Introduction: To Invest in Cryptocurrencies
The first cryptocurrency to be created was Bitcoin, which was built on Blockchain technology and was probably launched in 2009 by a mysterious person named Satoshi Nakamoto. At the time of writing this blog, 17 million bitcoins have been mined and it is believed that a total of 21 million bitcoins can be mined. Other popular cryptocurrencies include 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 to avoid investing at the peak of the cryptocurrency bubble. The price has been seen to drop suddenly when the crypto bubble is at its peak. Since cryptocurrency is a volatile market, users have to invest the amount they can afford to lose as there is no government controlling the cryptocurrency as it is a decentralized cryptocurrency.
Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple, predicted that Bitcoin is a real gold and in the future it will dominate all currencies like USD, EUR, INR and ASD and become a global currency in the coming years.
Why and why not to invest in Cryptocurrencies?
Bitcoin was the first cryptocurrency to be created and since then around 1600+ cryptocurrencies have been launched with a unique feature for each coin.
Some of the reasons that I have experienced and want to share, cryptocurrencies are created on a decentralized platform; therefore, users do not need a third party to transfer cryptocurrency from one destination to another, unlike fiat currency, which a user needs. Bank-like platform to transfer money from one account to another. Cryptocurrency is built on a highly secure blockchain technology and the possibility of your cryptocurrency being hacked and stolen is almost nil until you don’t share critical information.
You should always avoid buying cryptocurrencies at the peak of the crypto bubble. Many of us buy cryptocurrencies at their peak hoping to make a quick buck and fall victim to the bubble hype and lose money. It is better for users to do a lot of research before investing their money. It is always good to put your money in more than one cryptocurrency as it has been observed that few cryptocurrencies grow, some average, while other cryptocurrencies go into the red zone.
Cryptocurrencies to focus on
In 2014, Bitcoin has 90% of the market and other cryptocurrencies the remaining 10%. In 2017, Bitcoin is still dominating the crypto market, but its share has greatly decreased from 90% to 38% and Altcoins like Litecoin, Ethereum, Ripple have grown rapidly and taken most of the market share.
Bitcoin is still dominating the cryptocurrency market, but it’s not the only currency you should consider when investing in cryptocurrency. Some of the top cryptocurrencies you should consider:
Where and how to buy Cryptocurrencies?
A few years ago, it was not easy to buy cryptocurrencies, but now users have many platforms available.
In 2015, India has two major bitcoin platforms Unocoin wallet and Zebpay wallet where users can buy and sell bitcoin only. Users must only buy bitcoin from their wallet, but not from another person. There was a price difference in the buying and selling rates and users have to pay a nominal fee for completing the transactions.
In 2017, the Cryptocurrency industry grew tremendously and the price of Bitcoin grew by itself, especially in the last six months of 2017, forcing users to look for alternatives to Bitcoin and it crossed 14 lakhs in the Indian market.
Unodax and Zebpay the two leading platforms in India were dominating the market with 90% of the market share – it was only in Bitcoin. It allows other organizations to grow with other altcoins and has also forced Unocoin and others to add more currencies to their platform.
Unocoin, one of the leading cryptocurrency and blockchain companies in India launched an exclusive UnoDAX Exchange platform for their users to trade various cryptocurrencies in addition to Bitcoin Unocoin trading. The difference between the two platforms was that Unocion offered instant buying and selling of bitcoin, on UnoDAX, users can place an order for any available cryptocurrency and if it matches the recipient, the order will be executed.
Other major exchanges available for trading cryptocurrencies in India are Koinex, Coinsecure, Bitbns, WazirX.
Users need to open an account on any exchange by registering with email ID and submitting KYC details. After verifying their account, you can start trading the coins of your choice.
Users should do their research before investing in any coin and don’t fall into the cryptocurrency bubble trap. Users should research the credibility, transparency, security features and many more of the exchange.
All exchanges charge a nominal fee on each transaction. There are two types of charges: Maker fee and Taker fee. In addition to the transaction fee, a transfer fee must be paid if you wish to transfer your cryptocurrencies to another exchange or to your private wallet. Charges are coin and exchange dependent only, as different exchanges have a price difference module for transferring coins.
Top Non-Bitcoin Altcoins
As mentioned above, Bitcoin is dominating the market with a market share of 38% followed by Ripple, Ethereum, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash. Exchanges like UnoDAX, Bitfinex, Kraken, Bitstamp have listed Golem, Civic, Raiden Network, Kyber Network, Basic Attention, 0X, Augur, Monero, Tron and many other coins. If any of the coins match your wallet, you must buy it.
But, you have to put the money in the market because the cryptocurrency market is very volatile and no one has control over it.
When to buy?
There are no hard and fast rules for when to buy your favorite cryptocurrency. But the stability of the market needs to be investigated. You shouldn’t buy cryptocurrency at the peak of a bubble or when the price is constantly falling. The best time is always considered when the price is relatively stable at a low level for some time.
Cryptocurrency storage method
Before buying any cryptocurrency, it is important to understand how to keep your cryptocurrency safe.
Generally, all exchanges offer safekeeping facilities where you can safely store your coins. No need to share its user details, password, 2FA when you have cryptocurrency on exchanges.
Paper wallet, Hardware wallet, Software wallet are some of its cryptocurrency storage channels.
Paper Wallet: A paper wallet is an offline cold storage method to hold your cryptocurrency. It prints your private and public key on a piece of paper where the QR code is also printed. The QR code must be scanned for future transactions. Why is it safe? No need to worry about your account being hacked or malicious malware attacks. You should keep your piece of paper in a cupboard and if possible keep two or three paper portfolios under your control.
Hardware Wallet: A hardware wallet is a physical device where you keep your cryptocurrency securely. There are many types of hardware wallets, but the most commonly used hardware wallet is the USB. When you keep your cryptocurrency in your hardware wallet, you must keep in mind that you should not lose your hardware wallet, because once lost you cannot recover your cryptocurrency.
A famous incident where a person mined 7000+ bitcoins and stored it in his hardware wallet and stored it with another hardware wallet. One day he dropped the hardware wallet that stored his cryptocurrency in place of the damaged hardware and lost all his bitcoin.
What can be bought from cryptocurrencies in India?
Most people think that buying and selling any cryptocurrency is only for long and short term investment and high returns. Influencers and bitcoin 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 that accept bitcoin as payment. Other examples are Expedia and UNICEF.
In India, Sapna Book Mall accepted bitcoin as payment using merchant service Unocoin. People used to book movie tickets through BookMyShow or recharge their mobile through the Unocoin platform. According to the report, they have suspended the service but plan to resume it in the near future.
Cryptocurrency is one of the growing investment sectors and in the past it has given better returns than real estate, gold, stock market etc. You can buy and hold cryptocurrency for the long term for nice returns or for a quick short term return as we have seen many coins grow by 1000%+ in the past. Since cryptocurrency is a volatile market and no government controls the industry. One should invest 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 store it on the local exchange where you are trading.