Most people, when you ask them about bitcoin, are either ignorant or skeptical, but this will change. Bitcoin is going to change the world for the better. Here’s why.
Bitcoin is the first decentralized digital currency that is not controlled by a single organization or government.
It is supported by a peer to peer network of computers across the internet that act as servers to process the financial transactions of this currency.
Because of how it’s built, allowing more than making financial transactions alone,
experts say it is the next big technological advancement after the internet.
Here are 23 reasons to buy Bitcoin..
1. Using Bitcoin is affordable to almost anyone.
The Bitcoin system is much cheaper to use than creditcards, bank transfers, and other traditional ways of banking. Because there are much lower transaction fees compared to banks everyone, even poor people have access to making financial transactions.
Bitcoin puts an end to the frustration of high bank fees and transaction rates.
2. Cutting high transaction fees will save poor people’s lives
High bank rates and transaction fees not only frustrate customers but cost people’s lives. When people in the 1st world transfer money to their families in the 2nd or 3rd world they pay relatively high fees, sometimes more than 10% per transaction.
Annually, 500 billion dollars are transferred from the 1st world and companies like Western Union and MoneyGram take almost $ 50 billion of that money in fees.
Meaning $ 50 billion is taken away from the poorest people on earth by the richest people of the world. With bitcoin these fees could be reduced to one million, or even less.
The fact that world’s wealthiest companies make it more expensive to send money the poorer the destination country is, is a practice that is exploitative and corrupt. These organizations make enormous amounts of profit for a function that can be done in Bitcoin for free.
A huge gain for poor people and humanity as a whole.
3. It’s easy to use.
Setting up a bitcoin wallet is (relatively) easy and free. No costs at all.
4. Bitcoin may protect you from inflation.
Inflation is rising in the United States, in Europe, and other countries around the world. As we speak The Wall Street Journal warns inflation could become a serious problem sooner than the Federal Reserve and many others now recognize.
In some countries it already is a huge problem. In Argentina for example, with more than 30% inflation per year. Such inflation rates mean you can’t save for your future or your children’s future since your savings are worthless after three years.
Until 1971 we had the Gold Standard. Paper money acted as a claim check but since the Gold Standard was left, up to twenty times more money has been put in circulation than when paper money was still backed by gold.
Governments have been printing money like crazy the past years resulting in a weak global financial system that’s on the verge of collapsing. Banks, states, and whole countries have already gone bankrupt.
Bitcoin is a deflationary system because no more than 21 million bitcoins will be made (the last bitcoin in the year 2140). At the moment almost 13 million bitcoins are in circulation. You may wonder why it will take until 2140 for the last bitcoin to become available but that has to do with the increasing difficulty of ‘mining’ bitcoins.
Because the total amount of bitcoins in circulation can never be more than 21 million, the price is very likely to go up. Especially when more and more dollars and euros are flowing into the system. Totally opposite to the rampant money printing by governments around the world.
Some think of bitcoin as an alternative to gold, calling it; Gold 2.0
Not only for countries with high inflation rates, but also for people who are looking for a return on investment, Bitcoin offers a solution. It gives people and their families a future again.
5. Bitcoin allows you give the finger to banks and governments.
Putting it more eloquently, cryptocurrencies are a free market alternative for government mandated and manipulated currency systems.
American film maker and broadcaster Max Keiser warns we are not far away from a total financial collapse. Interest rates have been manipulated, set by central banks making money cheaper then ever before. Western governments have been pushing debt levels to over 100% debt per GDP.
The new trend in monetary policy is bail in instead of bail out, also referred to as ‘the Cyprus solution’. To avoid getting too technical, it basically means that money is taken from savers to try to fix the structural insolvency in banks and governments. (insolvency is the inability of a debtor to pay their debt)
Bankers and CEO’s of financial institutions paid themselves record bonuses, basically for wrecking the world economy and stealing from the people. All the more reasons to be outrageous.
Personally, I don’t think Bicoin or cryptocurrencies will bring down central banks or governments but it’s nice to have an alternative to these monopolistic, greedy, power abusing institutions.
Which is why a decentralized, ‘power-to-the-people’ global financial system is such a promising development.
6. Bitcoin is money of the people.
A shocking message from a whistleblower at the World Bank shows that all banking infrastructure around the world can be traced back to a handful of people making the decisions.
In other words, all the big global financial decisions are made by a handful of extremely wealthy families, businesses, and institutions that control and own most of the money.
Bitcoin is a promising attempt at free market money. By getting away from a small group of people trying to decide what the world’s economy is going to be it is higly likely to make the world a far more prosperous and stable place.
Bitcoin, being consensus-driven and publically registered, could be a breach of these monopolies. Bitcoin as a currency is decentralized. No single institution controls the bitcoin network. A monetary unit instigating a paradigm shift rewriting financial structures from the ground up.
With Bitcoin, the democratization of finance is within reach.
7. Democratization of banking – providing the poorest with access to banking
Worldwide there are more than 5 billion people who have no access to banking. Two billion of these people are already on the Internet. With a smartphone (which you increasingly see in the 3rd world) these people get access to a whole new financial system through bitcoin.
Thus becoming participants in the international economy using an international currency that can be transmitted anywhere with no fees and no government controls.
They actually do not even need a smartphone since bitcoin can also be sent by text message.
Advantages of such alternative systems have already been proven. Almost half of the Kenyan economy runs on Mpesa. This is a system where people pay each other with voice minutes. Mpesa are currently integrating Bitcoin and as a result one third of Kenyans now have a bitcoin wallet.
8. Bitcoin helps fight corruption
In Afghanistan police officers collectively thought they had gotten a raise when receiving their pay via cellphone for the first time. As it turned out their pay hadn’t increased but higher ranking officers weren’t able to skim their salary anymore.
By being able to make payments to each other, but also to suppliers of goods and services people start businesses and thus pull themselves out of poverty.
Microloans and micro financing are currently impaired by systemic financial bureaucracy making everything slow and expensive. Bitcoin, due to its decentralized nature, low costs, and fast transactions will give such initiatives a boost.
Because of cryptocurrencies ability to develop new markets, bringing international banking to the 1 billion smartphone users and the 5 billion users of ordinary cellphones, global markets will flourish, and the world economy is likely to get a boost as a whole.
9. Bitcoin increases your personal freedom.
Just an example, online gambling is prohibited in the US and many other countries. Which of course is ridiculous because we should be able to decide for ourselves if we want to gamble. (I don’t gamble but I think everyone should be able to decide for themselves)
People now can use Bitcoin and get away with it. The government can no longer control people and tell them what is supposed to be good for them.
Gambling is just an example. And maybe not such a good example either since bitcoin has been perceived as internet money used mainly to buy drugs and hookers on Silk Road but it has become a lot more mainstream and legit the past months. In general, cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin create a situation with no embargos, no sensorship, where anyone everywhere in the world can use it, can pay and be paid.
10. It renders legalized scams such as currency exchange offices useless.
Let’s face it, when you visit a currency exchange office chances are you are getting ripped off. You are paying so much (often way too much) for exchanging currencies because they can. You have no alternatives.
Bitcoin provides you with an alternative. No more getting ripped off at airport currency exchange kiosks and similar legalized scams. You arrive, withdraw in the local currency, after your trip is over, whatever fiat is left over you convert back into bitcoins.
As Redditor Flapjack_Ace put it, I hope bitcoin destroys the airport currency exchange kiosk.
11. Bitcoin is much more than a digital currency. It is a world-changing new technology.
I’m not even exaggerating when I say a new, world-changing technology has emerged. Bitcoin is probably the most important invention in economics and technology in the 21 century since the introduction of the internet.
There is Bitcoin the money and Bitcoin the technology and the network it creates. This invention creates the possibility for decentralized organization on a scale never before seen on this planet.
Even if Bitcoin itself wouldn’t last, cryptocurrencies are here to stay. Cryptocurrency is an innovation, a new technology such as the radio, television, the interet and voice over IP (Skype) were new technologies.
It will revolutionize the world of payments but it will do more than that. Apart from being a global and decentralized hard money ledger it is a programmable protocol. A whole new platform for innovation.
The bitcoin protocol is open source allowing millions of brilliant developers to build layers on top of it increasing its usability and creating a whole new financial industry on top of the bitcoin network.
An example of such an additional layer is one that ensures Bitcoins are only to be issued on predetermined causes. You could for example make sure that, in the future, your studying child can only spend his or her bitcoins on books and not on beer.
Bitcoin’s built-in scripting language makes it possible to use Bitcoin to create new types of financial instruments, such as smart contracts.
This technological advancement embodies a totally new way of communicating. According to many experts it is the next big technological development after the internet.
Bitcoin is changing finance as the internet changed publishing.
Like the internet and social media has liberated people all over the world, this innovation is like the genie that’s out of the bottle.
Bitcoin developer Andreas Antonopoulos said:
“I discovered Bitcoin for the first time in 2011 and, since the Internet, I have not felt this feeling of being completely overwhelmed by the possibilities that I saw. I was there at the dawn of the Internet in 1991 when it was pre-commercial. And I could see that this was going to change the world but couldn’t tell everyone around me because no one believed me. And I have that exact same feeling about Bitcoin.”
Bitcoin is not only digital money but also a publicly visible, globally distributed asset register that at the moment, happens to be used as a digital currency.
12. The bitcoin network is insanely powerful.
At the end of 2013, the global computing power of the bitcoin network was already 256 times faster than the top 500 super computers combined.
The Bitcoin network is incredibly strong, it however, could theoretically be cracked. A “51% attack” means bad guys getting as much computing power as the entire rest of the Bitcoin network combined, plus a little bit more taking actions that would shut down the network.
When someone wants to attack the Bitcoin network, they need a build a nearly a billion dollar data center which consumes more megawatts than you can get using regular power supply.
This makes an attack on the Bitcoin network virtually impossible. Even if someone would be able to pull it off, then they can keep the network from 10 to maybe 30 minutes for a ride. Which would not be worth the investment.
Even if they were successful in shutting it down, it would confirm the “Bitcoin thesis”, and thus the incentive to start a new digital crypto-currency that’s not as susceptible to attack would be magnificently high. Maybe the new currency would somehow start off where the old Bitcoin blockchain ended.
13. Bitcoin volatility will reduce.
At the moment the Bitcoin price fluctuates a lot. At the end of 2013 it jumped to more than 1200$ after which prices plummeted. The more money flows into the bitcoin network the more stable the price will be.
In a recent interview Bloomberg reporter Matt Miller speaks about how money is flowing into it from Venture Capital, Silicon Valley, Wallstreet. In his words: “more of the adults in the room are starting to believe in it. Believe in it enough to put down millions of dollars in order to invest in the infrastructure and try and bring it to more and more people.”
resulting in wide-spread adoption of the currency.
In comparison, the market capitalization of Bitcoin is now around 8 billion dollars which nothing compared to gold and silver and oil. In retrospect, the volatility already has reduced percentually the past years.
14. Bitcoin prices are likely to skyrocket.
Stephen Colbert called Bitcoin “gold for nerds”. Bank respresentatives warn bitcoin to be a risky investment while bitcoin aficionados stress its opportunities.
Personally I think Reese Barnes commenting on a Bloomberg article is spot on:
Often when it comes to investments you either lose all or double up, maybe triple your investment. According to some the price of one Bitcoin may eventually reach the 100.000$ and even more.
Ex-Facebook executive Chamath Palihapitiya said on Bloomberg that if bitcoin will evolve to a useful reserve currency, “its value will far exceed $400,000”.
Therefore, with Bitcoin the sky is the limit (if everything goes well) making Bitcoin likely to be the best investment opportunity you may ever have.
15. Bitcoin is secure.
Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies being intangible may scare off a lot of people. They are however very secure because they can not be counterfeited or multiplied at will.
In order to counterfeit cryptocurrencies you would have to hack the software on a decentralized network running on tens of thousands (if not hundreds of thousands) of computers. In other words, forging bitcoin is impossible.
Anything can be hacked and certain exchange websites have been hacked but Bitcoin itself has never been hacked. Famous hacker and security expert Dan Kaminsky tried it and failed.
Bitcoin has proven itself as an established payments system. Bitcoin has now surpassed Western Union in total transaction volume and looks set to pass Paypal this year.
16. Bitcoin’s acceptance and popularity are rising.
Bitcoin has now surpassed Western Union in total transaction volume and looks set to pass Paypal this year. More and more companies are accepting or investing in Bitcoin.
Companies such as Circle, Overstock, Dish Network, eBay, Paypal, Expedia, and Amazon have anounced to accept bitcoin. After initial skepticism now eBay has embraced Bitcoin and recently Apple allows bitcoin wallet apps in its App Store. Recently Wall Street anounced it comes aboard.
Richard Branson, CEO of commercial space startup Virgin Galactic said: “Virgin Galactic is a company looking into the future, so is Bitcoin,” “So it makes sense we would offer Bitcoin as a way to pay for your journey to space.”
Again, the incentive for large companies are lower transaction fees. Credit card companies charge merchants are in some cases more than double what a comparable bitcoin processer might charge.
You can still get in before you miss the boat. At about $650 dollar a Bitcoin you may be inclined to think that you had to buy last year when they were only $15 but hindsight is 20 20 and as Bitcoin is taking over the world prices will only go up.
17. Bitcoin is cryptologically protected so it gives users the benefit to make anonymous transactions.
Well, kind of.
Users can hold multiple bitcoin addresses which are not linked to names, addresses, or other personally identifying information.
18. Bitcoin is completely transparent.
Every single transaction that ever happened is stored in a huge digital version of a general ledger, called the block chain.
Proof of ownership and acquisition can therefore be proven at all times through this system, again without the intervention of a third party.
Everyone can see how many bitcoins are stored at a publicly used address. They just don’t know that it’s yours. In order to create more privacy on the bitcoin network you can take measures such as not using the same bitcoin addresses consistently, and not transferring big amounts of bitcoin to a single address.
Other benefits, you can use the currency in every country and your account can not be frozen. Alternative crypto currencies, promising true anonymity are DarkCoin and the ZeroCash.
19. Bitcoin is transportable.
You can send it almost instantaneously at virtually no costs all over the world. There are no storage fees because there’s no need for a third party to keep it in a vault somewhere.
20. Sending bitcoins is fast.
You can send money all over the world and it will arrive seconds or minutes later, as soon as the bitcoin network processes the payment.
21. Bitcoin is flexible.
One BTC may currently be worth about $650 but it is scaleable because a bitcoin can be subdivided into 100.000.000 smaller parts allowing it to scale as a payments technology.
The smallest unit is called a Satoshi which is 0.00000001 bitcoin. In other words, 1 BTC has 100,000,000 Satoschis (100 million).
You also have a millibitcoin, 0.001 BTC, centibitcoin, 0.001 BTC, and so on.
22. Cryptocurrencies enable new earning models.
A street musician for example who also broadcasts his or her performances on Youtube can easily put up a QR coded address for tips. Thus allowing people to quickly and effortlessly show their appreciation and earning some (additional) income.
Or for example, if you’re homeless, the great thing about bitcoin is that you can set up a wallet without an ID or a street address. And once you start filling this wallet, there are plenty of ways of converting bitcoins into cash and food and other goods, all without identification.
In Florida bitcoin helps urban homeless shelters secure donations for hot meals, beds, and blankets more quickly. “Bitcoin beats the shit out of regular money,” says Jason King, the founder of Sean’s Outpost.
23. You will be supporting the revolution
The more people accept bitcoin, the better. Bitcoin as a crypto currency is traceable, more portable than paper money, and harder to steal. Yes it’s volatile. Lucrative? Definitely. Promising? No doubt about it.
You don’t have to buy it (Bitcoin or this article) but Bitcoin is already changing the world and, mark my words, we ain’t seen nothing yet.
Despite all its benefits there are some disadvantages.
At this point in time it is hard for non-tech savvy people to keep their bitcoin secure since bitcoin security is still in its infancy.
But hardware wallets and services that guarantee safety are underway. Such developments will make bitcoin useable for regular people.
There’s also the fact that this disruptive technology may be perceived as a peril the most powerful institutions on the planet.
Right now bitcoin is still in its early stages and the danger to their hegemony may not be that apparent to these institutions yet. But this may change in the future. As a result such institutions may want to attack or try to discredit the new currency. Another side of the same coin is that banks are needed to make Bitcoin a success.The more banks provide bitcoin services the more chance on widespread adoption.
But even if Bitcoin would fail, for any reason whatsoever, there will be other cryptocurrencies that will pick up where they left. Bitcoin as money may fail but the technology will stay. It’s just like if a website or application fails on the Internet, the Internet doesn’t go away.
Nuancing this, maybe somewhat extreme Libertarian view, there are also banks that are welcoming to cryptocurrencies. Where large banks in the U.S. and China are (still) reluctant to do business with ventures focused on virtual currency, Dutch banks are embracing them as potential customers.
Mark Buitenhek, global head of transaction services ING Group says:
“We are very expressly looking at what it is, what it can do and, mostly, what the message behind it is.” “And that tells us: Banks, take action.”
Wall street will be quickly to adopt and according to Barry Silbert it’s in fact a lot of managing directors of banks who are investing in his 50 million bitcoin investment fund.
Anyway, cryptocurrencies are going to be a mainstay of our financial future. At its core Bitcoin is a revolutionary technology that will change the world forever.
Are you ready to join the revolution?
Final remark. This article is fairly positive of tone. If all goes well Bitcoin (or other cryptocurrencies often referred to as altcoins) can lead to increased global financial involvement, advances for human dignity and liberty, more privacy for the law abiding, as well as other positive effects.
Of course there are also risks. Developments that will cause the downfall of Bitcoin dropping its price to essentially nothing. As always with speculating, only use money you can afford to miss. Here’s a thorough overview of Bitcoin’s complexities and threats.
V for Vedetta by BeethowenSouza.
Bitcoin Freedom hoodie via Redbubble.
Bitcoin new technology photo: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg
Daily transaction volume of Bitcoin by Statista.
Words described as positive aspects of Bitcoin by Simulacrum.
This article was inspired by:
Joran Mulder ‘s Facebook posts about Bitcoin.