This article is not financial advice and only presents my enthusiasm for Bitcoin and the digital revolution. I own Bitcoin and if you use the link to Bitvavo to buy Bitcoin you pay no transaction costs over the first 1000 euros for the first week. The link contains an affiliate reference (https://bitvavo.com/?a=2E11CA1ABF) for which I receive a small compensation.
You may have seen my videos about Bitcoin (click here). Bitcoin is a revolutionary technology in which a 'store of value' is created based on complex calculations that are performed decentrally on a network of servers. The purpose of these calculations is to record, encrypt and record transactions with Bitcoin in a series of 'blocks' that cannot be changed afterwards, but can be viewed by everyone.
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Mining a Bitcoin is very complex
A lot of computer power is involved in calculating these transaction blocks as the complexity increases as the use of Bitcoin increases. This shows one of the ingenious fundamentals of Bitcoin. The difficulty increases as the use of the technology increases. This difficulty keeps the network stable as it makes it even more difficult to attempt to hack the network.
Bitcoin is scarce and forces efficiency
The 'miners' who make the blocks and therefore incur a lot of costs for computers and electricity receive a fee that consists of two elements; the costs that you as a user have to pay to make a transaction, and for each block a miner receives a number of Bitcoin which is halved approximately every 4 years; the 'halving'. This ensures that Bitcoin is both scarce (max 21 million Bitcoin can be mined) and that miners have to continuously look for more efficient methods to be able to cover costs.
Bitcoin is not a form of payment
It is actually a misunderstanding to think that Bitcoin will be a means of payment. Every 10 minutes a block is 'mined' and you have to wait for confirmation from the network that it is all approved. This ensures that the network is stable and secure, but also that people at the checkout can get quite impatient. So you see layers on Bitcoin being developed to be able to participate in daily transactions; Layer 1 and 2 applications.
You see that Bitcoin can be compared more to gold; a stable, shareable, interchangeable unit of value. Also remember that 1 Bitcoin consists of 100.000.000 satoshis. It is more likely that we will talk about satoshis in the future when we want to make a transaction. Why Satoshis? Satoshi Nakamoto is the anonymous inventor of Bitcoin to date.
How can you buy and own Bitcoins?
You cannot buy Bitcoins at the regular bank because with Bitcoin you choose to (ideally) be your own bank. Bitcoins are digital files that you own when you have the key to them. This may sound complicated, but it is not. If you want to buy Bitcoin yourself and keep it under your own management, you will need a 'wallet' and the key to this wallet. mmmm .. still a bit vague maybe. In short, it means that you have a USB stick with a special chip that contains a key. Because you are the owner of this USB stick, you are also the only one who can access the Bitcoins. Want to know more or buy a USB key yourself; click here to go to the Ledger website. Too much hassle?
Buy and store bitcoins from a third party
They sometimes say; if you don't own the key, you don't own your Bitcoin. Well, that's how banks work too; you trust the bank that it manages your money well and gives you access to it. But suppose; you want to buy Bitcoins but not have to manage everything yourself. Fortunately, there are enough alternatives.
An exchange where I myself Bitcoin is buy and manage Bitvavo. You can also buy other crypto coins such as Ether, ADA and ChainLink; this is not advice but I would like to express my personal interest. On Bitvavo you can buy the crypto coins but they also have an advanced part where you can trade with them and trade with exchange rate. Log in to Bitvavo is quite simple, follow the steps and you can trade in no time. How can you best build a portfolio with Bitcoin and / or other crypto coins?
Dollar Cost Averaging
Dollar what? You will probably have heard in the news regularly that the price of Bitcoin shoots up and then falls again sharply. This is called volatility and is a well-known phenomenon in stock or crypto trading. So you don't want to buy 500 euros worth of cryptos on one day and then see them fall by 30% the next day. (yes, it happens!) The answer is DCA, or Dollar Cost Averaging. It is actually a very simple and logical way of investing.
Instead of paying 500 euros in one go, you pay 10 x 50 euros over a period of 10 weeks. The price will rise once in a while and then you pay a little more for your coins, then it drops and you buy more coins with the same 10 euros. That way you limit the risk of sudden price fluctuations.
What if the price collapses completely?
One last piece of advice; invest what you can lose. In December 2017 we were in a huge bull run, prices shot to 20.000 euros per Bitcoin. Fast forward to March 13, 2020, the price tapped 3850 euros per Bitcoin and at the time of writing (May 25, 2020) it fluctuates around 9400 euros per Bitcoin. If you had enthusiastically bought 2017 euros in December 200, your investment would have seen a price fluctuation from 3 to 38,50 euros in the last 94,00 months of this year. However, if you bought on March 13 for 40 euros, that 40 euros would now be almost 100 euros.
The chance that the price will collapse completely just like oil did recently will not happen soon. But it is still a very volatile coin in its 10 years of existence so buy with your wits and buy with money what you can afford. If it can rise from nothing to almost 10 in 20.000 years, think about what Bitcoin can do if we give it another 10 years and people become more familiar with it. 40.000 euros, 100.000 or even 288.000 euros? The latter seems unlikely, but even then the total of Bitcoin would be worth even less than the gold, while Bitcoin has much better properties than gold!
Any more questions about Bitcoin?
You can always contact me. I am not a financial advisor and this article is not financial advice either. I do want to share my enthusiasm about it and where I can help you to purchase some Bitcoin yourself. Even if you buy 0,01BTC now for around 94 euros - it could be a really nice nest egg in 10 or 20 years! Or that Staatsloterij lottery ticket with which you don't win anything every month ... have you already calculated what it has cost you in recent years? What if you had invested that in Bitcoin 😉