On Should We Invest In Bitcoin in 2018 have become a very well known and popular question over time. OK, so what’s Bitcoin?
It’s not an actual coin, it’s “cryptocurrency,” a digital form of payment that is produced (“mined”) by lots of people worldwide. It allows peer-to-peer transactions instantly, worldwide, for free or at very low cost.
Bitcoin was invented after decades of research into cryptography by software developer, Satoshi Nakamoto (believed to be a pseudonym), who designed the algorithm and introduced it in 2009. His true identity remains a mystery.
This currency is not backed by a tangible commodity (such as gold or silver); bitcoins are traded online which makes them a commodity in themselves.
Bitcoin is an open-source product, accessible by anyone who is a user. All you need is an email address, Internet access, and money to get started.
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Bitcoin is mined on a distributed computer network of users running specialized software; the network solves certain mathematical proofs, and searches for a particular data sequence (“block”) that produces a particular pattern when the BTC trading is applied to it. A match produces a bitcoin. It’s complex and time- and energy-consuming.
Only 21 million bitcoins are ever to be mined (about 11 million are currently in circulation). The math problems the network computers solve get progressively more difficult to keep the mining operations and supply in check.
This network also validates all the transactions through cryptography.
How Does Bitcoins work?
Internet users transfer digital assets (bits) to each other on a network. There is no online bank; rather, Bitcoin has been described as an Internet-wide distributed ledger. Users buy Bitcoin with cash or by selling a product or service for Bitcoins. Bitcoin wallets store and use this digital currency. Users may sell out of this virtual ledger by trading their Bitcoin to someone else who wants in. Anyone can do this, anywhere in the world.
There are smartphone apps for conducting mobile Bitcoin transactions and Bitcoins exchanges are populating the Internet.
How is Bitcoin valued?
Bitcoin is not held or controlled by a financial institution; it is completely decentralized. Unlike real-world money it cannot be devalued by governments or banks.
These cashless transactions are fast and the processor can convert bitcoins into currency and make a daily direct deposit into the establishment’s bank account. It was announced in January 2014 that two Las Vegas hotel-casinos will accept Bitcoin payments at the front desk, in their restaurants, and in the gift shop.
It sounds good – so what’s the catch?
Business owners should consider issues of participation, security and cost.
• A relatively small number of ordinary consumers and merchants currently use or understand Bitcoin. However, adoption is increasing globally and tools and technologies are being developed to make participation easier.
• It’s the Internet, so hackers are threats to the exchanges. The Economist reported that a Bitcoin exchange was hacked in September 2013 and $250,000 in bitcoins was stolen from users’ online vaults. Bitcoins can be stolen like other currency, so vigilant network, server and database security is paramount.
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• Users must carefully safeguard their bitcoin wallets which contain their private keys. Secure backups or printouts are crucial.
• Bitcoin is not regulated or insured by the US government so there is no insurance for your account if the exchange goes out of business or is robbed by hackers.
• Bitcoins are relatively expensive. Current rates and selling prices are available on the online exchanges.
The virtual currency is not yet universal but it is gaining market awareness and acceptance. A business may decide to try Bitcoin to save on credit card and bank fees, as a customer convenience, or to see if it helps or hinders sales and profitability.
Are you thinking about accepting Bitcoin? Do you already use it? Share your thoughts and experiences with us.
Looking for a Bitcoin Buying Guide? Wondering where to start? People have a lot of misconceptions about bitcoin – the very first widely known and accepted cryptocurrency worldwide.
A lot of people think for example that only hackers and shady people use it. However bitcoin is actually going mainstream with everyone from TigerDirect to Expedia.com to Dell and even Subway accepting payments in bitcoin now.
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Well, bitcoin has a lot of benefits over other currencies. For example, you can send bitcoins to someone as payment without having to go through the bank middleman (and get hit with extra fees). It’s also much faster than sending money via a bank wire or transfer. You can send bitcoins to someone and have them receiving the coins in seconds.
With all of this, it’s no surprise that many people are now trying to buy bitcoin for the first time. However it’s not as easy as going to your bank and withdrawing bitcoins – or going to a store and plunking down some hard-earned cash for bitcoin.
The system works a bit differently than that. This Bitcoin Buying Guide will go over a few things you need to know before you buy – so you can buy safely and securely.
Take your time and research the different places to buy before you decide. Factors to consider include coin prices, extra fees, method of payment and customer service.
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Once you’ve found a place to buy, get your funds ready (i.e. you may send a wire transfer or use your Visa to fund your account). Then wait for a good price. (Bitcoin prices are always fluctuating 24 hours, 7 days a week). Then place your order when you’re ready.
Once your order is filled and you have your coins, you’ll want to send them to your wallet. Simply enter your bitcoin address and get the seller to send you your bitcoins. You should see them show up in your wallet within minutes to an hour (depending on how fast the seller sends them out).
Voila, you are now a bitcoin owner. You can now send coins to pay for other goods and services, or hang on to them for a rainy day.
One last thing to remember: bitcoin is still in its infancy. There are huge price swings and the currency can be risky. Never buy more bitcoins than you can afford to lose.
Should We Invest In Bitcoin in 2018 ?
Gold and Bitcoin have been used synonymously as safe havens and currencies. What is a safe haven? It is a place to park wealth or money when there is a high degree of uncertainty in the environment. It has to be something that everyone can believe in even if the current institutions, governments or players in the business game are not available. The wealth has to be kept safe in times of trouble. What are the risks to someone's wealth? There is theft by robbery if it is a physical asset. There is damage by fire, flood or other elements. There is the legal issue in not being able to determine if the asset is really yours or not. There is access risk in that you may own the asset but may not be able to get your hands on it. You may own the asset but may not be able to use it due to some restriction. Who else do you have to rely on to be able to use your wealth - spending it, investing it or converting it into different units of measure (currencies)?
In cases like cash or currencies, you may have the asset and can freely use it, but it does not have value due to a systemic issue. There may be too many units of the currency such that using them would not purchase very much (hyperinflation). There is also devaluation - where a currency is arbitrarily devalued due to some economic or institution issue. Most of these issues come from too much debt and not enough assets to pay for them. A currency devaluation is like a partial or slow motion bankruptcy for a government or issuer. In a foreclosure scenario, the creditors (or users of the currency) would be getting a fraction of what the asset (or currency) was originally worth.
Gold is a classic safe haven because it does not need institutions to exist, is very hard to forge, cannot be destroyed by the elements and does not have issues of access or restrictions. Physical theft and restriction may be factors, but gold fares better than currencies or digital currencies at this point in time.
Should We Invest In Bitcoin in 2018
Wondering if you should invest in Bitcoin? If you've been around any kid of financial news lately, you've no doubt heard about the meteoric rise in the world's most well-known cryptocurrency.
And if you're like a lot of people right about now, you're probably wondering, "Bitcoin - yes or no?"
Should you invest? Is it a good option? And what the heck is Bitcoin anyway?
Well here's a few things you should know about Bitcoin before you invest. Also note that this article is for information purposes only and should not be taken as any kind of financial advice.
What is Bitcoin?
Bitcoin is known as a cryptocurrency or a digital currency. It's basically online money. Like any currency you can exchange it for other currencies (like say, buy bitcoins with US dollars or vice versa) and it fluctuates in relation to other currencies as well.
Unlike other currencies however it is decentralized, meaning there isn't any one central bank, country or government in charge of it. And that means it's not as susceptible to government or central bank mismanagement.
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Because it's decentralized, this also means that you can send a friend Bitcoin (money) on the other side of the world in seconds without having to go through a bank intermediary (and pay the banking fees).
Unlike a credit card charge, Bitcoin transactions are not reversible. So if you send Bitcoin to the wrong address - you can't get it back.
Also, there are a lot of tales from people who have lost their Bitcoin wallet address (through hacking, phones being stolen, virus-infected computers, etc.) and they've completely lost their coins. There's no way to get them back.
For this reason, you really need to know what you're doing and take the time to research how to buy and store your coins properly if you want to invest in Bitcoins - or any other cryptocurrency.
So those are some of the things to consider before investing in Bitcoin. Basically while Bitcoin has a lot of great things going for it - and while it has the potential to change financial transactions as we know it - there is still a lot of risk. There are a lot of unknowns out there still.
If you do decide to buy, take your time and research your options. Don't buy from just any seller. Some of them are trustworthy and run a great business. But there are others that will overcharge you and may not even deliver your coins.
Be safe and do your research first. Find a trusted seller with a stellar reputation - there are quite a few of them out there. And remember the golden rule here - never invest more than you can afford to lose.
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Bitcoin (BTC) is a new kind of digital currency-with cryptographic keys-that is decentralized to a network of computers used by users and miners around the world and is not controlled by a single organization or government. It is the first digital cryptocurrency that has gained the public's attention and is accepted by a growing number of merchants. Like other currencies, users can use the digital currency to buy goods and services online as well as in some physical stores that accept it as a form of payment. Currency traders can also trade Bitcoins in Bitcoin exchanges.
There are several major differences between Bitcoin and traditional currencies (e.g. U.S. dollar):
- Bitcoin does not have a centralized authority or clearing house (e.g. government, central bank, MasterCard or Visa network). The peer-to-peer payment network is managed by users and miners around the world. The currency is anonymously transferred directly between users through the internet without going through a clearing house. This means that transaction fees are much lower.
- Bitcoin is created through a process called "Bitcoin mining". Miners around the world use mining software and computers to solve complex bitcoin algorithms and to approve Bitcoin transactions. They are awarded with transaction fees and new Bitcoins generated from solving Bitcoin algorithms.
- There is a limited amount of Bitcoins in circulation. According to Blockchain, there were about 12.1 million in circulation as of Dec. 20, 2013. The difficulty to mine Bitcoins (solve algorithms) becomes harder as more Bitcoins are generated, and the maximum amount in circulation is capped at 21 million. The limit will not be reached until approximately the year 2140. This makes Bitcoins more valuable as more people use them.
- A public ledger called 'Blockchain' records all Bitcoin transactions and shows each Bitcoin owner's respective holdings. Anyone can access the public ledger to verify transactions. This makes the digital currency more transparent and predictable. More importantly, the transparency prevents fraud and double spending of the same Bitcoins.
- The digital currency can be acquired through Bitcoin mining or Bitcoin exchanges.
- The digital currency is accepted by a limited number of merchants on the web and in some brick-and-mortar retailers.
- Bitcoin wallets (similar to PayPal accounts) are used for storing Bitcoins, private keys and public addresses as well as for anonymously transferring Bitcoins between users.
- Bitcoins are not insured and are not protected by government agencies. Hence, they cannot be recovered if the secret keys are stolen by a hacker or lost to a failed hard drive, or due to the closure of a Bitcoin exchange. If the secret keys are lost, the associated Bitcoins cannot be recovered and would be out of circulation. Visit this link for an FAQ on Bitcoins.
Bitcoin will likely gain more public acceptance over time, but its price is extremely volatile and very sensitive to news-such as government regulations and restrictions-that could negatively impact the currency.
Therefore, I do not suggest investors to invest in Bitcoins unless they were purchased at a less than $10 USD per BTC because this would allow for a much larger margin of safety.
Otherwise, I believe that it is much better to invest in stocks that have strong fundamentals, as well as great business prospects and management teams because the underlying companies have intrinsic values and are more predictable.
Disclosure: Victor Liang has has no positions in Bitcoins and has no plans to change his position in the next 72 hours.
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