The Role of Crypto in the Fourth Turning

Welcome to the Future, Today

John Bottomley
11 min readApr 24, 2021


There have been several recent articles in the media about the prospect of us entering the fourth turning (not to be confused with WEF’s Fourth Industrial Revolution, although there is some overlap). Also known as the Strauss–Howe generational theory, the theory states that:

“Each generational persona unleashes a new era (called a turning) lasting around 20–25 years, in which a new social, political, and economic climate (mood) exists”

Whereas some describe the theory to be more of a pseudoscience than “real science”, the theory does appear to track recent past events pretty well. As I’m not a scientist, I will not argue the actual merits of this theory. Rather, as a life-long learner and observer of people & trends who has conducted business in many countries around the world, I do find it interesting to map the theory to relevant megatrends & paradigm shifts that are unfolding in front of our globally aggregated eyeballs.

Howe and Strauss observed that American history — I would argue now applicable to the world at large, given our increased inter-connectivity and inter-dependency — shows a new era, or “turning” about every 20 years or so. In its basic form, the “First Turning” is an upbeat era of strengthening institutions. The “Second Turning” is an awakening, a passionate era of spiritual upheaval, when the old order comes under attack. The “Third Turning” is an unraveling — a time when individualism is strengthened, and institutions are weakened. The “Fourth Turning” is a crisis, a decisive era of secular upheaval — the old order is toppled and a new one put in its place.

Arrival of the Fourth Turning?

Howe and Strauss defined the “Third Turning” as having begun in the mid-1980s and was due to expire in the first decade of the 21st century. So, what about the “Fourth Turning”? Let me refer to their text for context (note the bolding of text is added by me for emphasis):

“History is seasonal, and winter is coming. Like nature’s winter, the saecular winter can come early or late. A Fourth Turning can be long and difficult, brief but severe, or (perhaps) mild. But, like winter, it cannot be averted. It must come in its turn. . .

The next Fourth Turning is due to begin shortly after



John Bottomley

founder, entrepreneur, non-executive director | energy transition evangelist who resides at the nexus of renewables, crypto & p2x | coffee addict -> https://ko