Bitcoin and Ethereum Become Mainstream?
Okay, back in 2014 I played around a tiny bit with bitcoin but really lost interest. Turns out, I should have paid closer attention. The value has more than doubled in that time. Once again, there seems to be a lot of buzz surrounding crypto-currency and bitcoin in particular.
Bitcoin is a virtual currency that can be used to move money around the world quickly and anonymously without the need for a central authority. It was lauded by those who distrust central banking and government controlled currencies. Yes, when the Internet crashes, your bitcoin is unreachable… but when you think about it – how much cash do you carry these days anyway? We are all working with virtual currency every day in the form of credit & debit cards.
On Friday, bitcoin climbed to a record high value of $1,298. It is now for the first time since the inception (2010) worth as much as Gold. It climbed largely because of recent activity of the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) (see below.)
What is Ethereum? In effect, it is bitcoin but different. For one, Microsoft has thrown their support behind Ethereum and is working to create tools for banks to be able to easily deal with Ethereum. That right there tells me it is going to be a serious player. The ability to code smart contracts (like rent, allowance, car payment etc.) directly into the transactions is a game-changer. It is also about 50 times faster code than Bitcoin. Again, to me that just means it is a better mousetrap.
Oh, and it’s also the young kid on the block (began in 2015) and is only $19.95 compared to nearly $1,300 for Bitcoin.
Why will it soar? What the SEC is fiddling with is approval of the first U.S. Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF.) It looks to be very likely that this ETF will be approved and then the flood gates will open. That means many other ETFs will follow and the market will really take off.
How much will it grow? Well, that is impossible to predict but without access to the exchanges, a $10 investment in bitcoin is worth $7 million today… that is some serious growth.
How can you participate? You have to have a crypto wallet – I use Coinbase and I love it. You simply connect it to a bank account, PayPal or a credit/debit card (to fund your account) and you are off to the races. In fact, if you use this link – you will get $10 to use on bitcoin or Ethereum once you have invested your first $100.
I am taking a ride on this bullet train and think it is going to be a fun ride with a great payoff. While I don’t recommend you cash out all your retirement and get in the crypto market, it is a good opportunity if you have some extra money you can toss into it.
Are you in crypto-currency? Do you even know what it is? Is it worth tossing a couple hundred buck on the chance that it might make some serious money?
by Chris Doelle
Also published on Medium.