Those Millennials are on to Something (When it Comes to Cryptocurrencies, that is!)

Tony Sagami

With all the millennial-aged snowflakes making fools of themselves on TV and stumping for socialism, it’s easy for the baby boomers (including me) to dismiss them as naive, entitled brats.

Heck, I remember my parents’ generation saying similar things about me and my fellow boomers because of our long hair, psychedelic music, tie-dyed T-shirts and anti-war protests.

But the same process seems to play out with each generation. Before becoming old and wise, you have to first be young and dumb. The baby boomers turned out just fine, and I expect the same will be true of today’s snowflake generation.

In fact, I think millennials could become wildly more financially successful than baby boomers. That’s because they are infinitely more tech-savvy and early adopters of new technology.

One new technology where millennials are leading the charge is with the kind that powers the cryptocurrency universe.

Cryptocurrencies are a complete mystery to most of the people of my generation. That’s a key reason why only 8% of Americans have purchased a cryptocurrency so far.

But that is going to change in a big way, and millennials know it.

A new study from Accenture found that 13% of 18- to 24-year-old millennials already use digital currencies on a daily/weekly basis. But an impressive 26% expect to use digital currencies “daily or weekly by 2020.”


In fact, millennials are twice as likely as any other generation to own cryptocurrencies.

Don’t dismiss that cryptocurrency enthusiasm for youthful exuberance, either. One other group of Americans are big cryptocurrency fans: the very rich.

Accenture found that 19% of wealthy Americans have invested in digital currencies and a whopping 32% expect to by 2020.

“This debate will likely continue as digital currencies mature, but it is not stopping consumers from using them. Among all payment instruments included in the Accenture survey, respondents expect the biggest boost in usage from today to 2020 to be in digital currencies,” said the Accenture report.

What are the characteristics of cryptos that millennials and the wealthy like so much?

  • Anonymity: 36% of respondents
  • Transaction security: 36%
  • Low cost: 21%
  • No government control: 20%
  • Low-cost trans-border transactions: 15%

Cryptocurrencies are similar to gold in that they are alternatives to dollars, euros, yen and other government-backed paper currencies.


High earners are more likely to invest in cryptos, according to blockchain-focused research company Clovr. See its survey results about who is investing in cryptos here.

But for all the yellow metal’s benefits — it’s a store of physical wealth, its scarcity all but ensures its value will continue to go up, and it offers privacy from prying government eyes — gold is also a cumbersome, inefficient medium of exchange.

Meanwhile, cryptocurrencies are technologically superior — safer, more secure and unhackable — than credit cards and online banking.

Many businesses already see that. And there are many more to come …

Thousands of companies — such as Microsoft, eBay, Expedia, McDonald’s and Subway — accept digital currencies for payment. The Swiss government accepts Bitcoin for tax payments, and Dubai plans on becoming the world’s first “blockchain city.”

Related story: This university not only invests in cryptos, but even accepts Bitcoin for tuition payments

The digital gold rush is coming, and there is every reason to believe it will be the most profitable investment opportunity of our lifetime.

One response from the Accenture study that stood out to me was that the 38% of the people surveyed said they have a “poor” understanding of digital currencies.

Please, don’t be part of that uniformed 38%. Click here and I’ll help you make sure of that.

Best wishes,

Tony

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Comments 1

Bob Schubring October 29, 2018

What most Americans misunderstand about fiat currencies, is that Systemic Risk of Default is not directly the fault of the currency unit, but of the banking system that handles most currency transactions. The currency token is merely a tool of accounting. One doesn’t reckon how many sandwiches one can make from what’s in the fridge, using currency units…one counts the food items inside the fridge! Currency enters the calculus when one restocks the fridge at the grocery store.

The best way to explain Systemic Risk, I’ve found, is to say that the fridge can’t be opened and inspected. We rely on the promise made by a Banker, that bread and meat will be in the fridge in time for us to want a sandwich, but the precise location of the bread and meat between mealtimes, remains unknown for reasons of banking security. Of course we’d find that silly, if someone tried to manage our fridges that way. But except for the Swiss, who passed a law against it, most people just assume that banks should operate with this air of mystery surrounding where the money actually resides at any given time.

Swiss citizens have paid fees to banks for storing demand deposits and paying checks against them, for centuries. Bank runs don’t happen there, because demand deposits are 100% backed by reserves. Citizens who don’t want to pay bank fees are free to carry their money with them or keep it at home in a safe.

Can cryptocurrencies facilitate adoption of the Swiss model, globally? Certainly they could. A hopeful sign of that, is the US CFTC’s treatment of Bitcoin as a commodity. A less-hopeful sign are the various exchange failures, such as Mt Gox, whereby billions have vanished into thin air. It’s certainly possible to use cryptocurrency together with systems of fractional reserves and other less-than-honest trading tactics…Venezuela’s Petro comes to mind as an example, as does Tether…in which case the entire exercise of crypto adoption achieves nothing of lasting value.

The best-case scenario, to me, would be if governments allowed the civil courts to strip bad actors in the crypto business, of all their ill-gotten gains, and allowed a system of 100% reserves to develop in crypto trading, that competed with the fractional-reserve systems under which fiat currencies are traded. Such an option would make possible a slow abandonment of fiat currencies and fractional banking reserves.

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