Inflation has reached record levels worldwide and in some countries, it’s been so bad that people are starting to lose trust in currency. PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel felt this keenly and recently bought a substantial number of Bitcoin, the largest cryptocurrency, putting him in the top 5% of bitcoin holders. He’s now reaping the benefits of his early investment and says he is now able to do anything he wants, including sending money to friends and family without having to ask for permission first.
The Rise In Crypto Adoption
The number of people using cryptocurrencies (primarily bitcoin but also Ethereum and others) soared last year. Some estimates put the figure at over 400 million users worldwide. It’s clear that more and more people are seeking an alternative means of payment that is both decentralised and secure. Bitcoin’s price soared from $3,000 per coin in January 2018 to over $19,000 per coin today. Similarly, Ethereum’s price nearly quadrupled from around $350 per coin to nearly $1400 per coin over the same period.
The reason behind the recent cryptocurrency boom is clear. Thanks to dedicated websites that allow users to track the latest news, financial analyses, and how to invest in cryptocurrencies, there’s never been a better time to get involved. Whether you’re interested in making a long-term investment or wish to use cryptocurrencies to pay for your everyday purchases, there’s never been a better moment to do so.
How to Make Money Online
Thanks to the power of the internet, almost anyone can now make money online. All you need is a microphone, a computer, and a little bit of ingenuity.
Many people are making a full-time living from home, armed with only their laptops and a microphone. You can do the same thing, but instead of being connected to home, you’ll be recording podcasts for other people in far-flung places like Hong Kong, Singapore, and Australia. They may not have the best internet connection or the most welcoming podcast hosts, but with online marketplaces like Upwork boasting over 150 million users, you can be sure you’ll find someone willing to pay for your services.
The trend of people working from home and on demand is called “gig-working”, and it’s available not only in digital markets but also in the real world. If you can advertise and sell your services as a freelancer, you can make money online – even if you don’t have a microphone, you can use your laptop’s built-in microphone to record podcasts, blogs, and videos for clients. As long as you have a stable and lawful internet connection, you can also participate in online surveys, which pay small amounts of money to large numbers of people, just to give them your perspective on products and services.
The key to making money online is to consistently create and deliver value to your audience. Research has shown that value-driven content performs twice as well as material geared towards mere entertainment. Instead of just promoting a product and having someone else do the work for you, you can become a genuine participant in the process. By offering your expertise for free, or at a greatly reduced cost, you’ll not only be able to establish yourself as a go-to-source on your chosen subject but you’ll also gain the trust of your audience. In the long-term, this may be far more beneficial to you than simply generating advertising revenue.
If you’re looking to get started, you can sign up to receive regular payments through PayPal. It’s the most popular online payment service, currently processing over 250 million transactions per year. PayPal has over 140 million registered users and is available in more than 200 countries around the world. It is still growing rapidly but its user base is stable and the company continues to invest heavily in new products and initiatives, all designed to make your life easier and to give you more flexibility in how you spend your time.
The Rise In Online Travel
Airbnb, the world’s largest online marketplace for people to rent out their homes to travellers, has more than doubled its revenue since 2015 to nearly $20 billion per year. The company now boasts over 25 million listings in over 190 countries, across all continents. Many online marketplaces, such as Booked.com, Expedia, and GoSearch, allow users to book accommodation including flights and car hire, all from the comfort of their home.
Online travel is one of the industries expected to feel the biggest impacts from expanding cryptocurrency adoption. Traveling to other countries becomes much easier thanks to advances in fintech, and the convenience for businesses to pay for items and services in their local currency has undoubtedly created a strong demand for travel agents/ tour operators.
The Growth Of Online Shopping
Online shopping has also seen a significant expansion in recent years, as consumers have embraced the opportunity to purchase goods and services online rather than in physical stores. According to Business Insider, retail e-commerce sales were valued at nearly $16.9 trillion worldwide as of January 2021. This is a value that is expected to reach $26.4 trillion by 2025.
However, while retail e-commerce is a significant market, it’s still very much a niche market compared to the overall size of the online world. For instance, TikTok, the popular video platform where users can share short-form videos, recently surpassed YouTube for daily average watch time. This sort of platform is ideal for people who want to discover new things, and with more than one billion active monthly users and rising, it’s clear that many people want to explore the world vicariously through its content.
The Growth Of Online Education
The opportunity for online education also shows no sign of abating, as more and more people want to gain the benefits of a college education without the price tag. MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses), or “free online learning courses”, have exploded in popularity in recent years, driven by the desire among students to gain access to a high quality education regardless of their location or financial circumstances. In 2020 alone, MOOCs drew in 270 million unique viewers across platforms like YouTube, Coursera, and EdX. It’s now possible for anyone with an internet connection and a laptop to access a world of knowledge, free of charge.
Bitcoin And The Blockchain
Most people are now familiar with cryptocurrencies and the underlying blockchain technology that makes them work. These are digital currencies that are entirely decentralized, meaning that there is no single entity (such as a government or company) that controls them, as a trustless network safeguards the transactions. This also means that the value of cryptocurrencies and the blockchain is entirely determined by the market, with no central figure or authority deciding upon its price.
Decentralized networks like Bitcoin and Ethereum enable a new way of conducting business transactions, as well as providing a secure way to store and transfer digital assets, like documents, products, and money. These systems are more resistant to malicious attacks and provide a greater degree of protection for people’s assets. There have been numerous successful trials using the blockchain, with real-life uses that range from the pharmaceutical industry to real estate.
While mainstream attention has turned towards blockchain and the myriad of cryptocurrencies that exist within it, it’s actually the technology’s ability to transform the world of business that holds the most promise. The world of commerce has long been considered as “traditional”, with business transactions conducted offline using hard cash or checks. However, with the development of online marketplaces and the growth of online shops, this mode of operation no longer represents the full extent of business interactions. Thanks to the blockchain, business transactions that were once conducted solely online can now be verified and tracked via a public ledger, creating transparency and accountability throughout the process. This is the holy grail of business and it’s a dream that the blockchain is poised to finally fulfil.
In conclusion, 2020 proved to be a transformative year for the internet as we know it. Global attention has shifted towards blockchain and cryptocurrencies, while the industry itself has rallied around the new technologies, creating entirely new business models and opportunities in the process. While many experts expect the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on the world of commerce to be felt for several more years, the opportunity for businesses to conduct their operations online has unquestionably created a demand for travel agents/ tour operators, freelancers, and virtual assistants, creating an increased demand for Nomad Capitalist and other “work at home” job platforms.