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I could’ve bought a Tesla with the money I lost in the last bear market. 

I had crypto fever. The future of money was a divine revelation to me. Cryptocurrency had its blessing from all my idols:  Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Tim Draper, and the Google founders. Techno-chauvinism was my church, and Elon Musk my saint. He still is, of course. 

The narrative is sexy. Billions are unbanked. Central banks are defunct. People don’t trust the government. Payments haven’t kept pace with digital transformation. I loved it. 

I wasn’t a blind convert. I looked at the data and listened to the experts. They had a consensus: Web3 and blockchain were the future. Invest in blockchain now- it’s like investing in the internet in the 1980s. It’s going to explode. You’re smarter than the masses- get in early. 

I did. I didn’t have a house to bet, but I had enough cash for a Tesla. If I played the game right, that money could become a house. In the distant future, maybe a private jet. Insanity.

The fear and greed index then? 76.

Bitcoin’s price? $39K.

a tesla and a private jet on a tropical beach

The shitshow began. I spent a hot interval listening to YouTube quacks on repeat. r/CryptoCurrency was my truth. Could so many people be wrong? Unlikely, I thought. 

youtube crypto quacks. 1000x NFT!

Bitcoin went to $68k later that year. The fear and greed index went to 84. 

My only regret was that I hadn’t bought more. Wasn’t that line in the movie The Wolf of Wall Street? Fuck. It didn’t turn out well for that guy. 

Elon loaded Tesla’s balance sheet with Bitcoin and looked like a genius. I loaded my portfolio with Bitcoin and felt the same.

My doubts came when Bitcoin tanked. 

“Always ask yourself: how could I be wrong about this?” I recalled an annoying business school professor asking us.  He was chairman of the New York Federal Reserve. Was I wrong about Bitcoin going to the moon?

If blockchain is the future, why aren’t more people using it? Why am I paying 5% fees to Coinbase? Why does it take 10 minutes and $60 in fees to send my Ethereum to my hardware wallet? 

Warren Buffett called Bitcoin ‘rat poison squared’. The media, never letting a good hysteria slide, fuels whatever flames burn- green or red. 

The fear and greed index sunk to 6. Bitcoin sunk to $18K. My Tesla cash turned into Kia cash.

I was too greedy. I thought myself smarter than everyone else. All was speculation, of course. There’s a difference between sound investing, and gambling, which is about chasing dopamine hits the same way an alcoholic drinks. 

It taught me that I’m not above the masses’ emotions. I don’t know what’s going to happen with cryptocurrency. I’m an emotional creature like everyone else. 

A simple fear & greed index isn’t going to fix our problems. But the index is a gauge of how the world is feeling about cryptocurrency.

Why look at the Fear & Greed Index?

You can make better investing decisions with it.

Unlike stocks, Bitcoin doesn’t produce any revenue, hold quarterly earnings calls, or go through trouble to reassure its investor’s confidence in tough times.

I can look at a company’s revenue, expenses, and prospects when I value stocks. My feelings about a company are backed up with solid cashflows and able management or a product I believe in.

But I can’t do that with Bitcoin. It’s a different ballgame. Besides cryptocurrency’s promise to make payments easier, there’s little for me to assign value to. 

All we’re left with is investor sentiment. How do people feel about cryptocurrency? How could we measure that feeling?

Don’t ever doubt the market’s ability to pull valuations past fundamentals. 

Enter the crypto fear & greed index. 

What’s the crypto fear and greed index?

The crypto fear and greed index measures people’s feelings about cryptocurrency on a given day. Alternative.Me built it.

The algorithm measures price swings and trading volume, crawls social media posts, and analyzes Bitcoin dominance to produce a figure between 0 and 100 daily.

How can I use the F & G index to make money in crypto?

Be a contrarian. 

When emotions are unhinged, aggressive buying or selling causes overreactions, and taking a contrarian position is profitable. It means buying more Bitcoin when we’re in the fear territory and selling more when we’re in the greed phase.