Photo by Aleksi Räisä on Unsplash
A couple of years into crypto…
A conversation with my son at Christmas of 2017 lit a bulb inside my head which hasn’t diminished since. He had mentioned this Bitcoin thing 2 or 3 times previously, saying that some colleagues were even having some of their wages paid in it. I’d listened, but to me at that time, it was just a bit of a novelty and I didn’t pay it much heed.
Anyway, the conversation a few days before New Year’s Day did spark off my interest — of course it did because the last crypto bull market was approaching its height. In fact, my interest was more than piqued and it was akin to a thermonuclear device exploding inside my head. I went straight off and made accounts on Coinbase and Idex and bought myself a little bit of Bitcoin and some cryptocurrency.
Given the impending correction after Bitcoin went to $20,000 I am just so glad I didn’t have a lot to spend. As it was, I was still like a kid in a sweetshop and I did make a few purchases I was to regret. I bought at the top like a host of other punters and watched the price dive.
However, even after a couple of years of mostly bear market, I’m still here. I’ve found my passion. During those 2 years, I’ve delved into the case for bitcoin and also for the altcoins. I’ve reached my own conclusion on it all and I will be here for the foreseeable future. If it all goes to zero and comes to nought then I will go down with the ship.
The case for Bitcoin
As I learned more and more about Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency I also started to educate myself more on the traditional financial system and what I learned absolutely staggered and incensed me in equal measure. What I learned here has just increased my passion and interest in Bitcoin.
So what is Bitcoin and why is it important?
However, he is arguably the most successful investor of all time and so he certainly needs to be listened to — even if you take into account that he has so much to gain from the failure of Bitcoin and the perpetuation of the current financial system.
Anyway, I’m going to indulge myself and give the ‘regular guy on the street’ take on Bitcoin.
I truly believe that Bitcoin offers a way out of this current toxic financial system that most of us are trapped within. You put your savings into the bank and then watch as it dwindles in value.
0.05% for heaven’s sake!
This is the kind of return offered by savings accounts. You put your money in and lock it up for a year or two then what comes out the other end has increased by the stated percentage. What most peeps fail to realise though is that the buying power of their buck has probably fallen 5 to 10% in the intervening period.
So how does Bitcoin improve matters?
Bitcoin is our way out. You can transfer value with Bitcoin and there is no bank or government authority that can say you nay. How many ordinary, good-minded people have had their bank tell them that they couldn’t send their own money to a particular person or organisation that the bank deemed ‘unfit’ to receive it?
As soon as we put money into our bank it shoots out the back door to be lent to someone else at a ridiculous percentage rate. If the banks could get away with it they would also charge us for getting our cash out of an ATM and I know this is already happening but I wouldn’t doubt it will be more widespread practice soon.
Anyway, this is all small beer. What about the trillions of debt that continue to accrue and put us all in hock? The US Federal Reserve is printing currency at such a rate that the presses must be glowing hot! Most of this money goes straight into the banking system and very little of it trickles down to the ordinary folks below.
The Federal Reserve is currently engaged in buying the stocks of the Fortune 500 companies such as Apple, Microsoft and Amazon. It’s for this reason that the US stock market continues its meteoric path to new highs. The companies themselves are also buying back their own stock — why wouldn’t they? At least for the short term they are going to make a killing — tomorrow may never come…
Sorry, went off on a tangent and started rambling so let’s bring this back…
Bitcoin is mathematical. I won’t go into who thought this up — was it Satoshi Nakamoto? Craig Wright :-)? Some organisation or other? Anyway, it is an incredibly tough system that has withstood all that governments and hackers could throw at it over the last ten years or so and it has persisted unscathed.
Baked into the code is a ‘halving’ that cuts the supply by half every four years, thereby ensuring scarcity and a resulting increase in demand. Retail investors are starting to renew their interest again and institutions are seeing the value in an asset class that must be a sure hedge when the coming economic crash arrives.
How about if you wanted to send a large amount of value to a third world country? Imagine the fun and games you would have if you had to go through the banking system. Sending Bitcoin to the other person’s wallet in Vietnam, Papua New Guinea or Timbuktu can be done within an hour or so and with negligible fees.
How about this dilemma… You’re in somewhere like Hong Kong, Russia, Iran for instance. You have a flight out of the country and in your mind you are not going back. You aren’t allowed to take physical assets or more than a minimal amount of currency out. What do you do? you just put your assets into Bitcoin and store it in your wallet. Doesn’t matter where you end up — you will still be able to access your wallet and thereby your wealth.
It is said that Bitcoin is a store of value in the same way that gold and silver are. I would totally agree with this. Even though Bitcoin is such a nascent asset and it gets the volatility that comes with this, looking into the mid to long term future Bitcoin can be that store of value. It is rare just like gold and silver and you could successfully argue that is hugely more scarce. There is only a finite amount of Bitcoin that will ever be mined so buying it at sub $10,000 prices could end up being great value.
Finally, you can be your own bank and not have to rely on that huge, rotten, degenerate entity called the banking system. You can take out loans backed by crypto collateral and you can stake your Bitcoin and cryptocurrency in order to receive a really competitive rate of interest. The cryptocurrency ecosystem is not like the banking system in that you need to be an ‘accredited investor’ in order to avail yourself of all the best deals. Anyone can educate themselves and can take part.
So a little over two years later here I am. It seems a lot more than two years because I have learnt so much. Every day I watch more youtube videos and read more articles. I’ve seen Bitcoin plumb the depths of $3,200 or so and then rise up like the Phoenix from the ashes to its present price of around $10,000. I’m hopeful it will now rise firstly to match its $20,000 all-time high before carrying on to much loftier values.
I totally understand that there’s many a slip twixt cup and lip and that there are forces out there that won’t want to see this happen. Manipulation is still probably going on in a rampant fashion. However, I’m hopeful that as the traditional financial system starts its inevitable descent into crumbling ruin Bitcoin will endure and be there as a store of value for the average Joe on the street like me.
A financial reset has long been on the cards and it surely must happen in the not too distant future. Given what hard-working people have had to put up with thus far we hope that it won’t just be something like a government digital currency designed to keep tabs on the population — pretty much like China is about to soon launch.
We deserve better than this. Everyone should be able to transact with anyone they wish (I’m not stupid and I do realise we need to try and take nefarious actors into account but that’s the subject of debate for another article).
So here I am, looking forward to a career change into the cryptoverse and well advanced on the arduous path of trying to disassociate myself from banks and their tentacle-like hold over the financial system. It’s not going to be plain sailing but there’s no turning back for me now. Two years in and I’m so happy to be here. Long live Bitcoin… and long live the Blockchain!