Saying you own Bitcoin used to be like admitting you loved fluffy handcuffs.
Nobody would dare admit it. I hid my secret for years. Then I came out and admitted my love for Satoshi Nakamoto, the creator of Bitcoin. People were rough on me. Crypto and the word ‘scam’ are joined at the hip. The illegal drug website “Silk Road” made cryptocurrency into a terrorist target that had to be defeated. Now, many years on, cryptocurrency is the norm according to The New York Times.
If you have kids who play videos games or use instant messaging apps, then you’ve probably come into contact with blockchain technology that enables these borderless cryptos to exist.
Here’s how cryptocurrency changed me and can change you.
The financial windfall
First off, cryptocurrency has made me a lot of money (not to brag). I invested in Ethereum and Bitcoin predominantly. I also own most of the coins in the Top 100 largest projects. Many of these investments have done between a 10X and 100X since the early days. There will likely be many more cryptocurrencies that do the same in the future. Why?
Cryptocurrency has become a lot like stocks.
When you buy a stock you invest in a company. The trouble is we buy stocks like Facebook or Amazon after all the early investors have made money. If stocks had three rounds of growth, and the last round is the smallest, well, that’s when you and I would get to invest. The first few rounds are where the venture capitalists, founders, and angel investors make a bucketload of money. The public gets the scraps.
In crypto, though, anybody can become an early investor. When a project (another name for a startup) goes live, you and I can get in on the ground floor. Or we can invest after the startup has found their customer base and the problem they solve better than their competitors. This is glorious.
For the first time we get to be early, which means if a startup does well, then we get to benefit. This transition can gradually cause a wealth redistribution. That’s something worth being excited about.
The unconventional way to attract people to your work
I sat on a Zoom call last night and had my face ripped off. Let me share with you what I learned.
Let’s say you want to build a business or get people to take a specific action. Traditionally you would market to people on a platform you don’t own via free content or ads. It would take a lot of time.
My new friend taught me a better way. The reason a lot of new projects trying to solve problems, and businesses, build on top of the Ethereum blockchain is it has loads of users. Makes sense. Google has a lot of users too. But there’s no way Google will give me access to them without me giving them money.
In cryptocurrency land it works differently.
First off, you decide to build something on Ethereum. Then you approach a large project that has already built on top of Ethereum (let’s say Uniswap as an example) and partner with them to gain access to their users. You could then give Uniswap users cryptocurrency tokens in your project. In order to get those tokens the users have to take an action.
This is the part that will blow your mind
When a user takes an action to get free tokens, they give that token value.
Uniswap is the perfect example. They wanted people like me to swap between different cryptocurrencies with their service when they launched, instead of using the traditional exchanges.
If I swapped my Ethereum for Bitcoin using Uniswap then I’d get their free tokens. As more users started to take the same action, Uniswap got paying customers and we, the users, got ownership in Uniswap. The tokens the users got could then be traded for US dollars or held as an investment.
Cryptocurrency provides an entirely new way to solve problems. Now you can access millions of users and get them to take action through tokens. Their actions can make your project a self-fulfilling prophecy.
A shake up of the internet
The internet has got greedy.
Our minds are fed information by algorithms. The big tech companies dominate our lives and know everything about us. All those free google searches finally have a visible cost on our lives we weren’t fully aware of.
The internet has lost democratic power. Cryptocurrency, through the use of tokens, seeks to bring about voting rights again. In Web 3.0 built on top of blockchain, users will own their data.
These democratic rights have been missing from Web 2.0. Centralized control is how our digital footprints monetize the technology we use. Look at Facebook. Content creators generate all the value for Facebook, yet they get $0 from all the ads on the platform. In a democratized internet this exploitation will no longer be accepted.
Every once in a while an industry needs a shake up. Cryptocurrency is the shake up the internet desperately needs. It will realign incentives of both businesses and users.
One huge problem with cryptocurrencies: digital inequality
Not everything is rosy. I learned last night that there is a divide.
Web 2.0 users and Web 3.0 users have different skills. The current world of Web 3.0 and cryptocurrencies is complicated. The user interfaces in the crypto world are hard to navigate if you’re not familiar with all the new language and ways of doing things. I’ve been using crypto since 2013 and certain applications still confuse the heck out of me.
The problem this creates is digital inequality.
Those who understand Web 3.0 have a knowledge advantage that over time will create a huge disadvantage for those who don’t. Cryptocurrencies and blockchain are moving so fast that there is a risk of leaving Web 2.0 users in the dark.
That’s why I say this repeatedly: to *not* understand cryptocurrency is the equivalent of ignoring the internet for the last 20 years.
It all boils down to this
- Investing in cryptocurrencies is the new way to invest in tech stocks (but earlier).
- Cryptocurrency is a new form of value, that can be given to a user, to make them take a specific action, that leads to progress in a business or project.
- Web 3.0 will bring about democratic voting rights for all internet users.
- You must learn Web 3.0 to ensure you don’t get stuck in Web 2.0 and have your skills become outdated.
This article is for informational purposes only, it should not be considered financial, tax or legal advice. Consult a financial professional before making any major financial decisions.