In December 2016, Bitcoin was valued at a then all-time high of $807. In December 2017, it soared to its current all-time high of $20,000 per Bitcoin. Bitcoin made nerds and internet trolls into millionaires in just one year, commanding the entire world take notice.
How To Get Started With Cryptocurrency
Since then, there’s been no short supply of Lambo memes (to the point where even Lamborghini accepts Bitcoin as payment) and grandmas everywhere are cashing out their US bonds from the 1940s to convert their money into Bitcoin. Everyone and their mother knows about Bitcoin and are trying to get rich quick. Who can blame them?
But Bitcoin is expensive. No one wants to pay $1,000+ for 0.1 of something, and the room for growth is small considering the market cap and value already. Basically, you aren’t becoming a Bitcoin billionaire unless you’re investing a ton of money. Luckily, there are hundreds upon hundreds of Altcoins — other cryptocurrencies in the vain of Bitcoin — that are trading for as little as pennies. And believe it or not, Bitcoin started at less than a penny per share itself.
One incredibly smart and forward-thinking fella purchased 5,000 of them in 2009 for $27. This is worth $72 million… $71 million… $73 million… dollars today, depending on wherever the constant price fluctuation lands at any given moment. During the time it takes for you to read this article, the price will have changed dozens of times.
People likely ridiculed this guy for wasting his money on something that isn’t tangible or even fully understood, and if you invest in whatever penny crypto, you’ll be ridiculed, too. But when you’re “hodling” a few mil in 9 years, you won’t give a shit.
But how to start? The easiest way is CoinBase.
CoinBase is US-based digital currency exchange that deals with Bitcoin, Ethereum (Bitcoin’s biggest contender), Litecoin, and Bitcoin’s reject cousin Bitcoin Cash.
But wait, didn’t you just say Bitcoin won’t make me a millionaire? Yes. Yes I did. But Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin — the most well-established and widely used of the cryptocurrencies — are used to “trade” on currency exchanges for Altcoins like Ripple, Tron, IOTA, RaiBlocks, Stellar Lumens and hundreds more.
Any, or none, of the Altcoins could be the next Bitcoin, or even surpass it. No one knows. It’s a market of speculation, mostly, where people panic sell, buy due to FOMO (fear of missing out), and other crypto-terms that you’ll be forced to understand immediately.
Where can I get these crazy coins? Binance is a great start.
Bittrex has the best reputation, but new user registration has been down for weeks due to the massive surge of interest in cryptocurrency. So for this article, Binance is the current next best choice. Even Binance closes their new user registration occasionally when they get overloaded.
There are many other exchanges out there, such as Kucoin, Tidex, Bitfinex (closed registration too now), and many more. Be sure to do extensive research before using any of them, as some exchanges have had major issues, lost people’s money, or worse — were hacked.
On Binance, or other exchanges, you send Bitcoin, Ethereum, or Litecoin from CoinBase to your Binance wallet, and use it to fund trades for other coins. It requires a lot of math to understand what you’re buying, especially because nothing is in USD. It’s all in Bitcoin. Try using $0.10 to buy 5000 of something that is currently priced at $0.004327494 and see if you can figure out the math easily.
Then, of course, there’s a chance that crypto fails, and you lose your entire life savings. So why risk it? Data shows that less than 1% of the global population is invested in cryptocurrency. This means, even with how much attention Bitcoin is getting in the news, there’s still 99% left of the world that could invest. If 1% of people turned $27 into $72 million, then when crypto gets to 25% saturation, there could be a complete shift in the world’s wealth.
Ultimately, the lure of immeasurable wealth is already driving users to cryptocurrency in droves, enough to force exchanges to close their new user registrations due to how overwhelmed they are.
In the end, no one knows how this will shake out. But if you knew right now that $27 could get you a Lambo if you sat on some coins for 9 years, how fast would you have spent that $27?
If you do decide to dive into cryptocurrency, here are just a few tips to guide you:
> Do your homework. Research the crypto and team and technology behind it
> Never invest more than you can afford to lose
> Don’t let emotional response drive buying or selling
> Be extra diligent with two-factor encryption
> Double and even triple-check the crypto addresses you are sending to
> Invest in a hardware wallet like a Ledger Nano S