A hedge fund veteran says “financial nihilism” is driving American cryptocurrency investors to accumulate altcoins

A top executive at a cryptocurrency management firm says the financial hardships experienced by most Americans are pushing them to seek more risk in altcoins for a chance to see gains.

Ikigai CIO Travis Kling says on social media platform X that he sees a “palpable component of financial nihilism” in American society.

According to Kling, the American dream is no longer as easy to achieve as it once was and is pushing young Americans to venture into riskier cryptocurrencies like memecoins.

“The idea that the cost of living is strangling most Americans; that the opportunity for upward mobility is out of reach for an ever-increasing number of people; that average house prices divided by average income are at a completely unsustainable level.

All of this is true, so you really have to swing over the fences.

Why not invest $500 in a memecoin that could 50x, knowing that you could probably lose most or all of it? In any case, it’s not like $500 is enough to make a difference…

That mentality, which is becoming pervasive in America, is financial nihilism. This is the zeitgeist for young Americans, you’re naive to think otherwise. And it’s a huge engine of sh*tcoining.”

Kling points out that two dominant trends are driving the thinking of traders chasing higher returns with altcoins. The first is relative valuation, which is the idea that it is better to accumulate one cryptocurrency rather than another just because it is cheaper.

“ETH is a buy because it is cheap for BTC. SOL is a buy because it is cheap for ETH. APT and INJ are purchasable because they are cheap for SOL. SUI, SEI and TIA are affordable because they are cheap for APT and INJ. Absolute rating levels are ignored. Fundamentals are ignored. Buy that thing because it costs less than the other thing.

The second trend concerns airdrops. According to Kling, traders participate in crypto networks that they believe will reward them with free tokens.

“Airdrops were huge in 2023, one of the biggest narratives of the year in alternatives. ARB, JTO, Blur, friend.tech. In 2023, savvy on-chain market participants received stimulus checks from cryptocurrencies that would make the US government blush. The smallest airdrop sent by JTO was worth $8,500… Let that sink in…

Who cares what the rating is when you get it for free? I’ve never had a setup like that before.”

The Ikigai CIO concludes his analysis of financial nihilism in America by stating that people are willing to enter cryptocurrency markets even if they don’t trust this asset class.

“One last point on financial nihilism and cryptocurrencies. Americans don’t trust cryptocurrencies. Three out of four who are familiar with cryptocurrencies are unsure about the safety of cryptocurrency trading. 40% of cryptocurrency investors have no trust in cryptocurrencies. Yet, if you polled those same investors and asked them about higher prices, I would give you a strong chance that the majority would expect higher prices. Don’t trust me, but prices are rising. A lack of pretense. Let’s go take a shit.

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