This is the first season in my seven-year career where I won't get to play all 16 games. With the 2017/2018 playoffs underway, I find myself wondering what to do with all my spare time as well as who to root for since the Seahawks missed the playoffs for the first time since 2011. Like anyone, post injury, it's great to be able to spend more time with my fiancée and kids. I’m looking forward to seeing them even more frequently as I enter another rehab, focusing on removing a bone spur in my heel after my Achilles injury.
While the family time has been great, I’ve begun to work hard to stimulate myself mentally by educating myself on how blockchain and cryptocurrencies are bringing unprecedented change to the world. This world isn’t new to me, I first got involved with cryptos over five years ago and began accepting bitcoin long before people were campaigning for Amazon to allow virtual currencies as a payment method. Nevertheless, nobody could have guessed that the guy that bought two pizzas with bitcoin back in 2010 would be millions richer today if he had kept it…
I appreciate ya', so I'm throwing y'all something special!
Regardless of the unwavering buzz surrounding the cryptocurrency space, the New Year will begin to see the disruption of cryptocurrency unfold. While there is infinite potential to the practical uses of this tech, there are still discrepancies that bring skepticism to consumers and businesses alike:
- One of the biggest issues crypto faces today are the expensive fees that weigh on traders when exchanging currencies. The popular trading platform, Coinbase, charges around 4% of fees on most transactions. While 4% doesn’t seem astronomical, at the current price of $14,699 for one bitcoin, we are talking a nasty surcharge of $587. On average, people are paying around $28 on each transaction they make. Some platforms, like COBINHOOD, have begun to innovate keeping this drawback in mind, seizing the opportunity to become the world’s first zero-fee high frequency platform for global trading. Other exchanges need to follow suit if they want to remain relevant.
- In addition to the taxing fees on all crypto exchanges, the time it takes for you to acquire your assets is just as burdensome. Once a transaction of Bitcoin is confirmed, for example, a trader will not receive their cryptocurrency until an average of 78 minutes. Just five years ago, the same transaction would take somewhere up to 10 days to appear in your digital wallet. This is due to the unique encryption required to be stamped within the blockchain each time money is moved. While today’s transaction time is leaps and bounds of an improvement, the average time often fluctuates and leaves advanced traders at a disadvantage. Slow transactions as well as fees have led to the creation of Bitcoin spinoffs like Bitcoin cash, as well as exchange platforms that aim to decrease the time a user has to wait. That being said, transaction times have yet to be perfected but it is apparent the industry has recognized its importance in order to decrease the skepticism surrounding the industry as a whole.
- This leads me to my next issue, skepticism. The last few months have seen a whirlwind of response to the industry. Just years ago, big businesses would be the first to dismiss cryptocurrency as either a serious or relevant trend. Today, their responses would be wildly different. The average market gain for a stock is around 7%, so it no surprise that people are turning heads at the 1,410% appreciation of Bitcoin. Not only was crypto not on anyone’s radar, but its recent viral presence has seemed to spike out of the blue, raising many questions; What is this vaguely legal currency that everyone is talking about and will the quickly growing bubble pop? How do I get involved? Celebrities like Jamie Foxx and Paris Hilton have glamorized the space, China banned all trading and everyone is wondering what the SEC will do next. Without clear regulations surrounding a new industry that holds so much uncertainty, skepticism will continue to boil, delaying full-on adoption of crypto as a currency.
Many years have passed since I first enabled bitcoin payments on my website. I have consistently come across news stories cautioning that cryptos are not a real currency, advising the public to stay away from the scam. Whether or not there is motive behind this or a pure lack of knowledge is uncertain.
During my time off the field, I have learned that our increasingly digital world is evolving into something that many cannot comprehend. I am excited to see the rise of a new next-generation cryptocurrency and see what 2018 has in store for bitcoin, Ripple, ETC, etc. My biggest 2018 goal is to become an expert in the crypto and blockchain space and I expect big growth from it all. If I did have to pick the three coins that I’m watching closely to kick off this year, I would rank them as follows…
However, don't take my advice for your own, do your research and invest your time to look beyond bitcoin and the increasing number of exciting projects that will transform our world and challenge the status quo.
In Conjunction With: Business Insider