Words by Therese Lowton
What is Cryptocurrency?
We’re sure you have heard about Blockchain Technology, Tokenization, Cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, Ethereum, Altcoins, and the latest we have been talking about, SEEDS – but WHY do we want to consider these and HOW can we apply these technologies to real-life as artists, healers, and nomads?
1. Stop paying banks currency conversion and international transfer fees.
Cryptocurrency offers us a chance to abolish international transaction fees (although credit card fees and coin exchange fees may still apply depending on your wallet) from banks and applications like Paypal. Not only that, but it also allows for instant international transfers. We no longer need to wait for wire transfers or bank processing time with cryptocurrency. This is honestly one of the greatest advantages for travelers as we are constantly paying up to 20% in transaction fees.
As artists and nomads, this means that we can more efficiently transact with international events, festivals, retreats, online courses & subscriptions, etc.
Let’s use Alejandro, for example. Alejandro is a yoga teacher and because of this pandemic can no longer teach yoga on the road, nor can he teach face to face classes due to lockdown restrictions. He decides to start teaching on Zoom and takes donations via Paypal. As his student base is from ALL over the world, they are not only charged transaction fees for their donations but also currency conversion fees. By the time Alejandro actually gets the money into his bank from Suzie, he has lost up to 20% of the amount his student wanted him to have! Now let’s take that a step further. Alejandro tunes into the Momentom Cabaret show and decides it’s the best thing since sliced bread and wants to tip the artists via Paypal. In doing this, he is again losing up to 20% in fees. That money Suzie invested is not going into the hands she intended it to go to. It’s feeding organizations that act as intermediaries.
Note: Don’t get me wrong, Paypal has been a huge service to the international community and is still a valid option. The reality is that there are now a lot more direct ways that we can have more direct impact per dollar we spend!
2. Invest in the future by the people, for the people.
There is no doubt that the structure of civilization as we know it is starting to crumble. Now is a very powerful time to be alive as we have the chance to shift the systems and structures that govern humans on Planet Earth! By setting yourself up with digital currencies, you are taking a step for humanity towards a new structure governed by the people rather than the 1% of those in power. Blockchain technologies are a huge step for humankind. Even if you start with a very small amount of money in the blockchain and you make one or two transactions, you are setting into the network and allowing for currency to flow in this new network. This very act will open the door to new streams of currency into your life.
Many National Banks are setting up their own Digital Currencies. There is no doubt that digital currency is the way forward, so why not take the step now? We recommend supporting currencies set up and governed by the people before the big banks take over the digital currency landscape. It’s possible for you to have one foot in each, but it all starts with taking the first step.
An added bonus of stepping in now is that you can use your money that would usually sit in a bank earning minimal interest, into an emerging industry. The rates of growth are much faster, meaning that you can earn money faster in cryptocurrencies than you may with your money sitting in a bank. That said, some coins are volatile so you may see large fluctuations in the value of your money against a stable currency like the Euro & USD (known as FIAT). There are coins that were set up to hold the same stable value of FIAT, so you can actually have some money in stable coins, and some in high interest (more volatile/risk) coins all within the same wallet!
3. Wallets that link to your bank account.
To make things more accessible, you can set up crypto wallets linked straight to your bank account or credit card. This will allow you to deposit and withdraw funds effortlessly on a user-friendly interface where you can view all of your coins. By doing this you can immediately transfer funds from your bank into any crypto wallet in the world within seconds. The receiver can withdraw their money immediately, saving you both international transfer fees and time!
We recommend setting up an account to act as a wallet with Coinbase. Coinbase acts like a Bank account where you can store all of your cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum. The interface is user friendly and not as “techy” as some of the other wallets out there. They were able to take something pretty complex and make it user friendly. Subsequently, the fees are a little higher than some of the other wallets but the usability makes it worth it in our opinion. They have a pretty diverse number of coins that you can store PLUS you can purchase cryptocurrency easily with your bank card, by bank transfer, or by sending from another crypto wallet. Coinbase also allows you to withdraw your funds into Paypal or your bank with ease.
For some countries, there may be limitations on linking to your bank account directly, in which case you may set up an exchange in your country, then store your crypto in your Coinbase wallet.
1. As you can use Coinbase as a “bank” for your Cryptocurrency, you can simply choose to store your money in a STABLECOIN, like USDC which is a stable coin that holds the value of the US Dollar. There are many types of Stablecoins which can be pegged to FIAT currencies, or to exchange-traded commodities like precious metals.
2. Set up your cryptocurrency wallet with a secure email address for less chance of your account ever being hacked.
3. If you are a business, you may want to set up your wallet with Sendwyre rather than Coinbase, as it was specifically built for businesses that work between cryptocurrency and FIAT.
4. Make instant payments with a Cryptocurrency VISA Card.
Take an extra step out of withdrawing your funds and use your Bitcoin anywhere in the world that accepts VISA with Wirex (European) and Bitpay (American). These cards look just like your standard bank or credit card work in any VISA machine, to withdraw your Bitcoin. Talk about usability!
The benefits in these cards are minimizing currency conversion fees and eliminating the time taken to convert bitcoin to your currency and withdraw into your bank account prior to using your VISA. It also means that you can choose to use your Bitcoin VISA card when Bitcoin value is high, getting a better bang for your buck.
Please note that you will need to check in your own country if there are tax implications with spending from your cryptocurrency wallet. The legislation is different in every country.
5. Investment options taking a secure peer-to-peer loan through Decentralised Finance.
This is a non-bank, peer-to-peer loan protected by Ethereum contract. It’s cool as you can either loan your money and receive a variable interest rate (roughly 7-11%), or you borrow the money at an 11% interest rate – so if you needed to borrow money, for example, this would be an option without going through a bank. It could also be a way for you to accrue interest on any money you want to keep dormant for the duration of a loan term. Much better interest rates than in a bank, PLUS we’re keeping all the money in the peer-to-peer network with the security of encryption. This means if you borrow money from a human, that human will receive the interest rather than the bank.
6. Tokenization of the arts industry cuts out middlemen.
We are seeing more and more coins and platforms that are related to the art industry. Everything from allowing partial ownership of artwork, so your investment is in physical artwork through a contract on Blockchain; to be paid by peers for your latest track using blockchain technology. We had a little dig around and suggest these to take a gander at:
Invest in art through blockchain. It is as if you bought shares on very famous fine artworks.
Store your cryptos in physical wallets (unhackable, but steal-able) in the shape of visual artworks.
Send an artwork, receive a token. An artwork is created by joining 1000 submissions through Image processing.
For a rundown on how tokenization can help independent artists in the music industry.
17 existing platforms you can get into as an independent artist OR consumer of music to support the industry without middlemen.
NOTE: Momentom Collective is not a registered broker, analyst, investment advisor, or anything of that sort. All information provided is purely for guidance purposes. All information contained herein should be independently verified and confirmed. We do not accept any liability for any losses caused in reliance upon such information. Please be aware of the risks involved with any trading done in any financial market. Do not trade with money that you cannot afford to lose. When in doubt, you should consult a qualified financial advisor before making any investment decisions.
Visit our partners page to see more information about SEEDS.