I am so thankful I got fully linkpilled in 2018 during the bear market and when the signal-to-noise ratio was optimal. Constant 300+ replies threads exploring potential use cases and daily breadcrumbs research, it was biz at its peak and in these unique conditions, so many forged crazy dreams and iron convictions.
Today it's impossible for a newfag to get immersed in this deep level of conversation, and therefore to grasp the full reach of its potential. It so easily gets overlooked, ignored, disregarded, because so much of the noise in the space is meaningless, og's (enjoying their success or simply waiting patiently) have internalized their insights and ceased discussing as much, therefore exposure to spoonfeeding is minimal.
In 2018, partaking in link threads was a genuinely surreal experience. A small autistic community had uncovered the opportunity of a lifetime, it wasn't just a "what if" possibility, but surrounded with absolute certitude, this was "the one". The most surreal aspect that if you did the research and understanding, you knew it was as real as it could get, but literally no one was talking about it anywhere else.
4 years later and all the og's just remain confident for the long term. All these countless hours digging into the oracle problem, smart contract use cases, understanding the implications of chain agnosticism, middleware adoption, tokenomics, etc. But for a casual observer, all they see is the weak short term price action, and it doesn't incentivize them to research further. "Oh, it's just another token like all the others, what's so different about this?". "Oracles and agnosticism? Sounds like techno babble, I don't get it, what does it do that Cardano can't do?".
With staking and CCIP on the horizon, everything will change. Everything. The switch will be flipped, big time. No one will be able to keep ignoring it. Either start research right now, or you'll be late. It's inevitable.