Cryptocurrencies are more than prices, market caps, #HODLgang and becoming a crypto millionaire. It’s a technology that can change the fundamentals of how the world works. If you are concerned with the real benefits of cryptocurrencies past the hype, you should read on. We round up seven incredible benefits of cryptocurrencies you may not know.
1. An Alternative Financial System
Bitcoin White Paper was released in 2009 by an anonymous person (group, man, women, bird, no one knows) called Satoshi Nakamoto just after the Global Financial Crisis. This protocol’s first line was “[bitcoin] peer-to-peer version of electronic cash would allow online payments to be sent directly from one party to another without going through a financial institution”. It touched on the key issues created by the financial system while proposing a viable solution that remedied systemic problems such as intermediaries, costs, trust, and more.
From Bitcoin to the wealth of cryptocurrencies available now, many alternatives exist. Want a coin which keeps your anonymity? Try Zen, Dash or Monero. Want a coin which provides smart assets to trade in and out of traditional assets? Try Bitshares. Want a token which provides 25% buybacks? Try Zephyr. Some cryptocurrencies may take the fundamentals of Bitcoin and some may not, however, the point is there is an alternative financial system available.
2. Investment (possibly)
At time of writing, cryptocurrencies market cap has made a minor bounce back from its 50% drop which has humbled cryptocurrency investors. However, as Warren Buffet (even though he’s negative on crypto) said;
Buy when there is blood on the streets.
To date, there hasn't been an investment vehicle which has yielded faster returns than crypto and faster losses. From this recent poll on Twitter also suggests that many in the space see it as a long-term investment whereby the fluctuation in price is a risk worth pursuing the long-term yields.
How do you feel about your Bitcoin holdings?— Nic Carter (@nic__carter) February 6, 2018
While it is a rollercoaster ride not for the faint hearted, an argument could be made that if one believes that cryptocurrencies will take center stage in the future, that it is an asset one can assess for investment.
This is not financial advice.
3. Transferring Units of Value FAST
We’ve all had to make that dreadful call to the bank while chasing up a payment that should have arrived instantly not in 2 - 3 business days. Well, due to cryptocurrencies P2P nature, a payment is made directly from your wallet to another person's wallet directly without intermediaries. While this is hugely beneficial for digital cash payments, it’s also applicable to units of value as at the end of the day, it’s what the unit of value is identified on the issuing Blockchain whether it be a contract, an asset or a currency. Since the Bitcoin blockchain there has been teething issues related to what the bitcoin network can handle and related costs, however there are some promising bitcoin fixes and other blockchains have tackled this issue.
The world is moving away from centralised systems to decentralised systems as decentralised models removes a single point of failure, it’s more secure and it’s safer against corruption. While many cryptocurrencies are decentralised by code, it is the layers built on top which has prompted a push towards decentralisation on the interactive level. This can be seen with exchanges in the cryptocurrency space whereby an exchange is ran by a single organization which has faulted in some way whether it be in management, security or infrastructure and has caused damages and losses to participating parties. As cryptocurrencies have become more widely used, the market has created a demand of decentralization that has the potential to make consumer/tech layers more secure.
5. The Community
Crypto is a movement whether you are a trader, entrepreneur, techie and more. The reason why crypto has got this far is largely that of people rallying behind it due to their interest. Now, the individual reasons why people are involved differ but the power of the community cannot be ignored. Just hop online, do some google searches and you will find chat groups, forums, channels, videos, blogs and articles all about crypto generated purely by the community. The power of numbers is real.
We live in an age where privacy is a thing of the past, however, there is no opting out meaning you are subject to surveillance without your consent a lot of the time. With most of our social interaction communicated through the internet creating an automatic digital footprint, it’s easy to gather, track and review your data which means information no matter how big or small can be used by a third party without your consent.
Some cryptocurrencies give the power of privacy back to the user and on a need to know basis. This means the information you chose to share is only shared to those who you send it to and no one else giving you your privacy back. Cryptocurrency does this in several ways including p2p as mentioned and also cryptography.
Whoa, but you just said privacy. Isn’t that the opposite of transparency?
Well, you’re not wrong. What is transparent is the back and forth of transactions on the blockchain between wallets however what is private is your wallet a transaction was sent from as well as the receiving wallet that is usually represented by a string of numbers called a wallet address. This ensures transparency of transactions while maintaining your privacy on the blockchain. Transparency is important as it means no one can fake a transaction and you can also track a payment to prove it exists in a completely trustless manner.
You made it this far? Thanks - Here’s an extra benefit just for you!
8. An additional industry
There was no digital economy before the internet was created and we see the same growth happening within the cryptocurrency space. It started with one cryptocurrency and it’s now expanded an economy with thousands of cryptocurrencies being traded every day (just take a look at coinmarketcap). Their use differs but in nine short years, the cryptocurrencies market cap reached an ATH (all-time high) 700 Bn.
Cryptocurrency ecosystem is not perfect, and nor should it be while it’s still in its infancy. While some benefits above only apply to certain cryptos and not all, we hope it provides an overview of benefits you may not have known.
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