Although you may certainly use Bitcoin, Ether or altcoin as cash, the real benefits of crypto are much broader. Even if the current generation of cryptocurrencies phases out as money, the social and financial ideas they brought to the mainstream cannot quickly be forgotten. The ideas mentioned above represent only the tip of the digital iceberg in terms of potential social and financial utility.
Avail yourself of the more technical benefits of value stores, smart contracts and other crypto utilities. They will certainly play a major part in people’s lives in the very near future. The more you learn today about what crypto can really do, the more your life will benefit tomorrow. You may even be inspired to create a use of your own for cryptocurrency in this still quite new and wide-open space.
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Facebook and Twitter have recently created controversy because of their willingness to police its platform. Depending on who you ask, we lose. One of the inventive uses of cryptocurrency is to serve as the basis of a decentralized social network. In this structure, there is no central authority to blame for censoring or not censoring controversial content.
Decentralized social media also gets rid of the data privacy controversy because there is no central authority present to gather and sell private data. Cryptocurrency micropayments replace invasive ads as the platform’s funding mechanism. Spam is still unwelcome, but it is moderated through a smart contract rather than a mod, who can be influenced to be subjective.
Imagine never having to pay a lawyer to do good business again. Imagine a real estate transaction with no escrow fees. This is a world that proponents of Ethereum say is quite possible. The smart contract, built on the Ethereum platform and quantified through the Ether cryptocurrency, brings the unchangeable, fraudless blockchain into the realm of law. Smart contracts create a 100% safe way to conduct an agreement sans the judicial system.
The idea of smart contracts is so well received that Ethereum has actually outpaced Bitcoin in terms of new users over the past year. Ethereum developers say that Ethereum will soon beat Bitcoin in the number of developers, daily value transfers and transactions per second.
Many investors in the U.S. think of crypto as a volatile investment. This may be because the U.S. dollar is the world’s reserve currency and still one of the most stable currencies on the planet. To a country like Venezuela, crypto actually represents a more stable form of money. This notion is more than a pipe dream or an experiment — Nigeria, Australia, Spain and Canada have all doubled their use of Bitcoin year over year.
In countries like Venezuela, the population is literally using Bitcoin to save its life. The government cannot exercise nearly as much control over cryptocurrency as it can a fiat currency. Russia is trying to create its own crypto and criminalize any other nonsanctioned competitor. The people of Zimbabwe prefer crypto to the gold-backed currency the government is pushing.
Even if you’re not a huge crypto buff, you likely heard of the Bitcoin mania that took place around Christmas 2017. Bitcoin exploded in value, almost touching $20,000 USD per coin. At that time, it was literally the best financial investment of all time. Bitcoin’s value relative to the dollar has receded since then, but crypto bulls believe it can top its 2017 performance and bring the rest of the crypto market with it.
More investors than ever — both individuals and institutions — are holding some sort of crypto in a portfolio. This includes very public crypto skeptics like Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase. The Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) offers options on Bitcoin futures, giving the market mainstream viability it didn’t have before its breakout 2017 year. The crypto market has all of the markings of a solid potential growth investment: rising visibility and sentiment, a relatively low market cap compared to traditional asset classes and consistently increasing utility.
If you have ever been annoyed waiting for a cash transfer from a bank account, you may want to consider using crypto. Transfers are instant with lower fees than platforms like Paypal. Using crypto also eliminates fraudulent chargebacks because payments on a blockchain cannot be reversed.
Using crypto also frees you to send money wherever you want with no middleman scrutinizing your transaction history. This includes international recipients who will also happily avoid Paypal’s expensive currency conversion fees.
The concept of the micropayment, or pay as you go, on-demand payment structure, is another advantage of using cryptocurrency. The built-in fees that you pay when using a credit card disappear with crypto, making per-second or per-minute micropayments a reality. Instead of paying a subscription fee for a streaming service, for example, crypto allows you to pay only when you watch a movie. As a matter of fact, Streamium is a video streaming service that does just that.