I was born and raised in a world where money had value. Work had value. Cash was king. When I was a boy, my father wanted us to stack wood for the stove in our back room. He would climb a ladder and tack a twenty dollar bill at the top. When the wood was high enough to touch the ceiling, I was allowed to hop on the pile and collect my earnings.
Cash was king.
Now it’s not so simple. Credit cards swipe so easily. A machine tells another machine that a number on one ledger is subtracted from one and added to another. Seamlessly.
But it lacks true value.
We are numbers in the bank’s machine, and the machine is rigged. It nickles and dimes and 32 dollars us if we overdraft because we forgot to check our balance before buying deodorant at the local pharmacy.
This is a system made for the people that made it. The reason we get charged for that overdraft is because they made the system so easy that we forgot about value, so we went deep into debt as a nation. The rich get richer as we get poorer.
Good people are not rewarded to their true value in our current financial system. Firefighters, policemen and teachers work from dawn until dusk while going into debt to provide for their families while Wall Street executives take summers off and relax on the beach with a golden parachute to glide themselves into early retirement.
Our system rewards the Gollums and Smaugs, not the Frodos and Sams and Gandalfs in the world.
We, the vast majority of the population, good people, are told to fuck off because we aren’t greedy enough. As they sit protecting their hordes of gold, we are beginning to decide that their gold isn’t really worth all that effort. Since 2009, a relatively quiet group of intelligent people, disenfranchised by the current state of financial affairs, began the project of creating cryptocurrencies that will soon rock the world as we know it.
First it was laughed at. Then it was considered a den of thieves and drug addicts that sold drugs and other black market goodies.
Then it was looked at with growing interest because of its security and decentralized nature. Now, it’s worth 3 times as much per coin as an ounce of gold. And we are only just beginning. It unleashed a flood of new assets like Ethereum, Ripple, Litecoin, Dogecoin, NEO and the list goes on and on. For people that missed the first wave of the gold rush, we now have a deluge of options to choose from as the financial elite sit on the sidelines because of “market volatility” and “risk.”
By the time they understand the magnitude of the shift at hand, they will pour every ounce of capital they have in order to try to regain their control of the markets. By then, we the people will have recaptured the horde of gold that belongs to the people, not just a select few that keep it only to themselves.
Not only will we have the financial freedom to pursue our own interests, but we will have the chance for a Golden Age of finance, one never seen before by mankind.
Imagine tipping your barista $100 for that really amazing cup of coffee. Would you do it if you had $100,000,000 in your bank account? You might consider it. This money has been waiting for us, for humanity, to find it.
And now it has. Money does grow, but not on trees. It grows by being moved and shared and saved and given freely. When you remove the gun that financial institutions have put to the world’s head by guarding their stacks of gold, you have the chance to let money flow. It’s always needed a middleman up until now.
Someone to hand out the tickets.
We stand on the edge of a financial revolution. 2017 has seen the beginning of widespread adoption of cryptocurrency, with Bitcoin leading the pack as an asset valued at over $3400 per coin at the time of this writing (October 2017). This is a 245% increase in value over the course of one year, and a huge slap in the face to anyone who said that bitcoin was at “dead” at one time or another.
Bitcoin is very much alive and well.
I remember first hearing about Bitcoin in 2012. I was late to the party, but I didn’t know anyone else going so I stood, like any wallflower, outside. It had just exploded in value to about $1100 and crashed to around $200, so I watched. Newspapers said that lot of drug deals were happening at the party, so I watched. I waited. Seemed like a risky investment.
Then, curiosity got the best of me, so I got a Coinbase account and put in a few dollars.
Not much happened.
I forgot about it.
Then, in 2016, I began hearing about a new coin on the block, Ethereum. It was supposed to be the new Bitcoin, and it was going to change everything. It was going to be the cell phone to Bitcoin’s landline. So I looked, found myetherwallet.com, and bought some ETH. Ten ETH, to be exact. It cost me about $100.
If I could get in a time machine, would I go back and put in $1000? $10,000?
I don’t think so, and here’s why.
I put in what I could afford, and that is the right thing to do.
And then I forgot about them.
Fast forward to the Spring of 2017, when I saw that my small $100 investment had made me over $1000. I sat in shock, realizing for the first time in my life that I had made a really good investment. My friends were shocked when I told them about it. Then, that $1000 turned into $2000 and so on and so forth. I realized over the course of time that ETH had real value, and so did Bitcoin, and so did a huge number of other cryptocurrencies which I will address in this book.
What is a cryptocurrency?
I’m not exactly new to cryptos, but I am a writer, not a coder, so my aim is to create an easily digestible guide to the new realm of crypto. This book will immediately become dated, as new coins are minted every day. As I write this, over 850 are listed on coinmarketcap.com. But, for someone who is new to this realm, this will serve as a handy guide and narrative as I make my journey into this new territory. I hope to give you the most useful information, as well as a laundry list of people that have helped me navigate these waters. What you do with your money is up to you, so take any information presented with a large grain of salt and do your own research. Never spend money you can’t afford to lose.
Follow the current, but don’t get pulled under.
Since the beginning of the human story, a select few (let’s call them the 1%) have controlled the very mechanisms of finance while the huddled masses share a small amount amongst ourselves. We, the masses, have been under their boot ever since. He who controls money controls the world. But since 2009 and the invention of Bitcoin, their financial system began crumbling to dust. In the wake of “old finance,” in which the few control the many, Finance 3.0 will be a decentralized, co-owned space with room for everyone to grow.
Money will no be longer a fleeting privilege elite, it will become a presumed right for every single human on the face of the planet. It will be spearheaded by courageous coders and investors that realize that a global financial reset is inevitable.
But for this revolution to occur, we must first begin to understand the power of cryptocurrency, its origins, use cases, and where it is headed.
It’s not a “bubble,” it’s bubble wrap.
Investing money into anything might be considered risky, ie. you are placing your trust into a new system. Cryptocurrencies have shown exponential growth in the last year, which is an invitation for charlotans and frauds that want to take advantage of gullible people. This is fairly intimidating for many, causing them to naturally fear a downturn. However, I personally believe this is not the case. Cryptocurrencies are relatively new to the world, much like the internet was in 1994. There is a steep learning curve, and many people think it’s a passing fad. But for the initiated, cryptocurrencies represent a sea change the likes modern man has never seen before. For the first time in human history, an individual has access to a fair market. Because its decentralized, I see the system like a large ball of bubble wrap. Each bubble represents someone’s holdings. That person can take their money out of the system, ie. pop their own bubble, yet the structure and integrity of the system remains relatively unchanged. A whale might be able to take out a large sum of money, and dip the ball of bubble wrap for a short period of time, but the short history of crypto has shown that those coins get reintegrated into the system extremely fast. However, this is only my personal opinion.