Laurence Newman is the cofounder of Coinmama, a bitcoin exchange.
Since this time last year, the number of wallets holding bitcoin has grown by a whopping 8 million, with this growth accounting for over 20% of all 38 million bitcoin wallets in existence. This adoption trend shows no signs of slowing down, as our news feeds continue to fill up with stories about institutional investors and Fortune 500 CEOs diving into Bitcoin. Both the statistics and the stories suggest that Bitcoin is crossing the threshold from the early adopter stage to mass use. Yet, despite the record-high prices and elevated sentiment, many people are still unaware of the true privilege of holding bitcoin and how to do so properly.
Getting into Bitcoin is one thing, but staying around long-term is a whole other ball game. Going back to basics to understand the true nature of bitcoin and how to keep it safe could be the difference maker between financial freedom and failure—not only for newcomers but for everyone.
The Money That Holds You Back
To grasp how much of a privilege it is to hold bitcoin, we first need to understand the other options available to citizens looking to store their wealth or move money around.
For millennia, gold was humanity’s first-choice asset. Not only was the illustrious metal a symbol of wealth and status, it also served as the basis for entire monetary systems. Even the end of the gold standard couldn’t stop gold from growing. Gold has historically done a great job of preserving wealth through time, although its price has dropped slightly throughout this year. However, when it comes to transmitting money through space, gold fails miserably. It is physically heavy, making it a substantial task to carry around for use as currency.
Fiat currencies occupy the other side of the spectrum from gold. Thanks to emergent fintech and digital banking solutions, fiat currencies are well-equipped to transfer value quickly across space. Although the fiat-based economy…