2017 will be remembered as a game changing year for cryptocurrencies. While Bitcoin saw tremendous growth in 2013, it was still in its infancy. The entire cryptocurrency market was built on the back of an out of control Bitcoin exchange that barely had a leg to stand on. Fast forward 4 years and we now have a number of well-funded cryptocurrency exchanges to choose from. Venture Capital firm Blockchain Capital found through their survey results that 1 in 3 millennials would rather own $1,000 worth of Bitcoin than $1,000 worth of Government bonds or equities.
Why are Millennials Choosing Bitcoin?
- Become your own bank
- Limited in Supply
- Highly Speculative
Become your own bank
We suspect that most millennials that are buying Bitcoin and Ethereum are doing so because they know a friend of a friend who became a millionaire this year. 2017 has been noted as the year of Bitcoin millionaires, according to social media of those flaunting their cryptocurrency gains. This is okay. Having a decent understanding of Bitcoin and how the blockchain works take time. This learning curve is not nearly as steep as it once was thanks to the piles of available information on the internet. Documentaries on the topic are also becoming some of the most watched on Netflix and Amazon.
As more millennials become educated on how the blockchain works, they can now make an argument for Bitcoin. Bitcoin makes sense to millennials. Arm one with a hardware wallet like a TREZOR Wallet or Ledger Nano S and they have now become their own bank. They have more capability with that device than some of the most powerful banks on the planet. The store of all your wealth on something the size of a keychain.
After trying to send multiple wire transfers from my bank to the exchange, I realized how much I HATE fiat currency and the global banking system. My particular bank would not allow me to send wires electronically, I physically had to go to the bank to do the transaction. I was okay with that, but getting there on a Friday after lunch and hearing the news that my wire should get there by Monday was infuriating. Bitcoin trades 24 hours a day, and I don’t have time for the slow banking system to not send MY money immediately. For a trillion dollar industry, I cannot believe they have not solved this problem yet, it’s embarrassing actually.
Millennials have access to the world at their fingertips. They are also not happy with the “that’s the way we have always done it” approach. Mobile banking and peer to peer payment services like Venmo are two of the most popular apps in the millennials toolkit. This app driven generation continues to beg for digitization and ease of use. While Bitcoin isn’t easy to use by any means, we are still in the infancy of digital currencies being useful.
Millennials do not believe the government has their best interests in mind. They aren’t even banking on receiving social security when they reach retirement age. Millennials must rely on their own investments If they cannot even rely on the government, one that they pay taxes to, to take care of them.
This might sound like a wild idea, but it is not outside of the realm of possibilities. The middle man is no longer necessary, and millennials understand that. You want to know how I know? Look at what kinds of apps millennials are gravitating towards and creating. Uber and Lyft have completely changed transportation, and AirBnb cut out the hotel industry in the blink of an eye. While you can make the argument that AirBnb and Uber have simply replaced the middleman with themselves, this was just the first phase in a decentralized shared economy.
If the sharing economy is decentralization 1.0, then blockchain based decentralized applications will enable the sharing economy 2.0. Applications such as OpenBazaar will be the first of many to enable a true peer to peer transaction enabled by Bitcoin and the blockchain.
Limited in Supply
As millennials jump down the Bitcoin rabbit hole, they begin to learn what makes a good money, good. Gold bugs make the argument that it is a great store of wealth because it is limited in supply, which is true. It is highly desirable because of its luxurious shine and historical significance. These traits, while obviously different for a digital asset are strikingly similar for Bitcoin. Because of the 21 million supply cap for Bitcoin, it is deflationary by design. No need to worry about quantitative easing decreasing the value of Bitcoin.
This limited supply will make Bitcoin extremely rare in the future. We may look back on the days when an entire Bitcoin could be purchased for under $10,000… or even $100,000. To make matters worse for Gold investors, the search term “Buy Bitcoin” now gets more searches than “Buy Gold” on Google. If that 21-million coin-supply of Bitcoin starts mimicking the market cap of all Gold, Bitcoin might head towards $1,000,000 per coin. An entirely new wave of investors that are coming into the market, globally, will have an easier time investing in Bitcoin than most other securities.
Bitcoin has performed unbelievably in 2017, rising to a high of nearly $8,000 in November after starting the year around the $1,000 mark. Bitcoin looks like its screaming bubble, but many notable figures are calling for much higher prices for the digital currency.
Popular Bitcoin exchange, Coinbase, recently added 100,000 customers in a single day after positive market news. Exponential growth for Coinbase was also noted earlier this year in a in r/bitcoin thread. The Coinbase app is one of the easiest ways the buy digital currencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin. Coinbase growth has been referenced as a leading indicator to where the price of Bitcoin may be going. You can check out our full review of the Coinbase App and get $10 in free Bitcoin after making your first $100 trade!
Derivatives giant CME group is also jumping onto the Bitcoin bandwagon. They have plans to launch Bitcoin futures trading by the end of the year. They claim that their futures trading will bring more liquidity to the marketplace and will “tame” Bitcoin from its wild volatility. It is unexpected what will happen to the price of Bitcoin after futures trading begins, but some are expecting it to be a Bitcoin catalyst into the new year. Bitcoin seems to have become of interest for high net worth investors as well.
“Given increasing client interest in the evolving cryptocurrency markets, we have decided to introduce a bitcoin futures contract.” ~Terry Duffy, CME Group Chairman and CEO
The CME Group has also enlisted the help of Bitcoin expert Andreas Antonopoulos to work with their core team in fully executing the Bitcoin futures contracts.
In the know millennials are also taking advice from some of their heroes. Recent Bitcoin and Ethereum convert Mark Cuban was recently quoted as saying:
“[if you] really want to throw the Hail Mary, you might take 10 percent [of your savings] and put it in bitcoin or ethereum.”
Millennials across the globe are looking for the next best investment for their financial future. The upside of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies is almost unimaginable, especially as the entire market cap of the industry recently crossed $200 billion. With stock market bears such as Mark Yusko calling for $1 million dollar price target for Bitcoin, it’s no wonder so many are scrambling to download Coinbase!
As always, if you decide to invest in Bitcoin and Ethereum (we don’t think it’s a bad idea!), make sure to protect your investment. Education around this topic is critical for widespread adoption. The more people that get hacked or lose their private keys, the more ammunition we give to the skeptics. Check out our Best Bitcoin Wallet buyers guide to find out which hardware wallet is right for you!