This post has nothing to do with software development. Instead, I’ll be ranting about the madness that’s been going on in the cryptocurrency world.
The value of Bitcoin has been shooting to the moon lately and it’s all what everyone’s been talking about. At the time of this writing, Bitcoin is valued at $18,844.99 according to Google.
I remember that around 5 months ago, one Bitcoin was sitting at around $3,000. I also had a friend who was constantly nagging me that I should invest in Bitcoin because I’ll be missing out on an opportunity to build “nation-level wealth”. I actually found him kind of annoying since he would constantly nag me about it. And I find people around me talking about Bitcoins these days kind of annoying too mostly because they more or less just heard about the cryptocurrency hype from the media and are interested in it as a get-rich-quick scheme.
I didn’t buy any Bitcoins then, and I won’t buy any now. I had zero interest investing in cryptocurrencies then and I still have zero interest now.
Here are my reasons why I’m so apathetic when it comes to cryptocurrencies.
Cryptocurrencies have no real intrinsic value
I have no idea how Bitcoin or any of the cryptocurrencies out there can be considered real money. I can’t actually “do” anything real with it, aside from sending them from one person to another. I can’t use a Bitcoin to physically build something nor can I eat it to satiate my hunger. From my perspective as a software developer, it’s just ones and zeroes at the end of the day. To me, a sandwich has more value to me than a Bitcoin even if the market says that Bitcoin is worth over $18,000 (at the time of this writing) and a sandwich $10. At least, I can eat the sandwich…
Some people might respond to this by saying that the currency that we use today isn’t real money either since it’s just paper and we humans put an arbitrary value on them since the government “guarantees” its value. And I would wholeheartedly agree with them. Except that I would still put more value on paper money than Bitcoin in that I can burn it for fire. Fire is a real physical thing that I can do stuff with. I can warm up a house, cook, etc. Bitcoin… hmm, I’m trying to think of something real I can do with it… and I can’t.
Most people talking about cryptocurrencies don’t really understand what cryptocurrencies are
If you have conversations with people who are excited about cryptocurrencies today, you’ll notice that around 95% of them have only recently heard of cryptocurrencies due to the recent rocket-like performance of Bitcoin. In fact, a lot of them are investing in Bitcoins not because they understand nor truly believe in decentralized digital currencies, but because they see it as an easy get-rich-quick scheme.
The interesting thing is, most people investing in Bitcoins right now are looking at the dollar value of Bitcoins and are looking to cash out before the bubble bursts. Most people are looking to get rich in dollars, not in Bitcoins. These people don’t truly believe in Bitcoins nor cryptocurrencies as a way to bring free market capitalism to the currency world, but are rather looking to get rich in US dollars as quickly and as easily as possible.
I’m sure that there are a small percentage of people who are investing in Bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies who truly believe in the concept of decentralized digital currencies, but I wouldn’t be surprised if that number was less than 1%.
Also, if you’re following cryptocurrencies in any way, you probably know that there are other cryptocurrencies other than Bitcoin in the market right now, like Ethereum, Litecoin, and etc. If you ask your average cryptocurrency investor what the difference is between Etherum, Litecoin, and Bitcoin from a broad technical perspective, 99% of the time they wouldn’t know the difference other than the dollar value of each one. Hell, I wouldn’t be able to explain the differences too.
Avoid the masses and stick to what you know and believe in
I don’t believe that Bitcoin nor cryptocurrencies will amount to anything. I do think that blockchains are cool and will transform many industries in the future, but I don’t believe in cryptocurrencies as a store of value. I’m sure that due to the insane rocket-like performance of Bitcoin lately, lots of people will become rich. But I’m sure that once it crashes, there will be lots of people who will lose a lot of money.
I believe in the traditional “work-hard-and-grind” way to build wealth rather than the “gamble your way through get-rich-quick schemes”. Could I make some quick easy cash by investing in cryptocurrencies? Maybe, but I would also become paranoid about losing a bunch of money, and then waste a bunch of time researching Crypto, trying to predict the future value of the different coins… basically all the stuff that I don’t fully understand, never will fully understand, and frankly have zero control over. To me, getting into crypto sounds like a giant waste of time.
All in all…
I don’t care much for crypto. I never had, and I never will. I thought that I would write this post to rant about my annoyance of having to listen to people discussing their latest crypto investments everywhere I go (and also mostly because I couldn’t think of any good software development topics to write about). I’m looking forward to the day when this bubble bursts so that people stop talking about crypto. Or who knows, crypto may go up forever and I would have missed my chance to become rich ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.