Some friends of mine were recently very surprised when I admitted to them that I had never seen the movie, The Matrix. Apparently, The Matrix is an all time sci-fi classic that has two follow-ups. I was told I should buy the boxset and would watch them again and again as they were so good. It was the depth of their surprise at my missing out on such a glorious sub-culture movie that actually surprised me. Later that day, I started to chat about cryptocurrency and the tables were turned. They had no idea about my Matrix world of cryptocurrency that was not on celluloid, but actually alive and well as we spoke. This is not the first time that I am astonished that so many people have no clue and no idea about the existence and potential of crypto.
Of course, all that will change when Facebook launches its own, Globalcoin, with which users can buy and sell a whole load of stuff on the platform. We will all be exposed to cryptocurrency then. But, for now, the masses are unaware of what is taking place in the digital sphere. And – a bit like the Matrix plot – there is a whole new world out there to be discovered.
A handy website if you have no experience of cryptocurrency at all is coinmarketcap.com. This site is the go-to place for crypto “investors” when they want to find out about Bitcoin, Ethereum, EOS, Cardano, Tron or Ripple and so many more altcoins.
It is a bit like visiting the FTSE 100 webpage to see what is happening with the likes of BP, HSBC and Diageo. And when put that way, one can see that a whole new market has opened up and developed, but only a slim slither of global investors are playing there - for now. So, how big is this market?
At the time of writing, the total market capitalisation of the cryptocurrency world stands at $274 billion (£216bn). Bet you didn’t see that coming! Of course, your trusted financial advisor will not be pointing your retirement cash at this emerging digital market anytime soon. Why? Number one, they won’t know anything about it. And number two, it is still so embryonic and volatile. But, that should not make it too scary.
The traditional investment community will always turn their toffee noses up at cryptocurrency investment. It is easy to simply dismiss, and the news headlines will give them enough bullets to fire their guns. Within the last month, one of the top digital exchanges, Binance, was hacked and $40m was removed. Binance has admitted its security breach, doubled down and said it will learn from this lesson. This episode plays right into the hands of the naysayers. But, forgive me, was robbing banks with shotguns not commonplace in years gone by? And of course, coming up to date, our high street banks are reeling from customers being scammed as a result of digital banking cons with passwords. Unfortunately, no digital bank will ever be 100 per cent safe. It may just be something we will need to live with.
Having taken the time to explore the cryptosphere one will discover that fintech is one of the top investment opportunities. After all, the like of Bitcoin was introduced to bypass traditional banks, thus creating financial technology that is being improved upon all the time. The top ten coins on coinmarketcap show where digital currencies are headed.
Bitcoin is still in the number one spot. With a limited supply of 21,000,000 coins, and only 17,000,000 in circulation, Bitcoin is touted as “digital gold”. Ripple (XRP) is working with global banks to improve Swift contracts and Cardano allows safe sending and receiving of digital funds. But the big winner that digital investors have in mind for the long run what they are built on: the safety and security of blockchain technology. This is only the start for blockchain and these new crypto assets.
There is a whole new fintech world out there. Maybe it’s time to get smart and find out more. Just imagine how cool you will look when you show your kids and grandkids how much you know about their Matrix world.
- Jim Duffy MBE, Create Special