While the number of companies and industries that allow cryptocurrencies to be used to pay for goods and services is constantly increasing (you can use Bitcoin to pay for some things on Expedia and Microsoft, for example), the vast majority of people who buy Bitcoin or other popular cryptocurrencies still primarily use them as long-term investments. Cryptocurrencies are a new market (Bitcoin was first introduced less than a decade ago) and therefore an extremely volatile investment. In this pricing graph from Coindesk, you can see how the price of Bitcoin has fluctuated since it first debuted almost a decade ago, down to daily changes in value.
Just like any other currency, you have to have a place to store your Bitcoin, or more accurately, store the private keys you can use to access your Bitcoin. These aren’t the type of wallets you buy at Target, though. The software comes in many different forms, most of which can be downloaded on your smartphone, tablet, or computer desktop. Here are the different types of wallets:
My suggestion is to carefully select five tokens which work on different technologies like multi-chain, scaling, privacy, storage, and DAG. Learn them and hold them. Follow the projects actively on their social channels, get involved and contribute in any way you can. Collect bounties if they are available to increase your position. This way you are protecting your investment, something you can almost never do with traditional investments.

This system holds a lot of advantages even over gold’s natural system of being mined out of the ground. Gold’s mining is effectively random and not dictated by any perfect computer algorithm, and is consequently much more unpredictable in its output at any given moment. If a huge supply of gold is serendipitously found somewhere, it could theoretically dramatically inflate the rate at which gold enters the existing supply, and consequently cause an unanticipated decrease in the unit price of gold.

For investors interested in diversifying into this space I recommend a simple strategy. First, invest only what you are willing to lose. For most this is <1% of their portfolio. Second, spend a massive amount of time understanding the space and the particular asset you are buying before making the purchase. We don’t recommend trading in and out of these assets, so it’s best if you have a strong thesis that can govern your investment decisions. This will not only help accelerate the learning process but will help create a healthier market with a better informed investor base.
Josiah is an assistant editor at CCN. A former ancient and medieval literature teacher, he has been reporting on cryptocurrency since 2014. He lives in rural North Carolina with his wife and children. He holds investment positions in bitcoin and other large-cap cryptocurrencies. Follow him on Twitter @Y3llowb1ackbird or email him directly at josiah.wilmoth(at)ccn.com.
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