Bitcoin Blog Articles

Bitcoin/Litecoin/Ethereum are not Money, They're Better

(09/19/2017) Mark A. Cenicola

Currency, in the most specific use of the word refers to money in any form when in actual use or circulation as a medium of exchange, especially circulating banknotes and coins. Monies are typically issued, controlled and regulated by central governments, not individuals.

An asset is an economic resource. Anything tangible or intangible that can be owned or controlled to produce value. Assets represent value of ownership that can be converted into cash (although cash itself is also considered an asset).

Blockchain related technologies like Bitcoin, Litecoin and Ethereum are typically referred to as cryptocurrencies or digital currencies (money). For media and simplification purposes the “cryptocurrencies” label is not going to change, but it’s not completely accurate to refer to them as money in the traditional sense. While yes, they do have monetary like features such as the ability to be traded for economic value, they have no central bank backing, nor government control and they can be refused for payment of debts and taxes.

Instead, these blockchain coins, tokens, digital/cryptocurrencies as commonly referred are actually digital/crypto assets. Since the rise of the Internet’s use in people’s daily lives, information itself has become a significant and valuable asset. The challenge with information is that we haven’t yet been able to put a hard value on that information and most of the time, it’s not within our control to maintain.

If information wasn’t valuable companies like Equifax wouldn’t have lost billions of dollars in value after hackers breached their database. If information had no value it wouldn’t need to be owned, protected or exchanged for products, services or money. Facebook wouldn’t be worth $490 billion if not for the valuable data you’ve provided it in exchange for the benefit of sharing it with friends, family and lots of strangers. When you don’t pay for a product in money, you’re mostly likely paying for it with information. The sad reality is that you have no control over your information once you’ve given it to companies that may share it with others or be compromised.

Crypto assets are the new way of putting a value on information and providing control to individuals. For each crypto asset owned, you have claimed control of a small part of the data stored on the blockchain or public ledger. This control can be transferred to others in exchange for products, services, other digital assets or even cash. Nothing physical gets transferred, only the control of that piece of information or asset that’s publicly displayed on the blockchain. 

The ability to transfer crypto assets to anywhere in the world in very short time and with little effort makes them significantly more useful than traditional assets, even very liquid ones like publicly traded stocks. The truth is that stocks, while they can rise significantly in value if you choose the right company, can only be traded for money. People aren’t regularly taking stock certificates as payment for products and services and they can’t be easily transferred to someone else without significant paperwork and time delay.

Like any asset, crypto assets can increase or decrease in value. They can be a store of value much like gold and they can be controlled by individuals. Transferring them is as simple as putting in an amount and address into a digital wallet and hitting submit. Within minutes or a few hours, that asset is transferred to the new owner where now they have complete control.

Crypto assets are easily transferred, can’t be recalled, can’t be counterfeit nor can they be hijacked during transit. The same can’t be said of gold, especially in large quantities.

Standard Arguments Against Crypto Assets Aren’t Valid

The argument that crypto assets are scams and have no value because they aren’t physical is ridiculous. The information in my head isn’t physical either, but it has value. The information on my hard drive isn’t physical, but it’s also very valuable. Equifax’s database on the majority of adult Americans is worth billions so stop trying to tell me that because it’s not tangible it has no value. 

The argument that without power or network connectivity you couldn’t access or exchange crypto assets is also weak. Your credit card would stop working and the digital balances you have at the bank would be inaccessible. The economy would collapse. We don’t stop putting value on those things just because we could lose power. Not saying it doesn’t make sense to have physical assets (it does), but at the same time, most don’t have the majority of their assets in physical things. You might say your house is your biggest asset, but how good is your house when there’s no power and you need to buy food or get clean water? The economy doesn’t run on the what if all these bad things happen, it runs on the reality of now. Power and Internet are at the top of the economic engine. Crypto assets can be just as valuable as anything else that requires those two ingredients.

While blockchain assets are growing in value and increasing in awareness, there’s still a big challenge which is getting more people to accept these assets for payment. That’s the main reason behind the BannerCoin project and related cryptocurrency (asset). An initial coin offering (ICO) is being conducted offering sales of BannerCoin. An ICO is where an organization offers sales of a crypto asset to the public for the first time and the funds generated assist in the development of a product and ecosystem around that asset.

The development will enable merchants to accept crypto assets as payment in addition to credit/debit card payments. Initially 8 digital currencies including BannerCoin, Bitcoin, Dash, Ethereum, Litecoin, Monero, Ripple, and Zcash can be accepted by merchants.

BannerCharge isn't a system that converts digital currency payments into fiat currencies (government backed money like the US dollar). It will allow merchants to participate in the growing digital currency market, encourage them to hold and use the acquired crypto assets.

Getting people to fully recognize the benefits of crypto assets will require significant improvements in ease of use and access to them. The BannerCoin project is doing its part in overcoming those challenges by assisting organizations of all sizes to be prepared for accepting crypto assets and using them as a part of their regular economic activities.

This isn’t to advocate you go all in on crypto assets. However, understanding that crypto assets are at the inflection point where the Internet was in the mid to late 1990’s may help you realize the potential of this technology and its importance to the future economy.

One Sheet

Mark Cenicola strips away the hype and gives his take on technology and its use in establishing a better business online.

Hard hitting presentations that really get to the core of today's technologically advanced business economy, Mark demonstrates effective strategies for integrating the Internet into a company's operations and giving their website an expanded role in contributing to the success of their business.