13 years on, we’ve heard it all before. Here’s what is missed.
Saying Bitcoin is dead is nothing new.
It’s become so common that a website that tracks this bizarre phenomenon has recorded 416 times Bitcoin has been declared dead … and survived. Bitcoin rising from the dead is programmed into its code. Bitcoin will be declared dead many more times because it’s a silent protest that challenges the status quo. 13 years on, Bitcoin is still alive and breathing and roaring back to life.
My own Bitcoin portfolio is down more than $100,000. I am grinning at all the losses.
Here’s what is overwhelmingly misunderstood:
Bitcoin is a religion.
One of the greatest investors of all time, Paul Tudor Jones, snuck a comment into a conversation with another legendary investor, Stan Druckenmiller. This comment changed my understanding of what Bitcoin is.
“Do you know that when Bitcoin went from $17,000 to $3000 that 86% of the people that owned it at $17,000, never sold it?”
John Street Capital on Twitter summed it up beautifully: “86% of the [Bitcoin] owners are religious zealots.” That’s why hedge funds and Wall Street are loving the huge crash in the Bitcoin price and buying more, not selling like retail investors.
The network effects of a technology are huge and explain a lot of the enormous growth we’ve seen in stocks such as Amazon, Netflix, and Facebook. Bitcoin has even greater network effects than Web 2.0 tech companies. But Bitcoin also has a fiercely loyal user base that won’t disappear, even when 50% of the value of their investment drops. Bitcoin isn’t dead.
The power of religious user loyalty is misunderstood.
Bitcoin doesn’t need influencers to market itself.
The adult babies saying Bitcoin is dead are influencers looking for clicks. You can’t be angry at adults trying to buy food and pay their bills. I get it.
But Bitcoin is an unconventional technology. It has no payroll, no office, and no marketing team. Bitcoin relies solely on word of mouth to survive and grow. There’s another thing that is missed.
Bitcoin is now a brand.
The Bitcoin car in the Indy 500 shows quietly what Bitcoin is becoming. Bitcoin is more than a brand, though. Bitcoin is a movement. The movement has one message to share… Stop creating money out of thin air and giving it to the elites and institutions.
Bitcoin users are saying nicely, “Give us free markets again.” When the stock market needs to dip because of high unemployment or a global health crisis, let it. As long as markets are propped up with money created out of thin air, inequality will rise.
I figured out why Americans are angry about money.
You can’t blame America. See the problem Bitcoin solves is hard to see when you measure everything (including inflation) in U.S. dollars. The product that is U.S. dollars blinds us from the truth: the poor are getting much poorer.
Don’t believe me?
Check this out. Well-known investor Raoul Pal measured the net worth of average American households. Instead of measuring their wealth in U.S. dollars, he simply changed the denominator to the Fed Balance Sheet. Now, let’s not get into finance talk because that’s boring. The outcome is this.
U.S. households are 130.95% poorer than they used to be.
Guess when two-thirds of the drop in wealth occurred: 2008–2009 during the Great Recession. This is the same time the U.S. government and other major economies all around the world started creating money out of thin air and slapping the label bailout on it to create the illusion. Guess what else happened at this exact same time? Satoshi Nakamoto, the creator of Bitcoin, launched a silent protest against creating money out of thin air.
So when you see Americans angry about anything money-related, now you know why. The answer isn’t to say Bitcoin is dead. Bitcoin is trying to (successfully, so far) solve the problem. The solution is to reinvent the global financial system so that everybody has access to a bank account via their phone and can transfer the hard-earned currency they created with their time into value they can use to live. Let’s put away the Bitcoin anger.
Let’s fix inequality with financial inclusion. Maybe it’s with Bitcoin as Jack Dorsey says. Or maybe it’s with another technology.
But sitting around with our heads buried in the sand calling Bitcoin dead for the 417th time does nobody any good. “There has never been a statue erected to a critic,” says Jean Sibelius and that’s timely advice.
Bitcoin is the start (not the finished version) of a new financial system.
There are two types of investors. One is losing big.
Hat tilt to Derek Sivers for this edited thought:
The markets take money from the active traders and gives it to the patient.
That’s what is happening. Those who bought Bitcoin recently are the primary sellers. How do we know? Bitcoin sits on a public blockchain which gives us full transparency (something traditional finance is missing).
People like me who have been in for a very long time are holding onto their coins and buying more. Trying to get rich quickly off Bitcoin is a disaster. Being patient with an investment over the long term is where true wealth is built.
The quote “time in the market beats timing the market” is worth remembering if you have money invested. You can call Bitcoin dead and sit in a melting ice cube of dollars, or you can dare to invest a small amount in new technologies and help society grow and prosper.
Short-term minds are losing fortunes to the Bitcoin market. Long-term holders are smiling and continue to invest for the long term.
So don’t listen to influencers who have never worked in the world of finance and promote savings accounts that go backwards with inflation. Focus on getting a financial education and understanding the basics of Web 3.0. The future is decentralization to redistribute misused power.
Why I’m grinning at the massive Bitcoin drop:
Bitcoin prices have plummeted from their all-time high. There is fear in the markets. Critics are calling Bitcoin dead or a scam. I’m cool as an Eskimo for these reasons:
- The financial system is being rebuilt thanks to Bitcoin.
- Volatility equals growth. Tech stocks like Google, Amazon and Facebook have had plenty of huge drops. A stable price is the opposite of what you want if you’re looking for a little growth.
- The Bitcoin price will mathematically go up over time (by design), due to its programmable scarcity. The number of users holding Bitcoin continues to increase, the marketing power behind the brand is getting stronger by the day, there are less coins available because of the inbuilt digital scarcity, companies like Visa and Mastercard continue to enable further adoption, and massive institutions continue to invest.
This is the 417th time Bitcoin has been called dead. Get it? Bitcoin has survived for 13 years without being banned or becoming irrelevant. And it will survive for a lot longer because it’s now fully embedded into the financial system thanks to Square, PayPal, Wall Street, and banks like Goldman Sachs, CitiGroup and Bank of America
At this point in Bitcoin’s journey, the evidence clearly points to the “Bitcoin is dead” talk being factually incorrect and silly, really. Prices fluctuate by design. The value of an asset transcends price when you zoom out. The value of an asset is hard to predict when it’s the first one to become a true religion.
So … Bitcoin is alive.
You can thank the Bitcoin religion for the prospect of real equality.
This article is for informational purposes only, it should not be considered Financial or Legal Advice. Consult a financial professional before making any major financial decisions.