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My mother once told me that if you put a frog in a pot of cold water and slowly bring the water to a boil, the frog would cook. But if you drop a frog in boiling water, it will leap out. I’m sharing my mother’s sage wisdom with you so that you take note of the rising heat and start your ascent up the side of the pot.

If you’re like most professionals, you’ve likely read an article or two about Bitcoin, but aren’t sure if it’s relevant to you. Below are 5 things you need to know about Bitcoin to avoid getting cooked:

1) Bitcoin is here today. It’s not some futuristic opportunity. It’s being used every day. Over 5 million wallets hold Bitcoin today, an increase of over 7x compared to this time last year. And almost 100,000 merchants accept Bitcoin today, with another 1000 being added each week.

2) If you don’t advise your clients about Bitcoin, someone else will. As the Bitcoin Barometer notes, clients are turning to their traditional advisors for insight on Bitcoin. If they receive shoulder shrugs or surface-level regurgitations of media headlines, they’ll go to another advisor for a better answer.

3) The NextGen is all about Bitcoin. Is your firm spending marketing dollars to reach younger clients? Offer something relevant to them – insight on a currency that is relevant to the way they live their lives.  As Coindesk reported, a recent Accenture study found that milllennials and the wealthy are today the most likely to be using bitcoin.  Paper money has as much relevance to millennials as stamps.

4) Bitcoin is going to make banking an optional service. I’m not going to argue here that banks will be put out of business by Bitcoin, as some people may still find the services they provide to be useful. But banks will become an option, not a requirement, for businesses and individuals in the coming 10 years. If bankers want to stay relevant, they’ll need to provide more value added services for fewer fees.

5) The water isn’t even boiling yet, but it is getting warmer every day. Bitcoin is still in its infancy. Only a fraction of the world’s population has adopted it. The largest companies in the ecosystem have less than 60 employees. But the pace of growth is extraordinary. Imagine if you learned about the banking sector when the largest banks had only 60 employees?

I’ve questioned many times whether yesterday’s “rules” are being followed by tomorrow’s “fools”. And I know that many of you reading this post will cite a rule or guideline that leads you to be skeptical about Bitcoin or your participation in the digital currency economy. The water your sitting in is not boiling, in fact its quite tepid. If you take the initiative to learn about the new and exciting rules of the digital currency economy – which will impact us all over the coming years – you’ll see the benefit and not get cooked.

Digital Currencies are here to stay. Those who resist will miss the opportunity presenting itself. Followers may adapt over time.

I established the Digital Currency Council to work with the leaders. It’s the leaders – those who embrace digital currencies early and adapt to the coming changes first – who will build the premier professional platforms of tomorrow.


* The Digital Currency Council (DCC) does not advocate on policy matters. Any policy positions taken by David Berger are his personal positions only and do not reflect the position of the DCC.

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