Who Are Degens?

So, essentially, the online definition of Crypto ‘degens’ is pretty similar to its older offline counterpart – someone who invests into a project without conducting their research, analysis or due diligence. 

‘Degen’, short for ‘degenerate’, is a term that has its origins in sport betting. Degenerate was a derogatory term used to refer to gamblers who would make large bets without the experience or the knowledge to back these decisions. 

In the crypto-sphere, however, ‘degen’ has become more of a badge of honor. As a matter of fact, entire communities have sprung up around this term – communities that are willing to risk all its money on a project that it believes in. 

How Are Crypto Degens Making Millions From Nothing?

The Story of Ghozali:

On the first day of 2022, Ghozali Ghozalu, a 22-year-old Indonesian student, uploaded his very first NFT artwork on the crypto-collectible market called OpenSea. Ghozali had spent the last four years taking a selfie almost every day, and he was now ready to cash in on this long-term effort. 

Over the next two days, Ghozali minted a total of 933 pictures. These images, going all the way back to the boy’s teenage years, were priced at 0.01 ETH each (equal to approximately $3). 

Thanks to assistance and contributions from a bunch of degens, these pictures were sold out within a few days. Also, the per-image price has now shot up through the roof. In fact, by 9th January, each Ghozali image was selling for 0.9 ETH (approximately $3,000), before dipping slightly. 

At the time of writing, you can buy image for around 0.3 ETH (equal to $900). Ghozali’s total current sales revenue stands at 374 ETH, which translates to more than a million US dollars. 

Crypto degens roll the dice hoping to get lucky 

So, how did this happen? On 12th January, Ghozali’s image collection was marketed by Jeffry Jouw, a street-wear entrepreneur from Indonesia. Jouw, who is a self-proclaimed degen, purchased nine of Ghozali’s images at $3 each. Once he made this purchase, he started promoting Ghozali’s collection up, and made memes to spread the word and reach out to even more NFT enthusiasts. 

This is perhaps a major part of the degen strategy (if we can even call it a strategy). Degens are not interested in performing objective research and analyses to determine the viability of a potential NFT investment; instead, they just dive headfirst into this investment, propelled by factors like an image’s usability as a social media profile, or the ‘meme’ potential of a collection. 

Wrapping Up:

To sum up, a crypto ‘degen’ is not a scammer or a fraud – because they dive into a project without knowing whether it is a scam or not. Instead, they are troopers – believers who are ready to put everything they have into a project, and do not mind going down with the ship. In other words, a degen is someone who will, theoretically, leap into every single project since the future is impossible to predict.