So you’ve heard all about cryptocurrency and you’re thinking hey, maybe I should get on that bandwagon? I mean, if lots of them are still worth pennies… After all, bitcoin really went crazy there didn’t it?
It’s true that the technology behind cryptocurrencies (Blockchain) has been used to develop all sorts of new processes not just for money; and the possible uses of digital currency are many and varied. But, is the whole cryptocurrency boom a really bad joke?
For what’s it’s worth (about 6 XRP – crypto joke there) here is my take on the matter.
How Big is Your Computer?
Let’s put it this way. The whole thing in crypto at the moment is mining it. For those who don’t know, a computer runs a billion algorithms in the search for a piece of whatever crypto and then stores it in a wallet.
That means that the people who will make the most out of cryptocurrencies in the long run are the guys with warehouses full of computers that work 24/7/365 to mine Ethereum or whatever.
If you use your home device to mine Bitcoin, well, it would be like trying to set up an alternative to Facebook on an old Dell laptop. Don’t bother basically.
Yes you can pay your savings in to these companies who mine for you. So that thirty quid you got in your PayPal could be turned into a million dollars… Maybe.
But in terms in of mining for crypto as a grunt in the street? Forget it.
What is the Next Big Cryptocurrency?
Well I missed BTC, maybe now Bitcoin Cash or Bitcoin Gold might be a good investment? After all they’re built on the same blockchain thing, but they’re faster and more reliable.
Nah mate… All you need is Ripple. Or Maybe Ethereum. Oh shit, Litecoin has gone up. Oh no it’s tanked. Again.
Short answer. No one knows. But they’ll tell you they do and they’ll tell you that crypto currency is the future. You just need to get in on the ICO of this new coin linked to amount of fucks given by the rest of us, then you might stand a chance of buying that mansion in the Cote d’Azur.
Here’s a tip for you. If you really must buy Crypto don’t get stuck looking for the next big crypto currency. It’s going to be one of the big ones like Ethereum, Litecoin or one of the Bitcoin spin offs.
Go and set up an account on OpenBazaar or Bitify and sell some stuff that you were going to sell on eBay. When you get that coin, whatever it is, leave it in the wallet for your great great great grandchildren to marvel at. Trust me, it’ll be like you looking at that huge CD collection you amassed , wondering why you spent quite so much money on it, only for it now to be utterly worthless.
What is the Future for Crypto?
Read any news online about cryptocurrencies and you’ll start to see a pattern emerge. No one has a fucking clue about crypto. Even the experts have no idea what is happening, where it’s going or even, in some instances, that some of it is a scam.
As an example, go and browse this thread on Reddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/CryptoCurrency/. You don’t even have to read any of it. A mere skim read will tell you all you need to know.
The world is promised, but there is very little being delivered.
So what is the future of cryptocurrencies? If you believe Warren Buffet (a guy who made billions by being right) then he says it’s a gigantic bubble that’s going to burst. You might end up with one or two solid cryptos that stay the course and become actually worth something.
But chances are, you’ll be too late and you’ll just have to eat rat meat and live under a bridge and stare up at the cryptozillionaires in their shiny airships. Don’t worry. I’ll be there with you saying ‘told you so’.
Power vs Wealth
Here is one of the biggest reasons why Crypto is a terrible idea. In fact, I’d go so far as to say it might be one of the biggest terrible ideas mankind has had since disposable plastic.
The sheer amount of power needed to process the mining of crypto currency equates to that of a fairly big country. In fact, Bitcoin mining alone uses more power than over 150 countries (individually not in total). It uses more power than Ireland or Nigeria.
The bulk of the mining is done in China, which is not exactly the most eco-friendly country in the world. So crypto is basically using a horrendous amount of power to mine more virtual money for people who already have quite a lot of money to burn and who don’t give a crap about the environment.
So in the event that crypto currency does become a big thing, there are already a select few people (who are already mega rich) that will reap the benefits. The rest of us? Life will go on. No matter how much QWP (I made that one up) you have in your digital wallet, you’re not going to be on the level of the guy who is already a billionaire who can afford to mine the top 6 cryptos constantly forever.
And you know what the worst thing is….?
Let’s be brutally honest here. Crypto currency is currently worthless. Can I go to Tesco and do my weekly shop with it? Can I use it to book a flight to my next trip abroad?
Now I have a friend (you know who you are) who will no doubt mention that yes you can do all those things…. If you use some random marketplace app and jump through a few hoops. But that renders it worthless to me.
When I work I make real money which I can easily exchange for any service or product I want to buy very easily. Not too much dicking around needed, maybe just a sort code or whatever. But for the settling of my bills, the paying of my transport costs or the general costs of day to day living… It’s utterly worthless.
Never mind that the value is massively volatile. And also ignoring the fact that there are so many cryptocurrencies that if I take payment in Litecoin I might be missing out on making a few sweet sweet Ziliquas (!?). Now, I probably wouldn’t be writing this article if I’d bought Bitcoin in 2004 when someone first told me about it. But even with that big BTC bubble last year, I’d still only be about £1000 up.
Should you buy now?
The short answer is, if you have lots of money to invest buying a good portfolio of cryptocurrencies or better still, mining it, then you might be one of the lucky ones in a few years. But for me, cryptocurrencies are a big, expensive and wasteful distraction made for rich people to get richer. So, no.
Think I’m totally wrong and cryptocurrency is the future of the world? Decentralized, no fees, etc etc etc. Yeah I know. Tell me all about it in the comments below….