Millennials have made their mark on the global economy by rebelling against the patterns that their parents helped establish years ago.
Buy a home. Start a family. Stay in one job for the long-haul.
This generation has different ideas about how they want to live their lives.
The information age that ushered in unprecedented access to people and ideas, and the financial market collapse that shook the foundations of society…these events taught Millennials the only constant is change.
So it’s no surprise that they have taken the same approach with their money. There has been a scrupulous reassessment of the standard recipe for building wealth.
Traditional markets are just that — traditional. For Millennials, this is no longer sufficient. The rise of cryptocurrency has introduced an attractive alternative, and they want in.
Why? They don’t trust corporations.
Compared to the stock exchanges and the first securities instruments, cryptocurrency (first introduced in 2009) is still in its infancy. Bitcoin debuted just as the financial markets were beginning their long recovery, and Millennials have not forgotten their parents losing their jobs and nest-eggs.
It’s clear that the one institution that has really failed them is investment banking. Instead of supporting an industry that they largely distrust, they opt instead to place their hard-earned money with socially conscious brands.
Reports of American CEOs flying corporate planes to testify in Congress, and Wall Street executives keeping astronomical bonuses still resound. Investment bankers and the greed they represent have drawn particular disdain from Millennials.
For a generation learning how “to adult,” they want to protect their finances from the practices they believe have undermined so many.
Although virtual and cost-conscious alternatives to the standard financial advisor have emerged in recent years, they seem disinterested in mutual funds, stocks and bonds.
Millennials are putting their access to knowledge to work for them. They draw inspiration from peers like Mark Zuckerberg, Jessica Alba and Evan Spiegel. They are watching brands like Spotify transform the music industry, and Tinder disrupt dating culture. Disruption is the new way to do business.
Although branded by Boomers as entitled and lazy, Millennials have incorporated side-hustles to their nights and weekends that will subsidize their futures. Above all, they want their lives to have meaning. Building products that add value for underserved populations is a key conduit for those impulses.
Part of rejecting traditional career patterns has been to cast aside aspersions about at what age and what level of expertise they should find success.
The potential to make an impact, earlier, is theirs for the taking: Millennials are “starting more companies, managing bigger staffs, and targeting higher profits than their baby boomer predecessors,” according to the 2016 BNP Paribas Global Entrepreneur Report. They see cryptocurrencies as a vessel for this sea change.
There is strength in numbers.
The oldest Millennials saw the explosion in digital products and services and witnessed first-hand the rise of the digital age; the youngest were born into it. They understand and appreciate that they are intrinsically connected to their peers from around the globe.
Their innate digital proficiency is one factor pushing them into the cryptospace at the ground level. According to a recently conducted Twitter poll by John McAfee, “48% of crypto investors fall between the ages of 18 to 30.” By contrast, according to Gallup, the percentage of Americans ages 18 to 29 who own stocks is on the decline faster than any other age group.
The excitement is growing, too. A recent study from the Bank of Korea found that “40% of young adults [are] eager to possess cryptocurrencies,” and stories of college students mining bitcoin abound. Cryptocurrencies are the investment vehicle for digital natives.
Next year, American Millennials are set to overtake Baby Boomers as the largest living population, according to Pew Research. And as they have done so far, they will continue to make or break industries according to how they serve their needs.
The sky’s the limit.
Millennials are still at the beginning of their careers, but life is moving fast. They don’t want to take a wait and see approach to investing, crawling inch by inch until they accumulate just enough money to retire.
As in other aspects of their lives, they are embracing technology to change the way the world works. Harnessing disruptive technology like cryptocurrencies available to them now to build wealth fits the spirit of the generation. As Millennials lead the way, through cryptocurrencies, we believe it’s only a matter of time until older generations follow suit.