I Switched Everything To Bitcoin. What Happened Next May Not Surprise You.
I proudly admit this: I’m a total trend geek. Which means the highlight of my day is that moment I get to drop a trend in conversation — “haven’t you noticed everyone’s [insert trend du jour] right now?”. I don’t know why I get such a kick out of it. I guess there’s something to be said about a slight superiority complex but I’m not gonna go there. I’m gonna go bitcoin.
So a couple of years ago when asked if I’d accept payment in bitcoin, I said, “Why the hell not?”. I found bitcoin interesting. Over the following weeks and months I’ve done a lot of Googling, reading, listening to podcasts and whatever else I could do to educate myself about this currency, the blockchain technology behind it, and speculations on the future. Soon after I’ve started to slowly migrate all my finances to cryptocurrencies, eventually giving up traditional banking entirely.
Using cryptocurrencies exclusively is much like coming from a faraway country with its own economy and currency and being on tourist mode everywhere, wherever I go. It’s not without its issues and not holding ANY fiat currency means that I’m completely exposed to market fluctuations. But it forces me to focus on being a smart tourist (i.e. how to conform to ‘local currency’ while staying true to my ‘home currency’) but also how to “find home” as I travel (i.e. places that accept my home currency). When I’m spending money, I need to either spend it in bitcoin or convert it to “this other currency the rest of the world is using”.
Let’s be honest, most of us don’t know anything about personal finances in general.
As the “Global Financial Literacy Survey” found, only 1 out of 3 people could correctly answer three simple questions about personal finances. It’s not like we know more about fiat currency than we do about cryptocurrency, right? It’s just an easier admission vs. a terrifying one. Our banks have simply created interfaces which make it more convenient for us to trust them and give up control over our finances. Somebody has to be in control. Why shouldn’t it be you?
How I Navigate in Bitcoin
Bought bitcoin and Ethereum with everything I had.
That’s right, no more bank account, no more cash, and no more savings. It can be volatile and cause some nail-biting. However, overall my portfolio has steadily increased in value in ways that I’m not sure any other investment channel can offer. The best part of it is, no fees and full control of my funds. Sure, “everything I have” is quite an extreme measure. I wouldn’t recommend it for everyone but I like living on the edge. It’s paying off for me.
Asked my clients to pay me in bitcoin. Admittedly, it’s a tough proposition. There’s little value for a client to use bitcoin to pay me. It’s a hassle. If they don’t plan on using cryptocurrency this requires some extra steps in their accounting process. The steps aren’t always intuitive and can complicate recording. I pitched it to an international client first, one that pays high transaction fees to get funds from a USD account in US and a EUR account in Europe. This saves them the $45 flat fee their bank charges and it’s reason enough to look into bitcoin. Also, it’s kind of cool.
Started Gifting with Bitcoin. I was a guest at a wedding earlier this year and, on a whim, decided to give the newlyweds the gift of bitcoin. I created a paper wallet, transferred into it the bitcoin equivalent of a reasonable gift. I’m hoping this will become a small fortune for them in time, which is really what I meant this gift to be.
You don’t have to go all-in like I have.
Bitcoin is an exciting yet complicated adventure, and I like being on board with something that will fundamentally change the way we think about finances. As processes smooth out and it becomes less scary you can look to people like me who are thriving on bitcoin and consider dipping a toe in. Try it out. Start small. As you find the benefits for yourself, you can decide how much of your financial life you want to conduct with bitcoin. Though it’s not without its challenges and risks, it’s been a fun ride so far and I look forward for what will come next.
So, if someone were to ask you “would you accept payment in bitcoin?” — what would you say, and why?
I’d love to know your thoughts, hit me up in comments!❤︎
There’s more! Check out my personal list of go-to platforms and services for virtual, in-store, and bank payments —