Introduction: Investing in Cryptocurrencies
The first cryptocurrency to emerge was Bitcoin, which was built on Blockchain technology and was probably launched in 2009 by a mysterious person Satoshi Nakamoto. At the time of writing this blog, 17 million bitcoins had been mined and it is believed that a total of 21 million bitcoins could be mined. The other most popular cryptocurrencies are 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 try to avoid investing at the peak of the cryptocurrency bubble. It has been observed that the price has suddenly dropped when it is at the top of the crypto bubble. Since cryptocurrency is a volatile market, users have to invest the amount they can afford to lose as there is no government control over cryptocurrency as it is a decentralized cryptocurrency.
Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak predicted that Bitcoin is real gold and will dominate all currencies like USD, EUR, INR and ASD in the future and become a global currency in the coming years.
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Why and why not to invest in cryptocurrencies?
Bitcoin was the first cryptocurrency to be born and since then around 1600 cryptocurrencies have been launched with some unique feature for each currency.
Some of the reasons I have experienced and would like to share, cryptocurrencies have been created on the decentralized platform, so users do not require a third party to transfer cryptocurrency from one destination to another, unlike currency trust where a user needs a platform like Bank to transfer money from one account to another. Cryptocurrency based on very secure blockchain technology and almost zero chance of hacking and stealing your cryptocurrencies until you share your critical information.
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You should always avoid buying cryptocurrencies at the peak of the cryptocurrency bubble. Many of us buy cryptocurrencies at their peak hoping to make a quick buck and fall victim to the hype of the bubble and lose their 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 multiple cryptocurrencies instead of one, as few cryptocurrencies have been observed to grow more, some on average if other cryptocurrencies go into the red zone.
Cryptocurrencies to focus on
In 2014, Bitcoin occupies 90% of the market and other cryptocurrencies the remaining 10%. In 2017, Bitcoin still dominates the crypto market, but its share has fallen sharply from 90% to 38%, and Altcoins such as Litecoin, Ethereum and Ripple have grown rapidly and captured most of the market.
Bitcoin still dominates the cryptocurrency market, but it is not the only cryptocurrency to consider when investing in cryptocurrency. Some of the top cryptocurrencies to consider:
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Where and how to buy cryptocurrencies?
While few years ago it was not easy to buy cryptocurrencies but now users have many platforms available.
In 2015, India has two main bitcoin platforms, Unocoin wallet and Zebpay wallet, where users can only buy and sell bitcoins. Users must buy bitcoins only from the wallet, but not from another person. There was a price difference in the buying and selling fee and users have to pay a nominal fee to complete their transactions.
In 2017, the cryptocurrency industry grew tremendously and the price of Bitcoin grew spontaneously, especially in the last six months of 2017, which forced users to look for Bitcoin alternatives and crossed 14 lakhs in the Indian market.
As Unodax and Zebpay are the two major platforms in India that dominated the market with 90% market share, which was only traded in Bitcoin. It gives another organization a chance to grow with other altcoins and even forced Unocoin and others to add more coins to their platform.
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Unocoin, one of India’s leading cryptocurrency and blockchain companies, launched an exclusive UnoDAX Exchange platform for its users to trade multiple cryptocurrencies, apart from trading Bitcoin on Unocoin. The difference between both platforms was that Unocion only provided instant buying and selling of bitcoins, while 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 have to open an account in any of the exchange by registering with email id and submitting KYC details. Once your account is verified, you can start trading with the currencies of your choice.
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Users should do their research well before investing in any currency and not fall into the trap of the cryptocurrency bubble. Users should research the credibility of the exchange, transparency, security features and many more.
All exchanges charge a nominal fee on each transaction. There are two types of charges: the maker’s fee and the borrower’s fee. Apart from the transaction fee, you need to pay the transfer fee, if you want to transfer your cryptocurrencies to another exchange or to your private wallet. Charges depend solely on the currencies and the exchange, as different exchange has a different price module to transfer the coins.
Major Non-Bitcoin Altcoins
As mentioned above, Bitcoin dominates the market with a market share of 38%, followed by Ripple, Ethereum, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash. Exchanges like UnoDAX, Bitfinex, Kraken, Bitstamp have listed many other coins like Golem, Civic, Raiden Network, Kyber Network, Basic Attention, 0X, Augur, Monero, Tron and many more. If any of the coins match your wallet, you must buy it.
But, you have to put the money in the market that you can afford to lose as the cryptocurrency market is very volatile and no government has control over it.
when to buy
There are no hard and fast rules when to buy your favorite cryptocurrency. But you need to investigate the stability of the market. You should only do this at the peak of a cryptocurrency bubble or when the price is continuously crashing. It is always considered the best time when the price is relatively stable at a low level for some time.
Cryptocurrency storage method
Before buying any cryptocurrency, you need to understand how to keep your cryptocurrency safe.
Generally, all the exchanges offer the storage facility where you can keep your coins safely. You should not share your username, password, 2FA details when you have cryptocurrency on exchanges.
Paper Wallet, Hardware Wallet, Software Wallet are some of the channels where you can store your cryptocurrency.
Paper Wallet: Paper wallet is an offline cold storage method to hold your cryptocurrency. Print your private and public key on a piece of paper where the QR code is also printed. Just scan the QR code for your future transactions. Why is it safe? You don’t have to worry about your account being hacked or being attacked by any malware. Just keep your piece of paper safe in a locker and if possible keep two or three pieces of paper wallet under your complete control.
Hardware Wallet: A hardware wallet is a physical device where you keep your cryptocurrency safe. There are many forms of hardware wallet, but the most commonly used hardware wallet is USB. When you keep your cryptocurrency in your hardware wallet, just keep in mind that you must not lose your hardware wallet, because once it is lost, you will not be able to get your cryptocurrency back.
A famous incident, where a person mined more than 7000 bitcoins and stored in his hardware wallet and saved it with another hardware wallet. One day he threw away the hardware wallet where he stored his cryptocurrency instead of damaging the hardware and lost all his bitcoin.
What cryptocurrencies can you buy in India?
Most people assume that buying and selling any cryptocurrency is only for investment and getting the high returns in the long and short term. Bitcoin influencers and 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 companies that accepts bitcoin as payment. Expedia and UNICEF are other examples.
In India, Sapna Book Mall accepted bitcoin as payment through the Unocoin merchant service. People were booking movie tickets through BookMyShow or recharging their mobiles through the Unocoin platform. According to the report, they have stopped the service but plan to start again in the near future.
Cryptocurrency is one of the growing investment sectors and in the past has given good returns than real estate, gold, stock markets etc. You can buy the cryptocurrency and hold it long term for good returns or go short term for quick profits as we have seen many coins grow by 1000%+ in the past. Since cryptocurrency is a volatile market with no government control over the industry. You need to invest the amount in any cryptocurrency that you can afford to lose.
You can store your cryptocurrency in hardware wallet, paper wallet, software wallet if you don’t want to keep it on the exchange you are trading from.