I suppose you could say I’ve always been somewhat of a traditionalist throughout my life, and if I’m being completely honest, I’m definitely guilty of being afraid of change. I look forward to the same tried and true holiday dishes each year, love my weekly poker game, and am always a bit hesitant to make changes to something I’ve come to enjoy and feel comfortable with. As I’ve gotten older, the realization that change is an inevitable companion along the journey of life has become more apparent by the day.
The above experience is true for both my personal and financial lives. I’ve chained together decades of experience learning the ins and outs of the traditional financial world. I’ve always felt completely emerged in my element when formulating strategies for various retirement and educational savings plans and putting them into action. I’ve honed my skills in margin and options trading and have been a loud advocate for the stock market in general. Mistakes have undoubtedly been made, but I’ve always been comfortable with the risks I was taking. Maybe it’s my traditionalist roots, but I was definitely a hold out in relation to crypto trading during the early years. I found the field immensely fascinating from its inception and quickly decided to dedicate time learning about this new and emerging market, but to say I wasn’t overwhelmed when taking my first steps into this new world would be a lie.
As I spent more time learning about cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology, the benefits became more pronounced by the day, yet I was still hesitant to get my feet wet. The risks seemed larger, a constant stream of new tokens were always grabbing headlines, and many of the traditional financial gurus I followed were constantly dismissing cryptocurrencies as simply a passing fad that would turn people’s hard-earned savings into dust. I certainly was never opposed to risk when I understood the underlying principles of various markets. Red days in the stock market were often when I was most active in enhancing my positions in companies I felt strongly about. When sitting back and viewing the crypto world’s evolution, I saw an enticing product that a lot of people were starting to get interested in, yet, still I remained a crypto holdout.
That’s when something interesting happened. I stopped listening to many of the financial experts that had so strongly shaped my views, and in many ways my life, and started to think outside of my traditional financial box. I decided that much like my approach to the stock market when I took my first dive into that world, that I would come up with a plan and start to leverage myself into Bitcoin (BTC) at a steady and consistent pace without paying any attention to the price movements. There were certainly days where I questioned my decision, but as time continues to tick by, my support for the crypto world has morphed from it being an acceptable risk for my financial portfolio into something I strongly believe in being necessary, both for the good of our global society and financial well-being.
There were many variables that aided in shifting my position over the years. It seemed that mainstream institutional adoption of cryptocurrencies was expanding by the hour. From MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor’s strong endorsement of BTC, to Tesla’s crypto investment, PayPal decision to integrate crypto trading into their platform, the writing was on the wall and growing bolder by the day. Fast forward to 2021 and financial heavyweights Visa and MasterCard have jumped into the ring. Visa has begun allowing transactions with stable coins on the Ethereum blockchain and MasterCard customers are expecting transactions with crypto sometime later this year.
It hasn’t only been the widespread institutional adoption that has helped to solidify my confidence. Cryptocurrencies have also started to make waves in the social world. Recent top pick of the Jacksonville Jaguars, quarterback Trevor Lawrence partnered with Blockfolio and converted his entire signing bonus, all $22,630,055, into various cryptocurrencies including BTC, Etherium, and Solana, and he isn’t the only athlete jumping into crypto. New York Giant’s star running back Saquon Barkley signed a $10 million dollar endorsement deal in BTC. Tight end Sean Culkin was the first NFL player to announce he would convert his entire salary into BTC saying “it was the future of finance”, and back on December 29th, 2020 Carolina Panthers tackle Russell Okung announced he would be paid half of his $13 million dollar salary that year in BTC.
On top of all that, the actual widespread and groundbreaking applications for both cryptocurrencies and blockchain technologies were expanding by the day breaking down the walls of the old financial world. Cryptocurrencies had taken the leap from simply an investment vehicle to something that provided answers to age-old problems and shift power into the hands of the masses and it’s only the beginning.
New use cases are happening everyday with huge implications for the future. For example, the hassle of managing the payroll of an international team could be massively simplified by paying all employees in a single cryptocurrency which could be moved instantly across borders with minimal or even no fees. The transactions in this scenario would be public with the details available to both parties and would essentially cut out the banks, saving money all around while opening up a world of possibilities for businesses large and small.
The world of charitable donations and crowdsourcing could also be completely rewritten by using blockchain technology and digital wallets. It would eliminate the need to add-on fees for fundraisers, would impart a higher level of confidence in people making donations since everything would be public and immutable, and would allow people to give aid quickly and easily around the world.
Cryptocurrencies, especially BTC, provide the ultimate hedge against the inflationary nature of traditional finances as it is a finite resource and a long term vehicle to hold wealth, similar in many ways to gold.
Cryptocurrencies and blockchain level the playing field in regards to opening up the world of finance to a global audience and give massive opportunity to anyone with a dream and drive to create a business. Decentralized Finance (DeFi) built via a public blockchain and crypto exchanges have just started to gain momentum and are both beginning to have a strong impact on everything from investing, to trading, borrowing and lending. Both encompass the ability to completely rewrite the traditional mechanisms of the financial world, offering unlimited access, with the end goal of giving power back to individuals instead of institutions.
The future of the crypto world certainly looks bright, especially when taking into account the wide range of benefits provided to investors and the world at large. From being the new digital gold, to being an incredible storage of wealth, to stable coins attached to physical commodities and fiat currencies, to various use case scenarios of both different tokens and blockchain tech, and the ability to bring about an inclusive and open financial system, cryptocurrencies have quickly gone from something that I was willing to invest in to something I strongly believe in. I have no powers to predict the future, though that would certainly be nice, and we all know anything is possible, but I can happily say that after a long journey I’m definitely a crypto convert. I guess change isn’t always a bad thing after all.
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