Everyday Life on Crypto – 3 Stories
We are familiar with various success stories of people who have gotten extremely wealthy by being early crypto adopters or Bitcoin investors. Some of it was share luck, others understood the value and possibilities that cryptocurrencies give early on.
In this article, we are not going to focus on the crypto millionaires. We will talk about the life-changing decisions that three individuals made when they decided to live only on cryptocurrencies. This is a journey that will show you what happens when you abandon the traditional fiat economy and use only digital assets.
Introducing Olaf Carlson-Wee – the crown prince of crypto
Olaf Carlson-Wee has been working for Coinbase since 2013. Ever since, he decided to earn his salary in Bitcoin instead of in US Dollars. An uncommon decision at the time, but one that eventually paid off. Olaf lives exclusively on Bitcoin now. He does his shopping and pays his rent with Bitcoin. If he needs US Dollars, he buys some on an exchange.
A popular personality in the crypto world, with several crypto adopters even dubbing him the ‘Crown Prince of Crypto’, Olaf says that most of his everyday payments are made in shops that accept crypto card payments. He has the support of his roommate, who often pays the bills when merchants refuse crypto payments. He is particularly pleased that most of his electronics can be purchased with digital currencies.
Carlson-Wee is a true Bitcoin believer. He holds the coin because he believes that the technology will get even bigger. But he has no intention to sell his Bitcoin. He predicts that there will be a time when Bitcoin will see widespread adoption. For him, Bitcoin represents individual control of one’s wealth. Like many other people, he was left disappointed by the banking sector during the 2008 financial crisis that proved that institutional control of money is not as secure as people think.
This young man spreads the positives of Bitcoin. He has made a lot of his friends interested in this new technology and made them some decent profits along the way. He admits that 50% – 60% of his total Bitcoin payments are made to friends. 20% of his spending is on merchants, and another 20% gets exchanged to US Dollars.
When he goes on vacation, Olaf uses Cheapair.com to pay for his airline ticket with Bitcoin. He recognizes that paying taxes on Bitcoin is a troublesome process. He needs to report and pay taxes on capital gains and losses every time he spends some Bitcoin.
Olaf says that nothing can make him change his mind about crypto. The only worrying aspect is if one day a quantum computer would be invented that is strong enough to break Bitcoin’s security protocol. But even if such a device would be invented, developers would be able to patch and upgrade the network to become quantum resistant. Because Bitcoin is a piece of decentralized software, after all.
Olaf’s decision to be paid in Bitcoin has had a positive effect on his net worth and accumulated wealth. Considering that the value of the coin was $20 – $30 back in 2013, and Bitcoin is worth over $9.200 at the time of writing this article, we come to the conclusion that his net worth in US Dollars has increased over 45.000%.
The Story of Zakk Lakin
Zakk Lakin is a software developer who lives at the Isle of Man. He works for the cryptocurrency exchange CoinCorner. In 2019 CoinCorner gave its employees a choice: They can continue to receive their salaries in British Pounds or be partially or completely paid in Bitcoin. Zakk chose Bitcoin over Pounds.
The young software developer said in an interview that his life hasn’t changed that much since he started getting paid in Bitcoin. Most of the stuff he needs, he purchases online, even from sites like Amazon. Since Zakk works for a digital currency exchange, he has the advantage of not having to pay service fees when trading British Pounds for Bitcoin and vice versa.
This helps since he still has to use fiat currencies when he is paying his rent and banking debts. He is confident that this will change in the future, as more and more merchants are now accepting Bitcoin payments. Bitcoin is now accepted in bars and restaurants all over the UK. This suits crypto enthusiasts because it gives them more freedom to use cryptocurrencies and not being forced of exchanging them for fiat.
Zakk believes that Bitcoin is more than just a means of payment. That is why he has decided to help the network by running his own full node and use Bitcoin as a borderless and decentralized digital cash system. That is how Satoshi Nakamoto envisioned it to be used.
How Bitcoin Can Save Your Life
What follows will be a somewhat different story. It takes place in a financially ruined Venezuela, in 2019. The unnamed subject of the story is trying to buy milk for his family. In a country that lacks the bare necessities, buying food without owning the national currency is hard enough. You see, the hero of our story keeps all his money in Bitcoin and doesn’t own Bolivars.
The daily inflation rate in Venezuela is huge, and the annual inflation rate for 2018 was even worse. It amounted to 1.7 million percent. Due to Venezuela’s strict government control, citizens aren’t allowed to use foreign currencies or electronic payment gateways.
As if that was not enough, the government has implanted strict security checks on incoming transactions. Anything valued at $50 or more gets frozen, and the people have to explain to their government where the money comes from. Luckily, it is still possible to purchase and trade cryptocurrencies as the government cannot control this asset class.
The character of our story relies solely on Bitcoin to help their family survive. Their father works in a printing press that has no paper and earns almost nothing. The mother is unemployed. He or she has a brother who is a lawyer, but no one can afford a lawyer in Venezuela these days. The lawyer started offering freelance graphic design and translation services online instead. Thanks to crypto, they earned enough to leave Venezuela and go to Colombia.
Our subject, who is still in Venezuela, is walking around town in search of milk. The Bolivars that were exchanged from Bitcoin need to be spent today. Tomorrow, these Bolivars will lose value, and it might not be possible to buy anything with them. Bitcoin didn’t help our hero to buy milk that day, but they got some cheese. Still, it is better than nothing.
Cryptocurrencies open new doors that can lead to incredible wealth, or as we have seen above, to survival. In crypto-friendly countries, it is possible to live mostly on cryptocurrencies. The dream of all crypto enthusiasts is a world where one does not have to use fiat to purchase anything essential to life. At the moment, that dream requires a lot of research and inquiries about where Bitcoin can be spent. But the tide is turning, and crypto will soon be accepted as a welcome addition by any shop.