Millennials & Cryptos
A look back into the Millennials launch into the work force, and where they’re coming from:
“The perfect job is waiting for you,” my Grandmother would say, every so often when we would chat. But to her and previous generations the very concept of a job is radically different from how we Millennials view the world. Their linear idea of acquiring any work leads to prosperity, is like some beast breathing down our necks, telling us to do the impossible, and talking shit behind our backs. At large our experience and our access to information has made us distrust previous generations’ moral-to-economic codes; and uninterested in their infrastructure. Our adoption of cryptos is an extension of that, pining for systems of infrastructure that won’t smell like everything we distrust.
In contrast to the no-one-is-special schooling today, we were promised that we were special, and that we need to pursue our dreams. It all made sense because the 90’s were ripe with cash when the specialhood came about. By the time high school came it seemed like the dot-com bubble had been rabid with possibilities, but was already going into a fizzle. Why go to school for a burst bubble when you could follow your dreams - which probably were not focused on computational language anyway. It wasn’t very hard to get into college. And then something happened, where the first half of Millennials got to experience the 2008 crash. Suddenly following your dreams seemed a bit lofty when you were watching families in minivans traveling with everything they owned, looking for work.
Just after graduation those in the work force, were suddenly not; but the ‘no big deal low interest’ loans stayed. Whether college educated or not, droves were moving back to their parents’ homes. Those living off of student loans, still in college, were “lucky” in that they had “income” that allowed them to stay out of their parents’ home. However, the looming task of finding a job after school wasn’t looking appealing; especially since they had been collecting credits in majors that were no longer expected to help, at all.
As the unemployment rate began to “decline”, the apparent joke became ever more evident to the Millennial; and rising contempt for the Millennial coincided among their seniors.
When looking at jobs a Millennial understands a few prerequisites, generally speaking you must have a reliable car & smartphone. If those were not burden enough it wasn’t long before the new health care system also became a monthly bill. If we run a basic analysis of monthly payments we have something like this: “dependable” car w/ insurance $150–200, smartphone $100, health insurance $110, and student loans $240–600. Being fairly generous one might scrape by at $600 before food, rent, car maintenance, clothes, etc. Now to compare that to income we should first consider that post 2008 it has been very unpopular to offer full 40 hour weeks. At $10–12/hr, the most popular hiring salary — that businesses typically see as sort of ‘generous gift’ above minimum wage — we get approximately $1100–1400 a month after tax & such from the paycheck. For brevity, now subtract average rent where you live from that $1100–1400 and consider monthly bills.
It looks nearly manageable in a few cheap locations to live, but the reality is that there are always unforeseen costs, cheap places to live rarely are ripe with jobs, and no car that cheap last too long without some big bills. Basically to the average Millennial they look at the scenario as being bleak. For those not in very cheap places to live, it is literally impossible.
Senior generations see them as being untrained for actual work, with a lack of interest in the work. In seniors’ minds a job always meant you could afford the basics, and you could move up in companies. People low on the pecking order even saved money in their day. The experience of the senior workforce is that there had been plenty of opportunity for a hard worker.
Millennials have seen a very different picture than their seniors try to paint for them. The whole generation watched companies become ghosts of their former self. Investments in time and effort into the companies, that included pensions, were obliterated. Everyone that did go back to work made a lot less, and countless jobs switched to part time only workers. Benefits were tossed for part time workers, and generally gutted for anyone still working fulltime. The integrity of damn near everything was stripped. And what allowed it to happen was the government bailing out the banks & financial institutions on-top of the crash itself.
Somewhere along that “recovery” the existing infrastructure of financial institutions, businesses, & government lost its credibility among Millennials. Yet they’re being asked to run towards these low wage, no benefits, no advancement jobs with enthusiasm & glee for the pleasure of participation in an infrastructure bred out of a shit-storm that has been handed down to them.
Today employers don’t want to invest into someone they pay too little to keep for very long. And the employers can’t understand why people haven’t payed for schooling so that they can hire trained workers — at a pay that’s one car breakdown away from being ineligible to work. Criticism of Millennials being untrained continues from these employers, day to day & in the news.
Millennials have come to learn that the criticisms of them look like a ploy that reads, “you’re not a good person unless you generate profit for me, with a smile, by being paid as little as possible since you are easily replaceable by the next person; and I will complain about them too.” And that enlightened view of criticism is not just reflected in an unwillingness to abuse ones self as an employee, but also as an all time high for creativity in alternative & self employment. There are a great many virtues to being an entrepreneur, but at heart it clearly shows a vested divergence in participation in existing infrastructure. And other Millennials have been showing strong support as their purchasing patterns lend strongly to products they value — as opposed to ‘of value’. They will buy something that isn’t even made well, just because it is within their realm of interest — be it local or Kickstarter — and a good step away from corporate structure.
Then something new:
Something else had started growing as the road of life drastically changed for Millennials. Just as the 2008 crash set in there was a birth of something new, something not interested in the infrastructure status-quo, and just like the crisis, it was global — in 2009 Bitcoin went live. It didn’t come in like SkyNet, nuking everything from the past. Instead it set in motion changes, building its credibility from nothing; instead of being pushed to the top by corporate interest like some sort of new boy-band from the 90s.
Coming to an understanding of Bitcoin’s value was not a quick process. It parallels a begrudging wish for the dream path to stay real — that dream path someone like my grandmother still believes in. It wasn’t that no one could appreciate it early on, but as much as they wished to cling onto the hopes that they’d be that lucky one, the lucky one to score a good job out of college, they set aside the work of adoption. And as the years slipped by waiting for economic & livelihood recovery, the hearts and minds of Millennials abandoned the past.
Then the cryptocurrency world exploded; just like corporate interests trying to cash in on Millenial trends — at a similar time no less. It was almost like a global consensus formed, as so many accepted that the past looks like a giant wall they can’t scale, and then a sudden realization they could just build a road in a different direction — paved with their businesses & cryptocurrncies.
Out of almost nowhere new cryptos popped up, some currencies, some utilities; and exchanges became available to trade them. Miners were no longer too dated to make profit after 6 months — and actually shipped to the buyers. The option for making a miner with GPUs came to fruition with varied cryptos, so that the parts could be purchased on the open market with a credit card — in contrast to Bitcoins or bank wires to China. Twitter blew up as the fastest sources of up to date crypto news links, trading tips, and humor for the crypto world. The mass media starting running stories regularly enough that almost everyone has heard the name “Bitcoin”. Regular everyday people thought about buying some, and many did.
Do you have $5? You can buy some crypto with it, on your computer, at home. It doesn’t cost you at least a $5 fee like with regular stock, that cannot be split to the exact amount you wish to buy, through a broker, during business hours.
Different groups have latched onto cryptos for many reasons. Libertarians enjoy the independence from federal control that devalues their worth — with no oversight. Subcultures have flourished, like those that only eat meat. People with ideas can make companies that are independent of established trust by local government; because of the immutable blockchain — which is opening up business capability around the world. And as big as the crypto world has become, at a very base level a Millennial with no real wealth can still expect appreciation, unlike a savings account at the bank. And not one would deny taking pleasure in independence from institutions like the Federal Reserve.
And while crypocurrencies & crypto-utilities are still in their infancy, speculation has bred new opportunity. The number of traders continues to grow, most Millennials. Some of those traders started by trading traditional stocks, but were disenchanted by the existing infrastructure that’s ripe with corruption & lies — exposed in mass by the 2008 crash. Many of the crypto traders live and breath it, willingly spending all their time dedicated to it. For them they have an opportunity in life that isn’t being directed by someone else’s interest, it’s not riddled to death with secretly self-serving rhetoric that is often law, and it is all backed by technology they care about.
I got into cryptocurrencies when I was looking for a payment processor, for a business I was starting. I kept coming across Bitcoin information. I started researching it, and then I was hooked. I bought a little Bitcoin, and then I kept hearing about people making money by altcoin trading. I had no idea how to trade anything, let alone altcoins. I used faucets to acquire Dogecoin, so I’d have something to trade with. I actually built up a pretty decent portfolio just by trading from the Dogecoins. But for the first year I actually only traded pennies because I was trying to learn what was going on by watching Youtube videos and following good traders on Twitter. When I realized I could make money, I threw a little money at it, made a few trades, recouped my initial investment, and have been trading on the house’s money ever since.
I ended up forgetting about the business I tried to start, and have been trading crypto mostly full time. I do work a part time job still, mostly for the security of knowing there’s a weekly check. Outside of that, I’ve learned a lot about finance, and it has allowed me the financial freedom to do the things I love. I’m planning on taking a cross country motorcycle trip next summer. That’s something I’ve wanted to do since I was a kid; and crypto trading is giving me the freedom and opportunity to accomplish it. Cryptos have made a really huge impact in my life.
- A crypto trading Dood
Compared to fiat, cryptos are highly accessible, and tuned to the Millennials connected life. As everyone else struggles to get around the infrastructure of the past, to offer digitally integrated service, cryptos have circumvented it all. You don’t go to a bank, you don’t need middlemen, you don’t need police enforcement, you don’t have to wait, you don’t buy server space, you don’t need paper, and you don’t depend on government. Cryptos are a vehicle that can add transparency to the financial world; and stick a wrench in the cogs that like to manipulate currencies.
A lot of controversy has come with the explosion of cryptos - which only makes it look more valuable to a Millennial. Even when large investment entities we don’t trust buy-in, Millennials can’t help but feel like they are investing in us, because cryptos are a part of our future. We know “authority” has no real power to stop cryptos without destroying themselves; so it’s not a surprise they carry a suspicious eye. And yet, like any new technology - no matter the hostility - it will be adopted. It’s a chance for us Millennials to update the world to where we are at in life.
We have a lot to look forward to, and lives are already improving for many. And as a global dream-to-fruition we’re in it together, in such a way that mutual interest doesn’t lend itself to malevolent acts.
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