I am always on the lookout for article ideas, and that was the case in 2012 when I heard about a new kind of Internet money called Bitcoin. The idea of a computer software program replacing everyday paper money sounded more than a little crazy, but I was just looking for an article topic and it filled the bill. At that time a Bitcoin was worth $12 - today the value is more than $6,000! Click here to listen to Jim discussing Bitcoin on his recent radio broadcast.
A few months after I wrote that first article on Bitcoin I received an e mail from a Christian family that shared with me that they had gotten in on Bitcoin when it was just a few pennies in value. They ended up selling half of their Bitcoin when the price had first gone above $1,000. Their haul was so big that they paid off all of their debts, including their home. What excites me is the idea that someone can turn a small amount of money into this kind of life changing wealth (talk about a fulfilling the command of being a good steward!).
The Chart Below From Coinbase Shows The Meteoric Rise Of Bitcoin From Just Pennies To Recently Almost Reaching $8,000!
I have to be honest with you and tell you that the whole idea of money being replaced with software has been something that I have struggled with wrapping my brain around. Can this really happen? What are the risks? Will people accept this as real money? Over the past five years I have watched not the explosion in the value of Bitcoin, thousands of Bitcoin ATMs opening up worldwide, and countless businesses accepting it as a payment option (including big names like Overstock.com, Expedia, and even Microsoft). I have also seen major Wall Street firms beginning to embrace the idea of digital currency - you can even buy Bitcoin inside your stock brokerage account!
I still have 'those conversations' with folks that laugh, mock, and simply shake their head about the notion of Internet money. I have no interest in trying to convince anyone to embrace Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency. My view is that for now, some people get it and some don't. I often think back to the late 1990s when I set up my first website and people laughed and told me that no one would ever use the Internet to find my books and radio show. Next, came the wave of social media sites and so many laughed again and said there was no way they were going to get involved with all of that, and now it is rare to find a person or business without a Facebook page.
The truth is that most people today already operate without much cash in their wallet. Digital money is not really competing with paper money at all, but with credit cards and banks. This new technology provides an inexpensive means to make payments and transfer money compared to the processing cost of a credit card transaction or a Western Union wire. We are even seeing the adoption of digital currency in third world countries at an incredible pace. This is truly a worldwide phenomenon.
Perhaps the most exciting aspect of this whole opportunity are the lesser known (and still cheap) Bitcoin competitors (also called 'alt coins'). In this article below that I just published on Facebook, I discuss a Bitcoin spin-off called 'Bitcoin Cash.' I am presently closely following it and about 30 other different digital currencies, and have my own money in about 10 of them. The chart below shows a 49% increase in value in just one week for Bitcoin Cash.
Many of my readers may be very surprised to learn that I now spend a significant chunk of my day buying, selling, and researching digital currencies. I really never planned on doing anything more with digital currencies than quietly investing money on behalf of myself and my own family. Frankly, I don't enjoy conversations with skeptics on the subject, and have felt that it might be another year before digital currency gains widespread acceptance. In recent months, however, I have been inundated with requests from people that want to 'pick my brain' about digital money. Yes, they want to take me to lunch, buy me coffee, do a Skype call - I have had all the offers you can imagine. I have also received countless e mails asking me, "Hey, aren't you that Christian financial guy that bought Bitcoin and talked about it on the radio a few years back?" I guess the laughing stops when they turn on their TV and see Bitcoin being discussed on CNBC or open up Forbes and sees a big article spread on it. The best part of all, is that you can set up a nice portfolio of all the top digital currencies (including Bitcoin), for under $200. In fact, one of my favorite coins is presently trading at just 20 cents!
I am now predicting that over the next year we will reach the tipping point and interest in digital money will reach critical mass. It is for this reason that I decided to start teaching an online course about how to get started with digital money and (most importantly) avoid being scammed. My online Bitcoin and digital money course is now available. I am teaching about Bitcoin, but also quite a bit on some lower cost alternatives that may become the Bitcoins of tomorrow. All of my classes are recorded and available on demand 24/7. Students also have access to a private Facebook group that provides a forum for ideas and questions. For those unable to participate in my class, another great educational resource that is completely free is Bitcoin.com.
Helping you make the most of God’s money!
Disclaimer: I am no longer practicing as a financial adviser and I don't offer personalized financial advice. Please consider this article as educational and not a recommendation to buy or sell any investments or digital currencies. Digital currency is speculative in nature and can present very high risks of loss. Consult your own financial adviser before making any investments.