A while ago, I spotted that Watford was sponsored by Bitcoin.
They must have made a mint out of that and will be buying up Harry Kane soon, if he’s not already gone somewhere else.
Nevertheless, I wanted their shirt. In fifty years, who knows what a football team shirt, sponsored by Bitcoin, would fetch on SpaceBay? So, I duly found the shirt and then started salivating. They not only had a Watford FC shirt sponsored by Bitcoin, but they had one signed by the team. OMG!!! I had to have this.
Only one problem. You could only buy it with a bit of bitcoin.
Then one solution. Show you how to get bitcoin and use them to buy a shirt.
Thing is that it made me realise something I’d already known, as it’s blindingly obvious, yet so often over-looked. I’m only buying bitcoins to buy something else; I’m not trying to buy bitcoins for bitcoins sake.
It’s like my favourite old tongue-twister:
I'm not a pheasant plucker,
I’m a pheasant plucker's son,
And I’m only pheasant plucking,
'Til the pheasant plucker comes.
In my context:
I'm not a bitcoin user,
I’m really confused by bitcoin,
But today I’m using bitcoin,
To buy what only bitcoin can.
In other words, people will use anything, any wallet, any currency, if that’s what gets them what they want. No one wakes up and says I’m going to enjoy a transaction today, I love making payments, I just want to flash the cash, write a cheque, make an electronic transfer and generally enjoy bank services.
No one thinks that way. They wake up and think I want to buy that toy on Amazon, I need petrol, that Watford T-Shirt is awesome, wonder if I can pay the mortgage this month and generally enjoy what bank services allow them to do.
Now the same can be true of bitcoin services. Who needs bank services? The issue is that bitcoin services are not around much today. They’re growing in number, but still teeny-tiny, small. Whereas using Visa, MasterCard and bank wire transfers, you can pretty much move money from anywhere to anyone at any time.
Thing is that some companies have a big vision here. Some companies like Mode, who I advise, want to create the world's most disruptive ecosystem, where exchanging value and creating wealth is seamless for all. To accomplish this, they are embracing the power of game-changing innovations, such as Bitcoin.
Meanwhile, going back to my Watford autographed football shirt, if it’s that easy to set up and use to buy an online shirt with bitcoin – and it was – then it’s going to be that easy to set up and use to buy on Amazon, Alibaba or any retail store online in the very near future. If the retailers decided to let that happen and, if they did, what would bank and payment card companies do? More importantly, what could bank and payment card companies do?
One day soon, there will be an alternative payments reality where crypto wallets will be decentralised and used by GenZ’s and others to get whatever they want, wherever they want, whenever they want, using alternative mechanisms to those of the last century. And, if I were a betting man, I’d say that’s pretty much unstoppable. What do you say?
Oh, and sorry to tell you that the autographed footie shirt is now sold out …
Having said that, this season they’re sponsored by Dogecoin.
Oh, and due to no other merchnats accepting bitcoins for stuff I want today, I’ve forgotten how I bought the shirt. Frequency creates intimacy, so the idea that an Amazon would accept bitcoin should really scare all of those who think it will never take off.
Chris M Skinner
Chris Skinner is best known as an independent commentator on the financial markets through his blog, TheFinanser.com, as author of the bestselling book Digital Bank, and Chair of the European networking forum the Financial Services Club. He has been voted one of the most influential people in banking by The Financial Brand (as well as one of the best blogs), a FinTech Titan (Next Bank), one of the Fintech Leaders you need to follow (City AM, Deluxe and Jax Finance), as well as one of the Top 40 most influential people in financial technology by the Wall Street Journal's Financial News. To learn more click here...