Crypto is Here to Stay
Cryptocurrency has gone mainstream but, like any other groundbreaking development, that wasn’t always the case. There was a time, not very long ago when investing in crypto and telling people about it was the least cool thing you could possibly do. The word was a one-way ticket out of friendships. Here he goes again, with his stupid imaginary internet money, telling us the time to buy was yesterday, blah blah blah. Write him off the birthday guest list – no one wants to hear this nonsense while they’re drinking. The masses had eyes, but they could not see.
To the average man in the street, cryptocurrency was just a fad, a little boom market for nothing. Probably run by the same idiots who went bankrupt in the Dot Com crash, staggering out of the halfway house twenty years on thinking they’ve found the next great way to make a ton of money for an ounce of work. Those of us who got in on the ground floor were pariahs. Our little disposable income investments were proliferating by unheard-of margins and we couldn’t tell anyone about it. Make a million dollars off gold and everyone cheers. Make a million dollars on Bitcoin and everyone stares at you sideways and squints and grunts with the clear suggestion being “so, how long before you lose it all and go on welfare?”
The Crypto Generation Conflict
Fortunately, those days are on the wane. Crypto investors are having the last laugh. I’m writing this from a tropical island in the Gulf of Thailand and millions of other people are giggling at the bank. People are beginning to understand cryptocurrency and examine it from a logical instead of sceptical point of view. But the stereotypes and the dislike haven’t yet been buried for the long dirt nap. There are plenty of people out there who still just think it’s a sham and that those who are into it, i.e. you and me, are wasting their money on nothing. Old people are particularly bad about it. “Dern internet money, meaningless.
Why currency is supposed to be made of paper and metal and you keep it in a billfold next to the credit and debit cards that we also distrusted up until recently. Show me a physical Bitcoin. Ya’ can’t. You should be out working for real money like I did when I was a kid, wandering around the streets of the Upper West Side at age eleven, pulling the tinfoil out of discarded cigarette boxes and donating it to the war effort for a nickel a month, that’ll teach you about real money.”
You’re safe sitting around coffee shops surrounded by beanie-wearing millennials who just can’t wait to tell you about their latest crypto windfall. They’re the new gold miners with PCs instead of tin pans. But at some point, you will need to break the news to your family that you’ve gotten into crypto buying and trading, and that’s the scary part.
There they are, waiting for the news – they probably already suspect it. Dad with his lips drawn down, mom trying hard to look polite, grandpa tucking his polo shirt back into his khaki shorts, grandma squeezing her sweater shawl, and your brother and sister ready to lord it over you in front of the folks that they certainly haven’t bothered with this crap.
So What Do I do?
What to say? How do I phrase it? Should I say it at all? Maybe I just cop out and tell them I have an STD and keep the crypto as my own little secret.
But no. Be strong, be forceful. Don’t be like some suburban dad pleading for understanding at his first drunk driving arraignment. Be like Martin Luther nailing his 99 Theses to the cathedral door.
Chest out, shoulders back, eyes center. “Mom, Dad, Grandma, Grandpa, Timmy and Jenny, I’ve got something to tell you… um… I’m into an alternative… you know what? I’m buying and trading cryptocurrency.”
At this point, you’ll likely be surprised by the reactions. They may not like crypto people, they may not approve of it, but they are your family and (hopefully) they love you enough that they won’t write you off over something which, as large as it might loom in your mind, is not really a big deal.
You might even point out some of the advantages. “Grandpa, you’ve been sinking 10% of your paycheck into a retirement plan since 1959 and every year the value of the shares, which you know nothing about at all, increases by a rather measly 8%. Now you’ve gotta sit and hope that it amounts to a hill of beans large enough to sustain you until such time as the electricity in your Purkinje fibres kicks out and you go to the big 18th hole in the sky. If you’d had that money in the right crypto at the right time, you could have made more money in one year than you did in sixty.”
“Dad, same goes for you. Don’t keep letting Dunning Hill and Lynch (or whatever the asset management company is called) have complete control over your savings. You’ll end up with just enough to coast into the grave. You’ll have to exploit the senior discounts at Luby’s and limit your activities to bowling and maybe one, little discounted, cruise down to the Cayman Islands, toddling around George Town for four hours with all the other persons-of-a-certain-age. Let’s look at the crypto market and see what we can do.”
“Timmy and Jenny, how much money have you sunk into must-have name brand shoes and clothes, video games, video game consoles, latest model smartphones and the like? Where are they now? Crammed in your closet getting covered in dust or buried in a storage room that you had to rent because you have so much useless stuff that your house can’t hold all of it. Why not take some of that money, just a fraction, and use it to buy some Litecoin or Stellar Lumens? Whatever the market does, it won’t end up being as useless as the shrunken and mouldy pair of Air Jordan’s you’ve had sitting next to your back door since October 2014.”
Don’t be too forceful, just be practical. Let them see the light. Maybe even take them to a place where crypto people congregate so they can observe that these are not lazy profligates but forward thinkers who’ve taken control of their own money in a way that few other people do.
Even if the worst should happen, even if you get laughed out of the living room and made a joke of at all subsequent Christmases, you’ll have gotten it out. No more hiding, no more dancing around the fact, no more pretending that you also think cryptocurrency is stupid while at the back of your mind you wonder what yours is doing. No one ever got anywhere by being false with themselves. History records the life of no one who hid their thoughts. As Winston Churchill said, “you have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.”
So stand up for yourselves crypto people. Let them know and, hopefully, your example will inspire them to do the same.
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