The older we become, the more skeptical our attitude towards experiments and innovations. Why do we need something new, if proven and working solutions already exist? The main adopters of innovations are young people whose thinking differs dramatically from the mentality of the older generation — it is free from fear, conservatism, and prejudice.
People born after the 1980s are “digital” children, brought up during a surge of the Internet and high-tech innovations. They represent a completely new generation, significantly different from their Gen X or Baby Boomer parents in behavioral and mental patterns. It is Generations Y and Z that are beginning to define the present and, definitely, will determine our future. And it’s incredibly captivating to watch how the world is changing with the advent of young and brave minds.
Thus, it is not surprising they are interested in such hot and unprecedented topics as artificial intelligence, augmented reality, Mars colonization and, of course, cryptocurrency.
The latter is especially true in the regions of the US and Asia. In South Korea, out of 2 million people owning cryptocurrency, about 23% accrues to holders in their 20s, while over 40% of the young people surveyed plan to buy digital money in the near future. In Japan, more than 14% of the millennials have invested in bitcoin and other cryptos. In the US, about 39% of crypto owners are between the age of 25 and 34.
Millennials have dived into cryptomania and this trend continues to gather its momentum. Why?
In fact, this is not something to be called a phenomenon — on the contrary, it is quite a predictable pattern.
Firstly, young people have a completely different, “digitized” thinking. Generation Y has been bred on the emerging Internet technologies, absorbing innovations as it grew up. Now millennials and Gen Z can’t go without the Internet, smartphones and mobile payments. For example, in the Philippines, with the population’s average age of 24 years, smartphones can be found on 7 out of 10 people, and mobile phone penetration is beyond 100%.
Via the Internet you can do anything: hire a taxi, book a hotel, make a purchase or transfer money to your relatives living abroad. Traditional cash is losing its popularity, while new solutions are gaining traction.
Cryptocurrencies fit perfectly into the turbulent and high-tech lifestyle of a typical millennial: they are secure, anonymous, convenient to use, and most importantly, they do not know any geographical borders. Moreover, paying with crypto is much cheaper than making a bank transfer or using payment systems like Western Union, since the transaction does not require any intermediaries. All you need is the network connection and a cryptocurrency wallet downloaded on your smartphone.
We shouldn’t forget about bright adventurous and inventive character that neither Baby Boomers nor Generation X possessed in such a scale. The main difference between young adults and the mature is the willingness to take risks. When many people over 45–50 see a danger in unprecedented cryptocurrency, the millennials look through it — concentrating on the new opportunities and perspectives.
The potential of the blockchain technologies and cryptocurrency is really enormous, and not only with regard to trading or holding coins until they grow in price, but also in real life of ordinary people. This is an opportunity to use crypto in cafes and hotels, pay bills and buy with it anything, from groceries in a supermarket to expensive cars and real estate.
And for young enthusiastic adults, who are very mobile by default and often travel around the world, universal and borderless cryptocurrencies can become a lucky strike. There is no need to take cash with you or worry that a credit card won’t work for some reason when necessary or a bank will decline a transaction. Virtual money can be used anywhere in the world — easily, quickly and hassle-free.
Moreover, cryptocurrency is not just a payment instrument, it is a whole new philosophy with its ideals and vision of the future, created by the legendary Satoshi Nakamoto.
Crypto evangelists value progress, freedom and independence. And exactly these concepts stand on top of the value pyramid for young and proactive people these days.
So, the young crypto community grows with astronomical speed, but the question arises: where and how can enthusiasts actually enjoy the benefits of digital money and realize their dreams of a convenient and high-tech future?
In these dreams, crypto enthusiasts have a freedom of choice what to use: conventional cash, credit cards or innovative virtual money like bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies. But can these dreams become true or are they beyond our reach?
Unfortunately, while young and tech-savvy minds have already reached the point of accepting cryptocurrency and are more than ready to actively use it, the infrastructure in this area lags far behind. As a result, cryptos are mostly stored in the wallets of the owners without the possibility of their real application in daily routine.
However, several online platforms and services already accept the digital currency as a payment. In particular, the payment options in bitcoins and altcoins have been integrated by such popular services as Etsy, eGifter, Shopify, CheapAir and Surf Air airlines and even Virgin Galactic, a company offering space voyages. Not so long ago, PayRemit — a large payment gateway in the Philippines which enables millions of Asian people to make online purchases for themselves and their families, also announced adding cryptocurrency payments — thanks to cooperation with a blockchain venture Noah Foundation. For the latter country with over 10 million Filipinos working overseas and only 3% credit card penetration, the possibility of transacting in cryptocurrency makes a great difference.
In addition to online retailers and service marketplaces, crypto-friendly places are beginning to appear on a real-world map. For example, for bitcoins, you can dine at Subway, go to the art gallery in London or even buy a luxurious Lamborghini.
These are just the first steps to creating a new crypto reality envisioned by the followers of Satoshi Nakamoto. However, this cherished goal can be much closer than we think.
“Technologies should not exist just for the sake of existence. The true value of any innovation is its real use by people”, says Joseph Werker, Director at Noah Foundation.
Although cryptocurrencies have a long way to their mass adoption and integration into everyday life, innovators and enthusiasts are already here. And they want to have a chance to enjoy all the benefits of the technology in the very near future: for example, to easily make transactions with cryptocurrency, have a dinner or go on a vacation with it.
Сrypto avant-garde is growing: it’s joined by new supporters and pioneer companies that are already making tomorrow today. Will they succeed? The time will show. But one thing is undeniable — innovations worship dreamers, visionaries and forerunners.
Crypto Avant-garde: Who Fuels The Digital Innovation was originally published in Hacker Noon on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.