By now you’ve probably heard of the new “it” thing on the Internet: bitcoins.
But let’s get real.
What Are Bitcoins Good For?
While popular opinion would suggest bitcoins are solid investments, the reality is every investment is going to be risky no matter what market or commodity or product of choice. Bitcoins themselves have been prone to crashes in value in their decade-long history, proving they’re hardly stable. But this shouldn’t deter you from deciding on whether to buy them.
Rather, you should look at bitcoins as an investment in liberty and a glimpse into the future of digital spending. Because if there is one thing that is true, it’s that cryptocurrencies are going to shape how consumers spend online. Not to mention local retailers who begin to adapt to changes in technology.
So without further ado, here are some real things that bitcoins are actually good for.
Bitcoins are often lumped into criminal activities and are seen by some as a way of evading authority. But when it comes to privacy, the real concern is having the freedom to buy without facing scrutiny from outsiders.
The beauty of bitcoins is that you can determine how private you want your transactions to be. Yes, the currency is traceable in that anyone can follow their blockchain. Which means anyone can see where that bitcoin last came from. But this doesn’t mean that you can’t spend without having everyone know who you are.
The key to keeping your purchases private is the fact that no one actually knows who holds the bitcoin address. Bitcoins are essentially decentralized, meaning there’s no middleman through which ownership can be traced.
This alone guarantees freedom for anyone who believes in the value of protecting privacy.
When it comes to ownership, bitcoins is like having cash on hand. You are the sole owner.
That means no bank can hold your money or worse freeze accounts. Instead, you can keep the money in “digital wallets.”
The options are pretty extensive. Among your choices are desktop, mobile, online, or ever hardware wallets. The difference between them often comes down to personal preference, but the idea still holds. Only you can own bitcoins. Which definitely is a step up from having a bank hold on to precious currency at the expense of fees and penalties.
What makes bitcoins so unique and good to own is scarcity. While capped at 21 million available units, the cryptocurrency is essentially free from inflation.
What Is Inflation, You Ask?
Inflation is when a currency loses value. This is usually because a government decides to print more of that currency in times of economic crisis, causing a rise in inflation. For example, something like a candy bar might cost a dollar at any given time but can double to two dollars if inflation goes up.
This often can lead to something like US dollar losing its value, especially if owners are adamant about holding to the currency. Bitcoins will never face this problem.
This is why they referred to as a new gold. Consider the following: owning one bitcoin will put you in the top 1% of all people on the planet! And like gold, that scarcity makes them very desirable to own if you are able enough to get your hands on them.
Talk about value.
When trying to decide on whether you should buy bitcoins, consider a different line of thinking. While investments are always going to be risky, see the value not as a matter of a return on investment but a return on an idea. Because at the end of the day, that is exactly what bitcoins are.
Rather than focusing on monetary value, view them as a currency for a new frontier. One that is devoid of pesky banks getting their hands on your hard-earned cash. Or worse, facing the wrath of overzealous government oversight.
Instead, look at bitcoins as a way to invest in privacy, ownership, and scarcity. That is the true mark of what they are good for.