Last week Boris Johnson announced the intended, cautious, timetable to exit from lockdown. Assuming that the vaccination program is victorious over this dreadful virus, it is hoped that it is our last lockdown. We cannot underestimate the human cost; 123,000 deaths so far with undoubtedly more to come, missed education for children, families and friends unable to meet, the devastating impact on mental health, and the long-term implications of routine health visits missed. I was amused to hear some of my New Zealand colleagues getting irritated at a week-long lockdown when in the UK we have spent most of the last year under some level of lockdown. Whilst managing COVID may be a part of our future, I am confident there is much to look forward to in the near term.
Firstly, I am very grateful to work for Dacxi, a business that is digital, and made to be “online-only”. We have experienced hyper-growth over the last year, and had an amazing 2021 so far: in fact, we did more business in the first seven weeks of this year, than we did the entire of 2020. We have held very well-attended educational webinars around crypto, which attract up to 200 attendees. The idea that we will be able to interact with our customers and partners in the flesh for the rest of the year holds huge promise! All businesses are built on relationships, and trying to do this purely via zoom has been challenging. I look forward to meeting as many of our suppliers, Dacxi customers and partners in the coming months as possible.
Crypto, as an industry has had an amazing year; it has come of age: even the Financial Times, long a crypto skeptic, ran a headline questioning whether the industry is now mainstream thanks to the bitcoin purchase of Elon Musk. I won’t run through all-new fans of crypto that have popped out of the woodwork in the last year, but it is fair to say the Coronavirus era has opened the eyes of the world’s largest banks, hedge funds and asset managers. Arguably, this has been hastened by the largest black swan event of all time. I like the idea, and it seems historically valid, that most currency systems last around 100 years, whether it’s the dollar or the gold standard, and we are due for an imminent change. I often tell people I work for the fastest-moving, fastest-growing industry on the planet and to have had good news over the last year has been frankly a privilege and a joy. I see no reason for the progress of the industry will slow or reverse once COVID is behind us.
I am also conscious that the majority of my team has been primarily onboarded remotely, and whilst we talk for hours every week over various conference suites, it will be amazing to create a team culture 'in the flesh’ – I imagine our first meet up will be joyous and feisty. After all, we will need to make up for the Dacxi Christmas party that we missed! I find myself wondering if some of the people I’ve recruited will look different in the flesh, or if it will be odd to see them without the backdrop of their living room window and kids/spouse/cat wafting past occasionally. I assume we will look a little different in the flesh, if only because the hairdressers should l be open by April!
I find myself wondering what may have changed once we have the lockdown firmly behind us. Certainly, I will never underestimate the power of human connection; whilst we have all had to show great resilience and creativity in long-term working from home, there is really no substitute for thrashing out an idea over a coffee or an idle chat about last night’s football match by the watercooler. I’m also hoping the world will be a bit nicer and kinder; the last year has been challenging in 100 different ways, and like most people, my eyes are set firmly on a much brighter future.
The final stages of exiting lockdown will, we hope, be the 21st June: it is currently being feted by some sections of the press as “independence day”. It will certainly feel that way; I shall be joyously socializing with much-missed friends, using the gym, restaurants and attending live music events. Actually, assuming it is safe to do so, I shall even be tempted to dance in the streets, and I am sure I won’t be the only one!