THIS year alone, more people would probably have heard about cryptocurrency, bitcoin, or ethereum for the very first time. I personally have had more people asking me about it just these past few months than in all the previous years combined. Even our city is set to have its very own Cryptocurrency Expo on October 7.
Of course, this is all thanks to the meteoric rise of bitcoin’s value, only $900 at the beginning of the year, to almost $5000 last August, and has since dropped to around $4000 as of this writing. That means if you bought bitcoin last January and sold it last August, you would have made 5 times what you initially invested.
More dramatic than bitcoin’s rise however, it’s lesser known rival, ethereum, which traded for only $10 in January but reached a high of almost $400 last August. So if you had bought ethereum in January and sold it in August, you would have made roughly 40 times your initial investment in less than a year.
It is no wonder then, that cryptocurrencies (the general term for these new breed of digital currencies) have been making the headlines recently. The recent surge in prices are in part due to increased demand from those who want to own bitcoin or ethereum or some other cryptocurrency (and yes, there are hundreds of them) for the very first time.
Of course, with every opportunity, scams and scammers abound as well. There will always be shady individuals ready to take advantage of your lack of knowledge, or your eagerness to get rich quick. The realm of cryptocurrency is no exception and we have seen our fair share of scams that have come and gone as well.
So if you are planning to invest in cryptocurrency, please take note of the following:
1) Investing in cryptocurrency is a risk. It is highly speculative. Anyone who tells you otherwise, who entices you with words like “low-risk” or “zero-risk” is probably up to no good. The cryptocurrency market is a DEREGULATED market. That means anything can happen to the market price. It can go up to $5000 dollars in one day, and it can also drop back to $500 another day. There is no officiating body controlling or regulating market prices. It is purely driven by the laws of supply and demand. As such, my advice to those wanting to take the plunge is to put in only money that you can afford to lose.
2) There is no guaranteed income. In fact, there may not even be an income. You may lose your money. Anyone who approaches you with some sort of guarantee (even a seemingly small amount like 1 percent) is probably up to no good. If people ask for your money to “invest” with them, be very suspicious. These days, you can already buy bitcoin directly at coins.ph, buybitcoin.ph or rebit.ph. You can read more about these platforms at https://cointelegraph.com/news/3-major-bitcoin-platforms-in-philippines-.... Once you have your bitcoins, you can easily buy other cryptocurrencies with that. There is no need for you to give your money to someone for him/her to “invest.”
3) Network Marketing is a No-No. I am not a network marketing hater. In fact, I am a former network marketer, have many friends still in the industry and I have written several articles in defense of legitimate network marketing. But knowing what I know about it, I can safely say that cryptocurrency and network marketing simply do not mix. There have been cryptocurrencies that have been launched network-marketing style and I have yet to see one with any prospect of long term success. Why is this? Well, network marketing relies on guaranteed income and bonuses and that contradicts what I wrote in number 2.
4) Learn, learn, learn. As with any investment, nothing beats understanding why you are betting your money on it. I learned about Ethereum in 2015 and understood its potential. Perhaps because of my background in computers and technology, it was easier for me to absorb the technicalities. However, there are tons of materials out there that make it easy for the layman to understand this new technology and its promise for the future. It’s always a wiser decision for you to know exactly why you’re putting your money where it is, than simply putting it there because everyone else is saying that’s where you should invest. You have a responsibility to educate yourself.
Published in the SunStar Davao newspaper on September 22, 2017.
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