F*** BITCOIN /Cryptocurrency is the future.
Updated: Apr 19, 2018
Before I begin this article, let me just start by saying I am invested in cryptocurrencies and the following will probably reflect that bias. That being said, this is an opinion piece and I would always suggest going and doing more research. I am in no way, shape, or form a financial adviser. Thank you!
Cryptocurrencies are here to stay. Why am I so certain of that? Easy, one word. Decentralization.
So before I explain what cryptocurrencies are exactly (and other factors influencing the appeal of cryptocurrencies), let me begin by explaining the current financial status quo - our banking systems (which revolve around centralization – explained further below), and why it sucks. I am going to try to keep this as general as possible because the main point in all of this is cryptocurrencies, not the current banking system. All of these concepts are a lot more in depth than I am making them out to be – but who has time for that? I feel it is important to understand the basics of centralization though before you truly understand why cryptocurrencies are so revolutionary.
Our banking systems revolve around centralization, the opposite of decentralization. What this means is that all financial transactions must be conducted through them - they are the middle man (or middle person in this SJW world). With this service comes a service fee. Now, this wouldn't be so bad if the service fees were reasonable; I get it, a bank is a business and a business needs to make money. To make matters more complex, the bank can now use your money to loan out to another interested party, all the while collecting interest on the debt that they have now loaned out. So now they essentially have loaned out money that isn't technically theirs whilst still making a profit - genius. But what happens if you also want to extract your money? Well this is where it gets tricky. Now they pay you back out of someone else’s account. But what if they want their money back? What if everyone wants there money back? Well, now you have effectively crashed the banking sector. Scary how fragile it all is. Now, what's more alarming is this is more or less how the government and central banking systems work as well. Our governments borrow money from the central bank (which are usually funded by me and you because they now own most of the banks - excluding credit unions and a few remaining countries) and use it for their various needs, all the while the government(s) are paying interest on this loan (the beloved federal prime rate). This loan is then (usually) covered by you and me in the form of increased taxes. Meanwhile, the whole country argues over where our taxes are better spent (education, science, veterans, roads, etc.) when in reality we'd have plenty of money for everyone if we just fixed this problem. Fuck centralization... So, remember how fragile a system I said this all was? Well the banking system in America actually failed in 2008 due to bankers being shitty with money – the good old housing crisis. It got one particular anonymous individual (his pseudonym is Satoshi Nakamoto) brainstorming around the particular question "How in the fuck can I fix our shitty, broken banking system?".
What is really ironic is that as while I was writing this an article was released claiming that “people trust Satoshi Nakamoto More than US Federal Reserve” – check it out for yourself. It is definitely from a pro-cryptocurrency website so the bias is real, but it’s an interesting read none-the-less.
The year is now 2009. Introducing Bitcoin - the cryptocurrency so recently overplayed that everyone who bought a little piece thought they were an expert. The cryptocurrency that was designed to be a proof of concept as a storage of value and nothing more. Okay so what is Bitcoin and why is it revolutionary? Remember, decentralization! The whole concept is built off of the new technology set to transform the world, the blockchain. This technology is so revolutionary I can only describe it as the next natural evolution of the internet and finance. Now I won't go into all the details here (but I would be more than happy to in a future post so subscribe please). In short, blockchain technology is a decentralized public ledger that anyone has access to. It makes it so we know exactly how much money everyone has without the need of a central bank or middle man. It involves the use of miners to prevent people who would try to defraud the system (goodbye bank fraud). It also lowers the transaction costs and more (goodbye banking systems). I could go on and on about this. The bottom line is it works and we know that it works and we've seen it with Bitcoin. Now, if you were a banking empire would you like seeing this new technology introduced into the public? Of course not! It undermines and disrupts the entire business model of the current banking industry, effectively taking power away from the banks. So anytime you see someone who works in the financial sector (especially the CEO’s of banks – eg. Jamie Dimon) badmouthing cryptocurrencies, just keep that little fact in mind. Another fact to keep in mind is that many banks are already accepting the idea of cryptocurrency and partnering with many up and coming developers of the crypto realm.
Fast forward six long, quiet years in the cryptocurrency realm - 2015. At this point Bitcoin is mainly being used for shady interactions on the dark web. Introducing Ethereum, Bitcoins new and improved younger sibling, just when you thought cryptocurrencies weren't revolutionary enough. You may or may not have heard of this one, but it's definitely one to watch. Why is it so special? It's coined a 2nd generation cryptocurrency because ETH took the technology of Bitcoin (since it's all public) and improved on it. They used the revolutionary blockchain technology and added a smart contract function. “Smart contracts help you exchange money, property, shares, or anything of value in a transparent, conflict-free way while avoiding the services of a middleman.” – Blockgeek.com (couldn’t describe it any better myself lol). Now, smart contracts have been around for awhile, but using them in conjunction with the blockchain is a game changer. Another benefit of smart contracts is that it also allows developers to build decentralized apps (coined dApps) to be built off of blockchain technology. You like playing games on your phone? Well this technology will allow you to play games on your phone whilst also getting paid in ETH (or some other crypto). There are plenty of new dApps and programs being built off of Ethereum that will come to fruition in the near future (2020 mainly) and I personally do not believe this crypto is going anywhere based on that fact alone.
After Ethereum once again transformed the playing field, other developers came along and built off of their previous work (which is why I love open source coding). Introducing 3rd generation cryptocurrencies (or altcoins). These cryptocurrencies have now flooded the market and they all have improved on what ETH lacked in some form or another. They all have unique little differences and you could get lost learning about them for months (so I really cannot give you a quick little rundown on 3rd generation differences). They all made improvements to the technology, and more importantly, they all continue to work on their coding and improve their products. A few of my personal favorites include: SONM/Golem (rent out your unused processing power – a super computer), Ripple (easy, fast, money transfer), Storj (rent out your unused computer storage), Viewly (Youtube but better), etc. My point is there are a lot of these cryptocurrencies out there and they all bring a unique flair to the crypto realm. These cryptocurrencies also hold the potential to dethrone many current institutions. Everything that is currently centralized can be decentralized via cryptocurrencies, and my bet is they will be sooner rather than later. This includes: accounting, insurance, government, banking, etc. I’m sure you can probably think of a few institutions that could use a change – looking directly at you ICBC. A little disclaimer here though; please do not get fooled! While legitimate cryptocurrencies with amazing technology backing them do exist, a lot of fake cryptocurrencies have also surfaced. This can only be compared to the Internet bubble of the late 90’s (where a lot of fake websites with great claims also existed). This technology is amazing and revolutionary but there are scam artists willing to capitalize on people’s ignorance so please, please, please do your own due diligence and research. This is also not to say that there are not problems that certain cryptocurrencies face either, but that alone is a huge topic which truly needs its own blog post.
The cryptocurrency realm exploded as of late 2017. Cryptocurrencies and bitcoin (mainly) went mainstream. Holy fuck did Bitcoin go mainstream. Bitcoin was crazy inflated as of Christmas 2017, that changed come 2018 as the market corrected itself (and it’s still correcting itself). The one really negative thing about Bitcoin falling is that it took the rest of the market with it, although this is mainly because Bitcoin is, as of right now, the medium that most people have to go through whilst purchasing other cryptos (and altcoins). Now while it’s bad for people who invested during the peak of the bubble, this is a good fact for the everyday investor. You can now pick up cryptocurrencies at a discounted price before they naturally revalue themselves. With a system that is so linked like that, it’s not surprising that the price of Bitcoin affects every other single cryptocurrency. This needs to change as every cryptocurrency is different and the price of Bitcoin should really not impact them. I will include that we are currently seeing this change happen as the cryptocurrency market recovers.
Now another awesome thing about cryptocurrencies is the fact that governments can use them to easily implement a universal basic income when AI and robots inevitably take our jobs. This will make the following job losses more bearable and we can avoid the Great Depression 2.0. since people will be left with income regardless of their employment status. Hopefully the government will realize the usefulness of cryptocurrencies as well - and I think many already are as we are seeing places like China, Japan and South Korea talk of national cryptocurrencies all based off this amazing technology. Also, it is worth pointing out that despite this the governments are very scared of cryptocurrencies because they have the potential to make the government essentially obsolete. People are not going to pay taxes on cryptocurrencies if they don’t have to – they are not a government regulated fiat currency so the government really has no right to tax them (especially if you just never cash out and leave your money in cryptocurrencies). I am conflicted with this though because I do believe in taxes and social services, but that doesn’t mean the two can’t coexist. Like I said, if the governments just get ahead of the curve on this one, they can implement their own form of cryptocurrency to hopefully counteract this effect. The governments are scared and you can see it (just look up cryptocurrency laws around the world); they are cracking down and trying to regulate cryptocurrencies – which is much needed. That being said, they cannot stop people from investing in cryptocurrencies altogether – that would be the equivalent of trying to stop them from using the Internet.
So there you have it, a very quick and hopefully easy to follow run-down of the history and application of cryptocurrencies. I believe they are the future for the simple fact that they are decentralized – they are made by the people, for the people. All the businesses that take service fees for being middlemen should rightfully be scared as the future is quickly unfolding whether the public is aware of it or not. Another thing to keep in mind is that cryptocurrencies are also being constantly updated and improved upon. The cryptocurrency industry is only in its infancy – I’m very excited to see what the future of this new technology holds.
Have I piqued your interest? Would you like to learn how to invest into cryptocurrencies and capitalize on this new technology before it goes even more mainstream? Look no further, click the link below.
I highly implore you to look more into cryptocurrencies and I will link a few of my favorite Youtube videos on the subject if you want to learn a bit more.
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Have a fantastic day,