HH Bitcoin Vs. Altcoins: A Lopsided Battle

Investors often ask me why I focus so much on bitcoin instead of altcoins.

I get why people ask this question. Bitcoin is already huge. And many investors assume they’ve already missed the boat, so they want to find the next bitcoin. 

Here’s the thing. Most people still don’t realize just how far ahead bitcoin is in this race. Bitcoin was built to serve as an alternative financial system. It is already fulfilling this purpose.

People around the world buy bitcoin as a hedge against inflation and reckless monetary policy. In Venezuela, where hyperinflation runs rampant, bitcoin has become a major part of the economy. Many citizens choose to store their savings in bitcoin rather than the bolivar. And they only convert bitcoin to bolivars when they need to buy something. 

The map below, which is part of an excellent piece of research by Coindesk, shows volume on peer-to-peer bitcoin trading platform LocalBitcoins compared to GDP (the larger the bubble, the more peer-to-peer trading volume, adjusted for size of the overall economy).

Venezuela bitcoin

As you can see, Venezuela leads the world in peer-to-peer bitcoin trading volume (adjusted for GDP). It’s no coincidence that the country also has the highest inflation rate.

And if you haven’t read the 2019 New York Times article “Bitcoin Has Saved My Family” yet, I recommend it. Here’s an excerpt:

I keep all of my money in Bitcoin. Keeping it in bolívars would be financial suicide: The last time I checked, the rate of daily inflation was around 3.5 percent.

So bitcoin’s usefulness is not hypothetical. It’s very real.

Now let’s briefly talk about liquidity. Bitcoin is by far the most liquid cryptocurrency around the world. In almost every country, you can convert bitcoin into local currency through either official exchanges or peer-to-peer platforms. Its impressive trading volume is what makes institutional buying possible (more on that here).

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