The Importance of Mental Health in the NFT Space
Over the past two years, three events have occurred…the Covid19 Pandemic, a rise in mental health issues, and a surge in the NFT market. Beginning in early 2020, the world began to shut down on an unprecedented scale in an effort to slow the spread of Covid19. Schools, businesses, and churches closed their doors, with children engaging in virtual learning, parents working from home, and parishioners streaming Sunday services online. Many found themselves isolated from friends and family, resulting in feelings of loneliness and despair. In April, The Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA) released the results of a recent study that found “mental health has been persistently worse during the Covid19 pandemic than before, particularly among women, those with higher degrees, and those aged 25–44” (Patel, 2022). The rise in the NFT market coincided with the pandemic, partially due to individuals spending more time at home and behind a screen.
Supply and demand dictate the majority of cryptocurrency pricing. Do Kwon, a South Korean entrepreneur, promoted the cryptocurrencies Luna and TerraUSD. Some traders have been devastated by their failures, but not the investment corporations that cashed out early. TerraUSD, a cryptocurrency stablecoin, is also known as UST. These coins are generally tied to the U.S. dollar and are vital for decentralized finance, since they help to alleviate some of the worst instability in the cryptocurrency market. Investors who sought to make great gains or find stability in UST, have faced the hard realty of a volatile market and sudden financial ruin as the TerraUSD venture collapsed and other cryptocurrencies experienced. Bitcoin and Ethereum have both plummeted almost 20% in the last seven days. According to some experts, Bitcoin could fall even further.
Following Luna’s loss, news outlets began sharing initial reports declaring eight people had taken their lives as a direct result of the devastating failure of the cryptocurrency. Not only is it important to invest wisely, it is even more important to ensure the prioritization of your mental health. Of course, we’ve all heard stories of rags to riches payouts, however, we would be negligent if we ignored the darker side…the NFT industry is suffering from mental illness. Regardless of your experience level, you’ve probably faced waves of tension at some time during the course of your Web3 experience. If this is relatable, no worries…you aren’t alone. In the NFT realm, money may be made, lost, or stolen in the blink of an eye. In any other circumstance, this would be front-page news, but its standard in Web3. The lure of a ‘fast buck’ continues to draw a continual stream of investors, many with experience and good intention, and also those who make rash decisions based on emotion, gambling money they can’t afford to lose.
Azuki, an Anime-themed NFT project, stunned the NFT industry this month, altering the way people think about NFTs and NFT projects. The founder of the blue chip NFT collection admitted on Twitter to creating and promoting earlier NFT projects under false identities, even acting as a female developer to boost the brand’s legitimacy. Buyers may find it difficult to trust and invest in a new NFT project due to the pseudonymous nature of crypto and NFTs. In the case of Azuki, the founder, who wishes to remain anonymous, was able to deceive purchasers, building distrust in the NFT community. Surprisingly, no one knew the identity of the founder, and instead of questioning Azuki’s creator, they fully trusted the project’s integrity. This was partially due to Azuki’s status as a major, blue-chip NFT firm. Blue chip NFTs are often associated with safety, as they are well-known, stable, and seen as a secure, long-term investment.
Days in the Web3 world are like months in the Web2 world, according to an industry joke. It’s true, as exaggerated as it sounds. It’s difficult to keep up with all of the information, no matter how hard you try. Anyone who has worked with Web3 from the ground up will tell you about their rookie blunders, feeling overwhelmed by content, and harsh learning curves. The drive to learn and open doors can lead to fatigue, extreme stress, and burnout, if suitable boundaries are not established. Significant triumphs are often shared, but big losses are kept hidden, causing many to feel isolated and alone in their time of despair. “Reach out to those you care about in Cryptospace- there have been many losses in the last six months. Remind them things will get better and the future is bright,” shared Gunnar Dunbar, COO of Lazy 8ight Yacht Club (L8YC), an innovative 3D traversable mega-yacht NFT Corporation. Oriana Schneps, CMO of L8YC asserted “Mental health is so important. So is being okay with volatility- we’re all in the beginning with NFTs and we’re not just in it for the money, but to be at the start of the technology and witness the evolvement of the space…it’s exciting and there are going to be ups and downs.”
Arin Alesauskas, CEO of L8YC, shared “It’s the wild west right now, with undoxed teams making their way onto the scene. People need to know the faces behind the projects; this is why we are so transparent at Lazy Eight…we want members to feel secure and confident in who we are as a company.” For many, it seems as though the pressure is constantly on, and burnout is certain without adequate stress management. Experts encourage people to consider how Web3 is affecting their personal mental health. For the day, disconnect. Go for a stroll outside. Make contact with your loved ones. Consider how you can make Web3 the most healthy and productive environment as possible. Remember that psychological, physiological, and spiritual well-being are essential for success, whether in the NFT and crypto arena, or elsewhere.
Patel K, Robertson E, Kwong ASF, et al. Psychological Distress Before and During the COVID-19 Pandemic Among Adults in the United Kingdom Based on Coordinated Analyses of 11 Longitudinal Studies. JAMA Netw Open. 2022; 5(4):e227629. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2022.7629