Millennials are now moving into positions of junior responsibility, with some of them even running a country.
They at a stage where they probably know their job fairly well, and might even be experts in it. Which means they getting decent pay and might have some savings.
The more sensible of them might even be thinking of pensions, with some more ambitious ones thinking the unthinkable: how to save enough for a house.
The usual port of call is a bank to see how they might get a piece of the stock market action. If they manage to get through the logging process, then they might find there’s a lot of work and calculations to do.
First, they need a certain minimum invested every month. That will take some maths. Then, they need to figure out what these yearly management fees are, what are all these other charges for every purchase or sale of stocks, what yearly gain they hope to make and whether any will be left at the end of it after everyone takes their cut.
Now, as if to make sure they actually do not go ahead with it, they’ll probably be asked to send a copy of their passport and proof of address by mail. Yes, they know perfectly well just how scared millennials are of the post office, so you just send it to your savings account and see the value of your money go down.
That’s, of course, if this was still 2007, because what is more likely in this decade is that you read somewhere about this crypto stuff which it so happens to have no management account fees, minuscule trading fees, no minimum investment amounts, and so on.
Why let it get inflated away, you’d think. Park it in the crypto world. If it burns, it’s only 20%-30% of savings anyway. And since this crypto world is made by millennials, they have ensured no part has anything to do with the post office at all.
But this is crypto 1.0. What is a lot more fascinating and underway is tokenization. Real ownership of stocks is quite a rare thing because no one wants to print stock certificates and send them everywhere. But what if the certificate is just a piece of code, a token.
Possession of the token, just as possession of the paper certificate, means ownership. Unlike the paper, it can’t be forged. It can’t be burned either, although private keys can be lost. It is auditable. Easy to unnoticeably issue far more “legitimate” certificates than there are meant to be, but you can’t really with tokens.
That’s just upgrading what is. Turning the stock market from an inaccessible thing where buying actual real stock – as opposed to just a number on the screen – is almost impossible, to one where buying a stock is like opening a word document. Something instantly there, easily movable to anywhere, and very much real as well as completely yours.
On top, there is upgrading what wasn’t. Shared ownership has gained some popularity of sorts, but it’s still limited to 2-3 people per house. Now, you can break down the house into a million little pieces for almost no cost as eventually there will probably be templates you just download.
That means you can effectively buy a house, well a little bit of it, with just $50, $500 or however much you want, one cent. And it’s real, it’s yours. You can have that little grain, or that room, or whatever.
This could have implications for renting because although a whole house might not be affordable, one could potentially afford a room, which thus they can buy instead of renting.
Of course such level of convenience is not a low hanging fruit. It would involve land registries, deeds, and the rest, getting up with the times a bit so that a token itself means ownership of actual physical things, but one can easily see it going there.
For now, soonish in any event, what is coming is tokenized property as investment. There are projects working on doing the same but for art, oil, whisky, or whatever you want. You could think movie rights, music, books, every single thing of value really.
Including start-ups, which can be the most interesting aspect, especially for individuals in the millennial age group who can afford some reasonably high level of risk.
Previously it was almost impossible to fund start-ups, although we all hear of their stupendous success stories. There were crowdfundings, but it’s not quite the same as having a token ownership you can sell and buy any time you like.
The stock market is meant to facilitate it, but so being limited to paper they can’t really scale beyond big corporate giants. Not least because costs for an IPO stand at some $5 million, while for a fully SEC regulated ICO allowing a sale to the public it’s at “just” $100,000.
So even established companies, if they care about their shareholders in any event and don’t want to throw away $5 million, might opt more and more towards ICOs.
Not just because of the costs, but also because the ICO market is arguably a lot bigger as it is a lot more accessible, and dividends can be issued far more easily, even automatically, with tokens having quite a distinctive, more “real” quality to it, than just a piece of paper.
The next google therefore will probably be a platform that allows one to easily and intuitively manage the quick finding of key information regarding a stupendously diverse class of assets.
Bloomberg sort of tries to do it for traditional investments, but they’re not very accessible. You need something… millennial.
While the next Facebook might be the DAO platform, which facilitates tokenholders binding votes on actual investments they have made and on executive decisions they might have to make.
So making investing a lot more interesting, and even quite a lot of fun, and a community. A thing that’s part of us, and that we control fully, and can change things for a lot better.
Image courtesy of cointelegraph.