Is it worse investing in cryptocurrencies in 2018? If that question has made you curious, then this three article series is exactly what you’re looking for. We’ll look at:
– why anyone should invest in cryptocurrencies
– how to technically do it
– how much money should you invest
– what to expect after you have invested
All right, so why should anyone invest in cryptocurrencies and what are their benefits over normal money? Actually, there are many. So let’s get into details of every single one of them.
1. No banks, governments or any other single intermediary entities needed, you are fully in control over your money.
The trump card of cryptocurrencies and the most important benefit over fiat money is that there are no banks, governments or any other intermediaries needed, which also means that they have absolutely no control over your money. They cannot print it, they cannot devalue it, they can not adjust the inflation rate for it, they cannot take a big fat fee when you’re sending it to someone abroad, they cannot issue bonds for it and get into more and more deeper financial debt.
But who is in control over it? It is the blockchain. The centralized system which can be owned by anyone and in which participate many many computers all over the world in thousands of different places. All of these computers ensure that the transactions of cryptocurrency are correct and get a small reward in cryptocurrency for the effort. This process is called mining.
2. Cheaper international transactions
Although Bitcoin transaction fees are pretty high at the moment because of the massive amounts of pending transactions in the blockchain, the fees for international payments are still much lower for bitcoins than sending money through Western Union or PayPal. If you are sending at least several hundreds of dollars and are not willing to wait several days or up to week for the transaction to finalize, the average transaction fee for bitcoins is about $5. But the most efficient cryptocurrencies for transferring low amounts of value are altcoins like Ethereum and Litecoin.
In case you didn’t know, altcoins are every other cryptocurrency out there other than Bitcoin. For example, sending thousand dollars worth of Etherium would cost you about $0.2 and sending the same value on Litecoine would cost you only about $0.1. If you want to send payments internationally with PayPal or Western Union and don’t want to wait for the payment for several days then the fee can easily go up to several tens of dollars.
3. Faster transactions
Even transferring money inside the United States between different banks using online bank transfers usually takes from few hours to the end of the following business day not to mention bank transfers abroad which can take from few business days up to few weeks if you are not willing to pay big fees for fast transactions.
And if we look from seller’s perspective, receiving payments from a credit card or debit card also usually takes about three to five business days for the money to get off from pending transactions in the seller’s bank account.
With Bitcoin the time needed for transaction to complete is dependent on how much transaction fees are you willing to pay and how many pending transactions there are. With Bitcoin the average transaction confirmation time is roughly about one hour, but if you choose to have low fees it may take up to several days for the transaction to complete. Some altcoins are faster than Bitcoin. For example, typical Litecoin transaction confirmations take about 15 to 20 minutes and Etherium is even faster – about 5 minutes.
4. Anonymity and tax evasion
Most countries have announced that Bitcoin and altcoins are goods that can be purchased and are taxable, and in the case of buying something with cryptocurrencies the deals considered to be a barter which is taxable. Internal Revenue Service or IRS wants businesses and also non-business parties in the case of profiting to report about their barter deals which of course also includes exchanges involving cryptocurrencies.
Although bitcoin is not completely anonymous, because all of Bitcoin transactions are saved in every computer that is involved in the Bitcoin blockchain and thus every transaction is traceable, many tax evaders trade bitcoin for altcoins where transactions are not publicly shown and are completely anonymous like ZeeCash, for example. At that point the exchange coins are untraceable and can be traded back to a different Bitcoin wallet. This makes it a very desirable payment method for illegal drug dealers, arms dealers, smugglers and also regular business owners.
5. Hyperinflation proof
As we all know fiat currencies like US dollar becomes less worth over time because of central bank’s printing more and more dollars. It is what we call inflation. The purchase power of one dollar 100 years ago was the same as today has twenty one dollars which means that year by year dollar loses more than 3% of its value. For example, if you have hundred thousand dollars in savings then purchase power worth more than three thousand dollars will be lost in 12 months. But the big trouble starts when the inflation reaches hyper levels.
So currencies are not a good financial instrument to be holding long term. That’s why wealthy people prefer holding on to things like gold silver or other commodities instead of currency because they are in limited supply and cannot be printed by government. It’s the same with cryptocurrencies. Max amount of bitcoins that can ever be in circulation is 21 million. Max amount of Litecoins that can ever be in circulation is 84 million. Max amount of Dash that can ever be in circulation is 18.9 million. This gives us trust in cryptocurrencies that there won’t be a situation where you will wake up one morning to find out that because of hyperinflation all your bitcoins have lost 90% of their value because the total bitcoins supply is rising 10 times.
However that is possible with every currency like US dollar or Euro. And although all cryptocurrencies that have not reached their maximum supply of coins that are in circulation have some kind of inflation. For example, Bitcoin annual inflation in 2017 is 4% which is even more than the US dollar. The difference here is that you can tell today cryptocurrency inflation for years to come because most cryptocurrencies have maximum supply of coins that can never go into circulation. We can already tell what the inflation for Bitcoin will be in year 2021, and it’s going to be 1.79% , and after all bitcoins will be mined we will go into a no inflation stage or even a deflation stage because of some users losing their cryptocurrency wallet codes or dying without telling anyone to code and etc.
6. Security: Unlike banks and other centralised entities, blockchain is impossible to hack and it has never been done
Every computer involved in mining is connected to each other and can see information about every single transaction from the very first one. So that makes it impossible for someone to cheat and create multiple fraudulent coins. In order to do that you would have to hack all the previous transaction blocks in the system’s history plus all the millions of computers around the world which take part in mining at the same time.
It’s impossible with today’s technology, but you might be wondering that you have heard how hackers have stolen millions of dollars worth of Bitcoins. Well, that is not happening in the blockchain system but from third party online cryptocurrency storage wallets. Most notable thefts are from online cryptocurrency storage in exchanges like Mount Gox in 2014 and BitFenix in 2016.
It is true that you really don’t have much control over your online wallet in terms of security. It is in the hands of the online wallet host itself. That’s why there are compact offline hardware wallets that no one has access to it but yourself like Trezor wallet for storing Bitcoin, Litecoin, Etherium, Dash and even more. The good thing about hardware wallet is that even if you lose the hardware wallet, you won’t lose the cryptocurrencies together with it as long as you have created a backup code for it. The only downside for hardware wallet in comparison with software wallet is that they are not free. They are actual objects similar to flash memory sticks.
7. No restrictions to send funds to any country
You might not have heard it before, but it is forbidden and illegal to transfer money to countries like Iran, Syria, Cuba, North Korea from United States, United Kingdom as well as from many other active members of United Nations. This is because of political reasons. Governments don’t allow commercial or private money transfers to those countries. Of course, with cryptocurrencies it can’t be supervised. And it’s so much easier to transfer cryptocurrencies than money to those countries. With cryptocurrencies you can make transfers to whatever wallet you want, located in whatever country in the world.
8. No manufacturing costs unlike metal coins and paper money
It costs more than a penny to produce a penny, it costs more than a nickel to produce a nickel. This is another disadvantage for cash. It’s not very efficient in terms of producing it, especially coins. Regarding the cryptocurrencies, they cost literally absolutely nothing to produce because it is just a combination of symbols, letters and numbers. The only cost here is transactions which are insured by miners and miners get paid in that particular cryptocurrency. So we can say that cryptocurrencies are definitely more efficient than cash in terms of producing it.
9. No exchanges needed when traveling abroad
Of course, as we all know when you travel abroad you have to exchange your currency for the currency that is used in the country that you’re travelling to. Regardless whether you’re using cash or payment card, there are a couple of problems with this. The most obvious one is that you get ripped off every time you’re exchanging currencies.
When exchanging big currencies like US dollars and Euros, best commissions are usually about 1% but they may be 2% -5% regarding on the situation. And when you get back home sometimes you’re left with nothing but large amounts of foreign currency that has no other use but to exchange it back to your local currency which again means more commissions for you.
Another problem is that, if you want to exchange cash you have to waste your time looking for a currency exchange point with reasonable commission rates. All of this could be forgotten if you’d be using cryptocurrencies, but with one condition. All the service providers like hotels and stores would help to actually accept cryptocurrencies. And it’s not a secret that some already do, but for the most part it’s just a matter of time.
So if you’re also a person that thinks cryptocurrencies and blockchains are the next big global game-changer like internet was 25 years ago then we would like to introduce you our next article on how to invest and more importantly how much money should you invest to make profits from cryptocurrencies with far more higher returns than stock market or real estate can offer while at the same time not risking that much with your money.