As of writing this, Bitcoin had surpassed it’s all time high of approximately $87,500 AUD or $66,000 USD and has only just cooled down to approximately $80,000 AUD. Bitcoin has been an absolutely ride over the last few years. In 2018 it rose to a then all-time high of approximately $20,000 before crashing back down to less than $5000 per coin. It has been on the rise again this year, now reaching all-time highs of above $80k AUD, with some expectations for it to rise to 100k. Despite all the hype, there are many that are wary of the cryptocurrency and argue that it isn’t all its cracked up to be.
What is Cryptocurrency?
“Cryptocurrencies, also known as virtual currencies or digital currencies, are a form of electronic money. They do not physically exist as coins or notes. A cryptocurrency unit, such as a bitcoin or ether, is a digital token. These digital tokens are created from code using an encrypted string of data blocks, known as a blockchain.”
“Cryptocurrencies are used as payment systems to execute contracts and run programs. Anyone can create a digital currency, so at any given time there can be thousands of cryptocurrencies in circulation.”
– Government Money Smart Website
For more information on how these currencies work and the technology behind block chain- head to the Reserve Bank of Australia’s website which is linked below:
How Can I Invest in Cryptocurrency?
There are a number of different platforms you can use to invest in cryptocurrency. The one you choose will depend on what you are looking for and what suits your personal situation.
Some online Cryptocurrency exchange platforms available are:
I personally use Swyftx as I found that the best for my situation. Most of these platforms have web based platforms as well as mobile apps making it super easy to get started.
How do I store my Cryptocurrency?
Cryptocurrency differs to other types of investments in the way that it needs to be stored somewhere. Unlike shares, where you buy them and they are registered to your name in a national registry, crypto you have to store in an ‘digital wallet’. This digital wallet can either be hardware based or web based. There are pros and cons to each and again it is up for you to decide what works for you.
Storage based online on a phone, computer desktop, or exchange platform.
– Easy to access
– Can be stolen by hackers
– Requires additional online protection/security installed but even then is not completely safe.
– If you lose your privacy key that unlocks the wallet, you won’t be able to access your coins.
– If you use an exchange platform, the platform holds the coins in your name. They do not offer reimbursement if the funds are stolen, so you will lose all your money.
Hardware based Wallet
Storage that is offline, based in a hard drive or offline ledger.
– Can’t be stolen
– More secure
-If you lose the hardware you lose your crypto.
– The hardware may break & you lose your crypto.
Most crypto-users/experts (if you can call them experts? god knows) say that any large amounts of crypto should be kept in an offline, or hardware based wallet. The risks of keeping your cryptocurrency online is way too high, especially as that balance grows. They liken it to like an everyday account and savings account. Your online wallet would only hold your spending money, and any extra would stay safe in a savings account. This is the same for cryptocurrency. While you may keep some in an online wallet, any large amount should be kept safe in a hardware based wallet.
They also say to be wary of keeping large amounts on exchange platforms. The platforms are not required to pay you anything if the coins are hacked and stolen. Therefore, if the site is hacked you could lose all your money. What may be safer if you don’t want a physical wallet, is to have another online wallet not tied to the exchange but may still be online. You will have private keys that you use to access this wallet, unlike exchange platforms who hold the keys and hold the coins for you. There is a term they say- not your keys not your coin. If you have the ability to, it may be worth removing your cryptocurrency from these exchange platforms to your own personal wallet.
How Much of My Net Worth Should I Keep In Cryptocurrency?
I would say, as would many others, that cryptocurrency is extremely speculative. This basically means that no one really knows where its going and if it is going to be part of our future or not. Therefore, it very much is a gamble at this point. For this reason, I would be hesitant putting large percentages of your net worth into cryptocurrency. Because it is speculative, it is also very volatile, meaning the price fluctuates so much each day. If you have a low risk tolerance and couldn’t handle large price crashes, I can’t imagine it would be worth you investing in at all. The most important thing when it comes to investing in anything is to do your own research to see what suits you and your risk tolerance. For me personally, I have dipped my toe in the water with crypto to avoid FOMO, but have less than 1% of my total net worth invested in this speculative, highly volatile investment.
Good luck and happy investing!