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12 August 2017 | Opinion/Feature

Bitcoin –The Ninth Wonder Of The World

Iddrisu Abdullah
Bitcoin –The Ninth Wonder Of The World

“In times of change, the learners will inherit the earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exist.” - Eric Hoffer. Anytime I read this quote, I try to disagree with Eric Hoffer. But the more I try to disagree, the more I realize that his saying is a truism.

Every day, in a thousand different ways, we come across new technologies and new things that change our behavior. But once in a while, we come across something that changes everything.It changes us, it changes the world and changes the very fabric of society. Today’s article is about one such gargantuan changes that has taken place; A CHANGE IN OUR CURRENCY.

As Eric Hoffer said in the quote above, when those mega changes occur and you are ready to learn (a learner) you stand to benefit enormously. However, if you think you already know much (a learned), you may not necessarily lose anything, but you don’t stand to benefit anything either. However, I believe that if you are no benefiting (when you should have been benefiting), you are losing.

Information, they say, is the currency of the 21st currency. It is this ‘currency’ that I am about to give you. And I must warn you! Open your eyes and read this article so carefully, and act on it, for it may well be the biggest thing that has or will ever happenin your life!

By the way, what is a Bitcoin? Bitcoin in its simplest form is a cryptocurrency (electronic currency) and a digital payment system that is used to settle transactions between users directly without an intermediary. It was founded by an anonymous guy by the name Satoshi Nakamoto in 2009. Bitcoin is a global currency that no country or government owns or controls. And since no one controls it, no one can shut it down- just like the internet. You can ban it, but you can’t shut it down.

Let me give you a little perspective before you can fully appreciate the Bitcoin. Paper Money (otherwise called fiatmoney), is being controlled by governments and their central banks. This money is unlimited in supply. Why? This is because for good or bad reasons, governments can decide to print more money.

In some cases to kick start an economy from a recession, or to fund populist projects during election years. When this happens (and it does happen all the time), for no fault of ours, our money lose value. This is called inflation. When this happens in a dramatic way or within a very short period of time, it is called hyper-inflation. This phenomenon happened in Zimbabwe in 2008 when a wheel barrow full of money could be used to buy just a loaf of bread.

Also, our world has become a global village and we are global citizens. There is therefore an increasing need to transfer money globally via electronic means. This requires third party confirmations to be done by gatekeepers such as Banks, Credit card companies, clearing houses and so on.

Because our international transactions require confirmations, these gatekeepers have become very powerful. They take your personal details and sometimes misuse them. They charge high fees just to confirm, authorize and clear our transactions. And sometimes, they can even deny certain transactions.

Therefore, there is the need for a global currency that is resistant to inflation so that the purchasing power of our money is preserved. In addition, there is the need for a currency that can take care of our international transactions with lower or no fees at all and at the same time, no third party restrictions. This is where Bitcoins come in handy.

For instance, to ensure that the purchasing power of your currency is protected, there is a limit to the number of bitcoins that can ever be created; and this is 21 million bitcoins. Currently, there are about 16.4 million Bitcoins in circulation. I know all 21 million will be in circulation in some few years to come.

As supply is fixed and demand is increasing, there is only one logical thing that will happen. Thus the price will rise. This is the catch! What you need to do is to BUY AND HOLD bitcoins. So, as the prices increase, you will not only preserve the purchasing power of your money, but it will also make you a great fortune! Many bitcoin experts are predicting that the price of 1Bitcoin (1BTC) willriseto about $12,000.00-$15,000.00 in the next few years.

With this at the back of your mind, you don’t need to save money again. This is because when you save money, it losesvalue over time. However, if you buy bitcoins with your money, its value appreciates over time.

Bitcoin has done the undoable, unthinkable and unimaginable since its inception in 2009. For instance, a Norwegian man by name KristofferKock bought 5,000 bitcoins in 2009 for $27.00. This was about $ 0.0054 per bitcoin. His girlfriend blamed him for spending money carelessly. This man forgot of them until 2013 (about 4 years after he bought them) when he read in the newspapers that the price of bitcoin had risen to $196.00. It occurred to him that he bought some in 2009. Within a short period of 4 years, his ‘careless’ $27.00 investment became $980,000.00.

In his local currency, this was equivalent to 5,000,000.00 Norwegian Kroner. He instantly became a millionaire. In percentage terms, this is about 3.6million per cent. But this is even nothing. Going by the price of bitcoin as I write this article, the value of his $27.00 investment would be about $16.9 million. Is this not more than wonderful?

Another man used 10,000 bitcoins to buy 2 pizzas in 2010. In today terms, this would be $33.9million. But in 2010, it was just $25.00. I must add that bitcoin was not widely accepted as a medium of exchange as it is now. But that notwithstanding I believe this will be the biggest regret in history. Even though, the expenditure might have been incurred to prove that bitcoins could be used as a medium of exchange, it will still make its way to the Guinness book of records as the biggest mistake ever; emphasis mine!

I know some people reading this article might say Kristoffer Koch was just lucky. Granted! Nonetheless, he bought the bitcoins first before he became lucky. You should note that the attitude of not taking action nor taking any risk doesn’t make anyone lucky. You must first be in the hundred meter race before you can win any medal. Anything else will take you farther away from the medal.

KristofferKock believed what seemed almost unbelievable then,(just as some readers will not believe this) and took the ‘careless’ risk when most people wouldn’t. The result is simple and straightforward; he benefitted when most people wouldn’t. Yet, the same people who wouldn’t believe; the same people who wouldn’t take risks; the same people who wouldn’t take any action, now turn round and say he is lucky. To wit, they are not lucky. How can you be lucky with the attitude of no believe, no risk and no action?

I first got to know about bitcoin when I read an article on Ghanaweb written by Divine SerwonuDzokoto with the title,“How satisfied are you with your Retirement package?” This article was published on the 24th of October, 2015. At the time, the price of a bitcoin was $261.00. I thought it was already high to merit my investment. Also, I didn’t know you could buy bitcoins in bits. So I watched it grow from $261.00 to $421.00 to $600.00 to $900.00 to $1,000.00. It wasn’t until when it rose to $1,239.00 in March, 2017 that I started buying bitcoin (in bits). As I write, the price of a bitcoin is $3,392.27.

Let me now answer the question that is lingering in your minds as you read. And the question is if there will only be 21 million bitcoins in circulation, how can a global population of 7 billion acquire bitcoins that are only 21 million? Bitcoin is nothing but a number, anda number is infinitely divisible. Already a bitcoin is divisible up to the 8th decimal. This means you can buy as little as 0.00000001. These small units are called Satoshis, named after the anonymous founder,Satoshi Nakamoto. So 1bitcoin is made up of 100 million Satoshis. Therefore, there will always be enough bitcoins in circulation.

As I said earlier on, the strategy is to BUY AND HOLD bitcoins. Fortunately, even with GH¢10.00 you can buy bitcoins. If you bought bitcoins in March 2017, the value of your investment would increase by 173 per cent now. At the current price, 1Bitcoin (in Ghana cedis) is GH¢14,315.38.

You are not necessarily required to buy a whole bitcoin. Youcould buy it in bits until you hit the desired quantity you want depending on your goals (whether 10,100 or 1,000 bitcoins).If you buy and hold it, it serves two purposes. One as savings account, and two, as an investment account.

Nobody pays you interest or dividends for holding bitcoins. You make money when the price of bitcoin rises and it does rise overall? You can instantly access your funds anytime you need them and it takes a few minutes to do so.

Who stand to benefit from bitcoin? Everyone can benefit from the growth of bitcoins, however, employees such as Teachers, Nurses, Doctors, Accountants and so on can use it to boost their incomes and retirement packages. People in the informal sector can use it as their retirement package too. Entrepreneurs can also benefit by keeping some of their reserves in bitcoins. I dare say government should explore putting some of our reserves in bitcoins.

Also, political parties (especially opposition parties) should explore keeping some of their money in bitcoins to address the issue of funding during their campaigns. Even MPs who always complain of having to take loans (at very high interest rates) to fund their campaigns can explore bitcoins for the next election and beyond. I have spoken; those who have ears should listen!

Is it a risk free investment? No. But given the enormous prospects of bitcoins, it is worth taking the seemingly minimal risk involved. For instance, in 2011 the price of bitcoin rose from $ 0.19 to $28.92 and fell to $2.00. Then in 2012-2013 it rose from $2.00 to $230.00 and fell back to $66. Then in 2014, it rose from $66.00 to $1,147.25 then back to $272.95 in January, 2015. As I write the price is hovering around $3,392.27. So the fact is that, it rises and dips. But overall, it rises phenomenally. Thus, overall, it rose from $0.19 in 2011 to $3,392.27as at today (7/8/17).

So how do you buy bitcoins? You need a bitcoin ‘account’ technically referred to as a bitcoin wallet. It is this wallet address that you will use for all your bitcoin transactions, be it buying or selling bitcoins or making international payments and settlements. To register and create your bitcoin wallet address, you can log on to the following websites:

www.bleutrade.com
www.coinbase.com
www.coinpayments.com
There are equally trusted sites that you can log on, create your wallet and start your bitcoin journey. I recommend you do your personal search to find a site that is suitable to you. Note that with these sites, you need a debit or credit card to be able to buy bitcoins.

However, there is a solid and well trusted site in Ghana here where you can get your wallet address and even buy bitcoins with mobile money (whether it is MTN,TIGO, Vodafone or Airtel). This platform is called Cofred and they have offices in both Ghana and Nigeria. Once you have a smart phone and access to the internet, you can buy bitcoins from the Cofred platform irrespective of where you are. And the interesting thing is that it is fast and convenient. To buy bitcoins using the Cofred platform, click on the link below and get yourself registered for your wallet.

https://cofred.com/secure/account/signup?ref=8585588

In the next 5 years, you would have one of two things to show for this article. The first would be the financial freedom, peace of mind and sheer wealth you have acquired by taking action on this article. This I call RESULTS. Or you would be telling people why you failed to take action on this article: no money, it’s a scam, procrastination and so on.

This I call REASONS. You can only have results to show for the massive action you took after reading this article, or reasons why you didn’t take any action. But the best thing is that you cannot have both. I do know that you will choose results over reasons.

Alan W. Watts said “The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it and join the dance.” I encourage you to plunge into the Bitcoin wagon, move with it, join it and dance with it. Then you wait patiently for the wealth to flow in as the price of bitcoin hikes, and hike will it!

Thank you very much for spending your precious time to read this article. IddrisuAbdulai is my name. I am a Chartered Accountant and a Network Marketing practitioner.

For more information on how to buy bitcoins, you can contact me via [email protected] or 0268363341.

quot-img-1Learners are earner and readers are leader

By: IG. A. CHUKWU quot-img-1
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