It is time to redefine the term ‘new money.’ As of February 2019, nearly 24,000 Bitcoin accounts are alleged to be sitting on over a $1m worth of Bitcoins in their wallet. That means, since the meteoric rise of the decentralised cryptocurrency founded in 2009, there is a completely new market of freshly minted millionaires to cater to, and most of them are a very different demographic to your usual one percenters.
Of course, the anonymity which is at the very core of the cryptocurrency project makes it very difficult to identify any Bitcoin investors who want to remain off the traditional grid.
However, a good amount of research, coupled with tracking the interests and trading movements of the cryptocurrency communities, leads many to assume that the majority of these investors are younger, tech-savvy, and predominantly male.
That is not to say that some traditional investment types did not get in on the action themselves. It is believed that the Winklevoss twins, perhaps known to you and me from their notable appearance in the 2010 movie The Social Network, invested a sizeable chunk of their $65m Facebook settlement into Bitcoin, making them two of just a handful of people who have become billionaires through cryptocurrency investment.
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Making a millionaire
So, you’re one of those 24,000-strong account-holders who are sitting on a stock of Bitcoins worth over $1m in traditional fiat currency. Now what?
Well, it depends on who you ask, and why they got into crypto in the first place. Not your traditional investment opportunity, pseudonymous founder Satoshi Nakamoto invented the Bitcoin as a social experiment, of sorts, delving into the concept of a truly encrypted digital currency which lived beyond the centralised structures of traditional fiat currency.
The take-up, among the tech community at first, was strong. Despite its natural volatility, there was enough about the anarchist, cyber-punk concept to entice those among the deep web community to spin the wheel and check it out.
Even the most optimistic of those pioneers could surely not have foreseen what happened next. The Bitcoin bubble took hold of the public’s imagination, and suddenly the coins – worth a few dollars at launch – skyrocketed to the best part of $20,000 a couple of years later. Unprecedented growth.
It changed the game completely, and the community along with it. For the most part, these investors were as far removed from your Wall Street types as you could have envisaged. Now, they were as rich as them.
In a 2017 interview with Forbes, one such investor, who asked to remain anonymous and went by the name of Mr Smith, regaled his story. “I couldn’t believe how quickly it was appreciating. It started rising by 10% or more every day. I was nervous, and excited, and terrified and confused all at the same time. It was absolutely insane. I quit my job and left on a round-the-world trip the following week.”
As expected, the free market has responded. Bitcoin is now, to the majority of people, seen as an investment asset, rather than the anarchist symbol it was at the very beginning. For Mr Smith and his kin, though, a world previously beyond reach was suddenly begging for his attention.
Crypto investors are, for the most part, digital natives, fluent in the world of the internet and memes – resulting in a number of flippant phrases recurring within the community. One such meme, ‘When Lambo?’ became the phrase for the currency investor’s success very early in the journey – an online forum shorthand, if you like, for discussing when a user’s Bitcoin value would be worth enough to purchase a luxury Lamborghini sports car. Meanwhile, ‘to the moon!’ references a user’s confidence in a specific coin’s value being about to skyrocket.
The playful joke is now the reality, and the market has evolved to speak their language. There are a great many industries, particularly in the luxury arena, that cater to Bitcoin clientele, and allow them to make premium purchases with their cryptocurrency. This allows those millionaires who have no interest in breaking cover to make their purchases anonymously, while also avoiding the hassle of converting their stock to fiat.
In fact, one company has taken its commitment to crypto culture so seriously that it is named after it. Moon Lambo, a sub-division of Moon Assets, allows Bitcoin millionaires to make premium purchases, like the fabled Lamborghini, with cryptocurrency.
Since its bullish peak of nearly $20,000 per coin, Bitcoin is back down at a more stable, and seemingly sustainable, value of around half that.
However, the long-term outlook for Bitcoin is excellent. It is a deflationary asset – the longer it exists, the slower it is printed. This is completely contrarian to the way traditional fiat currency operates, in that more is printed over time in order to encourage a spending economy.
As a result, now that the currency as stabilised, it is likely to gradually increase in value as an asset. What’s more, Bitcoin experiences another ‘halving’ in May 2020, meaning that half as many coins will be pumped into circulation at that point.
This new breed of cash-rich crypto enthusiasts isn’t going anywhere, other than to the moon.
Investing in cryptocurrencies carries risk, do so at your own risk and we advise people to never invest more money than they can afford to lose and to seek professional advice before doing so.