A lot can happen in 365 days.
A year ago, 1 BTC was worth $770, governments around the world were either terrified of bitcoin or laughed it off as a passing fad and it was a lot harder to find a place to spend your bitcoins.
Today, you can buy a bitcoin for $316, governments and financial institutions are starting to understand the disruptive potential of the bitcoin protocol and digital currencies, and bitcoin shopping options are no longer limited to alpaca socks.
In the spirit of making resolutions for the new year, members of the bitcoin community should look at 2015 with a fresh perspective. Surely we’ve all gone through the phases of first learning about bitcoin, becoming enamored with the idea of digital currencies and then perhaps even a bit jaded at times.
With that in mind, here are 10 bitcoin resolutions for the new year:
1. Remember why you got into bitcoin in the first place
It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day happenings in the industry and forget about the big picture. This could be demotivating and frustrating at times, but at the end of the day we have to remind ourselves that we’re dedicating our time and energy towards one of the most exciting inventions of our time, and believe it or not, we’re all (still) early adopters.
2. Don’t measure bitcoin by its price
Of course the price of bitcoin is fundamental to its value, but it’s not the only thing that makes bitcoin valuable. Regardless of its price, remember that bitcoin allows you to send money anywhere for next to nothing. Remember that millions of unbanked people around the world have the ability to manage their finances in a stable and secure way for the first time with bitcoin.
3. Try not to get caught up in the media hype – good or bad
Staying up-to-date with the latest in the industry is essential (and I wouldn’t have a job if you didn’t – so please do), but it’s important to remember that while stories like Mt Gox imploding or Microsoft accepting bitcoin do have an effect on the industry, the most important thing with bitcoin is that its core technology stays secure and that people keep using the digital currency.
4. Keep doing your best work for the industry
Whether you work at a bitcoin startup, are building something on the blockchain in your down time or actively spread awareness of bitcoin, stay diligent about consistently doing your best work. This will benefit both you personally and the broader industry, and productivity pays off!
5. Learn more about how bitcoin works
Part of doing your best work for the industry involves being an expert on bitcoin and how it fits into the real world. Maybe you’re a development expert but could devote more time to learning about finance and economics. Or perhaps you know everything about the legal system and how regulation works but ought to better understand how bitcoin works ‘under the hood’. Either way, honing your expertise is a benefit both for you and for bitcoin.
6. Perfect your elevator pitch
It’s important to be able to explain what bitcoin is and how it works in a (somewhat) brief amount of time. Friends, family and strangers will all be curious about this mystical digital currency and will have plenty of questions, so being prepared with a concise and understandable explanation will help you spread awareness in a productive way.
7. Convince others to get involved
Bitcoin is still a grassroots community. Many bitcoiners (myself included) are eager to spread the word about bitcoin to friends and family, and if you’ve followed resolution number six, you’ll have the perfect pitch to spark your audience’s interest.
8. Attend at least one bitcoin conference or meet-up
If you’re not fortunate enough to have friends or family who love bitcoin as much as you, going to a conference or meet-up is a great way to meet others with the same passion as you and to network with people in the industry. Oftentimes meet-ups are a great place to share ideas with fellow entrepreneurs, so if you’ve got a business idea and are looking for co-founders, there’s opportunity to be had.
9. Make an effort to spend bitcoin whenever possible
With daily transaction volume at or near its peak, spending bitcoin wherever possible will only help expand its economy, and paying with bitcoin helps reassure and support merchants who support the industry. It doesn’t have to be a completely selfless action, though – there are plenty of times when paying with bitcoin is just easier than the alternatives.
10. Go outside your comfort zone
However it happens, we should all embrace change – especially considering the amount of change that bitcoin could bring. Whether you’ve always dreamed of leaving your job to get involved with bitcoin full-time or you’ve been hoping to connect with a VC or startup company, avoid complacency in your life. Make smart and well-informed decisions about everything you do, but still take calculated risks if you feel it’s worth it, and go forth with your best foot forward.