These past few years cryptocurrencies have made waves in the news. Reports of crazy volatility and fortunes being made over months or even days have brought widespread attention to the growing technologies. Some even predict that these mediums of exchange will destabilize government-issued currencies and bring about a widespread financial decentralization. This is great and all, but most people aren’t coders, financial analysts, or day traders. Crypto doesn’t have much use for them, right? Wrong!
There’s a myriad of ways you can use cryptocurrency to improve your life without having to be very technically inclined or financial adept.
First on the list:
Hedging Against Inflation
You don’t have to be a genius to figure out that many of the world’s leading currencies are royally screwing over the people that hold them. Governments, though they’ve been inflating paper money for years, have started ramping it up recently. Money printing has become the political substitute for real economic prosperity. In fact, back in March, the Fed said they would institute unlimited quantitative easing to help counteract the economic impacts of COVID. QE is a fancy central bank term for the creation of even more dollars.
So what can you do to protect yourself?
Along with investments in real estate, precious metals, and income-producing assets, cryptocurrencies are one way to hedge yourself against inflation.
All of the major cryptocurrencies have predictable and steady inflation that won’t lead to you being penalized for saving — or even worse, losing all your money to hyperinflation. Though they are much more volatile than say the USD or the Euro, in a situation where governments and their central banks decide to screw over the people in exchange for personal gain, they are a great way to preserve purchasing power. Additionally, compared to houses and car washes, cryptocurrencies are highly liquid — and you won’t incur a big loss if you need to cash out fast to get some spending money.
Transferring Money Overseas
For how far technology has come, it’s still very frustrating and expensive to transfer money overseas. Trying to send some of your paycheck to your family back home? — expect it to take days and for you to incur a massive fee. In come cryptocurrencies.
Cryptos lets you transfer money quickly with transactions showing up instantly and taking mere minutes to confirm. Sounds awesome right?!? ‘Aren’t the fees outrageous though. I mean, for such a fast transaction I’d expect to be paying a premium’ The answer, a resounding no. If you are sending a Bitcoin Cash transaction, for example, you can expect to pay a transaction fee of just a few cents.
Let’s see if Western Union can beat that.
Overcoming Financial Censorship
Everything is becoming more and more politicized. Even moving money. Many payment processors, such a Paypal and Intuit refuse to process transactions that go against their arbitrary criteria. Examples of transactions that aren’t allowed include those for sexual content, offensive collectibles, and firearms. None of these are illegal to buy, but the way the processors treat these transactions would make you think they are. Even worse, merchants are often cut off with no prior warning or outreach, such as in the case of Intuit and a gun store.
Cryptocurrency, on the other hand, is incredibly difficult to censor. Want to buy a porn mag? A rifle? What about gold? Cryptocurrencies have got you covered. They are peer to peer, meaning there is no third party between you and the person you are buying from. No one to allow or disallow your transaction, no one to tell you how you can and cannot spend your money.
Sounds great, but how do I get my hands on some?
Though increasingly regulated, acquiring cryptocurrency is still simple (if you don’t mind jumping through a few hoops first).
The easiest way to get your hands on some Bitcoin/Bitcoin Cash/Ethereum is to go to a centralized exchange, identify yourself, and have them run your credit card. Simple as that.
Word to the wise though, as soon as you finalize the purchase, move your crypto out to a wallet that you control. Exchanges aren’t infallible and can be hacked, shut down, or otherwise corrupted.
If you don’t feel like giving up your personal information, you can opt for using a platform that connects you directly to individual sellers. Buying this way has higher fees and slower transaction times, but provides you with better privacy,
The uses for, as well the ways to acquire, cryptocurrency are endless. This was just the quick start guide.