It is that time of year again. The short burst of merriment, present-giving and guiltless drinking and eating at Christmas and new year, followed quickly by the solemn vows to be a better person in the new year.
From quitting smoking to doing more exercise and just spending less money, we make the same old new year’s resolutions.
But in the age of bitcoin, perhaps it’s time we thought of some new resolutions. Perhaps it's time that we as bitcoiners made some pledges. Here are five suggestions:
1) Spend some bitcoin
It’s very easy and tempting to simply buy some bitcoin and simply sit on it in the hope that it will be your ticket to wealth in the future. When Norwegian man Kristoffer Koch discovered he had almost a million dollars in a bitcoin wallet he had long forgotten, we all collectively wished it had been us.
But there are more and more businesses out there who are willing to test the cryptocurrency water and if all they find are wannabe investors sipping lemonade on their lilos, unwilling to get wet, they’re going to wonder what the point was.
In 2014, help show the power and relevancy of bitcoin as a payment platform and go support your local bitcoin business.
2) Learn what a cold wallet is and use it
Resolution #1 may have fallen on deaf ears. You may shrug and say: “I’m doing pretty good sipping lemonade on my lilo actually." Furthermore, you might have decided to plough some serious money into bitcoin and aren’t interested in frittering it away on beer and Subway sandwiches.
Fair enough, but if you haven’t done so already, put your coins in a cold wallet and keep them there. That way they’ll be safe (obligatory “they’ll be as safe as your practices allow them to be”) from hacker and ne’er do wells. You can find out how here.
3) Introduce 10 people to bitcoin
But in 2014 you can do your bit to help continue its growth into the mainstream. You will be a bitcoin missionary, evangelizing and even televangelizing to recruit more people into the cryptocurrency fold.
Depending on how ambitious you’re feeling, you can set a low target like your non-bitcoining friends. If you’re really up for a challenge, try converting your parents (I speak from a despairing pit of experience).
But if you’re going to make #3 your New Year’s Resolution, you’ll probably need to combine it with #4.
4) Learn how to explain bitcoin in a minute or less
“Well, it’s a crypto currency and you mine it using computers and …” then the eyes of the person you’re speaking to glaze over and you may as well be explaining Austrian economics to a dog.
If you have ever tried to explain bitcoin to someone who has never heard about it before, you’ll know that if you aren’t careful, it’s really easy to lose them in a forest of strange jargon that no-one really comes across in their day-to-day lives.
So this year, make it your mission to train yourself in the art of explaining what bitcoin is and why it matters. Find explanations that make it intuitive (see CoinDesk’s introduction to bitcoin to get you started). When you’re done, resolution #3 will seem like a total doddle.
5) Reveal yourself
The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.