If you’re aware of the risks and still willing to take the plunge, this is what you need to know about investing in bitcoin: Cryptocurrencies exist in an unregulated, decentralized digital sphere without involvement by (or protection via) a central bank. This is part of bitcoin’s appeal. People or entities can buy and sell cryptocurrency anonymously, and there are fewer middlemen taking a cut of transactions. But it also means you can’t just buy bitcoin via mainstream investing tools like a brokerage account.
You would have heard of Bitcoin and the ‘altcoins.’ How this naming convention started was because back in the days of 2011, forks of Bitcoin appeared in the markets. The forks, or clones, each aspire to serve a niche area, aiming to be ‘better’ than Bitcoin. Since then countless new crypto has emerged, eroding away Bitcoin’s crypto market cap dominance. These altcoins are gaining market share at an alarming speed. Ten times or more growth has been observed in a time span as short as six weeks (see PIVX, an altcoin).
Trezor will keep your coins safe because the device itself is immune to hacking by design, and never exposes your private keys (the passwords to your accounts, essentially), even if your computer is infected by malware and is logging all your typing/passwords, or is specifically scanning for private keys, or is engaging in any other form of sneaky bad behavior.
But even with many success stories surrounding bitcoin investments, seasoned investors are voicing caution. Billionaire entrepreneur Mark Cuban and "Oracle of Omaha" Warren Buffett warn of bitcoin's volatility. Legendary investor and index fund mogul Jack Bogle, at a recent Council on Foreign Relations event, told the audience, "Avoid bitcoin like the plague."
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Because we believe the cryptocurrency market to be quite volatile, having a defensive portfolio to counter that volatility is good. 50% of my portfolio is low risk (compared to crypto risk management), which means that it will be holding Bitcoin for the long term, because it has a lot of longevity. It is the oldest cryptocurrency in the space, and is the first coin that newcomers are likely to invest in because of the exposure it regularly gets in the press.
Bitcoin was the investing story of 2017, with prices of the cryptocurrency soaring into the stratosphere. That success lured many bitcoin investors into the market at what proved to be a short-term top, and since the beginning of the year, bitcoin has lost about half its value and is down more than 65% from its highest levels. Some see bitcoin's pullback as proof that the cryptocurrency craze is over, while others think it could represent yet another in a long line of buying opportunities following major pullbacks.
Returning to the question of calculating potential investment upside here, there are countless other ways to make projections on the future potential value of bitcoin, and I encourage you to try to make some depending on your personal beliefs regarding the level of success bitcoin might have, and the ultimate utility it might provide to the world. For instance, if you see bitcoin primarily as a way to simplify making international transactions and cut out inefficiencies there, you might look to see what the overall market size is for a solution that might solve that problem and capture that market. Western Union, as one example, is a company with a market cap of $9 billion. Consequently, it might be reasonable to expect that bitcoin’s true ultimate value would be something roughly in that order of magnitude, if this were to be bitcoin’s one true long term use case.
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