Bitcoin is potentially the next big thing out there. However, a lot of people aren’t pulling the trigger because they simply don’t understand it. Today, we delve into how Bitcoin works, and why you haven’t missed out, yet.
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Did You Miss Out On Bitcoin?
In this episode, we’re going to talk about Bitcoin. I can’t believe I’m whatever episodes in, and I haven’t talked about Bitcoin and the blockchain. We’re going to do a little bit of a blockchain for dummies to start off with and trust me, I’m not that much further ahead of my understanding of the blockchain and cryptocurrency than you guys. In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king. It took me a long time to figure out what that meant. You only need to know a little bit more than who your audience is and all of a sudden, you’re the king and you’re the expert.
We are headed on a five-day Gibson family adventure. I am super excited to go. All of our trips got canceled this summer so we decided to finally take the opportunity to head up to Northern Michigan. Everybody says how beautiful it is. We’ve lived in Michigan for years or we still yet haven’t taken a trip up North in the summer to see all the cool things that are up there.
We’re going to hit Michigan’s Adventure, which is going to be like a mini Cedar Point. We’re going to go to the Sleeping Bear Dunes. It’s some super huge sand dunes that you can run up and down. I probably won’t do that. I’ll just look at them. We’re going to go to Boyne Mountain where we go skiing, but we’re going to go mountain biking. The kids are stoked to do that. We want everybody to come out unscathed if possible for that.
We’re going to head up to Mackinac City Bridge where we’re going to take the bridge across. It’s that cool little experience. It’s something touristy day to do in Michigan and take the ferry across to Mackinac Island. It should be super fun. I’m sure that the kids, the two boys are going to get along great the entire time. They’re two little best friends that love to share with each other and they never punch or argue or anything. It’s going to be great in a car, in a hotel with them for five straight days.
Say a prayer for me. I’m going to need a lot of them. It should be fun. I don’t mind it that much. I’m just embracing the moment. This stage is going to go so fast. We’re trying to enjoy every moment and embrace the good and the bad. It’s going to be just a matter of time before they’re off going to college and the house is going to be completely quiet and I’m going to be bored. I’m going to be missing them completely annoying me.
Let’s get into the blockchain. I wanted to give you guys a little education on what blockchain is in case you are still trying to wrap your head around it. You probably do know two things about it. First, you know it’s potentially the next big thing and that you should have somehow got involved with it a few years ago, but as most of us, you don’t have a 2020 hindsight vision, but you think maybe I should get involved with this before I miss out. Second, you wish you understood how it works.
It becomes a lot easier to pull the trigger and trade your hard-earned cash in for an alternative investment like crypto when you have some clarity. A lot of people aren’t pulling the trigger because they simply don’t understand it. Anytime there’s a lack of clarity, that’s the main reason why people don’t take action. Laziness is probably number one, but this is a close second. I’m going to break this down with a couple of analogies. This is the best that I heard to wrap not so super intellectual brain around it.Anytime there's a lack of clarity, people don't take action. Click To Tweet
Blockchain: The Basics
As for its definition, blockchain is a public digital ledger that’s used to record transactions across many decentralized and what’s called a peer-to-peer network. These transactions are added to a block. Let’s go on to the analogies and skip the definition. The person analogy is something that you guys are going to understand. It’s Google Docs. A lot of you use this. When you work with, let’s say Microsoft Word or Excel, or Keynote on the Mac, working on a document requires lots of back and forth. If you’re working with a team in collaboration, somebody works on a document, and then the other person has to wait for the author to send the file back, email it typically before the recipient can make edits or add comments.
You are then making a change and then adding an addition or a comment and emailing it back to your team. They then make their changes and email them back to you and so on and so forth. It becomes a real pain in the ass. The only way around this is to look over the author’s shoulder, which wouldn’t work so well, as you can imagine. However, with Google Docs, you and everyone else who has the rights to the documents that have been shared can access the file and collaborate in real-time.
Everyone can access and view it. Even if you’re on different computers in completely different parts of the country or the world even, what’s seen and entered cannot be denied by anyone. One person can’t make a change without everyone else seeing the change. That, my friends, is how blockchain works. Instead of it being a shared document, it’s a shared ledger. It’s more like say Microsoft Excel being shared amongst other people where everybody has access to that document.
The analogy I like best that helped me understand it involved people living in a fictional village. This isn’t so fictional actually, because this happened several hundred years ago in a remote island country. The villagers comprised of about ten families would farm, hunt, and gather their goods and they’d trade them with each other. They trusted each other quite well. If the farmer didn’t have any rice to trade for the hunter’s meat, the hunter would let it slide in. They’d wait for the next rice harvest but the villagers started making too many promises and it got a lot more difficult to keep track of these promises.
The village appointed a ledger man to the rescue. He would keep track of all the services exchanged among the people to keep things fair and honest. Now, it worked well for a while and the villagers trusted ledger man, however, ledger man with his newfound power started charging a small fee for his scorekeeping. Unfortunately, he started to accept bribes and he went on to unfairly raise his prices.
After much fighting and chaos, the villagers ousted the ledger man. “Get the fuck out, ledger man. You are a crook.” Scrambling for solutions, they came up with the perfect replacement. Everyone would keep a ledger. They called it the smart ledger system. Here’s how the smart ledger system works. This is like crypto and the blockchain. The villagers from all the families would gather at the village square throughout the day. At these gatherings, they would trade their goods and everyone would keep track of every promise made in their own separate ledger.
Once a week, each villager would read out one another’s ledger to check for any discrepancies. If there were any, the villagers would all cross-check every ledger and would choose the most commonly entered record as the correct one. Blockchain works exactly like the smart ledger system, except that the records are stored digitally. Banks, lenders, and institutions though use a centralized system that can be manipulated and kept away from the public as we’ve seen in the Enron scandal and the Arthur Andersen accounting and shady bookkeeping that led to the company’s demise.
Centralized systems can be compromised whereas a decentralized system it’s very difficult for that. It can’t happen in this case. Blockchain prevents that unless the system’s hacked. Bitcoin has never been hacked. Blockchain isn’t a device. It’s not a machine. It’s not a cryptocurrency even. It’s a system, a method to keep track of information. With that said, all cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin, every cryptocurrency out there work on top of a blockchain platform.
I hope this helps. Does this help you guys? This helped me when I understood the smart ledger system and how ledger man became compromised and manipulated the system. This happens a lot in centralized systems where we all take part in. The problem that we all have had since the beginning of time is that humans cannot be trusted. We utilize these central third-party intermediaries.
For example, when you go to sell a house, you have a title company that is essentially a third-party central authority that is helping to speed up and make a transaction between two of you who are not trustworthy. Essentially, it’s making sure that the transaction goes through without any errors and manipulation.
The blockchain is completely disrupting a lot of these systems and third-party intermediaries like banks, real estate agents, and these big investment financial firms. Blockchain is coming around and doing it faster, cheaper, and more efficiently. It’s allowing us to transact with each other in a trustful manner peer-to-peer. Now that you understand the basics of blockchain, let’s talk about Bitcoin. “Did you miss out on Bitcoin?” specifically is the question. I’m going to answer this the way I answered this question that came up in m Instagram story.
You did not miss out. Bitcoin is still in its infancy. Right now, Bitcoin is trading, as I record this, at $39,000 per coin. Considering it was $3,500 in March of 2020, you, me, and pretty much 99.9% missed out on that incredible run-up. However, if we take some time to understand Bitcoin, then you’re going to realize we’re still in the early innings of a nine-inning game.
Bitcoin is the only money in the history of money that humans have used that satisfies all four of these rather important criteria. It’s completely decentralized. It means that no one person or group of people controls it. It’s a peer-to-peer payment system. Let’s talk about decentralized. The US dollar in the year 2020 saw a 23% increase in its supply. How does this happen?Bitcoin is the only money in the history of money that humans have used that satisfies all important criteria. Click To Tweet
This is due to the Federal Reserve, the US Government Central Bank that controls the money supply. They have an unrestricted license to print money and there are no checks and balances. When they print money, they call it quantitative easing in which the only thing it eases is the value of the dollars in your bank account. It’s not like the US Central Bank is the only one to do it though. Throughout history and even now, every single Fiat currency, which means the government-produced currency has been through this hyper-printing press at some stage.
This is important to understand. It’s why no Fiat currency has ever survived. You guys know me. I’m a positive and optimistic person. This is not doomsday. It’s the reality. Fiat currency is a government-issued currency that is not backed by a physical commodity like gold or silver but rather by the government that issued it. Throughout the course of the last several thousand years, they will eventually debase their currency because they need to do that to raise money. That’s how they tax us in addition to other taxes but they’re taxing us by printing more money.
Point two, Bitcoin has a fixed supply. There will be 24 million coins and there never will be more than that. Written into the original code that cannot be altered no matter how badly some powerful forces want to alter it is this finite number of Bitcoin. Our dollars don’t have a fixed supply, but let’s take a look at the only store of value that has had a very limited supply, although not fixed, which is gold. If we look at gold across the long timeline of history, it’s the only store of value that’s always held up.
Gold has always held up its store of value over multiple thousands of years. That’s pretty impressive and rare. Why? It’s because it’s rare and because it’s indestructible. Now, it can be lost or stolen, but it can’t physically be destroyed and because it’s so rare, it’s very hard to produce more gold. Only a small amount of new supply enters the global system per year. Less than 3% is mined per year, less than that even and added to the current supply. That keeps the value intact. If all of a sudden, a huge mine were to be discovered and increased the supply of gold in one year by 50%, then we’d have a huge drop in the value of all gold. In fact, it would probably drop by about 50%, but that hasn’t happened and they don’t think that that’s even remotely possible that it would ever happen.
The third value of Bitcoin, it is easily transferable. It can be paid instantly to anyone in the world within about ten minutes, depending on how busy the blockchain and the Bitcoin platform are. It could take a little bit longer. However, thinking about this, let’s compare it to gold. Gold is a great store of value. However, it is not easily transferable. Paying anyone in gold is not only difficult because it must be physically transported and especially in large amounts, but it’s also not easily divisible. Imagine paying someone with a bullion, a larger brick of gold. Figuring out how to calculate the value and make an exact payment is extremely complicated.
Even a small little coin. I have a couple of little coins of gold. Even those have like $2,000 in value. It’s hard to break it down into smaller amounts that can be used in commerce and to be traded. That’s why I also have some silver because if the shit ever hits the fan, it’s very unlikely that we’re going to be transacting in gold. It’s too difficult. Certainly, dollars are easily transferable. You can do a wire to somebody across the country, across the world. However, the dollar has this big problem that we previously described, which is called the printing press.
We got that now point four on Bitcoin. It is completely safe and verifiable. The only way anyone can steal your Bitcoin is to have your private key. In order for anyone to hack the system and send fraudulent Bitcoin, they would have to have access to tens of thousands of computers or nodes all at the exact same time. That’s impossible. They’d have to have access to 51% of the computers that are running the Bitcoin, mining the Bitcoin network, which would be impossible to carry that type of heist out.
Because Bitcoin satisfies all four of these points and the government is printing money on a massive scale never before seen in the history of our country and not only retail investors, the everyday investors like you and I, but major companies are now buying Bitcoin as a store of value. Apple is considering buying Bitcoin. Tesla bought a bunch. MicroStrategy has bought a ton and he’s very public about it. Eventually, central banks, if they haven’t already, which is very possible, they already have, but they will have to. They will be forced into buying it because they don’t want to be buying it later when it’s super high.
Will Bitcoin be volatile? Yes, you can bank on that and you can buy it and watch it drop 30% the next day. That can happen but if you hold on for the next five years, I don’t see how you won’t be up quite a bit in value. Let’s say you are buying at $50,000 or $40,000 where it is right now, then it drops down to $30,000 or even $25,000. In five years, it’s up to $200,000 and you’re up 300%, 400%, would that be so bad?
Now Is The Best Time
You’re not going to care five years from now that you had a short-term disruption and that you lost a bit of money. Could you have timed it better and bought it a $30,000? Yeah, of course, but we don’t know. It’s very hard to time it and buy in at the right price. We did have a big correction. Now is a great time to get involved. If you’ve considered or thought about it, now is probably the best time because Bitcoin was at an all-time high at $64,000. It dropped down to $30,000. That’s a 50% drop. That’s the time you want to be buying in. Don’t buy in when it keeps moving up. Buy in when it goes sideways or when it drops.
Your best bet is to keep adding it to your portfolio every month when your income rolls in. Trust the process and ignore the volatility. I know that there are a lot of other crypto coins that are out there. There are a lot of altcoins out there. I do have a lot of them, but the bulk of my portfolio, or over 50% of my crypto holdings are in Bitcoin and Ethereum, the top two or the big dogs. They’re probably not going to go up 10,000% from where they are right now, but these are going to go up.
You’re looking at 100%, 200%, and 300% to 400% returns over the next few years. There’s nothing wrong with that return. I would say if you have not bought in and got any cryptocurrency exposure, then right now, this is the red alert or red code. Come on. Get in even if it’s just a little bit. You guys need to add this to your portfolio because we’re in the early innings and years from now, you’re going to be like, “I should have bought in. I should have gotten in back then.” Don’t feel like you’ve missed out. We’re still in the very early stages of mass adoption. Only a very small percentage of people throughout the world own Bitcoin and cryptocurrency. The best is yet to come.