Not so long ago I posted an intro story about crypto world. I did get a lot of questions from my readers asking how to actually buy cryptocurrencies and which ones to get.
At the time of writing the price of bitcoin was around 4K and I was waiting for the bank transfer to clear so I could get some at that price. A few days later, once the money transfer completed, the bitcoin price was 6K and I decided to wait a bit and see if it goes down again.
Checking it today and the
price of bitcoin at time of writing is 10K! It’s actually 17K! as this post was sitting in my Draft folder for a few weeks. Hard to believe, right…?
By the way, the site that I use to quickly check crypto prices and other vital metrics like trading volume, market cap and supply amount is called coinmarketcap.com.
Many people think cryptocurrency is a scam or a bubble or god knows what else. Fortunately, I do have quite a few connections in the crypto space and after chatting with those guys for a bit, I do believe that bitcoin is set to hit 25K within a year or even sooner than that.
Big funds are about to start pouring money into this new market to capitalize on the trends and that will naturally increase prices for the whole crypto market.
2018 Update: Multiple ETFs were already launched, by the way, and the big money are coming in already.
I think it’s a bit too late to ride Bitcoin train. Yeah, those who acted fast and bought it when it was around 2-5K are in for a fun wild ride, but for the rest of us, it’s just too capital intensive and risky at the current prices. The gain is just not there. Even if Bitcoin hits 25K it will be just 100% gain, which is very bleak compared to other opportunities on the market. Plus it will likely tie in a bunch of capital. Not something that I would want.
2018 Update: When I say 100% gain is bleak, that’s because one of the coins in my portfolio called Ripple just produced 1500% gain in a matter of two weeks! That means if you would invest 1K at 24 cents, it would be 15k today…
If you’ve been following the crypto market you know that there are a lot of different coins besides Bitcoin. The important thing to remember is that blockchain technology is what delivers value and those different coins (including bitcoin itself) are just different kinds of blockchain technology.
Bitcoin just happened to gain a lot of attention because it was one of the first ones to hit the market, but there are A LOT of pretty interesting offerings out there.
What’s blockchain technology?
Without going into too many details blockchain is a type of distributed database which uses cryptography to sign every transaction (record).
Distributed means there is no single computer that processes incoming transactions. The blockchain is a network of computers around the world where each one of them keeps the entire copy of the database. Those computers can belong to anybody. The people who decide to join their computers to particular blockchain are called miners. I bet you heard this term before.
All new transactions are broadcasted to the entire network and multiple computers (nodes) can process those in parallel. The fastest node who verifies the transaction and adds it to the blockchain wins and gets the commission/reward. Maybe in the future, I’ll write a bit more about the specifics of blockchain operation for particular coins, but for now my simplified explanation should suffice 🙂
Strong cryptography is used because by design blockchain is built on top of the untrusted environment. Just think about it, pretty much everybody can connect to the network and start processing transactions. It’s a bit scary to think about it, but that’s the whole beauty of decentralized network.
The other useful property of blockchain is immutability. Omg, what a crazy word right? In the nutshell, it means that unlike traditional databases, you can’t alter or delete transactions once those were added to the chain. The only way to correct the previous transaction is to add the new one.
You can view and verify all transaction on the blockchain which is the last benefit that I’m going to mention it today’s post. For bitcoin, in particular, that means that everybody in the world could trace your money movement between different wallets.
Yes, there are no specific names mentioned in the transaction, but you need to be careful not to expose your connection to the particular wallet, otherwise, hackers may start targeting your computer (or you and your life in general, depending on the amount of money you possess) specifically in order to get your bitcoins.
Note: there are other coins like Monero, ZenCash and PIVX that provide more privacy in transactions if that’s what you are looking for.
Just think about it, since all of the transactions are opened to the entire world, it’s pretty trivial to write a program and find wallets with biggest amounts of bitcoins. The last piece of the puzzle is to associate those wallets with people who own them…
Always keep your wallet keys in a secure place. Change them often (especially if you exposed somewhere) and don’t keep all coins in one wallet. Keep only small amounts on the exchanges. Yes, that means more work, but it def worth it.
Anyway, we got sidetracked a bit, but that’s ok. I hope by now you get a bit better understanding of what blockchain is and how it works in very broad terms. Remember, our goal is to get sufficient information to takes some action.
I know a lot of people prefer to do extensive and deep research in order to understand every little detail before they make any move.
What usually happens is that they rarely do anything and end up just sitting on the sidelines, watch other people doing it and give advice (which is the worst).
In my mind, the best way to learn is by doing and that’s is what I recommend to you guys. You don’t need to invest thousands of dollars, start with a hundred bucks. Take action and I guarantee you will learn much much faster.
How do I get in?
Speaking of action. I hope at this point you are ready to get some coins. Congrats! The process is actually very straightforward.
Before we go there I want to warn you. At the time of writing the crypto market is going nuts. It’s all red basically.
Don’t be scared though, remember this great saying about investing:
Buy low, sell high
I bet everyone heard this sentence before, but yet it’s so hard to follow sometimes. Not going to lie it’s a bit painful to watch the market go down and open positions at the same time.
Remember one thing, the crypto market is very young, the technology might take a few years to become a mainstream, there is no intrinsic value associated with it. It’s Wild Wild West in a way, so you should expect swings like that.
My strategy is longterm investing in technology that drives the crypto market. I do believe that in the future it will disrupt a lot of industries but unfortunately (or actually fortunately, otherwise I would go nuts?) I can’t predict future, so I don’t know exactly when mass adoption will happen.
Just buy and hold – that’s what I do 🙂
Ok ok, here is how you can get those coins – just go to coinbase.com, open an account and you are good to go 🙂 That’s the hands-down simples option.
Sorry if you were waiting for this line this entire time 🙂
One thing to keep in mind – if you are going to use cards to purchase coins, there will be a commission around 4% (check their fees page). The benefit is that you can make the transaction immediately.
There is another way that I use personally. You can link your bank account and then move money to coinbase for free. The downside is that you have to wait about 5 business days before the money show up your account.
I missed some good opportunities to open positions on multiple occasions because I was waiting for my bank transfer to complete…
It is a balancing act and you need to decide for yourself depending on a situation.
Oh yes, the coinbase website also has a third option – a wire transfer. I didn’t use this option personally but it supposed to be the fast and reasonably priced way to add money to your account. You will have to pay standard wire fees from your bank (not sure if coinbase will charge something on top of that).
Coinbase has only 4 coins to buy at the time of writing – Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash. It’s designed for simplicity and they must be doing it right because on average they are adding about 100K users a day! Can you imagine that?
What do you do when you want to buy some other coins that could potentially provide you the hockey stick growth patterns (or eat all your money in one swoop)?
First, you need to get Bitcoin on Coinbase and then transfer it to some exchange website like bittrex.com where you can exchange Bitcoin for other crypto coins.
Remember, just like with any other investment, diversification is the key! Don’t put all eggs in one basket and you should be fine. I’m not a financial advisor either, do your own homework.
There are also other ways to get your coins going. For example, there are local websites like localbitcoins.com where you can find actual people who will sell or buy crypto for cash, which could be a good option if you don’t want to deal with the banks… Caution though, there are a lot of scams out there in the wild, use your own judgment, meet in public places and check peoples reviews before you do the transaction.
Here is my last recommendation before I check out – don’t watch the market every day, there is no point really. Unless you are a trader or have some new money to allocate. It’s a bit of an addiction and can easily suck all your time and energy. Don’t do it.
Investing in the crypto market should be treated as a very risky asset of your portfolio. Do not obsess over it. It doesn’t replace real work. You still need to find yourself and make the impact in our real world.
Money comes and goes, there will always be plenty of other opportunities.
Just Do You!
What is your story?