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Although cryptocurrency has only been around for a short time, it’s already expanded into a wide, convoluted universe that can be difficult to understand for the uninitiated. But with Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies seeing wild fluctuations in price, there’s the opportunity for big gains… for those who can stomach the risk.
Digital platforms like Coinbase and Robinhood have made it significantly easier for people to invest in popular cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. However, the process is still slightly more complex than acquiring a more traditional currency. If you’re interested in purchasing Bitcoin or another cryptocurrency, here’s what you should know.
Should You Invest in Cryptocurrency?
The cryptocurrency fervor is undoubtedly more subdued than it was in, say, 2017. The price of Bitcoin has fallen precipitously from its all-time peak of more than $17,000 (to about $3,500 as of early 2019). If the cryptocurrency market had to be described in just one word, it would be volatile.
So like any other investment, you should weigh the potential gains against your own risk tolerance. If you tend to be more risk-averse with your investments and you’re looking to build wealth over decades, cryptocurrencies probably aren’t for you. No one can accurately predict what will happen to the market for cryptocurrencies. Yes, that’s technically true for all investments. But other markets – say, the stock market – grow much more consistently, with significantly less volatility. Indeed, it may be misleading to even call it “investing” to buy Bitcoin. It would be more accurate to refer to it as speculation.
Still, if you’re willing to take a risk and you believe the current Bitcoin price is the low point before an upswing, then by all means give it a try. Bitcoin has now been around for 10 years — longer than many expected it would last. A future with Bitcoin as some sort of worldwide reserve currency seems increasingly unlikely day by day. But it’s reasonable to expect that it will retain some value for the foreseeable future. The same can’t be said for some of the more obscure altcoins, though.
The most important thing, as with any potential investment, is to have a clear idea of the risks you’re taking. You shouldn’t put yourself in a situation where your financial health is dependent on the success of cryptocurrencies. However, if you’re well aware of the risks and you want to give it a shot anyway, you may get lucky.