The fuss about Bitcoin has been somewhat insane over the last few years. China has banned exchanges and cryptocurrency trades, and even banned cryptocurrency adverts in the country.
Major US banks took steps to prevent people buying the crypto on credit, and there have been dire warnings that the whole system will implode.
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On the other side of the coin, you have all the ads about Bitcoin millionaires and how you can make a fortune trading it.
There are a lot of conflicting reports. So, how do you play it? Do you go all out and sell your Bitcoin? Do you save them up for a rainy day?
The simple fact is that there is a reason to be cautious with Bitcoin. It is a highly volatile commodity, and the price is completely market driven. It is not like investing in a company that has assets backing it – there is nothing that backs up the value of this currency.
So, it could quite easily double in value one week and drop back down to virtually nothing the next. It is a bit of a gamble to invest, but if you are clever about it, you are more likely to come out on top.
It is not clever to go into debt to finance your little foray into the crypto world. It is also not clever to invest money that you cannot afford to lose. Get your Bitcoin, and forget about it for at least three to five years or so.
A longer term investment approach makes it more likely that you will be able to ride out fluctuations in the value.
Otherwise, use the Bitcoin in the way that it was originally intended for use – as a convenient way to pay for things. There is any number of ways to spend your coins. These days you can gamble with Bitcoin, use them to book a hotel or flight at Expedia, or even order takeout! Yes some big organizations and stores actually do take crpyots for payment.
We have listed these in the infographic below, so you know where to start. But just remember that there are more retailers that are considering allowing payment in cryptocurrencies all the time, so do ask when purchasing – you never know, maybe the company is keen on accepting them.
There are a few things to remember when making crypto payments, though.
First and foremost, keep your Bitcoin keys safe. If you lose your key, you will lose access to your account. There are no “I Forgot My Password” buttons here. You might want to consider writing the keys down so that if something goes wrong with your computer, you have a hard copy.
Otherwise, make sure that you backup the information on a regular basis in a secure online wallet.
When making your payments, you need to check all the details carefully. Double check the Bitcoin address that you are sending the money to in order to ensure that it goes to the right person, and ensure that you put in the right amount as well.
There are no do-overs here – if you make a mistake, there is no way to retrieve the coins unless the other person refunds them. It gives new meaning to the phrase “Spend your money wisely.”
Infographic source: 16best.net