If you’re an investor or a technology enthusiast, cryptocurrency is currently all the rage. While many folks get hung on the currency aspect of it, it’s the underlying technology that holds the real value and what has many folks excited. What is that technology you ask? It’s called Blockchain. Put simply, the blockchain is a digitized, decentralized, public ledger of all transactions — a big ass public spreadsheet if you will. Some of the benefits of the blockchain include reduced or zero fees, smart contracts, security and ludicrous speed — some of the crypocurrency projects have nearly instant transactions. It’s easy to see why many are so bullish on the space.
While you may have only heard of Bitcoin if you watch the mainstream news, there are actually quite a few intriguing projects in their early stages of development. With the ability to get in on the ground floor and potentially make returns not seen in traditional markets, this is the reason why you have investors flocking to crypto in droves. So how does one get involved in investing in cryptocurrencies?
The first place most start is getting a Coinbase account. Coinbase is an American exchange founded in 2012 located out of San Fransisco. Coinbase only deals in four currencies: Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum and Litecoin. Outside of Bitcoin Cash, the other three are the most mature currencies in the market. Think of them as the “blue chip stocks” of cryptocurrency.
Once most have gotten their feet wet investing in the big boys, the next move is to register on one of the many other exchanges to invest in other projects. As it is unregulated space, you will not find all projects on all exchanges. I personally recommend Binance, which is an exchange located out of Tokyo. Binance currently lists well over 100 different currencies.
Before anyone invests in cryptocurrency, you definitely need to do your research. This is an unregulated, global market that is ripe for unscrupulous behavior. This Motley Fool article covers some important facts to consider. This Forbes piece is a quick read and also has three solid tips that you should definitely take in. Likewise, when you pick a project to invest in, be sure to read through their whitepaper, social media platforms and everything you can get your eyes on.
The one piece of advise I’ll give anyone investing is look for real world use cases and what kind of potential impact there can be for disruption on an industry. For example, one of my favorite holdings is the VeChain project. VeChain strives to offer Blockchain-as-a-Service (BaaS) to enterprises, which will ultimately allow businesses to use the blockchain as a transparent, scalable and secure ecosystem for their products and information. Think of counterfeit luxury goods like clothing, handbags or wine. Through the use of the blockchain and RFID, NFC and other technologies, VeChain and help businesses mitigate that risk. What’s more, moving systems to a decentralized platform can bring other business efficiencies such as less technology and human capital overhead, for example. The other reason I’m bullish on VeChain is they have been able to land a number of significant partnerships, several with large Chinese agencies and the Chinese government itself.
Hope you enjoyed this quick and dirty primer on cryptocurrency and now for some mood music. If you did, please use my referral links for Coinbase and Binance above. With Coinbase, you’ll receive a $10 bonus once you make a $100 trade. Good luck and hopefully all of your investments ring as true as The O’Jays did in this classic.