It’s a great question and one I am asked really quite frequently.
Truth is, there are lots of really great reasons NOT to buy it and any one of them can be turned into a compelling argument on its own, so I thought I’d put this short piece together looking at the most common ones.
It’s a Bit ‘Clunky’ for the User
It really is y’know. Visa cards are slick. Banking apps are slick. Bitcoin apps, well, aren’t. For the most part anyway. There’s no denying they’re getting there and it’s a hell of a lot easier now than it was just a year ago even, but if you’re looking for constant, smooth, low faff factor transacting today, this may not be your bag.
It would be like you getting involved in the early days of email when you had to type a whole line of code just to send a simple message. Or using the internet during dial up days when you quite often had to spend several minutes trouble shooting before you could find out why you couldn’t connect your phone line to it. THAT’s where we are right now in terms of Bitcoin development. Is it more hassle than it’s worth? You decide.
There’s Nothing to Spend It On
Well, not quite nothing, but many would argue it’s not far off. Sure, there’s some big merchants who accept it in its native form, such as Starbucks, KFC, Subway, Norstrom, Wholefoods, Overstock, Microsoft, AT&T and so on, but these always seem to be limited or only available in certain areas. And it’s not always easy.
The rise of third party apps has been eroding this myth recently though. For example, you can buy anything you like on Amazon with Bitcoin, albeit through a third party app called purse.io. You can use certain Visa card services to convert Bitcoin to fiat at point of sale to buy anything anywhere, but even then this sector is plagued by less-than-honest traders.
If you’re looking for easy spend opportunities, then this isn’t going to work for you right now. You may have to come back in a few years.
Just What Is Going on with Price?
Erm, yes. It’s a bit, well, ‘rollercoastery’ ins’t it? And I’m not even sure that’s a word.
You can be fairly sure that what you buy for a dollar this morning, you’ll be able to buy for a dollar this afternoon, but with Bitcoin, not so much.
Of course, if you're in a country with a collapsing currency, such as Venezuela, then Bitcoin is a far better bet, no matter what price you pay, but for most of us that’s just not the case is it?
It’s so S-L-O-W
Ah yes. That scaling issue. Want to buy a coffee somewhere with your Bitcoin? It’ll be cold before you can take it with you. Assuming you can find somewhere that’ll take it in the first place, that is.
And the more popular it becomes, the slower it gets. Why would you bother?
Everyone Says It’s a Scam
It’s pretty easy to prove that it isn’t, but why go through the hassle? If you hold Bitcoin and tell people, you can bet there’s going to be whole bunch of them who think you’re an idiot. And who wants to stick their head above the parapet?
No, much easier to wait until the tide turns and be part of the crowd. It’s safer that way.
All the Media Coverage Is Negative
Yeah, I know. They don’t seem to like it much do they? Surely this many sources can’t be wrong, can they?
So, I Ask Again, Why Would You Bother?
If you’ve read this far and were sitting on the fence, I’ve probably finally convinced you NOT to buy it and I hope not as that’s not really fair. But you’re probably expecting me to debunk each of the points I’ve made so far, me being a ‘cryptocurrency evangelist’ and all.
Well, I’m sorry, all these points are valid and correct. I can’t debunk them.
However, I can qualify that statement a bit by adding three words:
All these points are valid and correct at the moment
That’s the problem with being an early adopter, you’ve got to deal with all the crap that comes with it. It might be that things don’t work as smoothly or as fast as we’d like, or we’re seen as a weirdo, or even a sucker by friends and family.
Make no mistake, being an early adopter is hard. You take the greatest risk in the hope of the greatest reward. You carry the possibility that one day you’ll be able to say ‘I told you so’ whilst knowing that day may never come and, worse, it’s entirely possible your colleagues with the opposing view may well be the ones who get to say it. It’s stressful. It can be brutal.
It requires vision. It requires understanding that the state of the technology or the adoption level today is not going to be anything like it is tomorrow. Like the early days of dial up internet. Or computers themselves. Or mobile phones. Or telephones. Or electricity. Even the car. Every single one of these inventions — and many, many more — were ridiculed and slated as having no chance of success by people ‘with knowledge.’
And yet you’re probably reading this on your phone. Using the internet. And electricity.
Thank God they didn’t listen.
So, will Bitcoin win through and be the solution to so many problems it claims to solve around the world? Possibly. Will it fail miserably? Possibly. Will it be somewhere between the two? In my view, probably.
So it all comes down to choice and belief. If you’re absolutely certain it will fail, don’t buy it, literally not a single Satoshi. If you’re buying any ‘just in case’, then I’m afraid you don’t belong in this camp, because you understand there’s a chance it will succeed and, mathematically and economically speaking, it will almost certainly rise in value if that happens.
My Bitcoin Halving Price Prediction
Sure, you can use maths to give an accurate forecast. But does it actually mean anything?
And if there is a decent chance of that occurring, then the risk of NOT buying Bitcoin actually outweighs the risk of doing so, which makes the decision making process even harder doesn’t it?
I’ll leave you with a simple mathematical example to think about — one I often cite when speaking to people who ask me this very question — while you make your decision:
If you put $100 into Bitcoin and it fails, you WILL lose that $100.
If it continues to bounce around within a relatively stable price band for the next few years and you need your money back out again, you’ll most likely get your $100 back, plus or minus a few cents.
If development and adoption continue at the rate it is, your $100 may well be worth many times that in years to come.
So, if you were looking for someone to make that decision for you, I can‘t help you and nor, actually, can anyone else.
It’s your call and it’s your money. I’m just here to give you a few things to mull over.
And the fact that you ARE mulling them over by reading articles such as this means that you’re bound to make the right call for you.
And that’s half the battle.