It's more than official: the market has spoken, and Bitcoin is now worth more than gold.
(Based on the standard unit price comparison of 1 BTC versus 1 oz. of gold.)
This is kind of a big deal.
The world economy is changing fast. The financial system is undergoing a big transformation.
Those who wanna stand strong throughout the wave of transformation and come out well on the other side, might be wise to dive into the world of cryptocurrency and get invested in this technology - which all started with Bitcoin.
Many reading this here on Steemit may already be aware. Though this article is intended to both expand the vision of where Bitcoin may be going for those who haven't dived that deep, as well as serving as more of an intro for those who've yet to own Bitcoin.
So if you've got friends and family that you'd like to introduce to Bitcoin and you find some of the below content great to paint a picture of where it may be going, feel free to share this post with them. I know I'll be doing the same.
There's definitely alot of content out there, so it could be confusing for a newbie to know where exactly to start if learning about Bitcoin. Herein, there's a blend of videos that paint a great overview of where it's at and headed, without getting too technical, and keeping things straightforward to grasp. Simplicity rocks.
And the simple starting point: Bitcoin is likely to keep rising steeply in price and become a major global currency. It is a big deal.
One of Snapchat's first investors - a company that recently struck a market cap of $32 billion their IPO day - foresees Bitcoin hitting $500,000 by 2030. Others foresee the same, expect even sooner.
Now, this isn't to be looked at solely from a financial perspective as an investment opportunity. Sure, if you wanna earn a profit, you might be wise to get buying Bitcoin ASAP. Though that's not the entire point.
Rather, it's quite possible that there are going to be some global financial crises going down, with fiat systems collapsing. That's a whole other topic unto its own - though the system is breaking down due to corruption and inefficiency, and cryptocurrency is the emerging innovative alternative.
As such, it's not just a matter of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies presenting an opportunity to profit on a price hike from $2000 to a million bucks, but also the fact that this form of value transfer is primed to become a replacement for the way commerce is handled worldwide. If fiat currencies do crash, it'll inevitably become way more valuable yet. And even if they don't crash, it may become so prominent in commerce, that the greatest opportunities at this time are not just the financial side, but in staying ahead of the curve and learning how to use and create value in these systems - which have far greater implications that just a means of currency.
And, let's forget the conspiracies of failing bank cartels for a moment - perhaps not "conspiracies, but an actuality - and say fiat doesn't collapse. Nonetheless, Bitcoin is still in process of becoming a widely-used alternative. And big things are changing because of it.
Though, the purpose of this article isn't to give a complete rundown on Bitcoin and the implications of blockchain technology, nor is it to propagate its hype. Rather, it's to give an overview providing enough details in order to see the implications of this shift that's already begun.
So onto the viewing resources....
This nine-minute compilation is a great starting point for anyone new to Bitcoin - and even a great reminder for those of us who aren't - that paints a great picture of its history, the context as to why it's such a big deal, and a few of the implications. A great watch:
Next, a short and sweet London Real interview clip with Rick Falkvinge condensing some very important facts to consider:
For a great highlight reel of some great snippets from interviews and news, check out this video below. However, *Ignore the last bit when they start talking about "Coinomia" - that is probably shit, but the clips leading up to it is good stuff:
This next one is a bit longer and drags on a little in some parts, though is pretty thorough and worth a watch if you have the time and are interested:
10 Reasons Bitcoin Price will Destroy All Time Highs in 2017
And one potential case for the value of Bitcoin to rise to $12 million - not the most exciting presentation, but worth a watch at 4 minutes:
Now, in all fairness so as to not paint one-sided idealized outcomes, let's consider reason why Bitcoin may not rise into the hundreds of thousands or millions of dollar range.
The main point to consider:
There are many alternative cryptocurrencies gaining popularity and in development that are able to serve the same functionality as Bitcoin, with additional benefits as well - be it transaction speed or the ability to integrate into smart contracts and decentralized applications.
Bitcoin's key strength of marketing positioning right now may be its popularity / amount of adopters & users. However, there are all kinds of other coins that could serve even better in the future, and a variety of new coins & tokens that are yet to come.
The value of Bitcoin may continue to rise due to its popularity, benefits over fiat, and limited supply. Though if adoption of other cryptocurrencies with competitive advantages picks up significantly, it should be expected that Bitcoin price growth rate would slow. Although even then, there lie great opportunities in being on the leading edge and determining which of the newer cryptocurrencies have the fundamentals in place to be of exceptional value that could be well predicted to give Bitcoin a run for its money, so-to-speak.
For instance, Ethereum has also been growing steady and can be well-predicted to do so.
Next to Bitcoin, Ethereum is undoubtedly the most popular blockchain. Running on Ether (ETH), its native token/cryptocurrency, the purpose of this platform was never intended to be a director Bitcoin competitor, but a "world supercomputer" - a decentralized network upon which applications can be developed utilizing cryptocurrency and "smart contracts" to utilize AI and automate all kinds of business transactions. It's a game-changer, really.
Very big developments are coming together on Ethereum, and even smart cities in China, the city of Dubai, and the United Nations are getting their systems on Ethereum. And of course, the more users and application, the higher Ether price shall go.
There are also other comparable blockchain platforms coming up, such as Tauchain, EOS & Bitshares, and Tezos - just as there are other cryptocurrencies such as Dash, Litecoin, Dogecoin, Monero, etc. Even if Bitcoin doesn't hit its million-dollar mark, the steady influx of capital into the cryptosphere is quite likely - as has been seriously doing so the last month with big money coming into the game from Asia - to benefit the entire basket, just as 'a rising tide lifts all boats.'
Other potential obstalces...?
Scaleability. Currently, Bitcoin doesn't have the capacity to keep up with continually-increasing transaction numbers. Though, upgrades are in the works to solve these problems. And, other blockchains/cryptocurrencies have been designed with performance advantages and features enabling greater scaleability, should Bitcoin fail to keep up.
Hackers? Mmmm... perhaps, if quantum computers show up and some brilliant hackers get ahold of them to create programs that could crack the cryptography before the developers preemptively upgrade to a protocol that could keep it's security standards with quantum computers. I'm no expert there, though there potentially could be some vulnerability there. Though, there is also a steadily-growing body of brilliant minds working on solutions to challenges as they come up, and Bitcoin itself has been completely unhackable to date.
Some crazy interplanetary electo-magnetic pulse that takes out all the world's computers? Perhaps. Though, this isn't science fiction or a hollywood film. And as such, it might not be better to waste too much time worrying about doomsday scenarios.
Otherwise... this crypto train appears to be on a fairly steady track.
Sure, there is alot of hype around it all right now, and some aspects of the alt coin market could be in a bit of a bubble. Though, such a bubble bursting would probably inevitably serve the whole by squeezing out many hyped projects lacking integrity and solid fundamentals, strengthening the projects that have what it takes to stick around long term.
Lastly, I've recommended this book time and time again and shall continue doing so, for it is unquestionably the definitive guide on blockchain technology that paints an amazing picture of what's to come as the tech gets integrated into all facets of commerce and society:
Blockchain Revolution by Don & Alex Tapscott
Beyond that, there is a whole world of resources one could dive into to learn more. Though, just as important as doing one's homework, is actually getting your feet wet, getting some skin in the game.
If wanting to buy Bitcoin, Coinbase (in the USA) and Kraken are two of the most popular exchanges where you can fund an account via bank transfer and buy different crypto tokens from there. And for those who don't wanna wait days for a transfer to clear, sites like Changelly are now offering Bitcoin and other tokens to be bought directly with credit card.
From there, you'll want to get a good wallet to store your tokens. It is recommended NOT to keep them on an exchange, as exchanges can and have gotten hacked. Exodus is an excellent multi-crypto wallet that can be installed on any desktop computer that is secure, slick, and super easy to use. Do back up your keys and password. And becoming increasingly popular for good reason are hardware wallets - similar to a USB stick - like Ledger Wallet and Treznor.
Once your toes are dipped in, there's a whole rabbit hole of projects and developments to explore.
This platform, Steemit, is an amazing blockchain-based system changing the social media game, where content creators and curators are earning crypto for their contributions to the ecosystem (it's LEGIT) - and is also a great place to catch up on news about what's going down in the crypto space. And there are multitude of projects blossoming in the blockchain universe, from predictions markets to distributed computing power, to ventures seeking to change the music and entertainment industry infrastructures, to real estate and health care applications, and much much more.
It's exciting times, as it's not just about the money - but changing the world.
Cryptocurrency and blockchain technology are rewriting the rules of the game.
Wanna swim rather than sink, as the economic tides shift in this rapidly-transforming world? Educate yourself on what's happening in this space and get invested - not just financially, but in knowledge and relationships as well.
Nothing is guaranteed in life. But with all the foundational factors in place suggesting Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies will be continuing to rise significantly in value, while the amount of business and creative collaboration also booms, these are investments that are highly probable to pay off...