Bitcoin and the Next Generation

Grayson McLeod·27 Nov 2020Share

After we unpegged from gold in 1971 the repercussions have propagated throughout the strangest (albeit logical) benchmarks of a healthy society. The discovery of a digital sound money that can’t be seized, stopped, or inflated away will go down in history as one of, if not the most, influential and paradigm shifting events in human history. Bitcoin’s natural and organic growth throughout society is nothing but an unstoppable chain reaction of people having the “aha!” moment which every true Bitcoiner has been through before. This will only get faster as the next generation gets involved.

The younger generation has been brought into a world dominated by massive baby-boomer-bubbles that are propagated throughout all traditional financial markets. It’s no wonder that we see so much tension and hatred towards politicians, lawmakers, and the “rich” as portrayed by the younger people in mainstream social media. Trending phrases such as “eat the rich” and the rise of socialism within pop-culture introduces the eerie question: what happened to wanting to be self sufficient and successful?

Working hours to buy graph

When kids look at the investment and purchasing opportunities that their parents had growing up, there is a looming sense of jealousy surrounding ideas such as housing being so “affordable” and that anyone could easily “make it” back in the day by simply allocating a few dollars here and there. Although most things may seem obvious in hindsight, the real reason why this wealth inequality and asset inflation has become so rampant is still unknown to most people. Subscribers to the Austrian economic theory realise that infinite credit expansion, MMT, and ultimately ‘brrr’ are the main proponents of this, but as the digital age grew there was never a solution until Bitcoin came along.

Despite gold having been the hardest form of money for thousands of years and the number one choice for most mainstream hard-money proponents, it still failed under a systemic and strategic unwinding of the number of people who physically hold it. Along with the fact that most gold trading is now done through “paper markets”, most will likely look at gold as useless or even boring nowadays because it doesn’t produce any yield/dividends or have a fancy marketing team that can keep up with other fast-moving fiat investment opportunities. Despite maybe having a 1-2% allocation in most traditional portfolios nowadays, the romance and monetary utility behind gold has evaporated.

In a digital and fast-moving age, gold has run into two main problems: it’s not fast and exciting enough for new investors, and it already failed to keep central banks and governments in check. The “stock market only goes up” meme is a perfect example of why holding gold just isn’t attractive to younger investors anymore: if you can throw money at a number of low cap companies and a couple of ETFs, why even bother with gold?

Gold also falls flat on its face when presented with the one major situation that it is “supposed” to be used in, being global fiat currency collapse and capital flight. In this event, the infrastructure and logistics surrounding the purchasing and accumulation of gold will be magnitudes less efficient than simply purchasing Bitcoin online and running a node to verify its authenticity. Some may argue that the paper gold markets may have some legs in this race but ultimately there is no competition against Bitcoin.

Bitcoin has paved the way for widespread appreciation and acceptance of a true globally recognised “digital asset”. What most people tend to forget is that over the past few decades we have been groomed to slowly start accepting value that is digital in nature, especially in the millennial generation. Good examples of digital assets can be found in games like RuneScape, and later in games such as the now popular Fortnight.

One of the most commonly heard arguments against Bitcoin is that it “isn’t physical”, but as time goes on and the lindy effect starts to take hold we will gradually look back and wonder why that was ever considered a problem. None of the traits which decide whether a money is good or bad explicitly state that it has to be in physical form. In fact, the portability, fungibility, and even scarcity that Bitcoin achieves wouldn’t be possible if not for its digital nature.

Unlike Bitcoin, no physical form of money could possibly guarantee a permanently fixed supply -- so far as we know, absolute scarcity can only be digital. - Robert Breedlove

Social media is awash with stories of teenagers gambling on ‘trading’ apps like Robinhood, fueled by the overarching meme that the stock market “only goes up”. It is unlikely that the majority of younger people buying these stocks have done proper due-diligence and market research before pressing that BUY button, and the resemblance to the 2017 ICO/token bubble is becoming increasingly alarming. Memes are powerful things, and it is only a matter of time before they power the next wave of Bitcoiners hoping to gain a slice of that scarce 21,000,000 supply cap.

Many Bitcoiners will agree that going down the rabbit hole has helped them in numerous ways, with a lower time preference and a stronger appreciation for thinking about the future being one of the most prominent. As the younger generation starts to encounter and become aware of the underlying principles behind Bitcoin, a new age of forward thinking individuals will emerge. A lost generation amidst infinite credit expansion, increasing wealth inequality and diminishing freedom, we are presented with something that has been absent for quite some time now: hope.