OK, I confess – maybe the title of this blog article is a bit too clever for its own good. The reality is that there’s no correlation between advertising and bitcoin, other than the fact that I’m involved in both – and passionate about both.
I’ve been in advertising for nearly 29 years, running This country’s smallest ad agency (in Johannesburg) and am an experienced copywriter, conceptualiser of advertising ideas and co-ordinator of marketing projects – whilst I’ve been involved in bitcoin for no more than a year. Bitcoin excites me. When I heard that bitcoin, blockchain technology and crypto-currencies could eventually be as a disruptive as the internet, it had my attention – and I began to delve deeper.
There’s tons of information about blockchain and bitcoin on the internet, but what really got me interested was the fact that bitcoin was endorsed – and enthused about – by the likes of Sir Richard Branson (founder of Virgin Group), Bill Gates (founder of Microsoft) and Al Gore (45th Vice President of the United States). See their comments below:
Sir Richard Branson: “I have invested in bitcoin because I believe in its potential, the capacity it has to transform global payments is very exciting”
Bill Gates: “Bitcoin is better than currency in that you don’t have to be physically in the same place and of course for large transactions currency can get pretty inconvenient”
Al Gore: “I think the fact that within the bitcoin universe an algorithm replaces the function of Government is actually pretty cool. I am a big fan of bitcoin”
There are many other people who believe in bitcoin. The head of Google, for instance. (And if he believes in the potential of the currency, it’s worth listening, I’d say.)
If people of this calibre were excited about bitcoin, I decided that I would be guided by them rather than by friends or family who told me that yes, they had heard about bitcoin, but that I should stay away from it as it was an “illicit currency used for illicit activity” and that it was too risky and a “fad”.
A fad, it’s clearly not. Bitcoin and blockchain technology will be as disruptive as the internet. Yes, we may be a few years away from that, but there’s a high probability of this being the case. One only has to surf the internet to see how many blockchain-related developments there are currently around the world.
(Closer to home, ABSA bank have announced their intention to look into blockchain technology – the first African bank to do so). Others will surely follow.
Internationally, Japan has made bitcoin a legitimate currency, and whilst Russia was wary about bitcoin in the beginning, there are a number of signs that the doors are opening to crypto-currencies in that country.
Malaysia? BTC is huge there.
Korea: Gaining traction in a big way.
India? Getting started…
South Africa? Judging by the growth of BitClub network here, and the number of people enthusing about bitcoin, it’s just a matter of time before it takes off here…and other countries in Africa. (BTC is already being adopted in Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria and doors are opening in Dubai as we speak..)
It’s just a question of time before crypto-currencies – of which bitcoin (BTC) is the most widely-known and accepted – become mainstream around the world. Governments will be come more embracing of the technology, as will banks and other financial institutions.
In the meantime, many people around the world are already interacting with BTC (paying each other, or buying goods), and if you’d like to see the transactions happening currently, go to Blockchain on https://blockchain.info/ and look at the transactions at the bottom left corner of the page. Blockchain is the public ledger, on which every single BTC transaction globally can be viewed as it happens.
At the time of writing, the price of bitcoin is around the US$585 mark. See http://www.coindesk.com/price/ for the current price.
As there can only ever be 21 million bitcoin in circulation, the forecast for BTC is undeniably upwards. Yes, there will be volatility and yes, the price could go down before it goes up..but the curve will head upwards for sure.
Whilst no-one can say for certain, a number of analysts believe that the price of BTC could get to as high as US$10 000 in 3-5 years.
Even if it gets to $1 500, I’m in. BTC is the way of the future and I’m by no means the only South African to think so.
Gerard Kavonic is an experienced copywriter, conceptualiser of advertising ideas and co-ordinator of marketing of projects. Based in Johannesburg, he runs This country’s smallest ad agency, Kavonic Hone. See www.kavonichone.co.za He is also involved in the launch of Bitclub Network in South Africa. See www.bitclubnetwork.co.za He can be reached on 083 444 9888 and on the following email addresses: firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com