While it is only loosely connected to SEO as far as a topic, Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in general exist as part of the online world and are therefor tied to the other mysteries of the internet much like search engine optimization. Attempting to get the message out about what you do or sell through a website or another online platform ties directly into SEO, the marketing medium of choice for many people who utilize the internet for many aspects of their lives. Generationally, people who are now in their fifties are the first ones who ever had the internet as an integral part of their lives, and people under twenty-five now have no idea what a life without the internet would be. We have become a culture that is used to being able to gain answers to our questions immediately through a simple Google search, and as a result of this we have become a culture directly effected by SEO nearly every day. Simply put, those who understand how to optimize their websites are the ones who get their information and ideas to be presented to the world, and those who do not understand it have their voices silenced. Google cannot understand what is “truth” but instead can only understand what the majority of people say is truth. When those people are presented with only information limited to the “truth” of those who can optimize their websites for search questions, we begin to see a world where the validity of something is overtaken by the collective beliefs of a crowd. This probably seems like a stretch to apply to simple things like trying to get your business website to outrank your competition so that you sell more or your products, but the concept remains the same.
Even though SEO for most businesses is localized in nature and you are attempting to only speak to those who have the ability to actually purchase your products, the globalization aspect still remains. Basically, if you are important world wide then you are also important locally, so aside from the use of specific localization techniques like “Google My Business,” inclusions of area information in content, and use of profiles on local websites SEO is actually done the same way globally as it is locally. The process of SEO works the same if you are trying to be seen by the whole world or just in your local area, with a few minor differences. Because of the overwhelming majority of SEO work taking place through the internet, an SEO company can perform it’s duties for a person or business that is located anywhere in the world. This brings us to cryptocurrencies and Bitcoin.
Bitcoin s the currency that many internet-based businesses must utilize if they are to easily take payments from clients who are located elsewhere in the world. In many cases a credit card payment will also work, which is then subjected to currency conversion fees, essentially making them valid but expensive and difficult. Bitcoin is positioned to potentially solve these types of issues by creating a single, global currency system that is not subjected to the physical borders of the area that the client or the company is located. It is also the currency that can pay employees of virtual businesses who are located elsewhere in the world, without the complications associated with currency conversion. Since SEO is a digital business in nearly all aspects, it needs a digital currency to help facilitate the processes involved. But Bitcoin has issues, and as a result it is relatively difficult to accept Bitcoin as a payment form even though it makes complete sense. We accept Bitcoin as payment, and our process is to process a Bitcoin payment by generating the invoice with an immediate due time, based upon conversion into American dollars. This is because we still need to be able to bill for an amount that can translate into the things we will buy with our local currency, rent, food, utilities etc. The Bitcoin amount that the client pays is invoiced for at the moment they are going to process the payment, and is directly tied to the value of a Bitcoin at that moment compared to American dollars. Until the time comes that we can utilize Bitcoin for simple daily things and can understand how much Bitcoin i necessary to purchase those things, then we are still going to have to deal with conversion rates to FIAT.
The current problems that Bitcoin has are associated with exchanges, and people purchasing Bitcoin as an investment. The large portion of this discussion has become an issue only this last year, when the market was flooded by people who have never used Bitcoin as a currency, and who have no intention of ever doing so. Basically, Bitcoin went viral this year and as a result the value is not stable enough to accept it as a currency, which is what it was intended for. On a day to day basis, Bitcoin’s value compared to a local currency might swing by thousands of dollars and therefor making it difficult to put a value on the work it is paying for, or the services it is buying. All we can really do is look at it in terms of the time it might take to process the payment to the wallet, then transfer that Bitcoin to an exchange to convert it to dollars. Only during that period of a few hours can we put a specific Bitcoin value on the SEO work we are doing for a client. For example, if a client is paying $1,000 per month for 10 hours of SEO work, the Bitcoin that they will pay with must be valued at $1,000 for the time period it will take to convert it into dollars. If a Bitcoin is worth $10,000 yesterday and $5,000 today, you can see how the same client could be paying half or double the amount based upon a 24 hour difference. This doesn’t help the discussion of global adoption as a currency, because first and foremost people need to understand how much something costs. The easiest method to making this understandable at the current time is requiring the transfer of a specific amount of Bitcoin within a specific period of time. If that amount of time expires without the payment, it must be recalculated.
Bur why is Bitcoin’s price and value so volatile, and why does it change so much? Simply put, it is because Bitcoin is the “hail mary” of people between 35 and 60. This generation (or generations) of people has largely failed to accumulate wealth the way previous generations did. The reasons can be debated, ranging from a rigged economic system to a lack of values or common sense to essentially being robbed, but the fact of the matter is that most people in this age group have a little bit of money but not enough to live on if they were to stop working. As they see themselves aging and becoming less and less in demand in the workplace, they begin to seek ways to get enough money to cover their bills after they cannot work any more. What used to be a “get rich quick” mentality so that you could take vacations and drive a Bentley has now become “get rich or you might not survive.” This generation is not seeing Bentleys for themselves, they are seeking the ability to be secure that they will not be living on the street when they are seventy. We gravitate to the promises of potentially creating a nest egg without putting in thirty years at a job, simply because we don’t have thirty years any more, we need to do this now. For many of these people, Bitcoin is the last hope. Bitcoin is the “hail mary.”
For people unfamiliar with the term, the “hail mary” is a pass in football. It happens when a team is losing the game and time is running out. They do not have enough time to attempt to score in the typical way, so they try one last play before they lose. The quarterback basically throws the ball as far as he can and hopes that a member of hes team catches it and scores. The play has nearly no strategy, and almost no chance of actually winning the game, but it is all you have left. For this generation who has seen their savings disappear through multiple crisis-es, ones that stole our homes and our investments, Bitcoin has become the hail mary. As more and more people became aware of Bitcoin, and heard about people who had bought a lot of Bitcoin years ago only to wake up to it being worth millions of dollars, they wanted to get their piece of it. The value of Bitcoin is based on the demand for it and the fact that there is no more being made, so as it becomes more popular it becomes more valuable. The demand is literally created through marketing, and making people aware that it exists. As the value of a Bitcoin compared to a local currency went up, people flooded the market buying Bitcoin on exchanges and making it even more scarce. The problem is that they are buying something that they do not trust or understand, and as a result they are afraid of it. They are presented with the following understanding, “this thing you just bought is not a physical thing you can hold in your hand. It is in demand right now, but might lose all of it’s value tomorrow, for any number of reasons.” Because of this terrifying prospect, people buy and sell the Bitcoin they own based upon news they read on the internet or hear in conversation. The guy on Reddit who claims that he has analyzed a chart of performance and is predicting a crash panics people into selling. The girl at a party you met who bought fifty dollars worth of Bitcoin as a joke three years ago and is now sitting on over a million dollars makes you feel like you are missing out, so you buy. The problem is that this creates mass panic or mass adoption, and as a result the prices of Bitcoin swing wildly based upon complete speculation.
SEO is the business of getting your client’s websites noticed over all of their competition. It is the business of using the methods of communication that reach people to get the information the client wants presented to be heard. Bitcoin prices are manipulated by people with these motivations, who want to increase or decrease the value by manipulating the information that is presented, and causing the masses to act in a certain way that will benefit them. They use Reddit, Twitter, Telegram or a million other websites to distribute information that may or may not be false, and literally has almost no system of checks behind it. You are following the ones that you have put faith and trust into, and hoping they steer you in the right direction. You have no intention of spending your Bitcoin to purchase a cup of coffee or a pizza, and instead you are only seeing it as the value it has compared to your local currency. Until this attitude can vbe changed globally, Bitcoin is not a currency, it is only a commodity.