In mid 2017, investors were all hot and bothered by Bitcoin. Many were looking for ways to get exposure through more traditional routes, like their brokerage account or retirement plan. One of the few ways to achieve this, was through the Grayscale Bitcoin Investment Trust. The trust was actually established in 2013, but there wasn't much talk about it until just last year.
Beyond that, for most people, the best (i.e. simplest) way to invest in bitcoin starts with setting up a cryptocurrency wallet. Some of the better-known sites where you can do this are Coinbase, Bitstamp and Bitfinex, although there are a number of other platforms out there, as well. Once you establish an account, connect it to your payment source — a bank account or a credit or debit card — via two-factor authentication. Of note: It’s important to use a tool like Google Authenticator rather than just relying on text-based authentication, which can be more vulnerable to cybertheft, when investing in bitcoin.
As the Chicago Board Options Exchange launched cash-settled Bitcoin futures trading on December 11, and their rivals Chicago Mercantile Exchange followed suit six day later, prices of both BTC derivatives and the coin itself surged amid an unprecedented wave of publicity. Each Cboe contract was for one Bitcoin, while each CME futures represented five. Both enabled traders to take either long (agreement to buy) or short (agreement to sell) positions, meaning that investors could bet on both increase and decline of Bitcoin price.
Second: Investment in cryptocurrency isn’t something to be taken lightly. It’s extremely risky, extremely speculative, and extremely early stage still at this point in time. Countless speculators and day traders have lost their entire fortunes trading cryptocurrency. I was no different when I first started investing in crypto. The first $5000 I put into crypto fell almost immediately to less than $500 — a net loss of over 90%.
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.
Retailer Acceptance – A cryptocurrency isn’t much of use if you can’t purchase anything with it, so before you invest in it, it’s very important to know who and where it was accepted. Some coins are simply built for other purposes and they aren’t designed to be exchanged for goods. Some of the popular cryptocurrencies are widely accepted just like Bitcoin, while some cryptocurrencies can only be exchanged for other cryptocurrencies.
Bitcoin (BTC) has been engaged in a predictable up and down pattern where it absolutely crashes at the beginning of any year and then sky-rockets as the year nears its end. Bitcoin held steady at around $19,000 in December 2017, and then sure enough – crashed big time to around $6,000 at the beginning of 2018. At the time of writing, March 8th 2018, the price of Bitcoin is relatively stable between $10,000 and $12,000. In my opinion, the price will run again soon.
It’s been a difficult task to evaluate which cryptocurrency scams are run by people, but now we have to deal with an army of scam bots. The security software company Duo Security have discovered over 15,000 bots working through automated Twitter profiles coming together to try to perpetuate cryptocurrency scams. These bots are a nuisance, spreading spam and malware, as well as infiltrating online discussions.
Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are continuing to rise in popularity, drawing both first-time and experienced investors. While the process to buy and sell Bitcoin has been simplified over the past few years, many people still find it confusing. With banks, credit card issuers, and governments worldwide getting involved with rules and regulations on how the currency can be bought and used, it’s no wonder some people are wary to invest in cryptocurrencies.
NEW YORK, April 2, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Grayscale Investments, LLC, in its role as agent (the "Agent") of the shareholders of record as of January 8, 2018 (the "Record Date Shareholders") of Bitcoin Investment Trust (OTCQX: GBTC) (the "Trust"), announced today that, on behalf of the Record Date Shareholders, it has irrevocably abandoned all of the rights to Bitcoin Segwit2X tokens distributed to the Record Date Shareholders on January 8, 2018.
Investing in cryptocurrencies and Initial Coin Offerings ("ICOs") is highly risky and speculative, and this article is not a recommendation by Investopedia or the writer to invest in cryptocurrencies or ICOs. Since each individual's situation is unique, a qualified professional should always be consulted before making any financial decisions. Investopedia makes no representations or warranties as to the accuracy or timeliness of the information contained herein. As of the date this article was written, the author owns no cryptocurrencies.
If you don’t have an account at TD Ameritrade, you need to open an account and select that you plan to actively trade during the sign-up process. You will need to request that margin and options trading be added to your account before you can apply for futures. Please keep in mind that the full process may take 5-6 business days. Once you have been granted futures approval, contact the Futures Desk at 866-839-1100 or email us to request access to /XBT.