For more than a decade, cryptocurrency has struggled to gain a foothold with investors, consumers, traders, governments, institutions, retailers, and wholesalers. Now, as 2022 approaches, several forces are aligning to create a perfect storm for crypto, in a positive sense. In addition to recent encouraging statements from high-profile politicians and business leaders, like former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Tesla CEO Elon Musk, the slow but sure movement toward global acceptance of crypto is getting support from all quarters.
Musk’s belief that alt coins are an inevitable part of the global economy, along with Gingrich’s encouragement of emerging nations to formally adopt bitcoin as a de facto form of local money, retailers and e-commerce sellers are jumping on the bandwagon as well. Why have hundreds of cryptos begun to weave their way into the everyday economy, from service stations and convenience stores, to retail giants and municipal governments? Here are some of the forces and factors behind the ongoing international success of cryptocurrency as an accepted form of money, a payment method, and an appreciable asset for investment purposes.
E-Commerce is a Key Factor
Just a few years ago, you had to search for retailers and online stores that accepted cryptocurrency. They were few, and the ones that did accept alt coin for payment often restricted buyers to bitcoin alone. In a very short amount of time, the landscape has changed considerably. Not only do millions of e-commerce and traditional retailers accept alternative forms of money, but they typically take two or three of the top coins, not just one. Plus, many online sellers offer bonuses and discounts for consumers who pay with crypto.
Everyday Investors are Embracing the Concept
Nowadays, nearly every major broker offers traders the opportunity to buy and sell at least one type of alt-coin, usually bitcoin or ethereum. Other trading platforms have gone further by listing dozens of the top cryptos on their menus. In fact, learning more about cryptocurrency trading is one of the smartest moves a person can make. Some are reluctant to explore the process of acquiring and securing alt coins, but the process is surprisingly simple and usually involves only three easy steps: getting a wallet, opening an account with an exchange or broker, and purchasing cryptocurrency.
Often put forth as one of the downsides of crypto assets, it is ironic that millions of people view crypto volatility and rapid price swings as a key benefit. That’s primarily because so many traders aim to earn profits by scalping or day trading their favorite crypto coins. Values move quickly and often by quite a lot, even among the more stable coins like ethereum and bitcoin.
Risk is Manageable
Some traders and investors view volatility as a plus. However, those who are interested in long-term gains see the daily ups and downs as inconsequential. Their goal is appreciation and increased value over long time horizons. The inherent risk of the new asset class is manageable in a number of ways. Diversification within the class is one of the preferred ways that crypto enthusiasts minimize risk. Likewise, many hold multiple kinds of assets in a standard portfolio, including stocks, bonds, options, commodities, and precious metals. What’s true for every new kind of asset is also true for cryptocurrency: it’s wise to use traditional methods for mitigating risk.
Unlike equities, forex, commodities, and futures markets, people can buy and sell cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and ethereum around the clock, seven days per week. In addition to mainstream and major online brokerage platforms, there are dozens of independent trading exchanges that are designed for the sole purpose of facilitating alt coin activity. If you own a connected device and want to buy, sell, trade, swap, invest, or speculate on any of hundreds of different cryptocurrencies, all you need to do is log in to your favorite brokerage platform or exchange site and begin doing business.
The liquidity situation in alt coin markets has changed drastically in the last decade. Today, plenty of transactions take place every day, prices are set in fair and objective ways based on market forces, investors can utilize technical analysis to make informed decisions, and transaction times are fast. Speculators can use instruments like CFDs (contracts for difference) to take advantage of price movements in either direction without holding any cryptocurrency at all. Long-term investors can make purchases on a moment’s notice. For all kinds of investors and traders, the extremely high liquidity of alt coins is a significant benefit and makes transactions hassle-free affairs.