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Younger generations who are more crypto savvy are currently seeing the lion’s share of benefits in the crypto revolution.
As older investors scoff at and wonder about the value of bitcoin and other projects, cryptos have been a bright spot in what is in many ways, an overall bleak economic climate for young people.
This is an age when a college degree can often mean years or even a lifetime of debt, as opposed to a relatively sure path to a secure and lucrative career.
And buying a home to build up equity? With 400 thousand dollars as a median price, an all-time high, buying an average home is quickly receding out of reach for many, let alone younger buyers who may already be carrying extensive college debt.
Yes, the stock market continues to climb for the time being, and young traders using Robinhood and other “free” trading apps are taking advantage, sometimes in ways that are maddening to seasoned investors.
They have driven up “meme stocks” looking to pump and capitalize, but also to go against the grain of what they see as entrenched interests acting as “masters of Wall Street.”
But the crypto space has offered the most aggressive speculative opportunities for a younger generation looking to ride a small stake “to the moon” off some altcoin project that might pump from a fraction of a penny to 10 cents, or a dollar, or a hundred dollars, over a year, or a few cases, practically overnight.
If there’s one thing the above pie chart shows, it’s that unlike the traditional investment space, or real estate, or practically any other sphere of wealth, cryptos are one area where younger generations actually hold the lionshare of valuation.
Greedy, lazy and insane?
The motivations of those in the crypto space are commonly derided by traditional investors.
Even now, the 2.5 trillion dollar crypto sector is viewed by many as little more than a huge speculative fiat-pumped bubble, fated to pop like the dot.com bust of the late 90’s.
So are young crypto users and investors greedy, lazy and imprudent? Perhaps a bit of all three. But they’ve also been handed a sorry-ass world, where little functions as it should.
In the U.S. government is broken, along with elections. Laws are arbitrarily enforced, and lawmakers and judges are hopelessly conflicted and corrupt.
Corporations have amassed vast powers to control and profit off people, scraping them of data every moment, to analyse and capitalize.
To add insult to injury, in 2021, large corporations and the government, more than even five years ago, are the likeliest options for employment. Corporations account for over 80 percent of private payrolls.
Young workers have less attachment or allegiance to the entities they work for than ever.
According to a 2021 Gallup “State of the Global Workplace” survey, 85 percent of employees say they are not engaged in their workplace.
Gallup noted about the findings:
“This means that the majority of workforce around the world are either viewing their workplace negatively or only doing the bare minimum to make it through the day, with little to no emotional attachment.”
Then there’s the endless COVID War, which has sapped productivity, optimism and joy from every aspect of life. The fears of the old and neurotic are producing a scarred, lost generation.
There’s no question that cryptos, Robinhood and Reddit app traders, and the entire crypto phenomenon might be viewed as a financial “psychotic break” born out of the abuses of a rigged system that have been playing out since at least 2008, when Bitcoin was born—and actually well before.
Desperate Games and New Realities
So are cryptos just a vast game of speculative pumps and dumps of altcoin projects which have little other rhyme or reason for their existence?
Is Bitcoin a digital illusion of value, signifying nothing?
People of a certain age obviously think so. Then again, they have that luxury. They’ve made theirs (or not) via traditional means in a time when things still more or less worked.
It’s a different world.
But dismissing cryptos as being digital voids of zero real value is wrong for other reasons.
Because beyond the aggressive speculation and the meme coins, there most certainly is a there there. The cypher punks playing at their computers, wiling away their early years being babysat by the digital games of money-sucking corporations, figured something out.
For one thing, they figured out how to make software and networks that provided a tokenized reward to those who participated in a highly dispersed way.
They corporatized the space and cut out the intermediary corporations and financial markets.
That’s what cryptos are. Software.
Few today would argue that software is valueless because it’s digital. IBM famously took that basic position c. 1978, when a young geek funded by dad managed to persuade the computer giant to spin off its personal computer operating system.
The real money was in hardware.
Do all crypto software projects have value? No more or less so than the thousands of software applications and companies that have come and gone over the past 40 years.
But make no mistake. Among those thousands of cryptos that will fail or achieve only modest remunerative value over the course of their existence, are also the next phenomenons on the scale of Google, Facebook, Amazon and Microsoft.
There will be huge projects with vast real world use cases, transforming the ways in which humans transact and interact in every conceivable way, and in ways not yet conceived.
In 2021, the world of traditional finance has definitely taken notice, and so have legacy tech corporations. A recent article on ambcrypto.com asserted Crypto projects are fueling a technological transformation on a scale that is being compared to other great eras of tech innovation, including the advent of the pc and the internet age.
Eric Peters, Founder, CEO, and CIO of One River Digital Asset Management, which oversees over $2 billion in institutional assets, recently observed: “I think it is a transformation and definitely is the most interesting macro opportunity and macro investment thesis I’ve seen in my career.”
Peters said it was inevitable that traditional finance would have to evolve and adapt to the crypto reality.
“The connection to legacy financial systems—let’s call it Wall Street with new technologies—is going to first happen in the pools of capital directed by a limited number of people as opposed to some big investment committee.
“The power of these [crypto] technologies hold the potential to lead to dystopia or renaissance. The path toward renaissance is consistent with the development of Bitcoin.”
But the adapting will extend far beyond financials. Gaming, intellectual property, information and web services, supply chain tracking and much more are being affected by crypto innovations.
There are obvious opportunities for those willing to see with just a bit of a view toward the long term, researching and investing in projects that are more than just speculative shots to the moon.
Bitcoin, Ethereum, Solana, Hedera, Constellation, Quant, Ripple, Stellar and dozens of others are forming the backbone right now of a crypto “Age of Utility.”
A new generation created this. And they will live it.
For more Trends Journal articles covering some of the topics addressed here, check out:
- “THE CRYPTO ‘AGE OF UTILITY’ HAS JUST BEGUN” (12 Oct 2021)
- “ONLY CRYPTOPLORABLES HAVE USE FOR BITCOIN, SAYS NATIONAL REVIEW” (19 Oct 2021)
- “HUMAN RIGHTS FOUNDATION HEAD SAYS ‘BITCOIN IS THE REVOLUTION’” (29 Jun 2021)
- “WHAT IS THE VALUE OF CRYPTOS AND BLOCKCHAINS?” (15 Jun 2021)
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