Updated: May 24
Bitcoin is a marathon in so many ways. You've got Bitcoin as an investment. You've got Bitcoin as a network and currency. You’ve also got the learning process of Bitcoin and the history of money that follows.
For those reasons, Bitcoin is a marathon, not a sprint. This blog, however, will be more like a 200-metre sprint as we address a few areas about Bitcoin and why we see its marathon only just beginning.
Bitcoiners Are Incentivised to HODL
You may not have come across these terms, so let’s break them down:
Bitcoiners = Bitcoin supporters/investors
Incentivised = It’s in their best interest
HODL = Bitcoin meme/acronym for Hold On for Dear Life
If you have completed our course, you will know that our money tends to lose value over time for various reasons. A good way of getting around this is by replacing the things that lose value with things that do tend to increase in value over time.
What are good examples?
All three of these things share a similarity: scarcity.
Firstly, there is only so much Gold on Earth. Secondly, there is only so much land on Earth. Thirdly, there is a fixed supply of 21 million Bitcoin.
Now, that doesn’t automatically mean its value has to increase forever. Scarcity is just one aspect. However, it’s becoming increasingly important as our money is devaluing more each day.
Beyond something’s scarcity, there needs to be a use case for it otherwise it is rather pointless. For example, there are a lot of scarce things in the world that don’t have much value at all.
Gold is scarce but it also has a high value because it is virtually indestructible, it is used as jewellery and in other appliances.
Real Estate is scarce but it also has a high value because everybody needs a home to live in.
Bitcoin is scarce but it also has a high value because you can send money across the world at lightning speeds and almost for free. And crucially, this is done peer-to-peer (without the need for a trusted middleman).
Therefore, just as people tend to hold onto their real estate for a lifetime, so may people with their Bitcoin.
The Learning Process Is Never-Ending
It is pretty rare to come across a Bitcoiner that had a complete conviction from the beginning.
The majority of people first hear about Bitcoin in a negative light. It’s pretty understandable. After all, it’s only been around 13 years and it’s based on Cryptography. Alongside the probability that 90% of people don’t know what Cryptography is, Bitcoin also gets associated with labels such as a scam, Ponzi scheme, and casino gambling.
For that reason, Bitcoin gets disregarded almost instantly. When people give it a chance and begin learning about it, only then does the realisation kick in that Bitcoin is far from the claims suggested.
The learning process is probably the biggest reason why Bitcoin is a marathon, not a sprint. It allegedly takes 10,000 hours to master a skill. I’d probably say the history of money and technology (the category Bitcoin falls under) is 10x longer. Therefore, I’m still learning, Rhys is still learning and so is almost every other Bitcoiner.
This a great thing, not a bad thing. Once you can overcome the hurdle that is Bitcoin FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt), the real learning process can begin. This involves:
The origins of money
Do we really own our money?
How should money be distributed?
Digital money in a digital world
Is the current system working in our best interest?
They are complicated questions because it is a complicated topic. We don’t have all the answers but with Bitcoin, you have full ownership and control of your money. We think that’s pretty important.
Global Adoption Doesn’t Happen Overnight
In some ways, Bitcoin’s rise has been too meteoric for some people to handle. The problem is, however, you can’t have it both ways.
What’s that supposed to mean?
Firstly, we live in a society that craves instant gratification wherever possible. It is arguable to suggest that gone are the days when patience was rewarded. Technological advancements and the internet are perhaps partly the result of this. We receive everything today at lightning speeds, which means patience is the first thing out of the door.
The same can be said when we cast judgement on Bitcoin. Bear in mind that Bitcoin was formed just over a decade ago, but it has somehow catapulted up to over $1 Trillion dollars in market size. Whilst that’s pretty astonishing, it’s still not enough for some people.
The response is that the volatility is too much, it can go down 50% with no real reason. That’s all true, but so is the fact Bitcoin has gone up over 20,000% in just over a decade. It’s volatile in both directions because it is a brand new asset. Crucially, the volatility has been in the right direction (for the most part).
At the other end of the spectrum, you could have zero volatility. Bitcoin could just potter around making minuscule movements, but then who would see the value? The argument would then be: “it’s been around for a decade and done nothing”.
That’s why you can’t have it both ways. Either it’s volatile because it’s brand new but it’s heading in the right direction, or it’s stable but no one values it enough.
Ultimately, global adoption with all things never appears straightforward. Take a look at great companies such as Amazon. The volatility back in its infancy (and even now for that matter) is on par with Bitcoin. As things grow and mature over time, the volatility tends to decrease.
That's why we believe Bitcoin is a marathon, not a sprint.