Bitcoin has successfully migrated into mainstream, conscious awareness in our media and social media but some are still utterly perplexed as to why they should buy some, use it, or why others are so excited about it. Many of the reasons to own and use Bitcoin have very little to do with getting rich. Bitcoin is technology that works and works remarkably well.
Below I’ll present some hypothetical and real people, why they would hold, use, and be excited about Bitcoin. They range from the purely self interested, to idealistic, to emergency present needs, and everything in between.
Bitcoin is the first successful digital payment scheme that solved a few long standing computer science problems. Problems like the “double spend problem” and “distributed consensus” were some near impossible issues to contend with yet Bitcoin was able to solve both simultaneously. Bitcoin’s combination of public key cryptography and distributed systems is truly a remarkable and elegant feat that any computer scientist would be fascinated by and excited to learn more. Many in this field of inquiry will probably dedicate their lives to building, studying, and teaching the world about cryptocurrencies and the computer science that makes them work. It would make sense to hold some, experiment with this new programmable money, and study the protocols and logic behind these new monies.
Your incompetent and corrupt government has trashed the one thing that connects all Venezuelan’s besides geography: currency. You have a little hard earned savings and need to get your savings out of a hyper-inflating currency so you can afford to feed and clothe your family. Bitcoin is designed to be deflationary where-as all government currencies are designed to lose value over-time through deliberate inflation. The Venezuelan government just sped up the “inflation clock” to hyper-speed. With Bitcoin not only can you get out of your hyper-inflating currency, you are also able to pay vendors in foreign countries with bitcoin and they are able to send you life saving goods for you, your family, and your community such as medicine, baby supplies, canned goods etc. Bitcoin isn’t just a cool new money to play around with, it’s literally a monetary life-line for you and your family.
It’s been a rough year for your industry and you’ve seen financial markets continually inflated by Central Bank intervention and interest rates have been repressed for so long, none of it makes sense anymore. You can’t necessarily buy Bitcoin for your hedge fund because of regulations, fear, etc but you buy some personally as a hedge against a manipulated financial system you know all too well. You are also in awe of the potentially exponential returns Bitcoin can bring you due to your extensive research on the subject and experience in markets.
Virtually every government on Earth wants you to cease existing. You’ve been in a small building in London for the past few years and can’t leave for risk of execution and/or prosecution. Wikileaks, your most prized creation, takes bitcoin donations to help fund its work uncovering information many in power don’t want to be uncovered. Bitcoin, among other attributes, is censorship resistant and no institution or individual on Earth can stop bitcoin from being donated to Wikileaks. If it could they would have stopped it by now. You even used the Bitcoin blockchain to prove your existence when there were rumors you had deceased.
You’re working all day and night to provide for your family at home and your family back home. You use remittance services like Western Union pretty regularly. You hear about Bitcoin and realize you can send money to your family back home much faster and at a fraction of the cost of a traditional remittance service. Instead of 10% of your earnings going to a series of middle men, you can instead choose to pay a minuscule mining fee to the bitcoin network for even better service. Faster service, cheaper fees, Bitcoin is a no brainer. More money for you and your family not the international financial system.
No banks will hold your money due to federal regulations so you are considered “unbanked” and treated as a criminal even though you are a law abiding, responsible, and well meaning entrepreneur. This is a problem because you make too much cash to just hold under your mattress. With bitcoin you don’t need a bank, you become you’re own bank. Instead of holding hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of physical cash your business can accept and hold bitcoin without fear of retribution or denial of service. And you no longer become a target of local criminals looking for an easy cash score since you no longer hold physical cash at your place of business, place of residence or any other sensitive physical location.
Bitcoin is a powerful tool and the reasons for using it and holding it can be almost as infinite as the human imagination. Everyone and anyone can find a use for it. Like email, Bitcoin is not a survival necessity; especially for those fortunate enough to live in developed countries with sophisticated financial networks and institutions. Unfortunately, for many in Venezuela and other places Bitcoin is an extremely powerful life-line.
If you’re reading this chances are you use email everyday. A few short decades ago, much like today with Bitcoin, most people were confused as to why anyone would have an email when you have a perfectly effective home telephone and the good ol’ US Postal Service. And they were right, they didn’t need it at the time but they probably have one now…