Many people think of cryptocurrency as a simple store of value, but there is much more to the idea. Bitcoin is rooted in “financial rebellion,” not as another way to pay for a pizza. There are many benefits implied within a decentralized, trustless, immutable system of record-keeping and value transference. Political and financial leaders around the world are taking note, and you should as well.
Even if you don’t plan to get involved in cryptocurrency as anything more than a portfolio hedge, you’ll definitely enjoy knowing just how crypto will change the financial and political world of the future.
Better Payment Structure
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.
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.
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.
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.
Decentralized Social Media
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.
To get the most out of crypto, you need to be able to get your hands on more than 1 kind of coin. You can do this most efficiently through a trading platform. Take a look at the feature sets of the brokers below.
Webull, founded in 2017, is a mobile app-based brokerage that features commission-free stock and exchange-traded fund (ETF) trading. It’s regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).
Webull offers active traders technical indicators, economic calendars, ratings from research agencies, margin trading and short-selling. Webull’s trading platform is designed for intermediate and experienced traders, although beginning traders can also benefit.
Webull is widely considered one of the best Robinhood alternatives.
- Active traders
- Intermediate traders
- No charges to open and maintain an account
- No account maintenance fees or software platform fees
- Intuitive trading platform with technical and fundamental analysis tools
- Only offers 14 coins
Founded in 2015, Exodus is a multiasset software wallet that removes the geek requirement and keeps design a priority to make cryptocurrency and digital assets easy for everyone. Available for desktop and mobile, Exodus allows users to secure, manage and exchange cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH) and more across an industry-leading 10,000-plus asset pairs from a beautiful, easy-to-use wallet. The noncustodial functionality is encrypted locally on users’ own devices, ensuring privacy, security and complete control over their wealth. Exodus is on a mission to empower half the world to exit the traditional finance system by 2030.
- Newcomers to the cryptocurrency world
- Ease of use
- Trezor integration
- Huge selection of cryptocurrencies
- Excellent 24/7 customer support
- No personal info needed
- FTX app not available on the mobile app
SoFi takes a modern approach to personal finance. It recently created buzz with the release of SoFi Crypto, a way to trade cryptocurrency on the app. The platform allows investors to familiarize themselves with crypto. It offers a high level of security, great customer support and an intuitive interface. However, it does have shortcomings with the number of cryptos offered and geographic restrictions.
- Centralization of your money
- Charges low or no fees for some functions within the interface.
- Relies on Coinbase, a very secure platform, to process transactions.
- Presents a low barrier of entry — you only need $10 to start trading.
- Currently only offers 28 coins.
eToro is headquartered in Cyprus, England and Israel. A major eToro plus is its social trading operations, which allows new clients to copy trade the platform’s best performers. Its social trading features are top notch, but eToro loses points for its underwhelming research and customer service features.
- Investors looking to CopyTrade other traders
- Simple user interface
- Several major cryptocurrencies and altcoins
- Expansive network of social trading features
- Large client base for new traders to imitate
- Only 29 coins available
Gemini is a cryptocurrency exchange and custodian that offers investors access to over 100 coins and tokens. Founded in the US, Gemini is expanding globally, in particular into Europe and Asia. Offerings include both major cryptocurrency projects like Bitcoin and Ethereum, and smaller altcoins like Orchid and 0x.
Gemini is 1 of the only brokers with multiple platform options based on skill level. New investors will love the streamlined interface of Gemini’s mobile and web apps, while advanced investors might appreciate all the tools that come with ActiveTrader.
In addition to a host of platform choices, Gemini users also have access to insured hot wallets to store tokens without worrying about digital asset theft. Learn more about what Gemini can do for you in our review.
- New investors looking for a simple mobile and web app
- Day traders looking to use technical analysis tools
- Users looking for a 1-stop-shop to buy, sell and store all of their cryptos
- Easy and quick signups — can get started in as little as a 5 minutes
- Multitude of platforms to accommodate traders of all skill levels
- Hot wallets include insurance to protect your from theft and hacking attempts
- Charges both a commission and a convenience fee for users buying and selling through the desktop or mobile app
Coinbase is one of the Internet’s largest cryptocurrency trading platforms. From Bitcoin to Litecoin or Basic Attention Token to Chainlink, Coinbase makes it exceptionally simple to buy and sell major cryptocurrency pairs.
You can even earn cryptocurrency rewards through Coinbase’s unique Coinbase Earn feature. More advanced traders will love the Coinbase Pro platform, which offers more order types and enhanced functionality.
Though Coinbase doesn’t offer the most affordable pricing or the lowest fees, its simple platform is easy enough for complete beginners to master in as little as a single trade.
- New cryptocurrency traders
- Cryptocurrency traders interested in major pairs
- Cryptocurrency traders interested in a simple platform
- Simple platform is easy to operate
- Comprehensive mobile app mirrors desktop functionality
- Coinbase Earn feature rewards you with crypto for learning about available coins
- Higher fees than competitors
There’s More to Life Than Money
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.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the advantages of cryptocurrencies?
Several of the benefits of cryptocurrencies include quick asset transfers, confidentiality, security and decentralization.
What are the disadvantages of cryptocurrencies?
The drawbacks of cryptocurrencies include volatility, higher levels of risk and fewer regulations.
Related link: COINRULE REVIEW – the next generation in cryptocurrency trading.