and millionaires did early on. But that's not the SAFE bet. That's not making your MONEY work for you — that's making YOU work for you. You'll have to put in the time, and more importantly take the huge RISK with YOUR assets to make this all pay off.
OR… you could WAIT. Wait until you feel like BTC is just starting to really take off and come into its own and become a worthy, respected asset with a secure underfooting.
And THEN you can put your MONEY to work for you. After all, it only takes a few million bucks to significantly move the market, and you have BILLIONS. (It's hard for most people to imagine how much money a billion dollars is… see here: https://imgur.com/gallery/HXUa1HW )
So what would have been smarter, to take a big risk on a not-quite-proven-and-secured cryptocurrency when it was selling at ~$30k, or wait for it to really take off, then throw in a few paltry millions of dollars to tank the price down to ~$30k, then buy whatever you need for your plans before pumping it back up? While you're at it, you can get your rich friends who own all the media companies to gin up FUD to drive the price even lower, and then when you're ready for the price to go back up you just do a little more manipulating of both the market and the media and get the price back up and beyond to that all time high.
Now, obviously, one person or entity would have a hard time doing this all alone. So along the way you've been meeting with and discussing and laying out these plans with your buddies-with-billions. So that by the time this all plays out, you've gotten just what you wanted without having to take any real risks yourself. You let tose suckers-with-dreams, the early innovators and expansionists of BTC, take all that risk for you. You've let them do all the labor of building out a platform that will generate trilions of dollars in the decades to come. And most importantly, you've let your MONEY work for you! You've just done what you've always done: you've been a capitalist!
Now, some people will say "this sounds like a conspiracy theory."
But which is more likely:
A scenario in which wealthy, powerful people are working together to further their own interests, or a scenario in which they are not? Do you really think it's that far-fetched that these wealthy billionaires and their financial managers are talking together and trying to game the system? Ultimately it's up to you to decide what you believe. Just look at the world around you, gather evidence and draw your own conclusions.
I COULD go through now and try to assemble a huge source list of all the evidence: of the weird coincidences of FUD dropping simultaneously in all the different news sources at just the right time, of blockchain evidence that more "rich" wallets are being gathered up, of strangely timed announcements and Tweets from financial managers and institutions who will be offering BTC-related services in the coming year… But a) I'm too lazy and this thread is already too long, and b) you've been living through it, if you've been involved in BTC for at least a year, and again, I invite you to look at what you've experienced and gather your own evidence and draw your own conclusions.
But, if what I'm saying IS true, then you can rest assured that BTC's price WILL go up, and by a LOT, as soon as these capitalists – or, "whales" as we call them around these parts – are good and ready for the price to go up. These people aren't making these moves for fun. They're putting their assets (fiat money, access to news rooms, and institutional power) to make MORE MONEY, and that will ultimately mean BTC bringing in GAINS.
For "little guys," it's mostly a question of: how long can you hold? Which is another reason they'll always have a leg up over us. They have way more ammo than we do, they have a lot more lasting power. As Warren Buffett said, "the stock market is a device that transfers wealth from the impatient to the patient." I have no reason to see why this device will function any differently.
I, for one, will never be surprised when capitalism functions exactly as it always has. Instead, I will do my best to work within its perameters and follow the big money to try to make myself as secure as possible… especially since basic security seems like it will be an increasing luxury which fewer and fewer of us have access to in the years to come. But that's a topic for an overly long thread for another time!
Invest only what you're willing to lose, watch the whales, and stay safe out there, working schlubs!