Cryptocurrency is the next big thing. It’s the future of money, and it’s about to change the way you buy things online. You can buy anything online, from a cup of coffee to a new house, using cryptocurrency.
What is cryptocurrency? What are its benefits? And what are its downsides? We’ll answer these questions and more in this blog.
How to get started investing in cryptocurrency:
1) Start with a small amount of money: you don’t need much to start investing in cryptocurrency.
2) Research the different cryptocurrencies out there: there are hundreds, so how do you know which ones are worth investing in?
3) Once you’ve got your research done and found a cryptocurrency you like, get started buying it: once you’ve made your first buy — either on an exchange or through an ATM — you can then invest larger amounts of money over time.
A lot of people want to know how to invest in cryptocurrency. But if you’ve never bought a stock or a mutual fund or a bond, it’s hard to know what to buy and how to get started. To help you figure that out, the Motley Fool has picked six of the best cryptocurrencies for beginners.
Cryptocurrency investing is all about finding coins that are undervalued at the moment. You don’t necessarily have to buy at their lowest price ever; as we’ll show, there are plenty of coins that have good potential but haven’t yet hit their nadir.
This list isn’t exhaustive; we focused on coins that are easy for anyone with $100 or less to buy, in part because they’re easier to mine than currencies such as Bitcoin (which is nearly impossible for newcomers). If you’re looking for more advice on crypto investing, check out our guide to choosing the best cryptocurrency for you.
The best cryptocurrency to buy today is a coin that has dropped in price. It had the best year, and it’s just not the same coin any more.
If you want to build a portfolio, you have to pick and choose. If you don’t, there’s no way of knowing if you’re doing it right. You can’t win by being right all the time; as Warren Buffett likes to say, “It’s far better to be roughly right than precisely wrong.”
Cryptocurrency list price is a very common way to express the value of cryptocurrency. It’s easy to understand, and even if you don’t understand it, it’s easy to see why it makes sense. In the very early days of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, their value was much higher than they are now. The list price is well suited to comparing them with each other at that point in time.
But the list price is not well suited for comparing them in the present day. The reason is that the market prices have moved around quite a bit in recent years. The values of cryptocurrencies have changed to reflect their current use cases, from speculation on which ones will be the next Bitcoin or Ethereum to which ones have more utility for transactions and use as currencies in real-world commerce.
In the first half of 2018, cryptocurrencies have lost a third of their value. The price of Bitcoin fell from $20,000 to just over $6,000. The price of Ethereum dropped from $1,400 to about $300. But the real suffering has been among smaller coins that are used as a medium of exchange. The 30-day average prices of these tokens fell by 41%.
The token that has fared best has been Stellar Lumens, which is designed primarily for cross-border payments and can be exchanged for fiat currencies like the dollar or the euro. It’s currently trading at $0.26 on major exchanges and has had a gain of more than 1,200% this year.
The price of Bitcoin and other leading cryptocurrencies is falling because they are being replaced by better alternatives. Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin or Ethereum allow you to move money around without having to trust any central authority, but they use up a lot of computing power and electricity in order to do so. This makes them expensive and wasteful compared with traditional payment systems like Paypal or Visa.
For example, if you wanted to buy a phone for your friend using Bitcoin instead of Paypal, you would have to pay Bitcoin’s network fees (typically between 3% and 5%)
Bitcoin is a currency, not a stock, and that’s why it works. No one is forced to use it. It can be used as money or as a speculative investment, just like gold. It has no central bank, and so it isn’t inflationary. And unlike the U.S. dollar, which is backed by gold but doesn’t have much usefulness without a central bank, Bitcoin has utility outside of financial transactions.
It’s also the first example of what we now call “cryptocurrencies”. These are digital assets that have a similar function to bitcoins: they are used as money, or for speculation. They are not issued or controlled by governments or banks; instead they are created by groups of people who agree on how the currency should behave (for example by following bitcoin’s specifications).
Bitcoin was the first cryptocurrency, but there are now dozens, including etherium and ripple – two that have seen huge price increases in recent weeks – and several others that are yet to be launched. The current list price for an ethereum unit is around $40; one ripple unit is worth $0.50 (and has been trading at this level for several weeks).
There are more than 1000 cryptocurrencies on the market, and most people have never heard of them. In fact, if you asked people what they understand by the word “cryptocurrency,” they would probably say a digital currency that can be used to buy things on the internet like Bitcoin.
But it is more accurate to think of cryptocurrencies in terms of their functionality: as a medium of exchange and a unit of account, as a way to make payments without having to go through a bank or a government, as an alternative payment method for websites, as a hedge against inflation, or as digital gold (that is, an investment).
It helps to understand how each of these functions works before you read this list.