Cryptocurrency is turning 10 this year. As it nears a decade since its development, blockchain is creating jobs, inspiring entrepreneurs as well as the creation of new types of cryptocurrency. Cryptocurrency provides a digital, global currency which people can store and exchange without intermediaries like banks.
Millennials are overwhelmingly fueling the popularity of blockchain and cryptocurrency.
They were, after all, the first generation to grow up in the digital era. Although Bitcoin has now become a household world, we are only beginning to discover the vast potential blockchain can offer across various industries.
Simon Yu, CEO of a blockchain startup called StormX, elaborated: “Millennials are particularly open to embracing new technology in order to create opportunities for themselves–and blockchain, the tech behind crypto, is no different. As masters of the side hustle and challengers of the traditional 9-5 working lives of previous generations, millennials are welcoming blockchain with open arms.”
Millenials are primed for taking the risks associated with cryptocurrency whereas people ages 40+ are more established in their lifestyles and less likely to take chances in the quickly evolving blockchain industry.
Chris Castiglione, cofounder of the academy One Month where he teaches a Bitcoin & Cryptocurrencies, also pointed out how younger people are in a better position to assume the risk of an volatile industry. “I think the crypto market is attractive to millennials because it’s a space with both a lot of growth and risk,” he says. “People who are 40+ years of age are likely settled down with a career and family, and less inclined to get into such a quick growth, volatile field. It’s been the same way with startup founders over the past 2 decades. Millennials also seem to be much more digitally literate than Gen X or baby boomers.”
However, Castiglione says nothing should stop those older than millennials who wish to embrace cryptocurrency. “Many of the people starting cryptocurrency and tokens do seem to be between the ages of around 22-40. [But] obviously anything is possible, and I could list many exceptions to the rule.”
Many believe cryptocurrency is on the verge of completely changing global financing.
Arran Stewart, who co-founded blockchain recruitment platform Job.com, extolled cryptocurrency and its ability to revolutionize global finance. “Cryptocurrency can become a global currency platform and is able to replace traditional payment methods. In the future, you will be able to pay for lunch with your crypto wallet, without a need for a credit card, merchant system, or cash. Consider how many things you buy and pay for day-to-day that crypto could replace.”
However, cryptocurrency is but one expression of the utility blockchain technology can provide.
Blockchain is the secure code which underwrites Bitcoin and other tokens. Blockchain can be used to connect employers and candidates or record other types of transactions like land ownership records. Ethereum’s cryptocurrency platform can execute “smart contracts” like automatic rent payments for example. Some blockchain platforms and tokens have use outside the economy/finance entirely (For more information, read What Can a Blockchain Do?“).
Yu’s aforementioned company StormX is built to help individuals in the newly dubbed “gig economy” facilitate self-employment. “The reality of the mainstream side hustle is often high freelancer fees, high operating fees, and many opportunities can be more trouble than they’re worth,” Yu elaborated. “The StormX platform allows users to earn in crypto by trying out new products, services, games and other apps, and then invest or exchange their earnings as they see fit. Eventually, the platform will support skilled work like coding, writing blog posts, editing a video, QA testing, translating content, or programming a website – and get paid instantly via the app.”
Simon Yu believes that blockchain can revolutionize how people work.
“The old paradigms of work–based on the industrial revolution–are far too limiting in terms of a person’s potential, a person’s life’s work, and the return on investment for their time and effort, as well as the ability to advance,” he explained in detail. “Leveraging blockchain technology can help millennials lock down opportunities to work from anywhere they want, when it suits them, and without the stress of waiting for an employer to pay. This will allow millennials to create opportunities for themselves, educate themselves, and advance their lives regardless of their socioeconomic status or location.”
Cryptocurrency is just getting past a shady stereotype and still can be intimidating given its lack of regulation and volatility. The trick to investing wisely in cryptocurrency is the same as in any market. First, learn as much possible and, then, start by only investing disposable income.
“Never do anything blindly, including investing or participating in cryptocurrencies,” elaborated Stewart. “Allow yourself a day to truly read and understand it all. After that, only go in at a financial level you could afford to lose completely and that would not affect your life. With that, you’re all set to join the cryptocurrency revolution.”
(To learn more about which cryptocurrency stocks to avoid or pay particular attention to, read “Best and worst blockchain stocks for 2018.”)