ART, PROPAGANDA AND CRYPTOCURRENCIES: WELCOME TO THE UNIVERSE OF HODLCRYPTO

“He is a self-described cryptocurrency advocate, and despite having a master’s degree in science of finance, his current job has one objective: to convince as many people as possible about the potential of cryptocurrencies through art. To do this, he has developed an artistic propaganda project promoting the use of cryptocurrency, under the pseudonym hodlcrypto.”

The following interview is translated from the original version published by CriptoNoticias and authored by Javier Bastardo (criptobastardo).

CriptoNoticias had the opportunity to talk with artist Luis Poletti , who said that despite having completed high-level studies, nothing he studied then is part of what he does now. “It’s pretty ironic,” he said.

For him, this training taught him that economies need central banks for stability, while his own research showed him that these institutions are “the root of evil in this world”.

I would say that more importantly, everything I learned opened my mind to the idea of ​​Bitcoin, ” he said. He currently lives in Guadalajara, Mexico, where he settled in order to better develop his cryptocurrency art project.

Before devoting himself completely to this crypto art and propaganda project, he developed a line of similar designs, but with an eminently political theme named “pololitics“:  “My career in digital art and previous projects focused on political issues such as media manipulation, conspiracies, and the banking system, “he said, assuring that the art inspired by propaganda also “matches well” with his personality.

One of his emblematic designs combines the masks of Guy Fawkes and Fsociety with Bitcoin. Source: hodlcrypto.

“It’s important to take risks as an artist and not be conventional, as long as it’s authentic. My art, besides being my work, is my life project. I’m consumed by it. This is not something I’m doing to seek short-term rewards or gratification. I am doing this because I believe firmly in the future of cryptocurrencies, and if I devote my energy to this, the effects will remain even after my physical death.”

Luis Poletti

Cryptoartist, Aka hodlcrypto

According to him, he began using Bitcoin in 2015 but his first investment was made in early 2017. For him, Bitcoin is the central currency, which opened the way for the multiplicity of cryptocurrency projects that currently exist.

“For me, Bitcoin is king (…) Every other coin and token owes Bitcoin something for the creation of the blockchain, ” he stressed, although he was also interested in other projects such as IOTA due to the potentialities of the Internet of Things and its relationship with the cryptocurrencies.

Decentralize and Be Your own Bank

In addition, blockchain technology and its operation at the service of Bitcoin has proved to be a success, especially after 9 years of the implementation of the project designed by Satoshi Nakamoto. On the latter, Poletti affirmed what he “constantly glorifies” through his works of art.

“Satoshi is the anonymous father of the cryptocurrency movement and demonstrated tremendous foresight in the way he built the economic incentives into securing the Bitcoin network (i.e. mining) and wrote a code that has survived 10 years now without a successful attack. In my opinion it is the “digital gold” that backs the value of all other cryptocurrency.

Luis Poletti

Cryptoartist, Aka hodlcrypto

ART AND INFLUENCES

https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRdccemeZivCF7UFayghQyu3QBWAVILvYmJy694Mmd2JAjwccCv

Source: Shepard Fairey, Obey

The artist said that his influences are varied, taking the best from different thinkers and academics from different areas of knowledge.

Thus, his work has been influenced by philosophers such as Friedrich Nietzsche , propagandists such as Edward Bernays , linguists such as Noam Chomsky , psychologists such as Carl Jung , and even comedians such as George Carlin , who coexist in the artist’s imagination with writers such as George Orwell , Aldous Huxley, and Ayn Rand .

In addition, regarding the propaganda style , he claimed to have used Shepard Fairey, aka OBEY: “The ideas obtained from these works always go through my mind when I conceptualize images,” Poletti said.

Advertising and war propaganda (especially that of the World War 2), the word art of Barbara Kruger , the Russian posters of Rene Mederos , and more recently Eugenia Loli are among the references in the pantheon of his crypto propagandistic inspiration.

https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSp_WSBegO1qeHCJXWAx06_GPP6YibY67PTpftFbUuLgXELy6p4Bg

“Eugenia Loli does a great job juxtaposing different images in a way that provokes thought” explained Poletti. Source of the Image: Eugenia Loli .

As for cryptocurrencies, he explains that John McAfee, Charlie Lee, and Dan Larimer are currently his main references, qualifying McAfee as “the face” of the ecosystem.

With all these influences to to draw from, hodlcrypto constitutes a positive propaganda movement in favor of cryptocurrencies, where the handling of colors, symbols and composition are interspersed with words, since, according to Poletti, a “large part” of his inspiration comes from written word:” I use words as a central communication vehicle and images are the complement “, he emphasized.

“I find the word ‘HODL’ quite versatile, in addition to its ability to capture the attention of outsiders.

“In a way, ‘HODL’ is my version of ‘OBEY’, and I found it to be the perfect command to use in propaganda designed for the cryptocurrency movement,” he said.

“One of my main ideas is to use direct language and join these phrases with the command ‘HODL’ or ‘HODL CRYPTO’ to force people to confront the subject of using cryptocurrency. Also, it reminds current users of cryptocurrencies who are concerned about short-term price fluctuations to think long term.”

Luis Poletti

Cryptoartist, Aka hodlcrypto

Recall that HODL is a word originated within the bitcoin community, derived from a typographical error of the word “hold”, in reference to the strategy of not selling the cryptocurrencies that are owned in spite of price corrections over time. In his work, it has become as important as Fairey’s OBEY, being the “perfect command” for the case of cryptocurrencies.

“Language is a powerful tool and using it wisely can be crucial to awaken some emotion. Most of the time, words are the centerpiece of my work. ” Source: hodlcrypto.

[/caption]In addition, he said he likes to give his own spin to catchy phrases or quotes , use sensational headlines or slogans, and sometimes even put words in people’s mouths, as in a recent piece he made in reference to the American investor, Warren Buffett calling Bitcoin rat poison .

The logic of US investor Warren Buffet, who described Bitcoin as “rat poison”. Source: hodlcrypto.

[/caption]

THE CHANGE IN YOUR LIFE AND THE POTENTIAL OF CRYPTOCURRENCIES IN ART

He explained that Bitcoin has changed his life because it served as a means of investment to abandon his corporate career and pursue his two passions to “create art and promote the cryptocurrency movement.” Poletti said he was not afraid to take this risk, for something “I believe in and am passionate about”. “For me life is about creating and sharing, rather than acquiring wealth,” he said.

His propaganda and activism reflect a conviction that cryptocurrencies have a promising future. The tipping point in the adoption and use of cryptocurrencies can come from a strong response to the financial monopoly of banking and the end of the economy managed by the Central Banks. That possibility is worth the effort. But we need to continue convincing more nocoiners “to HODL”.

For him, it is necessary that those who participate in stable and productive economies can see the current scenario of cryptocurrencies and understand the benefits to start using them: “this implies the understanding of how central banks work in the way of systematically devaluing the physical currency and how blockchain technology and decentralized networks can solve this problem, “he argued.

“Art can be used to effectively direct the public’s attention to cryptocurrencies and help them learn about them and how important they are. This is what I am mainly focused on.”

Luis Poletti

Cryptoartist, Aka hodlcrypto

But it is not a technological fever, nor a snobbish movement . According to him, one of the most important elements of cryptocurrencies is the possibility of exchanging value directly and among peers , which can facilitate the emergence of a new economy, as well as support for all artists around the world.

Despite his perspective on the future and the potential he sees in cryptocurrencies, the artist also weighed the difficulties facing his development. Poletti pointed out two main difficulties: “the first is the scalability of the blockchain technology and for that we already have the most brilliant minds in the world to solve it. The second is adoption. ”

Currency Independence (Source: hodlcrypto)

 

As he said, art becomes “an instrument, and in my opinion is necessary and vital” to encourage the adoption of cryptocurrencies . As he explained, people tend to be resistant to change, and “if they do not have a reason directly in front of their face to start using cryptocurrencies they will not do it.”

However he clarified that an exception to this may be countries like Venezuela, “due to their economic situation led people to use bitcoin and other types of cryptocurrencies to escape the effects of inflation,” he said.

Poletti said he uses bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies, and predicted that “in the next decade, all traditional currencies, including the US dollar, will be replaced by cryptocurrencies”, as these instruments solve many of the problems of fiat currencies, assuring that it is “a truism” that the time of the old paradigm of money is almost over.

In that sense, he said that he only has one doubt left, whether they will be decentralized cryptocurrencies or fiat-cryptographic currencies. “I only have one question left, and that is if the decentralized cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Litecoin, Monero, etc. they will remain at the top, or if the centralized fiat-equivalent cryptocurrencies will be created and ordered by global governments for all people to use.

CRYPTOCURRENCIES AND NEW PERSPECTIVES FOR ART

But just as art is a vehicle to encourage adoption, cryptocurrencies have also generated a transformation in art: “they have created a new way of appropriating pieces of collectible crypto-digital art,” as in the case of CryptoKitties . In addition, he said, is currently working with a crypto collectibles platform called ” Fan Bits “, where fans can get unique and limited pieces of art that are in the block of Ethereum and that are impossible to duplicate.

According to him, he has known the work of Pascal Boyart, aka PBOY and his system of collecting Bitcoins , complimenting the work he is doing in Paris, France, and adding that “the donation system is also very ingenious”.

He himself will undertake a street art project, with pieces aimed at the general public. “My idea is to create propaganda that will capture the viewer’s attention in such a way that it helps them to see the subject of cryptocurrencies in a new light, which will make them more likely to start using them. Once I start applying art to the streets, I will consider using a similar donation system for PBOY, “he said.

“I suppose that the users of existing cryptocurrencies will appreciate the art that promotes the movement of cryptocurrencies and that perhaps they want to donate”, he emphasized. In addition, he also said that he could soon work on Rare Pepe Art , highlighting the potential of the artistic community associated with this movement.

“The artistic community of Rare Pepe is paving the way for the blockchain art market. The artists that are getting involved now with the art of cryptocurrencies will be at the forefront as they gain popularity “, he emphasized.

Jamie Demon - Be Your Own Bank
Dimon, Buffet and other traditionally anti-cryptocurrency characters are part of the symbolic arsenal of hodlcrypto.

Finally, Poletti assured that “we are living a very important moment in art”. He added: “I believe that I belong to a generation of ‘warriors’ and we are in the process of challenging and changing the old system (…)

The interest that now exists in art has reached new levels. More people are relating art as a reaction to new technologies and certain negative elements that this entails “.

Poletti emphasizes in his designs and writings the need for users to investigate on their own. Art has served as a vehicle to carry this message.

DYOR

For him, despite the consumerist nature of today’s world, art still continues to move human beings, generating authentic and real feelings. ” People need creative experiences both physically and in the digital world that allow them to create a connection with art and help them feel something,” he said.

Javier Bastardo (criptobastardo).

BTFD – Buy the Dip to Get the Gains

Buy The F***ing Dip

Similarly to “HODL” (Hold On for Dear Life), “BTFD” (Buy the Fucking Dip) is another term used in the crypto world, which encourages investors to take advantage of lower prices in a falling market, as opposed to panic selling which is the worst thing you can do when prices are down.

The truth is that timing the market in the long-run proves to be a losing strategy for over 90% of investors and traders. Hindsight is always 20/20, but the truth is that very few could have predicted what’s happened in the crypto market over the past 5 or so months.

Once Bitcoin crossed the $7,500 and $10,000 levels, even the most renowned technical analysts such as Tone Vays didn’t even know what to say about which direction the Bitcoin price would go.

Buying the dip, which means buying coins when prices are down, has been a winning strategy for Bitcoin investors since 2009. This concept isn’t new. There are quotes as old as Finance recommending to “buy when there’s blood on the streets”.

With this in mind, it’s safe to say that one of the easiest and fool-proof strategies one can use is to both hold your coins long-term and buy the dip when prices are down to accumulate more.

You can find some rather amusing tweets on Crypto Twitter just by searching the #BTFD hashtag.

Here are a couple of my personal favorites:

Don’t cry when you see those big red candlesticks.. you have to buy the dip to get the gains.

This design is available on art prints, accessories, and apparel at the hodl art shop.

BTFD Buy the Dip Get the Gains-01

Hold On for Dear Life

The Church of HODL CRYPTO

Welcome to the Church of HODL CRYPTO, where holding is acknowledged for the skill that it is amidst the volatile crypto markets. We hodlers dollar cost average our cryptocurrency holdings when prices are low, which results in a level of solvency higher than that of the average investor.

It is commonly said that 80% of crypto investors buy high and sell low.

Greed/Buy, Fear/Sell

While it’s entirely understandable for someone to (unfortunately) buy close to an all-time high, selling at a lower price after buying at higher prices is flat out dumb.

Venn Diagram for Buying High and Selling Low
Venn Diagram for Buying High and Selling Low

Not selling at a loss is a principle rule for many traders, who only break this rule for serious exceptions such as a change in the fundamentals of the underlying investment.

These 80% of crypto traders who (allegedly) buy high and sell low are primary reason for the fear/greed hype cycle we see so prominent in the crypto markets.

This is why Elliot Wave theory works so well at times for technical analysts in the cryptocurrency space.

For those unfamiliar with Elliot Wave theory, it’s basically a form of technical analysis that traders use to analyze market cycles and forecast trends by identifying extremes in investor psychology, highs and lows in prices, and other collective factors.

ETHUSD Elliot Wave Analysis
ETHUSD Elliot Wave Analysis

This is precisely where the concept of “Hold on for dear life” comes in. Yes, it’s true that the term “HODL” originated from a typographical error committed by an early bitcoin adopter who was under the influence at the time; however HODL has become an iconic mantra for investors in the cryptocurrency community to encourage others to hold their coins and not panic sell under times of extreme volatility.

At the time of writing this March 21st 2018, the Bitcoin price has recovered a solid 22% from lows set just 3 days ago, amidst a 3-month bear trend.

BTC USD 3 months

We are still over 50% below the all-time-highs set in December, however hodlers who may feel the sting of short-term price decreases also had an amazing opportunity to add to their Bitcoin holdings just 3 days ago a 65% discount from December highs.

The strategy I prefer to use, however un-scientific is may be, is to wait for those panic levels to add to my cryptocurrency holdings. In essence you are using those same emotions to your advantage to dollar cost average into a larger position at multi-month lows.

As the crypto-clueless Warren Buffet has so famously been quoted, “Be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful”.

warren buffet washed up

This is excellent advice when it comes to crypto investing. If you follow this advice, you will be the one buying up all the cheap coins when panickers sell their precious coins at huge discounts.

Follow the gospel of the church of hodl crypto and dollar cost average your way to the pearly gates.

Check out the art shop for this design on prints, apparel, and other accessories.

Church of HODL CRYPTO
Church of HODL CRYPTO

Hold on for dear life.

Proof of stake (POS) cryptocurrencies

HODL your Proof-of-Stake (PoS) coins to validate, and earn crypto by PoS coins.The PoS concept is straightforward and easy for anyone with a laptop to do as opposed to buying the mining hardware you can find in your typical bitcoin mining farm.

PoS coins are also interesting because there is a growing trend in cryptocurrency market towards PoS coins. Even Bitcoin’s impending Lightning Network upgrade seems to forebode a PoS-like system, even though the main Bitcoin chain will continue to rely on PoW.

Proof-of-Stake is a much newer proposed methodology for achieving distributed consensus. The viability of network’s relying on PoS are not achieved by mining but rather by staking. Staking, simply put, is just when users hold their PoS-compatibile cryptocurrencies in a specialized staking wallet.

Staking achieves the same effect of mining (distributed consensus) without the need for expending exorbitant amounts of computing power and energy.

And if you “stake” your coins, you’ll be rewarded with crypto payouts on a rolling basis just as if you were a mining “winning” a block.

 

I was introduced to this concept by staking NEO (The Chosen One).

NEO

NEO is interersting because it uses something called a delegated Byzantine Fault Tolerance (dBFT). Disregard how confusing that might sound at first glance, and just think of dBFT as kind of like an optimized Proof-of-Stake system.

 

Lisk

Like NEO, Lisk uses a different kind of PoS. Lisk’s distributed consensus methodology is called delegated Proof-of-Stake, or DPoS for short.

This means that while staking is possible with Lisk, it’s only possible for the top 101 “delegates,” with these delegates being voted on and agreed to on a rolling basis by the community.

So, not everyone can stake with Lisk. You’ll need to crack the top 101 delegates for that. But the project still uses an incredibly interesting PoS model.

And with Lisk being akin to Ethereum but built atop the programming language JavaScript instead of Solidity, its potential impending mainstream use could have its dPoS system getting increasingly popular in the years ahead.

Stratis

Stratis is a C#-based crypto project that mined its first PoS block earlier this year in May.

As the Stratis team declared triumphantly at the time:

“This is the first documented and tested instance of a Proof-of-Stake blockchain block mined in C#. Now the developers will combine the full node with the wallet layer developed for Breeze, our full node with PoS will then be ready for a test release in approximately a week from now.”

PIVX

PIVX is a project that forked off of the DASH blockchain last year and has, unlike DASH, fully transition to the PoS distributed consensus system.

PIVX holders have the perk of not having any minimum or maximum cap for staking, too, so you can stake any amount of coins you would like to. To this end, they take the opposite approach to Lisk: anyone and everyone can stake.

Stakers get an annual return of around ~4.8 percent with PIVX.

OKCash

OKCash is an older cryptocurrency project, having been started back in 2014. They’re one of the “OGs” of PoS, as it were, and the project is orientated toward being a micro-transactions throughway.

They’ve got a pretty impressive annual staking return of around ~10 percent. That’s among the best annual returns you’ll find among any PoS coin right now.

All you’d need to do is move your requisite OKCash into a specialized staking wallet.

Many projects are already moving toward PoS, even though it’s a distributed consensus methodology that still hasn’t been widely tested at present.

ETHEREUM

If Ethereum’s shift to Proof-of-Stake goes off without a hitch and proves successful, the dynamic of PoS coins having a small overall sliver of the top 100 cryptocurrencies by market cap in contrast to PoW coins should forever change, to the extent that that “sliver” should become something larger.

ETH’s so-called “Casper” update is what will initiate the crypto’s evolution to PoS. Once this is completed, ETH holders will be able to stake their funds for recurring “dividends” of ether.

Right now, it’s definitely not set in stone how many ether will be required to stake. Indeed, there has been several numbers casually thrown around the community in recent weeks, but to be clear: nothing’s official yet.

Some of these numbers have been as high as needing 1,000 ETH to stake. Some projections are as low as 10 ETH. Another number you hear a lot is 32.

But don’t worry if you’re not an ether whale. Eventually you should be able to pitch in even small amounts of ether into staking pools to partake in the new model.

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