So Bitcoin took a serious nosedive in 2014. At under $300, it looks bad for the people who got into Bitcoin in 2013 when you could sell one for $1000. Obviously not a very good ROI, but what if I told you that things are not entirely hopeless yet? People are talking about the silver lining in all of this. The price is low, new Blockchain applications like BitNation and BitHalo are popping up, and people seem to enjoy the idea behind cryptocurrencies even when they look at the exchanges that seem to tank way too often and grumble that Bitcoin has seen better days.
It’s hard to stop an idea once it’s spread as far as Bitcoin has. The cat’s out of the bag. In the long run, economic models are going to expand and adapt to the existence of currencies that don’t depend on governments or banks to exist. As Mahatama Gandhi put it, “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.” Right now cryptocurrencies are transitioning between the stage where they’re getting laughed at and the stage at which the Establishment is fighting them. However, when you’re also looking at a future in which a real-life version of Star Trek’s Credits will be very useful within the next few generations, it’s not hard to see how cryptocurrencies could win out in the long run.
There are already people who talk about interplanetary trade. Planetary Resources is already laying down plans to mine the asteroids. Future Martians could reasonably plan to base an economy around both innovation and becoming the solar system’s shipyard. What kind of currency are they going to use? U.S. dollars? Realistically, I doubt it and caravans of traders traveling between independent colonies probably won’t have much patience for accepting shiny rocks as payment either. Marscoin could become the most acceptable option for a planet-wide currency if only for the sake of Martian pride. This is a currency that isn’t heavy or bulky and can be easily transferred from one tablet to another. This will make something like Marscoin highly attractive to a highly practical Martian people.
In the present day, it’s not even very hard to earn some Bitcoin if you know where to look. I still get residual Bitcoin payments (albeit small ones) from FreeBitco.in because I have a few active referrals. Anonymous Ads is another good way to pick up a residual income by placing ads on your blog when you get used to the idea that it’s not a get-rich-quick thing. You could even try selling a few of those items that have been collecting dust in your attic on CryptoThrift if you want things to happen faster. It’s a little tougher if you’re a freelancer. I’ve talked about creating a new Freelancer-like jobs board for a reason. However, I’ve picked up some Bitcoin writing for a few cryptocurrency news sites and – since I’m not one of those people who holds at all costs – turned around and bought an Amazon e-gift card with my earnings. With recent price slides, it’s easy enough to get more Bitcoin whenever I want it. When Overstock.com starts talking about giving employees the option to be paid in Bitcoin, it starts to look feasible for normal people who aren’t entrepreneurs or early adopters to earn a living with cryptocurrencies.
Point here is that people should get over the idea that it’s just some “weird Libertarian thing” and at least do some poking around. I have a hunch that 2015 could be a big year for cryptocurrencies if the community plays its cards right. That may mean getting out of our comfort zone and taking more of a leadership role. It may mean taking some risks. I’m starting to get more serious about that Freelancer-type site simply because I’ve noticed that gap in the ecosystem. Somebody else might decide to plug holes that I haven’t noticed. As they say, “Nothing ventured, nothing gained.” The rewards could be awesome when I watch the value of at least one of my favorite cryptocurrencies go up.
The idea of a currency that doesn’t depend on a government or any centralized authority may be as old as the use of gold and silver for commerce. It’s just getting revived with the rise of digital currencies. Satoshi Nakamoto was genius for bringing the idea of decentralized currencies to the digital age with some clever coding. Bitcoin might tank, but it’ll be tough to keep the basic concepts down in the long run when you also have Litecoin, Dogecoin, NXT, Darkcoin, and about a bazillion other altcoins that could theoretically take its place. They might fight the cryptocurrency world. If some of us are willing to take the lead, though, cryptocurrencies can start going more mainstream.