Bitcoin Liquidity: Why Are we so Stingy?
The problem I am observing lately is that there are many different markets by which I can earn bitcoin, yet there aren’t many who are willing to spend their bitcoin in these markets so it’s sometimes a desert for opportunities (I can find you a developer in “X” with less than 5 minutes of effort; try doing the reverse and finding that same said developer some work involving “X” for bitcoin; good luck). It’s a shame because Bitcoin could bring much success to the world by engaging in and fostering liquidity markets for wealth distribution so that the common competent web worker may earn a reasonable income through the production of his or her goods and services (and not be subjected to sub $1 per hour wage levels.)
Also Read: Bitcoin in Business: Risk Management
The Importance of Liquidity in any Market
What is a liquidity market? I would say it is the value represented by the earning potential that a person can prospectively earn within any given marketplace – We see the reverse so often in real life as stores or even salesmen – a collection of goods or services grouped together so that we can spend less time moving and more time shopping around, accruing goods…why do you think they do this? It’s obvious that they see pools of individuals with purchasing power as ‘liquidity markets’. With the dawn of the digital age, we have seen a transition to an online marketplace ecosystem instead of shopping across town for non-consumable articles such as clothing or electronics or jewelry. When was the last time you did shopping on amazon? Now ask when did you last purchase the thing you bought on Amazon in a local store? See how long ago it has been in most cases? The internet itself is the liquidity market for vendors, but it seems to not be the case for Bitcoin oriented entrepreneurs who would rather spend fiat.
Within peer to peer systems there are always means to see how strong the stream (Quality) is so you can make the value judgement of whether or not your time is worthwhile to invest in procuring said digital resource. Think of seeds vs leeches in torrents. Yet as I stated earlier, the market is oversaturated with sellers, but not buyers. So we have a terrible ratio of too few earning opportunities despite the large level of markets available to earn from. I’ve mentioned myself the lures of jobs4bitcoin, satoshibox, honeybadgr, angel-list and yet it’s still somewhat barren for earning income (for the average less than ample skills employee). Those opportunities work well for the hiring manager but do not bode well for the end-worker looking to earn a digital wage in the 21st century (compared to the likes of upwork).
Part of the problem I believe comes from a lack of transparency for how many users may be engaged within any given network. I’m sure this is a problem far reaching and beyond the realm of cryptocurrency – and yet its intensified here due to the common ‘hoarding’ nature of bitcoin users. Who want’s to be holding the bag on a 10 million dollar pizza or 20 Million dollar home (that you paid $250K for worth of BTC that one time in 2016.) The level of fear of not wanting to lose future value is what causes the ‘Hodl!!!’ call. Though, I have a proposed solution – we should create block explorers or data aggregators for all the potential markets – give a way for an outsider to quickly observe whether or not a market for earning exists for them!
Maybe that sounds crazy or un-necessary? I disagree, for these reasons: Bitcoin exchanges seem to work well because their potential liquidity is transparent – traders can learn or at least observe if there are buying or selling opportunities available. Bitcoin services need show this ‘liquidity’ so that participants know whether or not they are wasting time using their service. Bitcoin based opportunities are often eschewed by the idea then forgotten, if we had a track record of how the various powered by bitcoin services proliferated, we could better gage how the technology is utilized by the masses and use this information to improve the technology further.
I felt the consequences of wasting time blindly wondering if it was even worthwhile through using services such as Lighthouse, JoinMarket, Drop Zone, Streamium, and Open Bazaar. I think that both Dropzone and Joinmarket have Live Orderbook features available (a type of block or transactions explorer…again..that would work fabulously for these various bitcoin-powered™ alternate to fiat service markets – for instance Purse.io shows a liquidity market whenever you attempt to earn BTC – when you use their service as they intended, you are indirectly creating a liquidity market for BTC. Why can’t the various liquidity markets show the statistics of providers to buyers? One immediate example that comes to mind is the jobs4bitcoins market. It is more often than not filled with sellers of services rather than with users in the market looking for services to be completed. The ratio to earn vs spend is missing and should be filled in.
I’ve had my own custom search for bitcoin setup for years now but even that has an equal draw of strictly localized and false/scam level resources. I’m afraid that what we’re having are desert markets where many different people offer an exchange of goods and services for coin but not many buyers aren’t in the market spending coin as opposed to fiat. Not so much for lack of traditional alternatives available so much as that the greater market offers far more opportunities than purely BTC does at this time, particularly because the community has been more apt to save than to spend.
This is the incorrect mentality if you earn a full time income – you should spend your BTC as you would have spent the cash and use the cash to replenish the BTC (especially if you are able to replace a necessity such as filters, clothing, heating, or consumables). Use your standard income to replenish your BTC supply and spend it often (for this is currency to be distributed, not simply held). As you become more familiar with usage, it’s also easier to discuss the pros and cons and experiences with others. I’ve had my fair share of experience with different wallets but don’t know how to best convey holders of bitcoin to become recyclers of bitcoin to allow the community to flourish. Hopefully me drawing attention to this helps.
Do you shop online with BTC? Where do you think we need improvements in what we can buy with BTC? Let us know in the comments below!