I believe Bitcoin may be one of the best investments in computer history—if not human history.
The market cap of Bitcoin as I write this is $8.6 billion (US). That’s the total market capitalization of all existing currency units for what is, by far, the most popular and successful electronic currency. And much of that currency is being stored and held by users expecting its future value to be much higher—in fact, despite all the recent price volatility, only $33.9 million in total trading volume has occurred over the past 24 hours (source: CoinMarketCap).
You in response (maybe): But this is all some crazy weird scam or fad or fleeting force of nature, David Seaman! The price will be nothing soon, NOTHING!!!111!!! Can’t you see that?!!
No. Think about this: even today, as Bitcoin endures a panic sell-off in response to Apple’s uninspired corporate protectionism, Mt. Gox incompetence du jour, and Russia’s “rejection” of Bitcoin… even today, one Bitcoin buys you $705 of value. You can get a pretty darn nice new laptop for a Bitcoin. You can get seven one-hour massages or one seven-hour massage for a Bitcoin, or a round-trip business class flight.
Such currency! Bitcoin is not under attack or threatened. Bitcoin is a miracle. A miracle of ingenuity, technology, and engineering. It was born in 2009 because it was not possible in 2000, or 1990, or 1900.
As others in Bitcoin land have pointed out, the Internet—if it were to be ranked as an economy—would be one of the largest economies on the planet.
Until Bitcoin’s creation, this economy has had to transact using legacy currencies from an older system. And pay dearly for the privilege of doing so.
What many people don’t seem to recognize is that our world already runs on digital currency. Modern fiat currency could be objectively described as uncapped, non-cryptographic digital currency. (Whereas Bitcoin is capped, cryptographic digital currency.)
The psychological and technical leap from one digital currency to another isn’t all that great.
As more individuals and companies come to realize this, as they benefit from inordinately lower transaction costs and faster settlement times, their need for Bitcoin as a transactional medium will increase.
And as that transactional use increases, the perceived value of Bitcoin will naturally increase as well—that’s why I was so ecstatic when the first U.S. gas stations and coffee shops began accepting Bitcoin. That’s when a transactional medium enters the big leagues on planet Earth.
And as all this is happening, the creation of new Bitcoins is slowing down by design—getting harder and harder to mine new ones, getting more and more scarce. This has never been done before in currency, not on such a scale, not intentionally.
So no. I’m not worried about Bitcoin or ‘the future’ of anything. I’m mystified and amazed at what is just around the corner. Not by luck or by faith, but by design.
Edit 8:41pm— p.s. This article is getting a ton of traffic, so I wanted to take this opportunity to suggest that if you plan to buy or sell Bitcoin after reading this article… please don’t use Mt. Gox! Use a responsible service; for those in the United States I have another article up on Medium now about the best ways to buy Bitcoin securely.
Disclosure: I own some Bitcoin (BTC) and Vertcoin (VTC) at time of publication. This is not investment advice and no warranties or guarantees are provided.