Anyone who’ve heard about Bitcoin probably has heard stories about early adopters becoming millionaires. Bitcoin’s value has gone from a few cents to $4,000 dollars within a few years and insane amounts of wealth have been generated for those lucky enough who got in early. But those who are reading this are probably wondering if it’s still possible to get rich from Bitcoin today.
Is it too late to invest in bitcoin?
Before I answer that question, let’s truly understand why Bitcoin is a big deal and how it is changing the financial world one step at a time.
BITCOIN ADOPTION IS GROWING
The number of merchants embracing Bitcoin is growing rapidly. From Microsoft, Overstock, Steam, Newegg, Expedia, and Dish, the list goes on and on. Some were early supporters of Bitcoin and simply adopted to help the marketplace but others adopted later simply because they felt Bitcoin can no longer be ignored. Why?
For one you now have entire countries coming out enforcing Bitcoin as a legal payment. Japan was the first to make the announcement and other countries such as South Korea are following suit. These are big countries with big economies which drive huge adoption.
Another driver for adoption is because Bitcoin solves a huge issue with chargebacks of payments. Over $7 billion worth of chargeback fees are being shouldered by merchants each year. Bitcoin eliminates the ability for consumers to file fraudulent chargebacks, making it a very attractive payment option for merchants.
Bitcoin adoption is not only growing with merchants but with consumers as well.
One fundamental question a lot of people ask is, “Can I use Bitcoin to pay for things?” The answer is yes and very easily these days. You have many Bitcoin wallet providers that simply give you a Visa debit card tied to your account. You can use the card anywhere where Visa is accepted. You can even withdraw cash from any ATM that accepts Visa as well.
YOU CONTROL YOUR BITCOINS – NOT FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS
With traditional financial institutions, whether it is a bank, credit leader, Paypal, your money is in someone else’s hands. You can’t transfer the money into your hands without going to the bank and withdrawing it in cash. Normally that is ok until you run into situations where you are powerless to take your money out.
Take PayPal, for example: if the company decides for some reason that your account has been misused, it has the power to freeze all of the assets held in the account, without consulting you. Then you are left without your money for weeks or even months.
With Bitcoin, you own the private key and the corresponding public key that makes up a Bitcoin address. No one can take that away from you. And that means you can simply transfer your Bitcoin anytime you want and to wherever you want. You can move it between wallets, between exchanges and it can be stored off-site or on your home computer. The choice is yours and the control is in your hands.
BITCOIN HAS A FINITE SUPPLY
One of the points people always bring up about why Bitcoin is “fraud” or not real is because they say Bitcoin is not backed by anything. Neither is the USD, EUR, GBP nor any other fiat currency in the world. None of them are backed by gold. And what’s worse with fiat currency is that governments can print as much of it as they like, and they frequently do.
Printing money from thin air, what is that backed by?
At least with Bitcoin mining you have to spend an enormous amount of time, power and money to solve computational algorithms to generate Bitcoins. There is a cost and a lot of effort is put in to do so. Printing billions upon billions of new fiat currency cost close to zero cost or effort by the government.
And oh btw, Bitcoin was designed to have a maximum number of coins. Only 21 million will ever be.
Think about that for a minute. Unlike fiat currency that has an infinite supply since governments can always print more, once 21 million Bitcoins are mined, there won’t be any more in existence.
CAN GOVERNMENTS SHUT DOWN BITCOIN?
With recent news about China banning Bitcoin exchanges and ICO regulations getting tougher around the world, it’s hard to ignore a fundamental question we are all thinking about, “Can governments shut down Bitcoin?”
Governments can try but most likely they will not succeed. It would be a tremendous undertaking to shut down every single Bitcoin exchange in the world along with all the miners and merchants accepting them. Governments would literally have to make every piece of the Bitcoin infrastructure void and illegal.
The more likely scenario is implementing more regulations and oversight for Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. Given time governments, technology companies and financial institutions will figure out how to better utilize Bitcoin and the other cryptocurrencies in a more reliable, secure and safe manner.
IS IT TOO LATE TO INVEST IN BITCOIN?
The answer is a big fat NO! It’s never too late to invest into Bitcoin.
According to Roger Ver, thinking it’s too late to get into Bitcoin is like thinking it’s too late to get into the Internet. Think about the first websites that popped on the internet. Back then they were the greatest sites ever but if you compared them to today, they’re not even comparable.
The speed, the code, the graphics, the mediums you are using to browse have all vastly improved over the years. And just like the internet back in the early 90s, Bitcoin is in that same state. Even though seven years quickly flew by since Bitcoin’s inception, we are literally still in its infancy on what it can truly do.
Bitcoin is undergoing some changes this year to help increase the number of transactions it can support and that is a big step in the right direction. Who knows what the next few years will bring in terms of privacy, resiliency, and usability.
All signs point Bitcoin going up and up and up. Many experts are already predicting Bitcoin to be as high as $500,000 in 5-10 years.
But if you take into account that Bitcoin has a finite number, has growing adoption from merchants and consumers, can’t be easily shut down by the government and is continuously evolving to become better, it’s no wonder why $500,000 no longer seems far-fetched.
So if you’re ready to hop onboard, here are the next steps to take.
Learn more about the Bitcoin basics: Bitcoin 101 – The History and Basics to Bitcoin
Next, learn about the Bitcoin wallets: Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Wallets
Take a look at the places you can buy and sell: Best Exchanges for Bitcoin and Cryptocurrencies
If you are ready to learn about other Cryptocurrencies: The Most Promising Cryptocurrencies
Lastly, if you are interested in mining Cryptocurrencies: How to Build an Ethereum Mining Rig
Disclosure: I am/we are long Bitcoin.