I doubt that many of you have studied "Strategy" as an academic subject. It's hardly something used in the everyday life of most people.
But in military circles and in the upper echelons of civilian National Strategy, it does play an important role.
Before I relate strategies to cryptocurrencies, we need to level the playing field. When I say the word "strategy", we need to all have a common understanding of what that means.
What is a "Strategy"?
Warfare is conducted at various levels. The three main levels are tactical, operational and strategic.
Tactical happens on the battlefield. Tactical decisions are made by unit commanders and their teams. The choice to use grenades instead of suppressive machine gun fire is a tactical one. The option of detaching a squad to flank an enemy that your platoon is fighting is a tactical one.
Operational decisions are made by those in charge of several fighting units. The operational commander would make decisions such as deploying the platoon to the battlefield in the first place. He would be given an objective and a variety of forces. How he (or she) employs those forces is an operational level consideration.
Strategic decisions are made by those who earn too much money and are too far away from the real action. Okay, that's just me being facetious (but it's still true). A strategy is an overarching plan encompassing all available forces. A strategy tells you how you are going to meet a specific goal, and what that goal is e.g. "repel Hussein's invading forces from Kuwait". At the national level you can also get "Grand Strategies" – which are basically very long-term goal that your shorter-term strategies align with. Don't worry too much about Grand Strategies.
Ends, Ways and Means
In very simple terms, a strategy is comprised of three main things: Ends, Ways and Means.
If we are to apply a strategy to crypto, then we need to understand the relationship between these concepts.
Ends are the goals of strategies. As the name suggests, they are your desired endpoint. Once your ends have been achieved, your strategy has succeeded. Depending on what those ends are, your strategies may no longer even be required after reaching them.
Example: "To neutralise all enemy military forces in the Pacific theatre of war".
Ways are the methods of achieving Ends. The Ways are the "How?", "When?" and "Where?" – they are what you are going to do.
Example: "We will cut off fuel supplies to enemy air and naval assets in the Pacific, thereby causing them to run out of operationally deployable fighting forces over the period of the next month".
Means are the tools used to execute the Ways. The means are the "Who" and the "What?" of the Ways.
Example: "Special forces will be deployed from submarines to destroy the enemy's hardened underground fuel depots. Naval forces will destroy fuel refineries and pipelines from over the horizon. Air Force units will destroy fuel transport vehicles and ad hoc targets of opportunity".
We can apply this to crypto.
On the Grand Strategy level we can say that crypto exists to replace world money systems and to disrupt and replace the existing money/power dynamic. That's way beyond what we as individuals can do. We all play a little part of that larger game, but it's not what this post is about. Let's rather look at whatyou can influence to a large degree, what You can do for Yourself.
So you're a crypto investor, or a trader, or both. Perhaps you work for a crypto company, or perhaps you started your own crypto company. Maybe you just enjoy writing about it in blogs like the one you're reading now, or maybe you watch adverts on Brave browser all day so that you can build up free BAT tokens and give tips to sites that depend on voluntary funding.
Whatever you do with crypto, it's time to start asking yourself: "What's my endgame?"
Why are you doing what you are doing? What is the logical conclusion? What are you trying to achieve? Where and when does it stop?
In other words: What are the Ends of your strategy?
Do you have them? Are they well defined? Do you know exactly what you want crypto to do for you?
Admission of guilt
I don't have a proper crypto strategy!
I have broad crypto investing strategies. I have a few fairly well-defined goals which I aim to meet, but honestly, I lack that endpoint. I'm writing this today because when I realised this, I realised that others may be in the same boat.
A Crypto Strategy is NOT:
"I want to reach a total of 100 BTC by 2030" or "I want 1 million USD worth of crypto" or "I want to survive the fiat crash by investing in crypto".
Because crypto ISN'T an End, it's not even a Way; it's a Means to an End.
You've heard the expression "means to an end" before? Now you know where it comes from. ?
Get a strategy
I was walking around my garden earlier today, playing with my dogs and enjoying relaxing outside under the clear blue sky. I was extremely content, but bothered because I knew that my contentment came from shutting out the many evils of the world that I am only too aware of.
For now I fight those evils daily. I have been very active in challenging my government this year: there is a long paper trail of me, both in my personal capacity and aligned with multiple civic groups, opposing injustices at every turn. Similarly, I try to fight the bigger international fight (in support of the Grand Strategy of crypto mentioned earlier), some of which you can see on this very blog or on my Twitter account.
But I'm just one man and I can't do it alone. I realise that I am not doing it alone: many great people fight alongside me – some in small ways, some in big ways. You may be one of them. I won't stay young forever. I also know (thanks to years of high stress military deployments) that my capacity to endure a high intensity struggle in a negative environment is finite.
In simple terms: I can't do this forever.
At some stage I need to say that enough is enough, and hand the torch over to the next generation. I need to cash in my chips and leave the casino. I need to be able to sit in my garden and play with my dogs under the clear blue sky, while not worrying about the evils of the world.
But for now, I am still furiously playing the game. What I need to do next is to further align my daily activities with my desired end goal: I need to define the Ends of my strategy and work towards them.
Exactly how I do that will be my Ways. I can only firmly establish those once I know the Ends. I trust that my crypto investments will be the Means, or at least one of the Means I will use to execute my Ways.
The End State (Ends of the Strategy)
I may not have well defined end state to my strategy yet, but I know some of the characteristics that I want it to possess: financial freedom, a pleasant political and social environment in a country which embraces true liberty, a relaxed lifestyle in a safe environment, the ability to work on relationships rather than business and finances etc.
It may sound idyllic and a bit like a pipe dream, but it's something to work towards. I might not find something that checks all the boxes, but at least those boxes give me a target to aim for.
For those who seek to form their own strategies: an example of a Way to achieve something like what I stated above could be: "reduce fiat holdings to a bare minimum" or "aim to build up 10 BTC in crypto" or one of those other things that I said are not a strategy in themselves.
Life is a journey, and crypto is a part of that journey. God willing, my journey will allow for a period of rest towards the end, a time when I can pull off the busy highway and spend a few years at my final destination in peace and quiet. I can't tell if that will be possible, but I will do what I can to make that an eventual reality. That is my plan, my End, my strategy.
Until then, I will keep fighting the crypto (and other) battles. Evil triumphs when good men do nothing. If evil is ever going to triumph, then it's going to have to go through me first. I still have a good couple of decades of fight left in me, before I retire and seek out my version of a Utopian little house with a white picket fence.
Advice time: if you are still young, plan for your future as if you were suddenly going to turn 80 tomorrow. You have no idea how fast time and ageing catches up with you. I did a pretty good job of planning for old age when I was still young, but even so I wish I had done more. Your generation has so much more available to it: electronic banking, broadband internet, cryptocurrencies, easily accessible trading options for precious metals/forex/etc – you can do a LOT more than I did if you start early!
Despite a very strong American and international business culture to the contrary, money is not everything. Money is not "success"! Money will NEVER make you happy. As long as you can lift yourself above the level of "financially struggling" (which can be very hard to do), you can be happy. Try to make a few clever investments while you are still young, so that money is no longer a worry when you are older. Then you can enjoy life.
Look at Warren Buffett: 89 years old, worth 84 Billion USD – but do you think he's ever enjoyed his life? Do you think he's ever stopped to smell the roses? I think he's a miserable old sod, a greedy and small-minded man who cares far too much about wealth and not nearly enough about the things that matter. He's too busy greedily hoarding his money to ever enjoy spending it! Don't be like Warren.
Yours in crypto
All charts made by Bit Brain with TradingView
"The secret to success: find out where people are going and get there first"
~ Mark Twain
"Crypto does not require institutional investment to succeed; institutions require crypto investments to remain successful"
~ Bit Brain