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Are cryptocurrencies viable investment options?
The world of cryptocurrencies is both lucrative and daunting at the same time. The relative newness of the concept combined with the perks of a decentralized system makes cryptocurrencies a rather intriguing investment option. Having said that, investment gurus across the world still doubt the authenticity and viability of cryptocurrencies as a potential investment option. Renowned investor Warren Buffet has time and again questioned the use of bitcoins as a potential investment option.
In an interview, he mentioned, “Stay away from it. It’s a mirage – the idea that it has some huge intrinsic value is a joke. It’s a way of transmitting money.” On the other hand, there are investors who speculate about the immense viability of bitcoins. One such investor is billionaire hedge funder, Ken Griffin. He said, “It’s not the future of currency. I wouldn’t call it a fraud either. Bitcoin has many of the elements of the Tulip bulb mania.”
But amidst all the conflicting opinions on Bitcoins, cryptocurrencies in Singapore are quite popular. Some of the commonly used digital currencies are bitcoins, ethereum, litecoin, ripple, and dash. Each of these has its unique uses but the commonality among all of them is their use as digital currencies. Since the most popular cryptocurrency in Singapore is the bitcoin, we shall lay our focus on understanding the viability of bitcoins as a potential investment option.
Key features of bitcoins
Bitcoins were first created by a programmer or group of programmers (we don’t really know) known as Satoshi Nakamoto. Like all other cryptocurrencies, bitcoins are used as currency. It is decentralized, so there is no governing body that regulates bitcoin transactions. It is a peer-to-peer network and works on the blockchain technology. Bitcoins are created using a process known as bitcoin mining. There is a limit to the number of bitcoins that can be created (21 million). One this number has been met, no more bitcoins can be mined.
Bitcoins are transacted with the help of bitcoin wallets and bitcoin exchanges. In Singapore, some of the most famous bitcoin exchanges are Coinbase, Coinhako, Luno, CoinMama, and Local Bitcoins. These are platforms where people can buy, sell, and trade their bitcoins. In fact, even if they intend to make a transaction, they will have to use their bitcoin wallets to do it. If you’re wondering how safe these bitcoin transactions online are, then you would be glad to know that each of your bitcoin transactions is authenticated with the help of digital signatures that correspond to the sender’s address.
Bitcoins as a potential investment option
Bitcoin investments have their own pros and cons. To begin with, investors have actual ownership of their investments. And the highly volatile nature of the bitcoin market can lead to high profits for smart investors. In the world of bitcoin investing, low supply helps in avoiding inflation, which offers a store of value. Looking at the downsides, bitcoin prices can go down just as quickly as they went up. As mentioned earlier, the highly volatile nature of bitcoins can either be beneficial or lethal. Another problem with bitcoin trading or for that matter any other cryptocurrency is that there is a potential risk of cyber fraud. In recent times, there have been numerous instances of cyber theft where people have lost considerable amounts of money from their bitcoin wallet.
In a recent news report by Channel NewsAsia, CrowdStrike Vice President Adam Meyers said that “Compared to other countries like China, Japan, and South Korea that have come out strongly against cryptocurrency, Singapore’s measured responses to the development of such technologies have been seen as welcoming.” Owing to this stance towards cryptocurrencies, there have been many initiatives in Singapore that target the issue of cybersecurity for bitcoin traders.
This simply goes to say that when you trade with cryptocurrencies, then you need to take responsibility for securing your assets. One way of doing this is by ensuring that you opt for a bitcoin wallet with built-in security. Ledger is a company that offers a wide range of bitcoin storage devices. Another notable company in the sphere of bitcoin security is Trezor, which is a hardware wallet that generates bitcoin wallet keys offline.
So, are cryptocurrencies viable investment options? The answer lies in how you go about trading your cryptocurrency. Just like the stock market, the risk involved in the cryptocurrency market is high as the market is known to be volatile. So, you need to play it safe, to make the most of your investments in cryptocurrencies.
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