With the increased attention that cryptocurrency has been getting, there has been an equal and opposite reaction of negativity and scrutiny. When you told your family about your crypto gains last year at Thanksgiving and Christmas, you were probably told at least once that crypto wasn’t a good investment because it “has no regulatory body”, “is a scam”, or “will never compete with the US Dollar”. These are pretty common quips for people to make. They are also completely predictable and easily refutable–but even if they aren’t easily refutable, does it really matter?
Does cryptocurrency need a regulatory body? Do we need the government to oversee our currency for us? They haven’t done a great job so far. They aren’t transparent, there is not a fixed supply, and our money is not durable, easily transferable, or easily transportable. I say that the people should be allowed to oversee our own currency as we see fit. Cryptocurrency could revolutionize our payment systems and many other industries as well to become more transparent and fair.
Is crypto a scam? That’s complicated. In the world of cryptocurrency you will most certainly encounter scams. They will come in the form of phishing attacks, exchange hacks, and coins/companies with no clear vision trying to sell you a useless asset. Cryptocurrency itself is not a scam. You can sell your assets for USD at any time and withdraw to your bank account. It is quite easy. You can definitely make money with crypto and you can definitely lose money with crypto. This is the same as in the stock market or almost any other business. Nothing is a guarantee and risk management should be practiced no matter the endeavor.
Will cryptocurrency ever compete with the US Dollar? Probably not. But do we need to compete with the US Dollar directly for people to realize that cryptocurrency is bigger than just a means for transacting money? I don’t think we do. Blockchain technology has far-reaching applications in many industries that can solve a plethora of problems. Nobody needs to choose between using BTC and USD. Over time, you will find yourself watching blockchain technology improve the world and you will realize that it doesn’t matter whether or not we use Bitcoin instead of USD. That’s not the battle being waged.
If you care enough to interact with a person that raises these points against crypto, you’ll also have to face a question that I have been asked by every single person that I have ever talked about my involvement with cryptocurrency to: But what gives it value?
What the hell kind of question is that? What gives the US Dollar value? The US Dollar suffers from inflation, there is no controlled or defined maximum supply, there is no public ledger of transactions to track the supply. It is not durable or easily moved. It has no practical utility. It is not backed by silver or gold. If tomorrow the US government goes down, your money is worthless. It will not be accepted by anybody. Any wealth that you had accumulated will disappear instantly.
If tomorrow the US government goes down, BTC and other cryptocurrencies will continue to be valuable because their success is not tied to the success of a country. The supply is not issued by a government. The development is not controlled by a government. Cryptocurrency has no treaties to uphold, obligations to honor, or liability to assume for the actions of any government. The value of a crypto is determined by the people. We decide which projects live or die. We decide whether there is demand for an asset.
What gives cryptocurrency value is that it represents freedom and the power of the people. It is durable, easily transferable, and easily transportable. It has a fixed supply, the community votes on major development changes, and the free market decides its value. There is a public ledger that accounts for every coin to prevent corruption and ensure transparency in the money supply. MONEY. The thing that makes the world turn. Is it not important to understand the money that you use? The money that determines your quality of life or the future of your children. If that is not valuable to you, then you should probably reevaluate your priorities a bit.
Now, if you’ve had this entire discussion with you assailants and you’ve tried to explain why cryptocurrency matters yet they continue with the attacks, it will become clear that they just flat out hate the idea. In my opinion, there are only three reasons for that to be the case.
- This person works in an industry that could be harmed by the rise of cryptocurrency. This could be government regulatory bodies who are having a hard time trying to control crypto. It could be bankers or Wall Street investors. It could just be a business owner who would be threatened by a new technology coming into their space. If this is the case, that’s a good sign for you because disrupting the status quo is exactly what crypto aims to do.
- This person is extremely bitter that they didn’t buy in sooner. People love to see others fail–especially when they themselves are down on their luck. They are comfortable with their place in life and would not like to see someone younger than them rise above them so quickly. This is rather common human behavior and the resentment that people will harbor towards you because of your success will be predictable and expected but it will also be tough to deal with. You don’t want to have a combative relationship with your family or friends. You’d like for them to be happy for you but unfortunately that is not always the case.
- This person still doesn’t understand it. Most likely in this scenario the person will tell you that they are uncomfortable using electronic currency and that they prefer something they can hold in their hand. To which I say: does the benefit of holding a piece of meaningless paper in your hand really outweigh the positives of a durable, transparent currency built by the people for the people?
In each of these situations, you’ve likely reached a point in the discussion where you won’t be convincing these people of anything. They are set in their ways and so are you. I can’t say for certain whether Bitcoin or any other crypto will ever be used as an everyday currency, but I can say that our economy will adopt Blockchain technology and it will benefit the world. The price of Bitcoin doesn’t matter and it won’t ever matter. This is a mission to change the world and make things work for us, not the people in power. This isn’t for your older relatives. This battle is for your future.
So hopefully next Thanksgiving when the price of Bitcoin crashes to $15,000 or $30,000 or $60,000, you can smile at whoever is hating you for trying to make a better life for yourself and you can know that it doesn’t matter what they think of cryptocurrency. You know that the technology has value and you know what that means to you.