Today I'm happy to share a guest post from Alexander, who runs the blog DaytradingZ. He wrote a very insightful post on Blockchain technology. Reading this post prompted me to ask Alexander to write something for my readers. How cryptocurrency works is the result.
The site is meant to educate anyone interested in day trading stocks. Alexander covers many topics that help educate investors. However, he makes it very clear on his About Page that day trading is speculative and should not be used as a primary investment strategy. Though I would never recommend day trading as a strategy, I realize that many people like the thrill of it. If that describes you, I will encourage you to check out his site
I've learned a lot reading the articles on blockchain and this one on cryptocurrency. I think you will too.
Let me know what you think in the comments.
How Cryptocurrency Works: The Essential Guide
December 17th, 2017 was a historic day. Bitcoin, the major cryptocurrency marked its all-time high slightly above 20,000 US-Dollars. At this time Bitcoin had a market capitalization of ~336 Billion US-Dollars.One year later, Bitcoin lost more than 75% from its highs and is being traded for ~5,000 USD.
However, in the sector of speculative investments, cryptocurrencies are still among the most exciting growth markets today. So I decided to put down this guide with the most important essential information about cryptocurrencies.
My name is Alexander, founder of daytradingz.com. Since 2016 I am sharing investment ideas with my readers on my website. This guide may not outline every, but you will learn the crucial aspects of this investment opportunity.
What Is Cryptocurrency and What Can It Be Used For?Before we can understand how cryptocurrency works, we have to understand what it is and how we can use it.
A cryptocurrency is a digital or virtual form of currency that relies on encryption techniques. These currencies operate on decentralized platforms. Understand it as a digital cash system that works without a central entity.
Do you remember the old days where you have been using a P2P-network for file-sharing? You shared a file, and all the bytes were stored on different servers on different locations. Cryptocurrencies take it a bit further.
Cryptocurrencies can be bought mainly by using exchanges in conjunction with your wallet. Alternatively, you can trade different cryptocurrencies with a classical online broker as well. So, first of all, you have to decide whether you want to buy or trade cryptocurrencies.
Using a wallet and buying a cryptocurrency with a popular exchange like Coinbase, Coinsquare or Kraken will make you to a real owner of physical but digital currency.
However, trading by using an online broker is comparable with buying and selling stocks, but you will never be a real owner of the bits and bytes of a cryptocurrency.
How to buy and trade Cryptocurrencies
The first step is to get a wallet for your coins (preferably a hardware wallet), then sign up on a reputable and affordable exchange. After signing up, you will be able to buy the cryptocurrency of your choice, then store it with other currencies in the wallet.
However, those wallets and exchanges have one particular additional risk – the risk of being hacked.
Your funds are not secured at all when you are using wallets.
Because once your coins got stolen, you cannot prove that you owned the coins and it will be impossible to convict the perpetrator.
By using an online broker, it is different. You trade investment vehicles based on the bitcoin price. Robinhood recently announced that they are offering to trade crypto markets with their product “Robinhood Crypto” along with traditional stocks and ETFs.
As you can see, investing in cryptocurrency is easier than ever before.
The best strategy is to invest in the long-term. However, we talk about a speculative part of your overall investment strategy.
Enough people invested their full liquid assets into Bitcoin right at the top and lost >75% meanwhile.
You do not want to be one of these guys. Keep it realistic. Bitcoin can easily triple within a few months, but it could also fall another 2/3rd within a few months. This is high risk, no matter what people tell you in typical advertisements, eBooks, video courses, and so on. The real potential comes in the long run.
I see it this way:
When I invest into cryptocurrencies right now, then I invest a fixed amount that I can afford to lose. This is the maximum risk. On the other hand side, there is infinite potential.
Let’s do the math
Before investing, always prepare. Let us assume that you have $50,000 liquid assets right now.
You could go with plan A:
Invest all your money into stocks, ETFs, etc. Let us assume, that you make +5% on average every year.
Year 1 50,000 52,500
Year 2 52,500 55,125
Year 3 55,125 57,881
Year 4 57,881 60,775
Year 5 60,775 63,814
That’s the traditional way of investing in the long run. Let us assume that you are looking for an alternative to reach at least the same potential amount of profits within five years without investing that much money.
If cryptocurrencies go through the roof again, then the same profit could be made by investing $1,000 or even less. But still, it is a realistic risk, that you lose those $1,000 within the next five years.
Regulations, new currencies, new technologies, and other factors could have such a hard impact, that you could lose all your money invested in cryptocurrencies.
Next, let us have a look at the most popular cryptocurrencies.
Bitcoin: Bitcoin was the first cryptocurrency to be established and currently boasts the largest market share. As at the time of writing this article, Bitcoins market share stands at > 50% with a market cap of $53 billion. The coin is highly liquid, and the most expensive today.
Ripple: Ripple is the second largest cryptocurrency after Bitcoin. Ripple is both a currency exchange platform and a coin.
It is an ERC-20-based token, meaning, it is natively established on the Ethereum network. The coin has managed to forge beneficial partnerships with financial institutions, earning it a top stop among the big three.
Unlike most other coins, Ripple cannot be mined, the only coins that exist are the 100 billion coins (XRP) created by the company.
Besides, Ripple offers higher transaction speeds of up to 4 times faster compared to Bitcoin’s, and it also highly liquid. The market cap is $12.3 billion right now.
Ethereum: The coin was established to cater to the weaknesses exuded by Bitcoin, including lower transaction speeds and insecurity. Ethereum works with smart contracts, which enhance the transparency and security of transactions on its blockchain.
Today, the coin has a market cap of $9.4 billion, coming a distant second after Bitcoin.
Is It Safe to Invest in Cryptocurrency?Safety, in this case, is two way. The security of the platform you trade on and the safety of the tool you use to store your assets.
Most platforms have put in place some of the best security measures including user data privacy, information encryption, two-factor authentication, passwords, and so on.
This means that hacking of these platforms is becoming harder by the day, but a lot more may still need to be done. A few platforms have already gone the extra mile of securing insurance policies for their assets to ensure that their users are compensated in case of a security breach.
The same goes for the different cryptocurrency wallets, but here, users have a role to play. As a wallet user, you have to keep your account details such as secret words or passwords private to reducing the risk of being hacked or mugged.
On the other hand side, your bank has the highest security standard. However, trading cryptocurrencies in your traditional bank account are not the original idea of Blockchain and cryptocurrencies. However, in my opinion, the safety of the funds is the most important thing.
So, either you want to live the spirit of cryptocurrencies dealing with some additional risks, or you decide to invest as securely as you can by protecting your investment for the best future potential.
Imagine, your investment would tenfold within five years, and in 5 years you would realize, that your wallet got hacked? Ouch!
The one truth is, investing in cryptocurrencies is an excellent way of diversifying your portfolio. The potential is massive regarding returns. However, another truth is that the technology still needs to deal with the ever-rising cases of fraud and hacking.
Yes, this is an issue that cryptocurrency users need to be wary of, and the reason as to why a good number of users do/should opt to store their funds offline as soon as they purchase/trade them.
Because once you lose your funds, they’re gone forever. The exchange or wallet doesn’t have it anymore, and this means that it may not be possible for you to recover your money.
The risk is always high where there are potentially high returns, and this is especially true of cryptocurrencies. The profits usually are massive, but the risks are equally high.
Now it's your turn. Tell us what you think. Was the article helpful in getting to know how cryptocurrency works? Have you invested in them? Are you considering them? We welcome your thoughts and feedback.
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