A lot of people are still inclined to dismiss Bitcoin as a fad or a non-factor in financial circles. Truth be told, those people will probably get by just fine. We’re still very far from a world where Bitcoin is a necessity in day-to-day transactions, and as a potential asset for investment it’s still just one of many options. In other words, there is no need to buy up Bitcoin, despite what some of the cryptocurrency’s most ardent proponents would have you believe.
But that doesn’t mean it’s a bad idea to get involved. Bitcoin has proven to have some staying power all over the world, and has the potential to be a lucrative resource. Here are three reasons to take it seriously in the coming years.
1. The Price Is Soaring
Back of November of 2013, Bitcoin reached an incredible peak in value, just under $1000. It was viewed by digital currency enthusiasts as a major validation of what they’d been arguing all along—that Bitcoin was valuable and that it would endure. But it crashed so quickly that just a month later an article in the Los Angeles Times asked Bitcoin supporters if they felt silly for buying in. In a matter of weeks it crashed from $979 to $638. By April of 2014 it was $421, and by early 2015 it was barely hovering above $200.
All that is to say that Bitcoin has spiked before. But the 2013 peak came out of nowhere and was quickly corrected. By contrast, Bitcoin has been rising steadily since that low point in 2015. Though it’s dropped off a bit in January, it started the year at an all-time high of $985. That doesn’t mean it will stay there, and it does mean, naturally, that buying up Bitcoin has become expensive. But the fact that it’s now trading at such soaring values, and that it returned to its 2013 peak, means it’s worth keeping an eye on.
2. It’s Not Like Other Alt-Currencies
We tend to view Bitcoin and subsequently developed cryptocurrencies like a unique phenomenon—some sort of technological revolt against traditional currency. The truth is that the idea of alternative currencies goes back hundreds of years. People have always come up with different ways of paying for goods and services and exchanging wealth. However, looking at the history of alternative currencies they’ve almost always fizzled out without causing any sort of major disruption.
This wouldn’t seem to bode well for Bitcoin. One thing to note though is that it’s not necessarily being looked at as an alternative currency by the bulk of users. Instead, many are beginning to treat Bitcoin like a commodity to be used for investing purposes. That could wind up giving it more staying power than some of its historical predecessors.
3. Practical Usage Is Up
Even if Bitcoin’s staying power is seemingly being boosted by its status as a commodity, it still helps for it to have practical utility. While a handful of major online retailers are among the most significant merchants to have adopted Bitcoin use, small businesses are an emerging market for the cryptocurrency as well. We’re beginning to see independent stores and restaurants allowing Bitcoin payments, which should put the currency in higher demand.
None of this is to say that it’s absolutely necessary to buy up Bitcoin, but as we head into 2017, it’s time to reject the narrative that it’s a flash in the pan. Bitcoin is at least worthy of our attention.