As a bitcoin maximalist, I can’t help but want to orange pill others and get them on to a bitcoin standard. It’s been so helpful for my personal and financial journey that sharing the knowledge seems like a logical step. I am sure every bitcoiner who has felt the need to preach the news of satoshi once they emerge baptised from the bitcoin rabbit hole.
During my orange pilling ventures, I’ve come up against resistance, which is understandable; bitcoin is a lot to take in even after a few conversations or reading about it on your own. Everyone’s journey is different, and everyone will have a different explanation of bitcoin that will resonate with them.
Orange pulling is not only about preaching; it’s also about listening, hearing people out, what are their concerns, their opinions. You have to consider their goals, and expectations and not simply dismiss them as NGMI (Not going to make it).
If you’re on the fence about bitcoin, I get it, the first step is always the hardest and perhaps it’s not time for you yet and that’s okay, everyone gets the price they deserve. If you’re looking for reasons not to get off zero, here are some that may comfort you in the short term.
1. Don’t buy what you don’t understand
I know the term DYOR (Do your own research) has become a throw-away phrase that very few people take into consideration, but for the love of all things secured by Sha-256, please learn before you earn or rather get burned.
As much as I blog about bitcoin for others to learn, I do it for myself too. I spend many hours per week reading about it, listening to bitcoin podcasts, and staying up to date with what’s happening. I focus on improving my security and make sure I do regular control checks to ensure that I have not made any silly mistakes that could haunt me in the future.
If you’re going to buy something you don’t understand, you’re going to have a bad time. The novice bitcoiner can fall prey to hackers and scammers, or worse, self-inflicted user errors, like exposing your keys or losing them.
If you’re not confident in your understanding of bitcoin, how it works and why it makes certain trade-offs, I think it’s best to stay clear for now, learn more about it, maybe play around with a small amount to get used to it instead of holding a material amount only to end up making a costly cockup.
2. If you’re sensitive to short term volatility
Probably one of the most advertised scare tactics by mainstream media is playing up bitcoin’s volatility. Yes, bitcoin is volatile; that’s the price you pay for holding an asset that is repriced every second in real-time around the world 24/7.
In December 2017, bitcoin briefly sold for more than $25,000. Shortly afterward, the price crashed by more than 30 percent. The price continued to decline, falling to less than $5,000 by early 2019.
Bitcoin can move 30, 40, or even 80% in a day; we’ve seen it throughout its history, and despite its growing size, it’s not something that will disappear anytime soon. If you’re sensitive to volatility, you may be tempted to get out during downtrends and pocket losses. Price volatility and FUD have taken out many new bitcoiners as the heat of the moment was extremely hard to hold on through that period.
3. If you don’t have much disposable income
Let’s be reasonable here, if you’re in debt or you’re living paycheque to paycheque, the last thing you need to be considering is bitcoin. Despite what some of these bitcoiners tell you, you’ve got to eat first and provide for yourself and your family.
If you are able to cut back, live within your means, and have something left over to deploy into bitcoin that won’t have a real impact on your life, that’s great, but if you’re dodging your landlord hoping another day will score a price pump, you’re off your rocker.
It makes no sense to starve yourself trying to scrape together a bitcoin position. You’re only going to end up spending it the moment you see a positive fiat return and wasting the money because you feel you suffered for it.
You may also have negative feelings due to these sacrifices, and instead of using that capital to better your situation, you may spend it frivolously. Building any wealth comes with responsibility; you have to think about how you will get the best return for spending it.
Sure, bitcoin can make you rich, but it’s not going to make you financially savvy.
4. If you’re not willing to hold bitcoin yourself
Bitcoin is the first digital bearer asset, which means you’re able to have custody of it yourself by creating a set of private keys that you hold. Anyone with that private key would have access to your bitcoin, so you need to be prepared to take the proper security measures to protect it from prying eyes.
Leaving bitcoin with an exchange or third party opens you up to custody risk, solvency issues, and man-in-the-middle attacks. Having been a victim of an exchange hack myself, I know what pain waits for me should I not take custody of my bitcoin.
If you’re thinking about getting into bitcoin but have no ambition to take custody of your coins, I think it’s best to give it a pass for now.
5. If you’re already fiat and asset comfortable
Congrats, you’ve done well for yourself under the fiat system; you’ve not a solid stock portfolio, real estate, and perhaps some index funds or precious metals. If you feel comfortable with your current investment strategy and think that it will continue to perform well into the future, why would you bother with bitcoin?
It doesn’t solve much for you; sure, you could take a small portion as a punt on the next big trend but does this matter to your overall lifestyle and financial goals? I would highly doubt it.
Besides, if you have this attitude, you’re probably unlikely to want to do all the work to hold your bitcoin properly, and it would be done with third parties or paper instruments.
6. If you think someone is going to save you
Bitcoin is NOT the banks’ money; bitcoin is NOT the stock market; there are no regulated entities to come and save you should you be hacked, robbed, or fall for market manipulation. You are the bank, and you are on your own; you’re taking full responsibility for the value you hold in bitcoin.
If you prefer having the safety net of the state and financial institutions backing your assets through the trade-off of accepting third-party risk, then it is best you steer clear of bitcoin or opt for a Bitcoin ETF if you’re looking for some exposure.
7. If you’re in it for the trade
So you think you’re a hotshot who can read market trends, a chartist with some skill in the game. Unless you have some outsized advantage that no one knows about, you’re kidding yourself. Having a few bucks to throw into the market thinking a click trader can compete with algorithmic trading and market makers, you’re sadly mistaken.
You’re going to get carted off the floor faster than you could fill your sell orders, and if you’re considering leverage, you’re going to end up in the ICU. Many brave traders with more money, years of experience and technical know-how blew up their accounts trying to get on a bitcoin trend.
Since you’re only considering putting fiat in an asset to pull more fiat out, the asset itself doesn’t matter to you, so why bother with bitcoin? You could trade stocks or any other asset instead.
Consider how you price risk
As a bitcoiner I rank the risk of bailouts, bail-ins, CBDC controlled funds, currency collapse, and inflation as high risk, so my goal is to hedge against that risk; bitcoin is the insurance vehicle I choose to hedge against it.
As for nocoiners, they discount the risks in the fiat system and rate bitcoins volatility and their low-time preference for returns as the higher risk.
It’s OK to sit and watch from the sidelines
I know greed and fear can be powerful emotions, and FOMO’ing into bitcoin like you would any other asset is likely to leave you hurt. As the majority of those who chase momentum and capital flows, end up humbled.
I don’t know your fears about Bitcoin, I don’t know what country you’re in, I don’t know your temperament, so I can’t give you advice. There is no one size fits all.
But that’s the great thing about investing: you can pick and choose the investments that suit you most. You pick the risk you want to take, and you decide what rewards you’re after, it’s your money and the fruit of your labour, do as you see fit.
Bitcoin, like any investment, is all about your allocation. Don’t risk what you can’t afford to lose, and have a plan for what you might do if the price falls or if you have a certain goal you’re working towards.
The journey to becoming a bitcoiner for some can take months; for others, years living in the precoiner state. It took me several years before it finally clicked, so I know the uphill battle all too well.
Everyone has their own path, and they have to walk it alone. You’ll forget about it, you’ll shitcoin, and eventually return, and when that time comes, bitcoin will still be there chugging along, producing blocks every ten minutes for you to secure your wealth in the hardest money ever created using the strongest computing network in the world.
Are you still on the fence?
If you’ve been circling the bitcoin black hole but have not yet given in to the temptation to buy even a few satoshis worth, what is your reason why? You’re obviously doing research if you’re reading this article, so share your fears and concerns with us in the comments down below.