by | Jan 6, 2022 | Newsletters

Last Updated: January 6, 2022

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On January 3rd, 2009, the first Bitcoin block was mined. At the time, a single Bitcoin was worthless—representing mere ones and zeros on a network that no one yet understood. 

Fast forward exactly 13 years and one Bitcoin is now worth over US$46,000 per coin. It is the official currency of a sovereign state (El Salvador), is supported by companies such as Microsoft, Tesla, and AT&T, and has a market value of about $1 trillion

In the last month alone, many exciting cryptocurrency developments have hit the news. 

For example, a Manhattan casino project valued at $3 billion will include a gigantic crypto-trading floor. The retail giant GameStop now accepts BTC and Dogecoin (DOGE) as payments. Myanmar’s government in exile has adopted Tether, the world’s largest stablecoin, as its official currency in order to fight against the country’s military dictatorship.  

All of these developments occurred in December alone. Industries such as gaming and retail are embracing cryptocurrency in numbers we’ve never seen before, and the liberating potential of decentralized finance has yet again been proven by Myanmar’s adoption of Tether to fund its resistance efforts. 

Plus, environmentally-conscious blockchain projects are under rapid development. An era of “green” cryptocurrency looks like it’s finally here as projects such as Polkadot (DOT), Cardano (ADA), and Fantom (FTM) consume as little as 0.000003 kWh per transaction. 

Chart displaying popular sources of energy consumption

Source: Hass McCook (1 kWh = 0.000 000 001 TWh) 

Cryptocurrency critics like to point out Bitcoin’s high carbon footprint. However, the entire Bitcoin industry emits less than one-fifth of the greenhouse gases that bank branches and cash ATMs do worldwide. As the crypto market continues to mature, the ascent of environmentally-friendly crypto projects will likely disarm blockchain’s environmental critics. 

Right now, Bitcoin and the altcoin market appear to be on a steady upward trajectory. Not only is the technology maturing, but institutional interest is finally piquing. 

From Citibank and UBS to Standard Chartered and BNP Paribas, the crypto market benefited from a massive influx of institutional capital in 2021 that sent the value of digital assets soaring. In the last year, the value of Bitcoin rose +43% and the altcoin market accelerated at an even faster pace. 

All the while, precious metals are selling at a discount after both gold (-4%) and silver (-14.5%) took losses on the year. Bitcoin’s success story dominated the news in 2021, making it easy to miss that gold, silver, and platinum are now in a much better growth position for the year ahead.

Amid all the uncertainty in the market right now—from an erratic stock market to runaway inflation, perpetual deficit spending, and even a potential Chinese recession—investors may want to consider moving some of their wealth to safer pastures. 

A cryptocurrency IRA can help you do just that. The top Bitcoin IRA companies aren’t limited to tax-advantaged Bitcoin investing; the most reputable providers also offer a large variety of altcoins such as Ethereum and Cardano, and precious metals such as gold and silver. 


Mark Turner

Mark Turner is an author and editor at Sophisticated Investor. He has over two decades of experience in the financial industry as a broker in both Chicago and New York and has written for several top tier publications. He currently covers the topics of alternative investments, geopolitical events, US economy, portfolio diversification and others.