Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies dominated the media headlines for the better part of two months in December and January. All cryptocurrencies went sky-high and a record number of people were opening up crypto wallets to start buying Bitcoin and trading cryptos. Over the past few months, Coinbase (the largest cryptocurrency exchange) has seen its user base grow to over 13 million.
A huge driving force behind the massive rush into Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies is the millennial generation. Millennials are quickly adopting new technologies into their lifestyles, blockchain and Bitcoin are no different. Millennials are starting to grasp the idea of blockchain and how the technology has the potential to disrupt traditional markets and industries.
We’re going to dive in and take a look at why millennials are drawn to cryptocurrency and how they are leading the charge with this new wave of investments.
Millennials now make up the largest population segment, surpassing the once-dominant baby boomers who are now aging into their glory years. Millennials, shortly followed by the ever-increasing Generation Z, are just hitting their stride, either entering the workforce or entering the prime of their working years, giving them new buying and investing opportunities.
A lot of millennials are old enough to remember the experience of the financial crisis in 2008, which led to the recent recession. Millennials felt the pressure when the job market dried up just as they were leaving college and entering the workforce. They attribute the financial crisis to a housing bubble and other leveraged financial investments.
This gives millennials a skeptical outlook on the financial markets, traditional investments, state of the economy, and role of the government. Experiencing the latest recession has led many millennials to distrust investment vehicles like stocks and bonds.
Millennials are also incredibly tech savvy. This tech savviness means they are extremely comfortable using the Internet and managing their finances on the web. Given the developing political and economic landscape, many millennials have taken on a personal interest in finance and investing. It’s not uncommon to see millennials managing their own investment accounts and portfolios.
Where the older generations, like baby boomers, traditionally used financial advisors and wealth managers to care for their finances, millennials and the younger generation are taking a DIY attitude. And that’s led many to think they can successfully manage cryptocurrency investments.
Social Media Fans the Flame
One major piece of the technology puzzle for the younger generations is social media. Millennials have lived in the age of social media being birthed and developing into a core part of our lifestyle. They interact with each other and their communities through social media channels, and cryptocurrencies have adopted that mindset as well.
Social media channels like Twitter, Reddit, Facebook, LinkedIn, Telegram, among others have all played a key role in pushing the blockchain industry forward over the past 12 months.
Millennials are right in the thick of the social media sphere that’s fueling a lot of the activity in cryptocurrencies and huge price movements. For better or worse, social media has generated a massive amount of buzz around the rise of Bitcoin and all other cryptocurrencies.
Popular blockchain forums like BitcoinTalk are great online platforms for people to publicly share information about cryptocurrency projects all around the world. Many individuals who do their own research and diligence into blockchain projects and cryptocurrencies post threads that share what they’ve discovered and what they think about the coin’s future. Millennials have taken advantage of the information age and user communities like bitcoin forums to create a crypto ecosystem of over 1,500 coins.
More traditional social media channels like Twitter and Facebook are also used heavily in promoting and creating a sense of community around a particular blockchain project. Blockchain developers, potential investors, and community influencers can all share information and ideas to keep a project moving forward and gain momentum. Numerous communities have emerged and blossomed through social media.
There is also a host of millennials taking over YouTube with cryptocurrency related videos. Interested investors and traders can watch how-to and informational videos on everything from setting up a wallet to trading on a particular exchange to reading the candlestick charts.
Millennials Invested in Crypto
Throughout the end of 2017 and now well into 2018, millennials have been driving the cryptocurrency bandwagon. Blockchain Capital conducted a study that shows 30 percent of millennials would rather put a thousand dollar investment into Bitcoin than government bonds. They are looking at Bitcoin and cryptos as the future of payments and investments.
Millennials are also excited and drawn to the dynamic, rapid pace of the cryptocurrency markets. The crypto markets are unique compared to traditional investment markets (NASDAQ, S&P, Dow Jones). One major difference is that the crypto markets trade around the clock, never taking a break, while traditional markets are open eight hours a day, across several different time zones. This has helped turn cryptocurrency into a truly global phenomenon where you can trade and exchange with anyone around the world at any time.
Millennials look at cryptocurrencies as the equalizer of sorts. They see the barriers in the traditional investment and financial markets and are looking to cryptocurrency to level the playing field. Many millennials are attracted to Bitcoin and other cryptos because they feel they have a fighting chance in the decentralized blockchain environment.
With all of that, the top cryptocurrencies — Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Ripple — have all gained incredible momentum, and each one now boasts a market cap of at least $25 billion. 2017 brought massive gains to the crypto markets compared to traditional stock markets.
- Bitcoin: 1,300%
- Ethereum: 8,500%
- Ripple: 36,000%
With staggering returns like these, it’s no wonder the social media channels have been fired up by millennials trying to catch the rising tide.
There is no doubt cryptocurrency markets are extremely volatile and risky. There is a lot of money being thrown around trying to buy and sell tokens to make profits. A lot of money is also going to fund all of the innovations around blockchain technology. The media has made a big deal of Bitcoin millionaires who are mostly young millennial males who got in on the Bitcoin wave early on.
However, blockchain technology seems like the perfect innovative fit for millennials. There is a multitude of different applications for blockchain technology to enter the fold and start disrupting key industries like finance, supply chain, or real estate. The cryptocurrency coin markets seem like the Wild Wild West at the moment, but that’s partly due to the millennial force on social media promoting and supporting the Bitcoin movement.
The obvious downside to this approach is that inexperienced or uninformed millennials can easily get sucked in by bad information and make poor investment decisions. It’s the classic pro and con of social media that anyone with a computer can say anything then share it with the world. Millennials and all investors alike should use caution when investing in cryptocurrencies and make sure they’ve done their research and due diligence to educate themselves as much as possible about their potential investments.