As you’ve probably noticed, Bitcoin has been skyrocketing (currently knocking on the door of $20,000 USD per BTC). It will likely correct downward at some point soon, but there is no way to know when it’ll happen, or how deep the correction will be. The money that’s currently moving into Bitcoin is of unknown origin, scope, and attitude. Are these buyers long-term holders? Or are they fickle day traders who sell at the first signs of double-digit losses? Are they 20-year-old college students? Or are they 55-year-old lawyers and surgeons? Nobody knows. So I will not speculate here on the short-term price action. In the long term, it’s reasonable to predict it will continue to climb into the hundreds of thousands of dollars per Bitcoin. The following is a brief explanation of why. I am not a certified investment specialist, nor do I have a PhD in economics from a “diverse” Ivy League university. But I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night, and I did have the foresight to load up on Bitcoins back when it was trading between $12 and $100. And more importantly, I haven’t sold.
Bitcoin is misnamed. It sounds like a video game, or a cheap token that’s not meant to be taken seriously. A more accurate name for it would’ve been something like “Global Decentralized Consensus Ledger”, GDCL for short. If Satoshi Nakamoto had called it that in his original paper, Bitcoin would’ve been a multi-trillion dollar store of wealth within 3 years. All the serious guys at the (((big banks))) would’ve researched it and made speculative investments in it before the nerdy Anarcho-Capitalists (An-Caps) and White Nationalists (WNs) did. Alas, Satoshi called it Bitcoin, so (((they))) ignored and even laughed at it. This gave us (An-Caps and WNs) time to accumulate a large portion of them. It also gave us time to recognize the value Bitcoin provides to the marketplace. Central bankers, Wall Street traders, CNBC pundits, etc believe Bitcoin’s value is due merely to people collectively deciding it has value. This is akin to believing hammers have value to carpenters because carpenters collectively decided to use hammers rather than pillows to bang nails into wood.
Bitcoin has all the qualities of a sound medium of exchange (MoE) and store of value. As a tool for this purpose it is (almost) unparalleled. Bitcoin is highly divisible, cheap to store securely, easy to count, impossible to counterfeit, cheap to transport, easy to hide, accessible anywhere in the world (that has Internet), limited in supply, fungible, etc. That isn’t to say it’s perfect, or better than gold in every way. Only that it’s extremely useful, and superior to gold in some ways. It doesn’t need to be perfect in order to be worth tens of trillions of dollars. To clarify, I am not under the illusion that Bitcoin is the be-all-and-end-all. However, it is a technology of such magnitude that it only comes along maybe once or twice in a typical person’s lifetime, much like the Internet itself. The Bitcoin network is hindered by a bottleneck in throughput (transactions per second are between 7 and 14), but in the long-term this won’t matter because most transactions will be conducted off the main blockchain using trusted third parties and other decentralized networks like Lightning. The main blockchain will become the “settlement layer” for the elites, banks, corporations, etc.
Another concern/interest people have is Alt Coins like Ethereum and Litecoin. These are mostly superfluous and probably aren’t good long-term investments compared to Bitcoin. They don’t have the same network effect Bitcoin has, and therefore it is unlikely they will grow at the same rate Bitcoin does. We’ve seen many Alt Coins come and go, including Dogecoin and Mastercoin. In the short term, it’s certainly possible to make a quick buck trading them. I wouldn’t recommend it, though. Keep in mind that just because a unit of one cryptocurrency is cheaper than a unit of another cryptocurrency, doesn’t mean it’s a better deal, or that you’re “getting in early.” For example, would you rather own 1% of the Internet or 10% of the Wal-Mart intra-office computer network? Obviously, you’d rather have a smaller chunk of a much larger network. A lot of people have an itch to gamble rather than invest for the long term, and I understand that. If you really want to do that with Alt Coins, I would only recommend using a fraction of the money you invest in Bitcoin.
Currently, Bitcoin isn’t available for purchase through mainstream brokers like Edward Jones and Scottrade. At some point, it will be. Thus, buying prior to that point is a good idea, because you will benefit from the expanded consumer base. Bitcoin is a global network, so it will probably be years before people in India and China can buy it easily through their brokers. There’s a lot of bullish news to look forward to. This is why I recommend a long-term outlook, ie 10+ years.
If you want to learn more about Bitcoin, I recommend reading the posts about it on Nick Szabo’s blog, in particular his essay called “Shelling Out”, which is about the origin of money. I also recommend watching videos on YouTube featuring Andreas Antonopoulos and Trace Mayer. Search for “Thiers Law” to learn about the process by which good money drives out bad money. Search for “Lindy Effect” to learn about why Bitcoin is the most valuable blockchain in existence, and why its advantage will continue to grow. Search for “Metcalfe’s Law” to better understand network effects. Search for tutorials about how to make paper wallets, and making backups. Watch the YouTube video titled “Bitcoin Under The Hood” for an explanation of how the Bitcoin network functions. Read all the Mempool essays at the “Satoshi Nakamoto Institute” website. And of course, read the original Bitcoin whitepaper by Satoshi Nakamoto himself (it’s actually pretty short and easy to understand).
For political fringe groups that are seeking to become more mainstream, Bitcoin provides a unique and powerful opportunity to increase financial sovereignty and wealth simultaneously, while taking advantage of the teeming masses of “normies” who want in on this excellent store of value. I highly recommend White Nationalists and Libertarians acquire some, even if it’s just a fraction of a single Bitcoin. While it might not make you super rich, it can greatly assist you in promoting the causes and people you care most about. In the end, that’s what matters most of all.