The following is a guest post by Chris Kline, the co-founder and COO of BitcoinIRA.com
While cryptocurrency may seem confusing to older generations, millennials are becoming more receptive towards cryptocurrencies due to their comfort with technology and desire for financial transparency.
Millennials, defined as persons between the ages of 18-35, grew up as the internet was evolving. As the first generation to mature with digital technology at their fingertips, many of them are already using digital payments on a massive scale through Venmo and PayPal and thus readily understand the benefits of cryptocurrency. In fact, a recent survey found that those in the 18-to-34 age range would rather invest in Bitcoin than in government bonds or stocks. But, what makes millennials so interested in cryptocurrency? They are drawn to these investments because of three simple reasons: the transparency of the cryptocurrency system, the secure nature of blockchain technology and because they consider crypto to be a complement to gold.
Millennials are fed up with big banks
Millennials, for a variety of reasons, are fed up with traditional financial institutions. They remember the financial crisis in 2008 and what a difficult time it was. The crisis left young adults with an inherent distrust of traditional financial institutions. But beyond that, millennials are the first generation ever to make significantly less money than their parents. Home ownership feels like a distant dream and many struggle with large student loan debt. They are fed up with flawed legacy systems that are dictating their financial future, and they want to break free.
At the government level, they have witnessed exponential national debt and haven’t seen any successful solutions proposed from either political party to combat these pertinent issues. They’re looking for a streamlined, efficient, alternative solution, and Bitcoin/crypto fits the bill. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are not regulated by any banks or government, and transactions are processed on a decentralized blockchain, promoting security and anonymity. In addition, because of its limited supply, Bitcoin is also considered a hedge for inflation.
Blockchain technology is cutting edge
Data security is currently of paramount concern to millennials working at the enterprise level across all industries. Bitcoin and the blockchain technology behind it provide a highly secure platform to process and record transactions. It tracks the transfer of ownership and other sensitive data in a distributed public ledger that can be viewed by anyone, but never modified. The ledger then stores and encrypts data across a decentralized network, or a network of servers, as opposed to one single server. Because the data is distributed across servers, the risk of downtime, a problem costing enterprises billions of dollars a year, is greatly mitigated.
Decentralized servers are more difficult to hack precisely because data is dispersed and not tied to one network. This is appealing to millennials, who have seen the havoc that cybersecurity breaches can cause and recognize that leveraging blockchain technology could be a useful first step in ensuring protection against hacking and malware. Because of that understanding, millennials in record numbers are endorsing cryptocurrency transactions as just as safe – if not safer – than transactions through traditional financial institutions.
A complement to gold
Bitcoin and gold have a symbiotic relationship and a strong diversified portfolio should have both assets. With limited supply and decentralized features, both alternative investments are considered high stores of value against chaos and crisis. Cryptocurrencies’ lack of ties to any large institution make them a sound investment choice in the eyes of a millennial that watched the 2008 financial crisis unfold. Cryptocurrency is considered a safe-haven asset, like gold, in the turbulent political and economic climate we live in. Further, our market research shows both crypto and gold have demonstrated a positive trajectory over recent years, with Bitcoin’s price having experienced a 1300 percent increase in 2017 alone.
Cryptocurrency is not just a digital currency or store of value, but a technological innovation designed for a more financially transparent future – a future millennials are hungry for. Their shared experience and difficulty navigating the traditional financial sector, coupled with their natural draw to the internet, makes millennials a key demographic for crypto’s widespread adoption. As transparency, security and longevity continue to shape investment strategies for millennials, cryptocurrency will remain popular among the generation.
A Denver, Colorado native, Chris Kline joined Fortress Gold Group as a partner and Director of Operations in 2012, driving the operations strategy and execution that lead to the company becoming an Inc. 500 leading provider of gold and silver for IRAs. Following his success in precious metals, he was challenged to develop a way for individuals to directly invest in Bitcoin for retirement.
Together with Camilo Concha and Johannes Haze, Mr. Kline co-founded Bitcoin IRA, and Kline then developed the process and exclusive partnerships to create a full-service, turnkey solution allowing investors to capitalize on the rapidly growing digital currency marketspace for their retirement portfolio while maintaining full IRS compliance.
Mr. Kline holds a degree in International Finance and Leadership from the University of Colorado, Boulder.