The US dollar is backed by the full faith in the US Government, but it's value is determined by demand, value of Treasury notes and foreign exchange reserves. Although money, at its core is arguably useless paper, we use it because we receive something we want or need in return. You can buy recurring essentials like clothes, food, water, gasoline etc., with money. If you withdraw it from a bank you can see it in your hand. Even if you use online banking or PayPal, money is still tangible and widely accepted worldwide in several denominations and currencies.
There are a lot of people who are resistant to joining that Bitcoin life because they are concerned about taking risks with their money on something new and unproven, not because they are ignorant. Some people just don't like being guinea pigs, especially when it comes to the money they work for. Which is understandable. People have many reasons and I've identified a few.
One factor is that no one can tell people the answer to this one simple question: What can I buy regularly with Bitcoin once I have it?
There are very specific things you can buy/do with Bitcoin as of now, that may be interesting to some, but not considered enough of a necessity to others. Here are some examples:
● Bitcoin t-shirts from American Apparel
● Sandals on Overstock
● Donate them to Autism Speaks
● Buy Powerball lottery tickets in New York State using the Jackpocket app
● Hemp oil soap from Bit soaps
● Comic Books from Meltdown Comics in Los Angeles (in store only)
● A yacht or boat from BitPremier
● Coffee from Bitcoin Coffee in Prague
● A flight to Latvia (and a few other places) on airBaltic Airlines
● Airline tickets from Expedia or CheapAir.com
● African Krugerrands from JM Bullion
● Baby bibs from BitDazzle
● BOGO Whoppers at Burger King in Arnhem, Netherlands
● Take a cab in Argentina and Hungary (London is said to be coming onboard soon)
● A vacuum cleaner on Overstock
● A sandwich at Subway in Allentown, Pennsylvania
● A Tesla (but there's a process)
● Dog treats from Happy Tails Bakery on BitDazzle
● 30 day supply of emergency rations from Overstock
● Real Estate from bitcoin-realestate.com
● Things from the front desk, gift shops and restaurants at The D and Golden Gate Hotel in Las Vegas
● Beer from Old Fitzroy Bar in Sydney Australia
● A casket from Crescent Tide Funeral and Cremation in St Paul, Minnesota
● A gun from Central Texas Gun Works
● A hitman on Silk Road
Bitcoin has turned some people into instant millionaires, who can't necessarily spend what they have in Bitcoin on essential needs. You can't work in exchange for Bitcoin, unless it's on the black market doing things that are likely illegal (like a hitman). You can't pay for college tuition or repay your existing student loans with Bitcoin. You can't reduce your debt or buy a share of stock with Bitcoin. None of the daily purchases we value as a society have yet begun to accept Bitcoin as a form of payment. There's all this Bitcoin currency in someone's name making them a millionaire on paper, but they can't yet live like a millionaire who uses money. That's a risk that a lot of people aren't willing to take with their money and that won't change unless Bitcoin can become a more commonly used currency prior to the bubble bursting, as some experts continue to warn against. While I was researching and writing this blog, Bitcoin’s value decreased significantly…. twice.
Stocks are risky also, however, when you purchase stocks you know that in exchange you're receiving an ownership interest in the company offering the stock, which makes a you a shareholder. As a shareholder you have some rights, one of which is often the ability to vote on matters that go before the board of directors at the company you have shares of. If the CEO or Board of the company make decisions that put your investment at risk, there's a high probability that someone will lose their job, go to jail, and have to repay those funds because there's a system of accountability in place that doesn't exist with Bitcoin. This is another factor in the resistance to jump on Bitcoin. No one knows for sure who created it. No one knows who would be arrested if it went bust and everyone lost their money. The money would just be gone, taking a Bitcoin millionaire back to whatever he had prior, minus what he invested.
Lastly, anyone can create a cryptocurrency. Seriously. There's an app for that. A 5 year old with knowledge of how to use a smartphone can create their own cryptocurrency in minutes and go back to watching cartoons and eating cereal on a Saturday morning with ease. Which is yet another factor in the resistance towards Bitcoin. Since 1944, the US Dollar has been considered the global currency that determines the exchange rate for all currencies and there are 180 currencies recognized by the United Nations. Cryptocurrency is being touted as disruptive, yet isn't widely accepted or exchanged enough for actual disruption of any trade and commerce that would deplete the value of money worldwide. Therefore, it makes sense that many people are still apprehensive about its use or longevity. As with anything, time will determine what happens to Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Until then, man cannot live off Burger King in the Netherlands alone.