Gems In The Digital Age – Bitcoin, Ether, Alt Coins

150 years after the gold rush, 100 years after the discovery of the great pegmatites of the Pala Mining District in San Diego,  we often wonder what it would have been like to have been there. 100 years after the discovery of Benitoite, the California State Gem, 75 years after the discovery of the great agate fields of the Mojave Desert, we can only imagine the specimens found. Imagine no more Bitcoin and the Crypto Currencies rush is here and you don’t want to miss it.

This is the age of the digital gold rush of gem crypto currencies. While not as romantic or beautiful to the eye as say an emerald or an opal, these early digital currencies are and will be as valuable as any gemstone. Their beauty lies in the in the blockchain and the genius of it. The sooner you understand crypto currencies and the blockchain, the sooner you will realize we are currently in a new gold rush era.

Now you might be thinking what the hell is he talking about? I’ll try to explain the best I can. Let’s start with the most famous crypto currency, the first successful one, the gold standard, Bitcoin. Bitcoin was the first successful digital currency. It is based on the blockchain and was created by an individual named “Satoshi Nakamoto” who nobody really knows the true identity of. It was he first successful attempt at solving the double spending problem. In other words a token(coin) could not be copied or duplicated and then spent due to the security of the blockchain. Think of the blockchain as the ultimate security feature of a hundred dollar bill. It can not be copied, can not be faked because ir carries with it a record, time stamped and verified by several independent sources of every prior time it has been used, guaranteeing it’s authenticity. This feature gives validity and value to bitcoin and it has paved the way for all the other alt coins to date. As of writing this there are over 700 alt coins, but only around two dozen have gained acceptance. Source.

So what the hell is a blockchain? Quite simply it’s a ledger who’s past is unalterable. A record of all past transactions, time stamped and stored across a peer to peer network forever. A block, transactional record, chained to the previous block, chained to it’s previous block all the way back to it’s inception. The implications of this technology are still unknown much the way the early internet’s implications were. Read about blockchain on wiki.

Why should you care? Because it’s a gold rush. Bitcoin has gone from around $1-$3 dollars when it first became available to the public in 2009 to over $1,000 in March of 2017. Ethereum’s Ether, another crypto currency has gone from $10 in oct. of 2016 to $50 in March 2017. In fact, there has been a major spike in the price of most of the alt coins since the beginning of March 2017.

How high can they go? This is the million dollar question. And for Bitcoin some speculators think 1 Bitcoin may reach $1,000,000 in the near future. It’s not hard to understand that thinking, but it is hard to explain. I’m not an economist so instead of making an ass of myself I’ll ask you to read and/or watch what people say regarding this elsewhere. My understanding is the more ease/acceptance of use of bitcoin and the alt coins, the more valuable it will become. Here is a good post regarding this thinking.

Disclaimer. I am not a financial adviser and I am not asking nor encouraging you to invest in crypto currencies

It’s incredibly exciting to be witnessing one of those moments in history that will change the world as we know it while being able to participate in it. The first time in recent history was the internet and 1st gen internet companies. The second time was the arrival of social media. This is the third great opportunity/advancement, some are saying it’s Web 3.0. I now know what it felt like for the old timers, the thrill, the excitement, etc.

To bring it full circle, we are collectors. We collect gems and minerals for various reasons, value, appearance, bragging rights, etc. I see no difference with collecting alt coins, value, elegance of operation, bragging rights, etc.