Since 2013, I’ve been occasionally buying Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as a way to add some diversity to my investments. I don’t know exactly how the blockchain works (though, the book “What’s The Big Deal About Bitcoin?” did clear it up a little), but I also don’t completely understand how stocks, bonds, etc. work either. I invest in them because people I trust who are more knowledgeable about the details invest in them. Also, it is kind of fun.
Unfortunately, but not unexpectedly, there are a lot of haters out there when it comes to cryptocurrencies. In my experience, they roughly fall in the following, often overlapping, categories:
- Goldbugs: These people think that returning to gold as the only currency is both desirable and possible. They also tend to see auditing the Fed as the most important issue and probably want Ron Paul to run for King in 2020 when he is 84 years old. They also may have (or wish they had) gold bars stashed around their house for when society inevitably collapses.
- Ignorant to How It Works: Admittadly, I fall a bit in this category, but I am more optimistic about how things are progressing.
- US Centric People: Some people don’t look outside of the US for growth or progress or potential. To me, areas like Asia, Africa, and Latin America are the most exciting for long-term wealth creation, and those areas are also seeing substantial growth in the use of crypto-currencies.
- True Haters: These people hate to see other people succeed in ways that they didn’t. They also tend to be a bit traditionalist and think there is only one way to success and act a bit disgusted if you enjoy life without kids, spend your years traveling, or do something creative to succeed. If you don’t just put your head down and work hard for 50 years then you are cheating. To them, hard work is an objectively good thing even if it makes you miserable and shortens your life.
Certainly, not all criticism of cryptocurrencies fall into these categories, but this has been my experience. When I share something about making good money on Ethereum or gambling a little with Ripple, they come out of the woodwork to tell me how I’m living my life wrong (which is more than a little ironic considering they tend to call themselves libertarians). Despite a very myopic view with limited experiences they tend to think they know what is best for me and for society. It is a pretty anti-market and totalitarian point of view.
Luckily, they don’t really matter to me. If anything I find them to be an interesting case study in how people respond to disruptive technology and they make a quick blog post when I’m not feeling particularly inspired. I’m optimistic about the future of the blockchain and setting aside 10% of my investments for cryptocurrencies seems like a pretty solid way to diversify. I probably won’t make a million dollars off it (though, that would be pretty nice), but I won’t lose my shirt either.
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