How to buy Bitcoins and where I think the market is going

bitcoin-how-to-buy

This month has been crazy for Bitcoin. Here is the easiest way that you can purchase some BTC and begin trading. I also talk ramble about where I think Bitcoin is going and the opportunities that exist in the market.

You may want to start by reading my post on Bitcoin the new internet gold rush.

Then we’ll continue to my disclaimers…

1.) Regret is the worst feeling in the world.

It’s a feeling that sticks with you forever, something that’s almost impossible to overcome. Don’t put yourself in a position where you regret that you didn’t get involved with cryptocurrencies at this stage of the game.
**2.) I am not an expert at anything.**

I’m a location independent entrepreneur running a supplement company, electronic music website,and hard at work on a few stealth projects. I’m not an economist, forex analyst or in any position to give anyone financial advice. I’m invested in cryptocurrency and believe it will play a large role in the future of the world.

3.) “The next greatest danger to a young business man in this community I believe to be that of speculation”

Andrew Carnegie said that to a group of young men in 1885. If you’re smart, you can make a ton of money just playing the arbitrage game with cryptocurrency right now. Cool example here. But I would only play the arbitrage game, if that’s your game. If you’re looking to just get rich off of Bitcoin (and didn’t invest earlier this year when I told you to), you’re probably going to lose a ton of money.

However, if you wanted to dedicate all of your life, energy, attention and focus to studying cryptocurrencies and learning how the markets work, you could probably make a shit ton of money.

I’m not advising you to cash out your retirement account, drain your trust fund or deflate your savings.

But if you wanted to do that… you might be able to retire a little bit earlier than expected 🙂

Okay let’s have some fun now.

bitcoin-chart

This month Bitcoin has experience its biggest growth in the cryptocurrencies history. Yesterday it hit an all time high of $927 on MtGox one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges.

If you purchased Bitcoin when I first started blogging about it back in April the price was around $73 per BTC. That’s a pretty serious return on investment 🙂 and even people who got involved last week have gotten rich.

So what’s really causing Bitcoin to rise?

Stability.

A lot of people (including myself) expected Bitcoin to destabilize after the deep web drug market Silk Road got taken down. But after a brief moment of chaoes, it actually brought stability to the market.

Then the U.S. government decided that they like Bitcoin too. The Washington Post actually called the hearing “a lovefest”. Ben Bernanke is on the hitlist for Bitcoin assassinations (this is the internet everything exists) said, “[Bitcoin] may hold long-term promise, particularly if the innovations promote a faster, more secure and more efficient payment system.” Other government organizations have directly or indirectly issued their support, so the demand for Bitcoin grows.

Living in America it’s hard to us to conceptualize the need for an alternative currency. Even when we go abroad, the USD is virtually accepted everywhere. We’re assholes and it might ruin us. Anyway, Bitcoin is free from all of the problems in exisiting monetary systems, it’s strength lies in its algorithm, lack of central authority or control.

Cool Factoids:

  • Bitcoin has surpassed Paypal and Discover to become the fifth largest daily payment processor in the world (Coindesk)
  • Rich people everywhere are diversifying their portfolios by investing in Bitcoin (WSJ)
  • A lot of activity is being driven by China, with experts speculating that it’s their attempt to destabilize the dollar. (PandoDaily)

How do I buy a Bitcoin?

coinbase-2

For the sake of this article, we are going to ignore the technical side of how it all works and jump straight into getting involved.

The easiest way to get started with Bitcoin is to signup at Coinbase.com.

Coinbase is a venture backed San Francisco startup that’s committed to making Bitcoin easy to use. The website is beautiful and application is easy and intuitive. Because you’re a US Citizen with a bank account, you can purchase directly that way and avoid any of the other methods.

Step by step instructions

  1. Go to PasswordCard.org and get a pw card
  2. Signup for Coinbase and use a password that’s 15+ characters
  3. Link Coinbase to your bank account
  4. Purchase Bitcoins

For security purposes it’s ABSOLUTELY VITAL to remember that:

If your bitcoin wallet is hacked. Your bitcoins are gone. Goodbye.

Let me say this again… if your Coinbase wallet gets hacked into and someone sends your Bitcoins to another address, they’re gone. You will not recover them. Coinbase will not pay you back. Security is everything.

Here are some tips:

  • Whatever email address that you use, make sure you have double authentication enabled and a separate password than anything else.
  • It’s even better to connect your Coinbase account to an email address that no one knows about with double authentication enabled.
  • Do not attach that email address to your cell phone or other device. Use it strictly for Coinbase.
  • Only connect to Coinbase from a secure network, don’t do it in public. Turn off all of your apps.

Most of you live in ignorance of how easy digital theft is. You drop your cell phone that doesn’t have a lock on it and it’s gone. Someone opens it up and instantly has access to your email. They see you have a Wells Fargo app, so they login the account and send a password reset to your email. They take all of your money, but the bank pays you back. With Bitcoin you’re shit out of luck.

**How much should you buy? **

Given Bitcoin’s volatility, I would probably recommend waiting until the market comes back down. Or you can invest the same amount each week. Or you can believe that Bitcoin is only going to keep going up and drain your account and gamble it all. If you did this earlier this year when One BTC = $13 USD, well you’d be rich now.

Looking at it now, $900 for a coin that you’ll never get to hold in your hand is expensive. Don’t tell your parents, professors or anyone who thinks they know something… they’ll tell you to shut up and that you’re crazy. They’re also the same people who refused to invest in gold back in 2007 when it was $800 per ounce. Gold turned out to be a pretty good investment.

Once you make a purchase and have your Bitcoin you can begin to trade it for other cryptocurrencies. While Bitcoin is the only one that gets any real media attention, there are a lot of alternatives out there. Some people like to say that if Bitcoin is gold, then Litecoin is silver. You can get rich holding silver, copper or even bananas.

As the charts at Coinmarketcap show, all of the other alternative coins / cryptocurrencies have also experienced a ton of growth this month. Litecoin doubled in the past day.

coinmarket-screen

Each of the alternative coins have their own debatable advantages over Bitcoin and are not being discussed or really even used at this time. It’s far too early to bring up Litecoin or Peercoin when 99% of the world doesn’t understand how Bitcoin works. Maybe this is where your play is ;).

Where can I exchange bitcoin?

The most exciting part about cryptocurrency right now is playing the arbitrage game. You can signup for an account on MtGox, Bitstamp of BTC-E and trade Bitcoins or even exchange them for the other alt-coins.

Here’s what the top five markets looked like as of 12:27 on 11/27.

btc-markets

View the live action here

Each market will have varying prices, but as you can see it is significantly different from one to the other. There’s a lot of money to be made if you’re smart / lucky!

This is where I ramble on about where Bitcoin is going / opportunities / predictions?

As an e-commerce merchant one of the main things I’m worried about is fraudulent charges. Armed with a credit card an intelligent thief can commit serious fraud and make it all look legitimate until months later when the chargeback paperwork comes through. Many of you haven’t dealt with these things but as the former operations manager at a multi-million dollar online business and current co-founder at a rapidly growing one, it’s something that keeps me up at night. Bitcoin eliminates risk from the merchants perspective. One you get paid, you’re paid and there’s nothing that can change that. Bitcoin and alternative currency in general allows honest, transparent companies to act in that manner without having to worry about getting scammed. It’s fantastic and I was very excited to add the currency to our payment methods at NaturalStacks. So far we’ve taken five BTC orders from Indonesia, Germany, Thailand, UK and Canada.

There’s going to be a huge market for Bitcoin / Alt-currency driven businesses. Now there’s a marketplace for payment providers like Stripe (we use Bitcredits.io), but where is this thing going? What kind of service or product can you come up with? I’m seeing a lot of movement in the online gaming / gambling area. It’s funny that online casinos and poker have just become legal in the United States, but it’s too late. The digital currency revolution is here and it’s going to be just as important as the invention of the internet. Just like industries are getting DESTROYED by smart companies (stripe, uber, buzzfeed), smart payments will bring down even more who refuse to innovate.

Online gambling with alt-currency used to be a problem because it was risky to hold your winnings in alternative currency, but now that’s an attractive item. Now you can send some bitcoin to an address anonymously for a bet and if you end up winning you’ll get BTC sent right back to your wallet. No accounts or signing up or paperwork required. Just send the BTC and you’re in. Then if you want to cashout, it’s as easy as sending your BTC from one wallet to another that’s linked to Coinbase and cashing out to your account. How you claim the cash is between you and the IRS though. There will be more markets that alternative currency goes into. Bitcoin ATMs are coming. Imagine wiring someone across the world money with BTC (almost no transaction free) and then cashing out in local currency at an ATM. Amazing and it’s coming soon. You’ll see them in Vegas in the next few months.

Bitcoin is going to continue to rise and it’s going to be driven by major purchases in foreign markets. I’m talking cars, houses, yachts and everything else that the 1% likes to show off. The digital currency revolution has already started to make people rich and what happens when you have this sudden amount of wealth that you probably didn’t have before? Well you act a fool and spend it. These purchases are the perfect media story and will continue to propel the excitement and mystery behind Bitcoin. Your Facebook feed will eventually be filled with stories of people buying crazy things with digital currency. Bitcoin can actually be divided all of the way down to (1/100,000,000) called a Satoshi. This alone will continue to increase its price / value at least in the short run.

If you’re the average individual sitting at home reading this, I think the 80/20 principle would tell you to take 20% of your savings out and invest in Bitcoin + other cryptocurrencies. Do your research. Only take out what you can stand to lose. However years from now, that 20% you took out might be 80% of your total wealth or more. If you don’t have any money, then stop going out all of the time and wasting it on stupid meaningless things. That or make more.

If you enjoyed this post, consider purchasing some CILTEP 🙂 Take some then read all about Bitcoin and Litecoin.

You may also want to read: How to figure out what you want to do with your life

benhebert

I make money online through websites and business consulting. Everyday I'm challenging myself to learn and do more.

Read More