Introduction: To invest in cryptocurrency
The first cryptocurrency that came into existence was Bitcoin which was built on blockchain technology and was probably launched in 2009 by a mysterious man 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 most popular cryptocurrencies are Ethereum, Litecoin, Ripple, Golem, Civic and hard forks of Bitcoin such as Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin Gold.
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It is advised to users not to put all the money in one cryptocurrency and try to avoid investing at the top of the cryptocurrency bubble. It has been observed that the price suddenly dropped during the peak of the crypto bubble. Since cryptocurrency is a volatile market users must invest the amount they can afford to lose as there is no government control over cryptocurrency as it is a decentralized cryptocurrency.
Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple has predicted that Bitcoin is the real gold and will dominate all currencies like USD, EUR, INR, and ASD in the future and become the global currency in the coming years.
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Why and why not invest in cryptocurrency?
Bitcoin was the first cryptocurrency that came into existence and since then around 1600+ cryptocurrencies have been introduced with some unique features for each currency.
Some of the reasons I felt and wanted to share are that cryptocurrencies are built on decentralized platforms – so users don’t need a third party to transfer cryptocurrencies from one destination to another, unlike fiat currencies where a user needs to transfer money from one account to another. Bank-like platforms to Cryptocurrency is built on a very secure blockchain technology and the chances of your cryptocurrency being hacked and stolen is almost zero unless you share some of your important information.
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You should always avoid buying cryptocurrencies at the high point of a cryptocurrency-bubble. Many of us buy cryptocurrencies at their peak hoping to make a quick buck and fall victim to the bubble scam and lose their money. It is better for users to do a lot of research before investing money. It is always better to keep your money in multiple cryptocurrencies rather than one as it has been observed that some cryptocurrencies grow more, some on average while other cryptocurrencies go into the red zone.
Cryptocurrencies to focus on
In 2014, Bitcoin occupied 90% of the market and cryptocurrencies occupied the remaining 10%. In 2017, Bitcoin still dominates the crypto market but its share has dropped from 90% to 38% and Altcoins like Litecoin, Ethereum, Ripple have grown rapidly and captured most of the market.
Bitcoin still dominates the cryptocurrency market but is not the only cryptocurrency that you need to consider when investing in cryptocurrency. Some of the main cryptocurrencies that you must consider are:
Where and how to buy cryptocurrency?
Although it was not easy to buy cryptocurrencies a few years back but now there are many platforms available to users.
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In 2015, there are two major Bitcoin platforms in India Unocoin wallet and Zebpay wallet where users can only buy and sell Bitcoins. Users only need to buy bitcoins from the wallet and not from another person. There was a price difference between buying and selling rates and users had to pay some nominal fees to complete their transactions.
In 2017, the cryptocurrency industry grew tremendously and the price of Bitcoin rose spontaneously, especially in the last six months of 2017 which forced users to look for alternatives to Bitcoin and crossed 14 lakhs in the Indian market.
As Unodax and Zebpay were the two major platforms in India that were dominating the market with 90% market share – which only traded in Bitcoin. This gives other companies the opportunity to grow with other altcoins and even forces Unocoin and others to add more coins to their platform.
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Unocoin, one of India’s leading cryptocurrency and blockchain company has launched UnoDAX exchange, an exclusive platform for its users to trade multiple cryptocurrencies in addition to Bitcoin trading on Unocoin. The difference between both the platforms was – Unocion was only offering instant buying and selling of Bitcoin whereas in UnoDAX, users can place an order for any available cryptocurrency and if it matches the recipient, the order will be executed.
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Other major exchanges available for cryptocurrency trading in India are Koinex, Coinsecure, Bitbns, WazirX.
Users have to open an account on any exchange by signing up with email ID and submitting KYC details. Once their account is verified, one can start trading the coins of their choice.
Before investing in any coin, users should do their research well and not fall into the cryptocurrency-bubble trap. Users must research the trustworthiness, transparency, security features and more of the exchange.
All exchanges charge some nominal fee on each transaction. There are two types of charges – maker fee and taker fee. Apart from transaction fees, one has to pay transfer fees, if you want to transfer your cryptocurrency to another exchange or to your personal wallet. Charges only depend on the coin and the exchange as different exchanges have different prices for transferring coins.
Major Altcoins Other Than Bitcoin
As mentioned above, Bitcoin is dominating the market with a 38% market share, followed by Ripple, Ethereum, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash. Exchanges like UnoDAX, Bitfinex, Kraken, Bitstamp have listed other coins like Golem, Civic, Raiden Network, Kyber Network, Basic Attention, 0X, Augur, Monero, Tron and more. If a coin matches your portfolio then you must buy it.
But, you must put the money in the market that you can lose because the cryptocurrency market is very volatile and there is no government control over it.
When to buy?
There are no hard and fast rules when to buy your favorite cryptocurrency. But market stability needs to be researched. You shouldn’t at the top of a cryptocurrency bubble or when prices are constantly crashing. The best time is always considered when the price is stable at a relatively low level for some time.
Cryptocurrency storage method
Before buying any cryptocurrency you must understand how to keep your cryptocurrency safe.
Generally, all exchanges offer storage facilities where you can keep your coins safely. No one will share their username, password, 2FA when you deposit cryptocurrency on the exchange.
Paper wallets, hardware wallets, software wallets are some of the channels where one can store their cryptocurrency.
Paper Wallet: 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. One needs to scan the QR code for their future transactions. Why is it safe? No need to worry about your account being hacked or any malicious malware attack. You just need to keep your piece of paper safe in a locker and if possible keep two to 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 a hardware wallet you just need to remember that you should not lose the hardware wallet because once it is lost you cannot recover your cryptocurrency.
A famous case, where a person mined 7000+ bitcoins and stored them in a hardware wallet and put them in another hardware wallet. One day he threw away the hardware wallet he used to store his cryptocurrency instead of the damaged hardware and he lost all his bitcoins.
What can be bought from cryptocurrency in India?
Most people assume that buying and selling any cryptocurrency is only for investing and getting high returns in the long and short term. Influentials and Bitcoin investors believe that Bitcoin will dominate all fiat currencies and be accepted as an international currency in the coming years.
Dell is one of the largest e-commerce businesses that accept Bitcoin as payment. Expedia and UNICEF are other examples.
In India, Sapna Book Mall was accepting Bitcoin as payment using Unocoin merchant services. People were booking movie tickets through BookMyShow or recharging their mobiles using the Unocoin platform. According to reports, they have stopped the service but are planning to resume it in the near future.
Cryptocurrency is one of the growing investment sectors and has given better returns than real-estate, gold, stock-market etc. in the past. You can buy cryptocurrency and hold for long term to get excellent returns or go short term for quick profit as we have seen many coins grow at 1000%+ in the past. Since cryptocurrency is a volatile market and the government has no control over the industry. One must invest an amount in any cryptocurrency that they can afford to lose.
You can store your cryptocurrency in a hardware wallet, paper wallet, software wallet if you don’t want to keep it on the exchange you are trading from.