People who are new to Bitcoin rarely understand it the first time around. They think it is not real money, or only a currency, or just a scam tool for online criminals. The digital currency of bitcoin is only the Bitcoin protocol’s first “app.” Just like email was to the Internet, the currency simply is the best way to bring the new technology to the masses. Just like the Internet is so much more than email, we haven’t even scratched the surface to what Bitcoin is.
This list of 10 reasons for someone to get started with Bitcoin should help the new-to-intermediate user of Bitcoin get a better understanding of how Bitcoin and its ecosystem will work in the real world as we go forward.
If you are already a Bitcoin veteran, share this list with someone you’d like to introduce to Bitcoin.
1. The world’s easiest bank account to open
When you are the bank, accounts are just so easy to open! With Bitcoin, you don’t need a bank or credit. No credit check, ID, age requirement, citizenship papers, or passport are needed to have a Bitcoin wallet or any bitcoin. If you control your money and bank account, you have true economic freedom. Bitcoin gives anyone this option. Your 10-year old child can forget piggy banks (unless it’s bitcoin-powered) and start their own digital empire today!
Have your own Bitcoin address, QR code, receive your first deposit, and buy something with bitcoin in less time than it takes to read this article.
2. Appreciate the appreciation
Critics of Bitcoin are quick to point out that it has lost hundreds of dollars in value since Mt. Gox. What they leave out of their assessment is that five years ago it was worth one American nickel and has appreciated thousands of percent in value in just over six years. Name any other currency or commodity, from gold and silver, to cash or real estate that has increased in value that much since 2009? You can’t, because there has never been a financial option as revolutionary as Bitcoin before.
Bitcoin hasn’t even gone mainstream or “viral” yet! Its upside potential, and the limited supply of 21 million total units, creates a truly special investment opportunity. Bitcoin’s value has already increased about 50% since its 2015-low back in mid-January. Bitcoin is so resilient because it is designed to appreciate in value over time, through simple supply and demand, unlike a dollar or euro, which are designed to depreciate in the long-run.
3. Launch your Business idea without the need for bank approval
Starting a new business can be very hard, financially. Maybe you are a coder who wants to make a great “app” but have no money or credit. Within minutes, get a QR code, post it on your Facebook or Twitter and drum up grassroots support for the next great business idea. Whether it’s a way to process microtransactions quickly and easily, a new crowdfunding platform or a partnership with your lawyer friend to do bitcoin escrow management, no credit check or bank loan is required.
Offer a product or service, something of value, in exchange for Bitcoin. This is the fastest and easiest way to get started with Bitcoin. It’s not about changing dollars to cryptocurrency. Instead, build the Bitcoin community, and start new economic activity within Bitcoin’s ecosystem. And it allows you to “opt-out” of the status quo, philosophically.
4. Quickly gain access to the rest of the digital currencies or altcoins
Bitcoin is a multi-billion dollar industry, but that is just part of the digital currency world. There are hundreds of millions invested in “altcoins” as well. In order to enter the altcoin market, and experience all the features digital currency has to offer, you’ll need some bitcoin. Bitcoin is to digital currency what the U.S. Dollar is to fiat currency worldwide. It is needed as a liquid asset to move and convert easily between different currencies. Going from a fiat currency straight to Litecoin would be much more difficult than converting bitcoin to litecoin using an instant online service like Shapeshift.
Bitcoin may not be the best currency for all situations, and something less valuable, and with quicker transaction times may be more desirable as an alternative in the future. Just like you wouldn’t use a US$100 bill to buy a slice of pizza or leave a tip, smaller altcoins could have more and more real-world value as well as their own specific niches. They will be used more as transactional currencies in the future, as bitcoin continues to grow in value, and fresh supplies dwindle.
6. Two words: Bitcoin IPOs!
These are starting to become a new bitcoin financing option. Offer stocks, bonds, and IPOs for your small business or corporation without any established stock exchange seat needed. Receive financing from anyone worldwide, buy and sell shares of your company. Take new investors for a day, a week, or on a timer! Sell your “app” or business model outright, or just gain partnerships to infuse capital and awareness to your vision. The possibilities are endless.
7. Programmable money has its advantages over fiat currencies
Having a truly digital currency means you can do many things a dollar simply can’t do. For example, you can have a family wallet with pre-set spending limits. Your teenage daughter can only shop at certain mall stores at certain times with the family bitcoin wallet. Your daughter in college can only buy books at the school store, not beers for the frat party on Saturday. Digital currency is designed to be easily programmable by the owner for many different parameters. Limits are not a Bitcoin thing, but it will give you these options.
8. ‘Smart contracts’ provide many business options
Every day, many people worldwide use a version of the “smart contract” and don’t even know it. If you go to the vending machine and give it a dollar, you are entering a primitive version of a smart contract. You send the dollar to the machine and enter into a contract. The machine has the keys to your change and your product and releases them when you send the payment to fulfill the contract you desire. Bitcoin can have a similar, but a much more advanced smart contract, for your car, for example. Nick Szabo coined this concept back in 1997.
If you get a car, it will have a digital key for you and your bank. If you fail to make the payments, your (digital) keys to the car revert to the bank’s Bitcoin account until you make amends with the bank. No more car theft, which builds on the current engine immobilizer concept, a similar primitive form of a smart contract, like the vending machine example. This can apply to homes or anything with a loan where more than one party has a claim to the property over a span of time.
8. Crowdfund your business or project even in the most remote area
What if you’re in an impoverished, 3rd-world nation? You don’t live near a metropolitan city. You live 30-50-100 miles from the nearest bank. You don’t own a car. Your local dirt road is flooded out by rain 3-4 days a week. Your nation’s currency is going through inflation at close to 10% annually, and you don’t get much of it to begin with. You support your family from a small farm you own that provides food to live on, but could provide more if you could invest in grain, materials, and more land. You know one person several miles away with a computer and an internet connection. You can get to him once a week when you shop near his location. He lets you use a computer if you need. Bitcoin’s unique abilities give you the means to transact worldwide. Now, you have options you’ve never had before.
With Bitcoin, you can get a free Bitcoin wallet online, have a web page made, and you can put your QR code online. Place an ad to gain payments from anyone worldwide!
A few US dollars in bitcoin may be worth hundreds of currency units in many countries with a swiftly depreciating national currency. In many foreign lands, US$10 in bitcoin would change the lives of entire families for 2-3 months. Websites, networks, and partnerships are being built worldwide to make these capabilities of Bitcoin easier to realize every day.
9. Don’t like your government or central banking system? Bitcoin makes a financial and political statement
Maybe you or someone you know is the type of person that hates being controlled, financially or otherwise. Maybe they are the type of person that is constantly complaining about the Federal Reserve, the government, or regulations in general. Bitcoin may be your ticket.
Bitcoin is just a technology, but it is a technology that is not owned or sanctioned by any government or centralized body or server. It is a true financial model of independence. The more money invested into Bitcoin means less money is invested directly into government, central banking, and the status quo, in general.
The more money flowing into the Bitcoin ecosystem, the more each bitcoin grows in value in the long-run; pretty much the opposite of how modern fiat currency works, which is something to consider whether you are new to Bitcoin, or not.
10. Bitcoin’s speed makes a wire transfer seem like a steam ship
Have you ever tried to take more than US$10k out of a bank? These days, you will have a conversation with the branch manager, and the transaction will be sent to the government, regardless of where you are. You are on somebody’s list. Ever try to move more than a gold coin or two through customs on a flight overseas? Yeah, you will spend some time in a room with men carrying guns.
Privacy and rights are becoming a thing of the past with the old guard of value transfer. Bitcoin steps up your security and privacy in a big way. Access your bitcoins without a need to transfer them, no matter you go. Sending a wire transfer takes days! Why waste the time? Plus, you’ll have to answer twenty questions as to who you’re sending it to and why. If you want to send a million dollars in bitcoin to someone overseas, you can send it fully-encrypted to any address you like, without an interrogation by a bank, or fear of reprisals. They’ll receive it in seconds, and get it verified within the hour. Create a “brain wallet” if you like, and access your BTC by remembering a favorite phrase.
People have been trained and conditioned to think physical money is a great asset, but when it is time to move that physical asset, this favored trait becomes a major liability. Bitcoin doesn’t have such problems. You are in full control of your money anytime, anywhere, with access to any amount. Now that’s control over your finances.
The Internet started out just like this
This is just a working sample of what Bitcoin is doing now and will do in the very near future. Bitcoin is not a conjured-up online experiment. It is a new digital ecosystem that will allow people to have the same flexibility and economic power as nation states. The privacy that is currently being stolen at an exponential rate is infinitely enhanced through encryption. Limitations aren’t built into the system through location, age, identification, or language, like they are with fiat, or paper currency systems.
Instead, everyone in the Bitcoin distributed network gets a chance to succeed, and the establishment has no built-in advantages. Bitcoin levels the global economic playing field, just like the Internet did 20 years before it for global transfer of information.
Actually, you have an advantage over the establishment because you have just opened a window into “the future of money” that many people have not. You’re now a step ahead of the competition. What will you do to stay a step ahead? With Bitcoin, the world is full of innovative, amazing new options. Take advantage of this opportunity.