Bitcoin has captured America’s imagination. Whether or not the crypto currency will ultimately turn out to be a good investment or just a passing fad remains to be seen. Indeed, in the past several months Bitcoin prices have enjoyed a run-up that makes the 1999 tech bubble look staid by comparison. That excitement — the promise of sudden riches or sudden ruin — has a lot of people wondering how a bitcoin investment actually works.
If that’s you, here’s a step-by-step guide on how to trade bitcoin. But first…
Should I Invest in Bitcoin?
Like any speculative investment, buying bitcoin at sky-high valuations is risky business. If you’re asking, “Is it smart to invest in bitcoin?” you might do well to heed this advice from billionaire investor Mark Cuban, who told MONEY, “It’s still very much a gamble.” You need to know that your bitcoin investment might lose money. If you’re not prepared to face that prospect, bitcoin investment might not be for you.
You’d be in good company in that case, anyway. Jack Bogle’s bitcoin investment advice is pretty simple, and blunt: You should avoid Bitcoin speculation “like the plague.” And this is coming from the guy who founded Vanguard, so he knows a thing or two about investments. The other risk to keep in mind if you plan to invest in bitcoin, aside from the overall volatility of the cryptocurrency, is of a cyber attack. Hackers descended on digital currency exchange Bitfinex on Tuesday, less than a week after cyber crooks made off with $70 million in a separate heist.
How to Invest in Bitcoin
If you’re aware of the risks and still willing to take the plunge, this is what you need to know about investing in bitcoin: Crypto currencies exist in an unregulated, decentralized digital sphere without involvement by (or protection via) a central bank. This is part of bitcoin’s appeal. People or entities can buy and sell crypto currency anonymously, and there are fewer middlemen taking a cut of transactions. But it also means you can’t just buy bitcoin via mainstream investing tools like a brokerage account.
First one piece of good news: You can buy fractions up to the eighth decimal place of bitcoin. That means you don’t need to plunk down the nearly $17,000 you often see quoted as the price for a full bitcoin — which is probably for the best, as we noted above. As of Thursday afternoon, that one ten-thousandth — four decimal places or 0.0001 — of a bitcoin is worth about $1.65.
Beyond that, for most people, the best (i.e. simplest) way to invest in bitcoin starts with setting up a crypto currency wallet. Some of the better-known sites where you can do this are Coinbase, Bitstamp and Bitfinex, although there are a number of other platforms out there, as well. Once you establish an account, connect it to your payment source — a bank account or a credit or debit card — via two-factor authentication. Of note: It’s important to use a tool like Google Authenticator rather than just relying on text-based authentication, which can be more vulnerable to cybertheft, when investing in bitcoin.
Once you have purchased a bitcoin, it stays in your digital wallet until you trade it — either by using it as currency for a purchase, or by selling it (which is technically “trading” it for American dollars or another currency of your choice).
You can get Bitcoin Donation From Our Members.
Offer lasts 24 hours!
Click link below to register for free now!