The noise around Bitcoin has risen sharply in recent months. With all the talk of its price going up, it’s easy to feel like you’ve missed the boat, like there’s this big party going on that you weren’t invited to and now it’s full.
The good news? It’s not full and it never will be. Cryptocurrency is here to stay and we’ll all be using it in the years to come.
It’s a party that you’re very much invited to. And by many definitions, you’re actually early.
Here’s why you’re not too late to buy Bitcoin
Bitcoin’s fixed supply is well known. It’s built so that just 21 million can ever be created. However, did you know you don’t have to buy a whole bitcoin? Much like a dollar can be broken up into cents, pounds into pence, and yen into sen, Bitcoin is made up of satoshis.
Each bitcoin is made up of 100 million satoshis. This means there are two quadrillion one hundred trillion satoshis. This converts to nearly 275,000 satoshis for every person on the planet. Plenty to go around, right?
The value of these satoshis will vary in line with the bitcoin price. So if bitcoin is worth $50,000, that means you can pick up one satoshi for just $0.0005. People probably won’t limit themselves to 275,000, so it’s best to get as many as you can while it’s at prices you think are reasonable, as it could rise much higher in the future. This is what people mean when they say they’re ‘stacking SATs’.
Just how early am I?
From a technological standpoint, you’re certainly still early and we’ve yet to reach anything like mass adoption — though we’re certainly getting there.
Bitcoin has been around for just over 12 years now and other cryptocurrencies for far less time. Pretty much any new technology goes through a hype cycle before getting a mainstream stamp of approval. You’ll have seen this play out with technological innovations like the internet in the 1990s.
The hype cycle dictates that a technology will first develop and attract attention. Then, seemingly overnight, everyone is talking about it. But the hype becomes unsustainable, and after a while, the public loses interest and becomes disillusioned.
With time though, the technology inches its way out of the trough of disappointment and hits the plateau of productivity.
Eventually, it fades into the background and becomes the new ‘normal’ – an everyday part of our lives.
What stage of the hype cycle is Bitcoin currently?
It’s hard to say with any certainty at the moment, but Bitcoin arguably hit the peak of inflated expectations around 2017 when the price exploded and everyone decided they wanted to jump on the bandwagon.
That would mean we’re now on the slope of enlightenment, with Bitcoin on its way to becoming widely used but not quite there just yet. This can be seen everywhere you look. Countries including El Salvador are making Bitcoin legal tender, major payment providers like PayPal are helping millions of retailers accept crypto, and institutional investors are piling in. Even the big banks, who seemed so against Bitcoin just a year ago, are looking at ways of integrating it now, with the former skeptics such as JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs getting in on the action.
What Bitcoin brings to the party
At the end of the day, it’s not about being “too early” or “too late”. What’s important is the problem Bitcoin is solving.
Bitcoin is a new way of looking at our financial system; one that’s more transparent, open, and fair. It makes money more useful and helps it keep its value, providing a hedge against rising inflation and currency devaluation — an insurance policy against the decay of your money. It is also considered by many to be the payment system of the future - the main reason most Bitcoin holders have taken a long-term view.
It’s impossible to predict the future, but in the past few months, we’ve seen adoption mature, and the desire to understand it and get involved only keeps growing.
Ultimately, cryptocurrency is just getting started. Will you get in on the ground floor?