As of this writing, the price explosion for Bitcoin and Ether has brought many newcomers. The primary reason is greed. There is nothing like the smell of free money from a ground-level investment. Even though at $2000+ BTC, some still see this as at least the second floor, and certainly not the roof. I will forego discussions about Ether and the other cryptos in order to focus on the bigger picture. So which ever crypto(s) you think will survive the shakedown, then replace that in your head for now.
The initial attraction to Bitcoin et. al., was the free movement of non-inflatable value across the planet at minimal cost, transaction permanence and privacy. Clearly, these are somewhat etherial values, of deep interest only to a few. Coupled with its high dependence on the physics of encryption and less than idiot-proof comfortability with the various software tools and websites required, the masses stayed away from it.
The first scoffing, scares, government harassment and scandals have passed. Not that they are over. Reliable purchasing sites and easy to use smartphone apps now have opened the gates to crypto, the way that AOL opened the internet to the nontechnical user in the old days. KEK.
Here we are: Profligate central bank spending, e.g, by the US Federal Reserve, has continued to erode the purchasing power of USD. The other world fiat currencies are not much better. This is evidenced in worldwide sovereign debt counted in the trillions of USD.
There is a timeless economic principle that good money drives out bad, and people will get rid of their bad money and buy other money or things that will retain value. That is what is happening now.
Whether most people (or you, dear Reader) understand hashing, Merkle trees or cryptography, it doesn’t matter. Smart people are buying the cryptos, and the rest are beginning to follow. The key difference between now and the Tulip craze is that we are moving to a new form of money that will destroy the old one, not just another form of the same form of money.
Bitcoin or Ether may not be the crypto we use 10 years from now, but we will use a crypto. Like the internet, the cat is out of the bag.
Without truly understanding why non-fiat, non-central bank printed paper is doomed and alway has failed in history, the world at large is reverting to its genetic knowledge that real money comes from the people and the market. From real effort and real value. A printing press generates no value. Those bankers who convinced the tyrants to let them print, in order to finance wars and political bribery, will always print into oblivion.
The ripping away of the power of the printing press from all governments simultaneously is what will change the world.
The “one world” money the tyrants (bankers) want will not be theirs. It will be ours.
The change will be messy, perhaps violent, but inevitable. There will be more scandals, mistakes, missteps along the way. Even if, before the end of 2017, there are multiple 50% retractions in crypto prices, this will only be a sign of growth and learning.
We as a world, those of us who are of the internet age (but no specific human age) must relearn the rules and the lessons of history: There must be no ownership (or creation) of money without an exchange of value.
What will happen next?
The old system will not just lay down and die. They will offer one or more “New Deals”, including new forms of the same old fiat, SDRs, and partially gold-backed “baskets”. But they will insist that they own it. That will be their demise.
Some will try a direct assault, more legal persecutions and demonization, like Silk Road; more examples made of “criminals” like the Lord family in Louisiana. Their lapdog media will spread every rumor possible, every story about people losing their savings, criminal empires, fortunes lost. If only we would just go back to the plantation…
But the internet and the cryptos will not be stopped. More and more commerce between free people will be conducted without a trace, without knowledge of the tyrants, and with it, their TAXES. Then the fur will fly. More persecution will follow. This will not be easy.
First they will attack the fiat converter exchanges, when people would need to turn the crypto into the “official” money, to pay bills, etc. At the same time, more businesses and institutions will accept the money their customers have. The second or third currency market will form, in parallel to the old one.
Sooner or later, some government, perhaps China first, will take the step and allow taxes to be paid with a crypto. That marks the beginning of the end. For them.
Even the IMF agrees, sort of, saying that virtual currencies, “ ... in principle, question the paradigm of state-supported fiat currencies and the dominant role that central banks and conventional financial institutions have played in the operation of the financial system.”
Governments deprived of the ability to surveil, counterfeit and debase currency will then have to again beg their citizens for the cash to wage war, to redistribute wealth (to their friends). And we will say no. We will say no to illegal and unjustified wars, to the military-industrial complex. We will establish our own charities and help only those in need. Governments without their ability to steal beyond what we can see and allow, will fade from importance.
You didn’t know it, but you are changing the world in the only lasting way possible.