Is Bitcoin still a good investment option? As of Friday, September 20, Bitcoin was trading at $10,152.70. It has been within the range of $10,000 and $12,575.90 since the price started at the beginning of the year at $3,715.56 on January 1, 2109. It first broke the $10k level on June 22 and has been within the 10K mark ever since.
This volatility should make anyone nervous and skittish about investing in Bitcoin, or in any cryptocurrency. While Bitcoin isn’t currency in the same way as fiat currency—which is released and controlled by central banks—it is a cryptocurrency, that is, a digital asset. As an asset it is attractive to many investors willing to venture into this investment sector—where even the president of the IMF has encouraged central banks to develop their own cryptocurrency.
Meanwhile, President Trump recently tweeted “I am not a fan of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, which are not money, and whose value is highly volatile and based on thin air,” one would have thought the prices and confidence in cryptocurrency would have fallen off. However, it didn’t. Not only did the price of Bitcoin not fall, it gained a modest 1% gain after the Tweet.
“This represents remarkable stability for the cryptocurrency, which has seen extreme price volatility over the last few weeks and heavy losses in the last couple of days,” says Anthony Cuthbertson for the UK’s Independent.
So one might wonder: Has the page turned for Bitcoin and cryptocurrency where greater acceptance among investors and a growing acceptance among the general population is increasing after ten years of existence for this new digital currency?
Reasons for Using Bitcoin Over Cash
Over the years, people have favored Bitcoin over cash for a number of reasons. Hiding wealth is one. According to JP Buntinx writer for The Merkle: “Wealthy people have always looked for ways to mask some of their money by whichever means possible. Swiss bank accounts used to be a good solution, but they are now rather useless when it comes to this type of practice” Bitcoin and cryptocurrency allows one to move their money anywhere in the world.
Moreover, using Bitcoin instead of cash makes it possible to hide one’s wealth. For whatever reason—some people do not want to disclose their wealth to government entities. They prefer that one doesn’t know everything about their assets, says Sylvain Saurel. (Medium) While hiding money is high on many people’s list, there are a number of legitimate reasons for buying and holding onto Bitcoin. Let’s take a look.
Did you know that according to the researchers at Kaspersky Labs, already about 13% of people use cryptocurrency as a payment method while shopping online?
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You may prefer Bitcoin over cash—especially if you plan to travel to one of a number of countries that now disfavor cash.
For many countries, if one doesn’t have a credit card or access to a bank account they will be cut off from the system, says Buntinx. Thus, having Bitcoin allows their citizens to participate in the system. According to Saurel, “some people in the world still do not have access to banking services.” There are a number of banks in various countries that believe their citizens do not have the financial resources to support their services. Bitcoin is an alternate form of currency that helps the unbanked gain access to equivalent services.
Using Bitcoin just makes sense as society moves toward a cashless society.
Bitcoin is P2P
One might choose to use Bitcoin because of how it was built. Based on blockchain technology is uses a decentralized ledger. It is this decentralization that creates a peer-to-peer (P2P) digital currency. As such “Bitcoin has the advantage of allowing payments between people without the need for a trusted third party to guarantee the transaction.” (Saurel)
Effortless and Anonymous Online Payments
By using Bitcoin as an alternative to traditional bank or credit cards—you will not have to worry about losing control of your data. Identity theft is a common occurrence when using traditional payment methods. When you pay for an item online—you need to provide personal information like your address, and a complete credit card number. And that data is kept in a centralized database.
With Bitcoin, your personal data is kept confidential. While all the transactions made with Bitcoin are stored in the Bitcoin blockchain—only the address of your digital wallet is listed. Unless you divulge that it belongs to you—no one will be the wiser.
For those who want privacy, an advantage of Bitcoin is that one can complete transactions anonymously.
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Reduced Risk for Merchants
People are getting used to using Bitcoin for consumer purchases. That means that merchants need to accept Bitcoin as a form of payment. One reason for the merchant to use Bitcoin is to ensure a sale has been completed. With credit cards, most transactions won’t be completed until the next day.
However—with Bitcoin, a complete transaction occurs in seconds. A tremendous relief for merchants, as Saurel notes that “a merchant may have problems with people making purchases and then trying to have them cancelled at their banks for various reasons.”
With Bitcoin, once the transaction is validated, it is irreversible.
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As noted earlier, Bitcoin has a history of volatility. With volatility there exists a potential for large gains. Indeed, someone who invested in Bitcoin in 2010—is likely sitting on millions of dollars. If you had invested $1,000 of Bitcoin in 2010, you could have had a worth of $35 million in May of 2017—according to Joe Mullin.
Bitcoin can be seen as an “accelerator of wealth,” says Saurel. With Bitcoin’s price hovering about $10,000, it’s difficult for the average person to invest in Bitcoin. If $10,000 is too much, and you want in—you can purchase fractional denominations of Bitcoin within your budget. For more on how to buy fractions of Bitcoin, check out BTC Geek.
According to Max Boddy writing for Cointelegraph—market analyst Naeem Aslam, predicts that Bitcoin will “hit somewhere between $60,000 and $100,000 during its next bull run.”
— Paul Samson (@PaulESamson) September 5, 2019
For many, one reason for buying Bitcoin is simply because they want to belong. They want to be a part of a revolution. Indeed, cryptocurrency is a revolutionary currency. Relative to the existence of currency existing for millennia—Bitcoin is in its embryonic stage. However, it continues to strengthen with time.
Why should one use Bitcoin instead of cash? That depends on the investor motivations, investment strategies, and whatever it is that brings the investor into this community.