It was my last year of high school and one of our teachers called us into a room full of new computers. We were asked to sit down and "surf the web".
"Surf the Internet?" What did that even mean? At the time, I did not live near the beach and I did not really understand this concept of web browsing. It was awkward and the pages were slow to load. There was no way it was helpful. I returned to the library later in the day during the study room and read the newspaper. You know, the ones you see in hotel lobbies and sometimes outside restaurants.
Joking aside, when people are used to doing something in a certain way for so long, it's really part of who they are. I have experience in operations management and whenever I have tried to change the process or the way of doing something to make it more efficient, I have generally encountered resistance.
Some people are much more married to certain ideologies than others. We see it everywhere. I see it with the older generation in church who don't like new music. Or, for example, purists from the National Baseball League disregarding the idea of the designated hitter. What about even simple things like when Facebook or Twitter changes the user interface? Don't mess with my timeline! LOL.
Why then should it be otherwise for Bitcoin or any cryptocurrency? I speak every day to people who are educated and successful and who still cannot turn their heads around cryptocurrency. To me, it's like explaining how to surf the web to people in 1994.
For centuries, people have anchored in their brains that government-issued money meant it was valuable.
Fiat currency (currency issued by a government – USD, Euro, ruble, etc.) has this connotation behind it because because the government printed it, it MUST be of value. While it is true that our dollars are valuable, most people think it is because they are supported by something. As a society, we have decided that the bright minerals we dig up from the ground are "precious" and so is our money.
When economies are advancing and governments are not authoritarian and people have relative "confidence" in them, then yes, fiat money works very well. What happens when we tilt this scale and things are not going so well? Economists have divergent opinions on this, but most of the time, the governing bodies intervene and try to stimulate the economy. This is done by manipulating the economy via tactics such as lowering interest rates or quantitative easing. Governments love to turn on the printing press when things go wrong.
These types of scenarios can lead to distrust or worse. Recessions can turn into even bigger problems such as price controls or food shortages. Just ask the people of Venezuela who protest daily on the streets. Indeed, Bolivar, supported by their government, has now experienced triple digit inflation and is not even worth the paper on which it is printed. Let it penetrate.
Distrust of centralized banks, governments and businesses has led people to seek financial refuge elsewhere. It can also be extremely difficult and expensive to move money around the world. I used to manage banks and the process was tedious and required many eyeballs for verification purposes.
Blockchain technology changes all that. It is completely decentralized, which means that no president, dictator, government or company can control it. The large digital ledger ledger known as blockchain maintains trust and many people verify transactions for each other almost instantly. People are financially motivated to do so. It is a genius peer-to-peer operation that relies on people's greed to verify each transaction. For this reason, blockchain transactions are also the safest and most secure transactions ever invented.
What the Internet has done for information, blockchain technology has done for transactions. Bitcoin is not supported by any shiny material in the ground, but by something much larger. Lack of trust in traditional fiat money is driving people around the world to transfer their money to cryptocurrencies. It is a secure and relatively simple payment method. I can send Bitcoin to anyone in the world for almost no cost and they receive it instantly. They can keep it in Bitcoin or exchange it instantly on an exchange in the local currency of their choice.
Not only that, but traders around the world are starting to take notice and many are now accepting Bitcoin as a payment method. If I owned a store, I would ASK people to pay me in Bitcoin. Those who have accepted Bitcoin since the start of 2017 have now tripled their profits.
And it's only just started. At present, only about 1% of the population is confident in making regular transactions with Bitcoin. Imagine when that number drops to 3%. Then at 10%.
What a lot of people don't realize is that the more people who jump into cryptocurrency, the more valuable it will be. Indeed, the amount of Bitcoin that will never be created is FINITE. And you cannot have a Ponzi scheme with a finite resource. That number happens to be 21,000,000. That's it. Once this happens, there will never be a new Bitcoin created again.
Because we have 7 billion people on the planet and probably only 15 million people invested in cryptocurrency, there will come a day when 1 Bitcoin alone will be enough to retire.
Now you can certainly continue to sing those same songs. In fact, I like the occasional hymn from time to time, but with more guitar. You can continue to fight something you don't fully understand or dismiss it as a fad as businesses and governments in the Fortune 500 begin to realize that this is not the case.
Let me conclude with this. Finally, we all put this journal in the study room and started to catch up on the news and other interests we have while surfing this web. You can't dispute that or you wouldn't read this article!
Thanks for reading this and, as always, I would love to hear from you.