If you logged into Coinbase this morning, you probably had something like this there to greet you:
How's that for capital gains?
But after a few minutes of relishing Bitcoin's victory (along with the gains of the other currencies), a few things came to my mind that temper the excitement a little. I think they're important enough to share here, and for all of us to remember them. Many of my comments may center on Bitcoin, but I'll try to keep this applicable to all kinds of cryptocurrency.
Cryptocurrency is more than money
For the first time in history, we have something that acts as both a currency and, more importantly, a vehicle for radical social change in many domains.
All at once, cryptocurrency can empower those looking to save long-term without fear of losing their money due to a bank's mistakes, freelance workers looking for an easy and fast way to get paid, artists putting their work on the internet for the first time, people for whom privacy is essential, salespeople who want to cut out the middle man, those who love freedom of expression, people who want greater freedom in the online services they use, those looking for greater cryptographic security, and so many more.
In other words, every day we're dealing in something with more intrinsic worth than any other means of exchange, and that extends far beyond whatever its market value is at this point in time.
Cryptocurrency is yours
If there is a cause you believe in strongly, chances are that there is a cryptocurrency for that. I can think of very few better means of expressing solidarity than sharing a common currency when connecting with like-minded people. You have literally put your time and money where your mouth is and bet on your cause. This is activism at its finest.
Cryptocurrency is dynamic
Let's face it, this is a new and exciting opportunity for everyone, no matter what your goal is in investing. Yet I'm not talking about the fact that cryptocurrency could make you rich (even though it surely can). I'm talking about the fact that all of us have a stake in a new kind of internet, and beyond that, a new kind of world. There will no doubt be many changes in the years to come. New coins will pop into existence, new use cases will arise, and new people will join the party.
Because of these changes, I believe that everyone needs to know where they stand. What sort of world do you want to emerge from all this? You're part of the decision-making process, here and now.
So what's the take-home message? Should you stop spending money on the rapidly-growing currencies and making bank?
The answer to this is a resounding "no". Find the financial path that you want to take and enjoy the ride, even if you're only in it for the money.
But remember that this is a journey with as much meaning as you put into it.