Once, Bitcoin was a great option to invest your money, regardless of market fluctuations. Sometimes its value dropped, but it always came back up again.
This time, we might not see the same result. And if Bitcoin catches a cold, then all the Altcoins will get sick, too. Cryptocurrencies aren’t a store-of-value nor safe haven for anyone’s assets. They’re experiments.
Early advocates of Bitcoin made certain not to tie the usefulness of Bitcoin to its price. It could evade restrictions, shed costs, and help the most vulnerable gain access to currency without middlemen. That was the sell.
Early bets on cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum, Litecoin, Ripple, Dash, and Monero have made some very rich. The price of Bitcoin has risen more than 500 per cent in a year, Litecoin more than 1300 per cent, and Ethereum more than 2000 per cent. But that’s not the point. It was never about price and it never should be.
Cryptocurrencies aren’t a store-of-value nor safe haven for anyone’s assets. They’re experiments. They’re bets that make some people very rich, some people poor, and create barriers of entry to ordinary people who want to use the technology.
No doubt, there is innovation on the horizon and there is a huge potential for cryptocurrencies.
People in smaller developing countries, usually ravaged with inflation, poor monetary policies, and no real financial infrastructure, are the ones that would most benefit from a truly useable cryptocurrency. The spike in mobile phone ownership across the African continent provides hope that electronic currency and transactions will work.
The question becomes then, will cryptocurrencies mature enough to provide the prosperity they are promising everyone?