the future platforms of digital work and commerce are being forged today

cryptocurrencies

video primer

Commodity

Some people consider Bitcoin a digital store of value akin to the role gold plays in the physical world, and although, Bitcoin is far more volatile than gold they both are considered non-inflationary since Bitcoin is limited to 21 million coins and gold is mined at a rate of about +2% per year. Also, both these commodities share the traits of being globally fungible because their veracity is easy to validate, they both are quoted in real time for their purchase or sale and there is also the notion that Bitcoin like gold acts as an irrefutable bearer instrument, where their existence is unaffected by sovereign policy; although, government bans and taxation can make Bitcoin - as well as gold - difficult if not useless to use in those jurisdictions.  Bitcoin maximalists believe that all these similar traits combined could make Bitcoin analogous to the way gold is used as a hard currency - meaning as a store of value that can not be deflated, does not get used up in industry and will not degrade over time.

Currency

Because of Bitcoin's highly secure yet computationally intensive proof of work blockchain minting process it is mainly considered a base 1 layer store of value.  This is akin to gold that is intensively mined and serves as a base layer store of value for sovereignly issued debt (layer 2) and then currencies are subsequently issued by government treasuries (layer 3). Likewise, there are crypto projects that offer second or third layer networks that reduce Bitcoin’s blockchain congestion (akin to the friction associated with using gold as a currency) by moving transactions off-chain, massively speeding transaction times. Additionally, these layer 2 and 3 applications may also help with Bitcoin's final settlement issue as well.  Instant settlement is a powerful feature until you've incorrectly sent funds to the wrong party. Immediate and final settlement could be delayed and even circumvented via a layer 2 or 3 off-chain protocol and further raise the practical usage of a well accepted virtual base layer like Bitcoin.   The question arises though: are there tried and true solutions that are already highly effective digital mediums of exchange like bank ACH, VISA or other layer 1 altcoin projects that are better suited as currencies meaning that they double as a meaningful store of value as well as offer transaction settlement that is inexpensive, secure and fast.  There are several altcoins trying to achieve these requirements and if any of these projects can move value faster and more securely than current centrally settled and sovereignly issued currencies, then maybe there is a decisive advantage to privately issued, digital coinage beyond just Bitcoin.  Given that all cryptocurrencies are software, one successful version will inevitably "eat the world", and having exposure to them is a way to participate in the possible ascension of one or more of these virtual currencies at the diminution of your natural fiat currency exposure.

Revolution

As more and more commerce including work moves into the digital arena, the ability to move and settle large sums of economic value securely, across border and quickly will be as important as monetizing massive volume, micro transactions in the internet of things era... chips embedded in every kind of device exchanging massive amounts of data seamlessly, securely, in near real time and at the micro value level.  The question is can central bank issued digital currencies satiate this growing need or is there another upstart altcoin that can usurp the security and acceptance of Bitcoin while satiating the various use cases presented by future technological needs. Crypto proponents are confident that a decentralized, emergent software solution will be the irrefutable winning technology for these massive pending commercial needs, and having exposure to this potentiality is worthy as a "Revolution can never be forecast; it cannot be foretold; it comes of itself. Revolution is brewing and is bound to flare up." Ironically, a quote from Vladimir Lenin.

Notice

Investing in cryptocurrency assets involves a high degree of risk and is not suitable for all investors.  Before deciding to invest in digital assets you should carefully consider the potential of losing 100% of your investment.