Introduction: To Invest in Cryptocurrencies
The first cryptocurrency to emerge was Bitcoin, which was built on Blockchain technology and was probably launched in 2009 by a mysterious person, Satoshi Nakamoto. At the time of writing this blog, 17 million bitcoins have been mined and it is estimated that a total of 21 million bitcoins can be mined. The other most popular cryptocurrencies are Ethereum, Litecoin, Ripple, Golem, Civic and hard forks of Bitcoin such as Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin Gold.
Users are advised not to put all their money into one cryptocurrency and try to avoid investing at the peak of the cryptocurrency bubble. It has been observed that the price suddenly dropped when it was at the top of the crypto bubble. Since cryptocurrency is a volatile market, users should invest the amount they can afford to lose as there is no government control over cryptocurrency as it is a decentralized cryptocurrency.
Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple predicted that Bitcoin is real gold and will dominate all currencies like USD, EUR, INR and ASD in the future and become the world currency in the coming years.
Why and why not invest in cryptocurrencies?
Bitcoin was the first cryptocurrency to emerge and after that around 1600+ cryptocurrencies were launched with some unique features for each coin.
Some of the reasons I experienced and would like to share, cryptocurrencies are built on the decentralized platform – so users don’t require a third party to transfer cryptocurrency from one destination to another, unlike fiat currency where the user needs a platform like a bank to transferring money from one account to another. Cryptocurrency built on very safe blockchain technology and almost zero chance of hacking and stealing your cryptocurrencies as long as you don’t share your important information.
You should always avoid buying cryptocurrencies at the highest point of a cryptocurrency bubble. Many of us buy cryptocurrencies at their peak hoping to make a quick buck and fall prey to the hype of the bubble and lose our money. It is better for users to do a lot of research before investing the money. It is always good to put your money in several cryptocurrencies instead of one as few cryptocurrencies have been observed to grow more, some on average, if other cryptocurrencies go into the red zone.
Cryptocurrencies in focus
In 2014, Bitcoin held 90% of the market and other cryptocurrencies held the remaining 10%. In 2017, Bitcoin still dominated the crypto market, but its share fell sharply from 90% to 38%, and altcoins such as Litecoin, Ethereum, Ripple grew rapidly and took most of the market.
Bitcoin still dominates the cryptocurrency market, but it is not the only cryptocurrency to consider while investing in cryptocurrency. Some of the main cryptocurrencies to consider:
A big one
Where and how to buy cryptocurrencies?
While it was not easy to buy cryptocurrencies a few years ago, now users have many platforms available.
In 2015, India has two main bitcoin platforms Unocoin wallet and Zebpay wallet where users can buy and sell only bitcoins. Users should only buy Bitcoin from the wallet and not from another person. There was a price difference in the buying and selling rate and users had to pay some nominal fee to make their transactions.
In 2017, the cryptocurrency industry grew tremendously and the price of Bitcoin skyrocketed, especially in the last six months of 2017, which forced users to look for alternatives to Bitcoin and crossed 14 lakhs in the Indian market.
As Unodax and Zebpay are the two major platforms in India that dominated the market with 90% of the market share – which only dealt with Bitcoin. This enables other organization to grow with other altcoins and even forced Unocoin and others to add more currencies to their platform.
Unocoin, one of India’s leading cryptocurrency and blockchain companies, has launched an exclusive UnoDAX Exchange platform for its users to trade multiple cryptocurrencies apart from trading Bitcoins on Unocoin. The difference between the two platforms was – Unocion provided instant buying and selling of Bitcoin only, while in UnoDAX, users can place an order in any available cryptocurrency and if it matches the recipient, the order will be fulfilled.
Other major exchanges available for cryptocurrency trading in India are Koinex, Coinsecure, Bitbns, WazirX.
Users have to open an account with any exchange by registering with an email address and submitting the KYC details. Once their account is verified, one can start trading coins of their choice.
Users should do their research before investing in coins and avoid falling into the cryptocurrency bubble trap. Users should explore the exchange’s reliability, transparency, security features, and more.
All exchanges charge some nominal fee for each transaction. There are two types of fees – creation fee and claim fee. Apart from the transaction fee, one has to pay the transfer fee if you want to transfer your cryptocurrencies to another exchange or your personal wallet. The fees depend solely on the coins and the exchange as different exchange has a price difference module to transfer the coins.
Major altcoins other than Bitcoin
As mentioned above, Bitcoin dominates the market with 38% market share, followed by Ripple, Ethereum, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash. Exchanges like UnoDAX, Bitfinex, Kraken, Bitstamp have listed many other coins like Golem, Civic, Raiden Network, Kyber Network, Basic Attention, 0X, Augur, Monero, Tron and many more. If any of the coins matches your portfolio, you should buy it.
But you should invest the money in the market that you can afford to lose because the cryptocurrency market is very volatile and no government has control over it.
When should I buy?
There is no hard and fast rule when to buy your favorite cryptocurrency. But the stability of the market must be examined. You shouldn’t, except at the peak of a cryptocurrency bubble or when the price is constantly crashing. Always the best time is considered when the price is stable at a relatively low level for some time.
A method of storing cryptocurrencies
Before buying any cryptocurrency, you need to understand how to keep your cryptocurrency safe.
Generally, all exchanges provide storage facilities where you can store your coins safely. One should not share one’s username, password, 2FA when holding cryptocurrency on exchanges.
Paper wallet, hardware wallet, software wallet are some of the channels where one can store his cryptocurrency.
Paper Wallet: A paper wallet is an offline cold storage method to keep your cryptocurrency. It prints your private and public key on a piece of paper where a QR code is also printed. One has to simply scan the QR code for their future transactions. Why is it safe? No need to worry about your account being hacked or being attacked by malicious malware. You just need to keep your piece of paper in a safe place in a locker and, if possible, keep two to three pieces of paper in the wallet, all under your complete control.
Hardware Wallet: A hardware wallet is a physical device where you store cryptocurrency safely. There are many forms of hardware wallet, but a commonly used hardware wallet is USB. When you keep your cryptocurrency in a hardware wallet, you just have to keep in mind that you should not lose your hardware wallet because once it is lost, you cannot retrieve your cryptocurrency.
One famous incident where a person mined over 7000 bitcoins and stored it in his hardware wallet and stored it in another hardware wallet. One day he dropped the hardware wallet in which he stored his cryptocurrency instead of damaged hardware and lost all his bitcoins.
What can be bought from cryptocurrencies in India?
Most people assume that buying and selling any cryptocurrency is only for investment and getting high returns in the long and short term. Bitcoin influencers and investors believe that in the coming years, Bitcoin will dominate all fiat currencies and be accepted as an international currency.
Dell is one of the largest e-commerce businesses accepting Bitcoin as payment. Expedia and UNICEF are other examples.
In India, Sapna Book Mall accepts Bitcoin as payment using the Unocoin merchant service. People booked movie tickets through BookMyShow or recharged their mobile phone through the Unocoin platform. According to the report, they have stopped the service but plan to start it again in the near future.
Cryptocurrency is one of the growing investment sectors and has given good returns from real estate, gold, stock markets, etc. in the past. You can buy the cryptocurrency and hold it long term to get good profits or go short term for a quick profit as we have seen many coins grow 1000%+ in the past. Because cryptocurrency is a volatile market and there is no government control over the industry. One should invest the amount in any cryptocurrency that one can afford to lose.
You can store your cryptocurrency in a hardware wallet, paper wallet, software wallet if you don’t want to hold on the exchange you trade from.