Cryptocurrency investment has been a trendy financial venture for some time now. More recently though, it truly seems to be attracting a whole class of what we might call investment entrepreneurs — people speculating on cryptocurrency’s immense potential and making personal businesses out of monitoring the ins and outs of the category.
In some cases, these investors essentially get caught up in chasing value that already exists. We discussed “infatuation with pursuing big opportunities” in a past piece on what we might call ‘Whale Hunting’, and that’s a pretty clear description of how some approach the crypto markets. Every time bitcoin climbs $5,000 higher, it becomes more attractive to those “pursuing big opportunities.” Naturally, though, it’s the crypto entrepreneurs who are able to get in before those leaps that make out on top.
This is why it’s become a worthwhile practice for anyone investing in this market — whether for personal gain, to raise money for business, or whatever else it may be — to assess crypto opportunities, rather than just prices and charts. Identifying potential developments that would raise cryptocurrencies’ values is part of strategic investment. But is it actually a reliable practice? To address this question, we’ll look at online retail, poker, and government as three areas in which cryptocurrency demand could conceivably skyrocket.
Not to overplay the whale metaphors, but online retail is sort of the white whale of the crypto world. For years now, crypto watchers have kept a close eye on large retail companies, waiting for one to give a clear indication that it might embrace bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency. Recently — and not for the first time — Amazon has even come up as a company that could provide a boost to bitcoin.
If Amazon or any other large international retailer were ever to begin accepting payments in bitcoin, demand would spike immediately. The ability to spend cryptocurrency in the real world has long been viewed as a stepping stone toward greater value, and to this point, such opportunity has been limited. So understandably, even if Amazon feels like a long shot, crypto investors and entrepreneurs should continue to keep an eye on the retail space.
Poker is not an area people discuss or write about as often as retail, but it is one that similarly carries immense potential. The idea comes from the simple fact that cryptocurrency provides an easy solution to financial dealings on internet casino sites. A lot of players (and there are millions of them worldwide) would prefer not to lend personal information and credit card numbers to poker platforms and casino sites. Being able to deposit, win, and withdraw cryptocurrency would ease concerns about security and efficiency, and would lead droves of players to adopt cryptocurrency for the purpose of gaming — raising the currency’s value in the process.
On top of this general potential, there’s also the sleeping U.S. poker market to consider. Poker.org posted an interesting article essentially suggesting that crypto-based online poker could revive the dormant industry in the U.S. by way of circumventing gambling laws. The argument can be made that real-money poker games are only prohibited in the U.S. when “real” currency is in play, and that cryptocurrency gaming would therefore be allowed. If this proves to be true, and large poker sites take advantage of it, we could see hundreds of thousands of U.S. gamers buying and spending cryptocurrency to play poker (again, raising its value in the process).
Lastly, there has also long been talk of governments with struggling economies abandoning fiat currency in favor of crypto options. It’s a dramatic thing to consider, but not one that’s outlandish as one might think. Just recently, Reuters.com reported that El Salvador has voted to turn bitcoin into legal tender.
To be clear, this does not mean that El Salvador has turned bitcoin into its national currency. However, the potential of this kind of development is easy to see. If more countries establish cryptocurrencies as legal tender — or if any do move to fully adopt cryptos in lieu of regular currency — entire populations could begin buying up the cryptocurrencies at hand. It is thus understandable that crypto investors keep an eye on these stories as well.
These are three clear examples of the events and stories that crypto investment entrepreneurs can use to assess potential, as opposed to chasing gains. In each case, one can certainly imagine identifying a trend, buying up cryptocurrency at the right time, and watching its value soar as a result of the event at hand.
At the same time though, it’s vital for anyone in this line of work to maintain a grip on the reality that cryptocurrencies to date have been extraordinarily difficult to project ahead of time. Yes, plenty of individuals have made fortunes betting on bitcoin’s general potential, or identifying ethereum early on as an asset with legitimate functional value. But predictions in this space are challenging, If you’re thinking of going into cryptocurrency then check out CoinSwitch, and even if the above scenarios come to pass, investing at the right time is by no means a given.
Ultimately, it is still most appropriate to look at crypto investment as a matter of speculation rather than any sort of strategic business venture.