If you don’t know much about Bitcoin, then this guide is for you. This digital currency was relatively obscure until 2017.
After the popping of the Great Bitcoin Bubble of 2017, almost everyone in the developed and emerging markets knew about Bitcoin, regardless if they bought any or not. Bitcoins’ recent resurgence up toward the $10,000-mark seems to be setting a new price floor for the cryptocurrency.
Bitcoin fever is starting to gain momentum once again, with some analysts predicting a move up towards $50,000. If you want to position yourself for the next Bitcoin bull-run, then you need to understand the opportunities that exist in this market.
By positioning yourself before the growth of the next Bitcoin bubble, you stand to make a speculative gain in dollar value that could set you up financially for life. This guide will give you a few strategies you can implement to earn Bitcoin and create a future for yourself in the economy of digital currencies.
A Brief History of Bitcoin
- 1 A Brief History of Bitcoin
- 2 A Brief History of Bitcoin Bubbles
- 3 Millennials and Bitcoin
- 4 Is Bitcoin Money?
- 5 How to Earn Money with Bitcoin
- 6 Threats to the Future of Bitcoin
- 7 In Closing – Is Bitcoin the Future of Money?
The world’s concept of money changed when, on October 31st, 2008, “Satoshi Nakamoto” published a whitepaper on a peer-to-peer digital cash system. Bitcoin was nothing more than an idea for years until it caught the attention of traders.
In the early stages of Bitcoin’s development until 2010, the world had no idea of bitcoin’s coming value. The only people that knew about the cryptocurrency were tech-heads and gamers. It was in this initial stage of the cryptocurrencies formative years, where one of the biggest financial blunders of all time occurred.
On May 22nd, 2010, Laszlo Hanyecz – a Bitcoin enthusiast, made the world’s first Bitcoin transaction. Laszlo ordered two Papa John’s pizza’s and paid for the delivery with 10,000 Bitcoins. At Bitcoin’s current price average sitting around the $10,000, that would make it $50-million for each pizza – and that’s before we include the tip.
This event ranks right up there with the Microsoft founder, Ronald Wayne, who sold his 10-percent stake in Microsoft for $800, which would now be worth around $90-billion. Bitcoin got some notoriety in the gaming community over the coming years, but it wasn’t until Mt. Gox came onto the scene in 2011 that Bitcoin exploded into the mainstream.
Some 7-years later, and we are sitting at the threshold of Bitcoins 11th birthday. Think about that for a minute. Bitcoin is only 11-years old as a technology. The amount of disruption this currency caused over the last 7-years is incredible to witness.
Japan recognized Bitcoin as a legitimate currency back in 2014, and many other nations followed suit. Bitcoins ATMs are no readily available in many countries throughout the developed and emerging markets. Today retailers accept Bitcoin as a means of payment, and the cryptocurrency even appears in popular culture in series like “Mr. Robot.”
Bitcoin is still in its infancy, and it has a long way to go in the future. Who knows where it will end up. There are some analysts that suggest Bitcoin is the future of the financial system. Others state that there are existential threats to the survival of the cryptocurrency sector.
No one knows what the future holds for digital currencies. However, one thing is sure; they represent a new beginning in finance. While governments shift to accommodate crypto into their view of world economics, many leaders in the industry are jumping on the bandwagon.
Facebook recently announced its plans to launch “Libra,” a cryptocurrency exclusively controlled by Facebook. However, governments didn’t like the thought of money launderers and drug dealers being able to move money across borders to evade capital controls. Thus, Libra recently got dropped by most of the big tech companies supporting the new crypto.
However, Bitcoin remains the most popular digital currency. Looking at the daily trading volumes of the crypto sector, and the market caps of all of the coins, it’s clear that Bitcoin is the only real game in town.
Read: Should You Invest in Bitcoin? Complete Beginner’s Guide
A Brief History of Bitcoin Bubbles
The Great Bitcoin Bubble of 2017 made every other financial bubble before it, seem like a regular day on the NYSE. After reaching heights of nearly $20,000 a coin, the Bitcoin price slipped down to the $3,300-mark.
However, the cryptocurrency steadily recovered toward the $11,000—handle over the coming year, and as of the start of Q4, 2019, the Bitcoin price is $8,300, after a selloff from the $10,000-mark.
The Bitcoin Bubble of 2017 caught everyone off-guard, even seasoned Bitcoin believers. The growth in the currency’s value from the $4,000-handle to $20,000, took less than 9-months, and most economists have never witnessed anything like it in their lifetimes.
As the price crossed the $10,000-handle for the first time, the world started to get Bitcoin fever. The growth to the $20,000-handle barely took 2-months, and people thought that Bitcoin could reach $1-million a coin.
However, this mania was short-lived. The cryptocurrency crashed over the first three months of 2018, giving many investors a hard landing in the process. During the height of the mania, there were reports of people doing stupid things to acquire Bitcoin.
Stories of people putting mortgages on their homes to buy Bitcoin were common, and the stories of scams involving mining companies and ICOs continued to grow. The ICO mania sparked by the rise in the Alt-coin sector also cost many investors their shirts.
As the FOMO (fear of missing out) grew around Bitcoin and ICOs, people piled into it with everything they had and ended up losing everything they had.
Millennials and Bitcoin
While it may have endured the biggest financial bubble in history, Bitcoin still has a loyal fan-base that believes in the cryptocurrency. Millennials are the biggest generation of users, miners, and holders (HODLer’s) of Bitcoin. Millennials grew up at the beginning of the information age. As a result, they are the first tech-savvy generation.
Most millennials grew up with cellphones, and they know how to use devices and the internet to make money. Millennials now account for more than 60-percent of the workforce, and they are starting to move into the phase of life where they buy homes and start families.
As a result, Bitcoin will continue to play a role in millennials’ lives in the future. As more retailers come online and accept Bitcoin payments, the network grows. The only thing stopping Bitcoin from becoming the world’s next reserve currency is the government and general acceptance.
Governments won’t allow Bitcoin to become a reserve status currency. Reserve and national currencies are the means of collecting taxes from the public. Since Bitcoin is virtually anonymous, there is no way governments can accept it for payment of taxes. Therefore, they will choose to outlaw Bitcoin before they accept it.
However, millennials are okay with working outside of systems of authority. If you’re a tech-savvy millennial locked out of the financial system due to defaulting on student debt, Bitcoin offers a new lease on life. If you know what you are doing, you can pay for anything you need using Bitcoin, and you can accept it for payments as well.
Read: Best Investment Ideas for Millennials: Complete Guide
Is Bitcoin Money?
If people are willing to use Bitcoin as a means to settle debts, other than taxes, this begs the question; Is Bitcoin money? Sound money has a few characteristics worth noting. First, you can use it for the settlement of debts. Second, it has a fungible value, meaning each unit is equal or divisible by another. Money is also portable, durable, and a store of value over time.
If we look at the oldest form of money, gold, then it fits this description perfectly. However, the dense mass of gold bullion may make it challenging to transport large quantities. Still, gold is a good store of value over the centuries, and it is also divisible, fungible, and durable.
If we compare the US Dollar to these same criteria, we come up short. Since the advent of the Federal Reserve in 1913, the Greenback lost more than 96-percent of its purchasing power. That’s doesn’t make fiat dollars a very good store of value for investors.
However, the dollar reigns because it controls the world’s credit system as the leading reserve currency. If countries want to settle international debts, they need to do it in dollars. Therefore, the Greenback gets its acceptance as money through the fact that the world uses it to settle debts and pay taxes.
Bitcoin meets the criteria of Fungibility, divisibility, and it’s an accepted medium of exchange. However, it’s easy to lose your Bitcoin wallet keys, along with your Bitcoins. Bitcoins are easy to hack in hot wallets, and the price is too volatile to act as a store of value.
Therefore, we can say that Bitcoin does not yet fit all the criteria to qualify as sound money. However, in today’s fiat Dollar age, it’s clear that money has evolved into a different animal.
Read: Is Cryptocurrency the Future of Money? Let’s Take a Look
How to Earn Money with Bitcoin
Now that you have a clear concept of Bitcoin, let’s look at how you can make some money with this digital asset. We outlined the following strategies to help you get started on learning more about how Bitcoin can supplement your income.
Pick a strategy that makes sense to you and execute it today. There is plenty of information online to expand on the strategy mentioned below. However, the most important thing is that you take action. By taking action, you’ll get ahead of the masses, and book yourself a spot in the digital economy of the future.
Buy and “HODL”
When people think of buying into Bitcoin, they imagine the huge windfall they make when selling their coins for dollars as the price peaks. This strategy is known as buying and holding. It’s a popular method used by gold investors, and it operates within an investment portfolio as a hedge against market volatility.
Typically, investors will allocate the lion’s share of their portfolio to stocks and bonds, and then around 5 to 10-percent to physical gold bullion in the form of coins or bars. For some reason, Bitcoin believers think that buying and holding also apply to Bitcoin as well. True believers in the cryptocurrency will tout their buy and hold strategy as the reason why the Bitcoin price remains stable.
In a way, that’s a true statement. As we discussed in the section about the dollar as money, it takes participation and belief from the public to give money any value. However, that does not mean that you have to follow a buy and hold strategy to provide any validity to the Bitcoin market.
Bitcoiners that hold for the long term call themselves “HODL’ers,” a misspelling of “Hold”.
However, the mistake many of these people make is that Bitcoin is not yet what we would consider a store of value, whereas gold has a 2,500-year history as sound money.
Therefore, people seem surprised when the price reaches $20,000, and then plummets to $3,300. Holding over that period would be fine if you bought in at less than $2,500, but what if you entered at $10,000? You would be looking at a serious financial loss.
Still, If you do stick to the strategy and HODL for the long-term, then you should still see a return. Those Bitcoiners still hodling their coins from 2009 are smiling all the way to the bank. However, the point is that they wouldn’t be cashing the coins in at any stage, but rather using Bitcoin as a store of wealth over the long-term.
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Trading the Bitcoin Markets
If you want to make serious money with Bitcoin, then Day-trading the cryptocurrency markets are bar far the superior option. The cryptocurrency market operates almost in the same manner as the forex and stock markets.
Buyers and sellers meet on a platform, also known as an exchange, and trade cryptocurrency with each other in the hope of making a profit from the arbitrage. Cryptocurrency exchanges like Binance, Bittrex, and Bitfinex, offer the same services the crypto traders, as NASDAQ, NYSE, and FTSE to day traders of equities and currencies.
The difference between the crypto and forex is that forex is a regulated market. Government entities, such as the SEC, regulate traders and companies for operational compliance within the law. In the crypto market, it’s the wild west.
Binance is the best exchange for trading Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, read our full review.
As a result, there are stories of exchanges violating withdrawal policies, and stories about mass-manipulation of the markets by some corrupt exchanges. The reality is that some of this is true, and some exchanges are pout to take all of your money.
Crypto exchanges operating outside of the US don’t have to follow international KYC policies for acquiring new clients, as long as those clients don’t withdraw in USD. As a result, you can only withdraw from offshore exchanges in cryptocurrency. You’ll then have to send that crypto to a wallet at an exchange like Coinbase to redeem it into USD.
If you register with an exchange like Coinbase, they have offices in the United States. Therefore, you’ll need to provide all your KYC documentation when making a withdrawal. However, you can turn your BTC into USD, and have Coinbase deposit it directly into your bank account.
If you do use Coinbase, you’ll have to remember to keep some of your crypto profits to pay taxes. Coinbase reports user information to the IRS, and the IRS demands that you pay tax on your profits. Avoid an audit, and make sure you file for tax, speak to your accountant for advice.
Otherwise, trading the crypto markets is very profitable if you know what you are doing.
The issue with trading crypto is the volatility in the price action. It’s possible to see the price of cryptos swing 10 to 20-percent in a single trading session. This kind of price swing doesn’t happen in stable, regulated financial markets.
Still, if you find a mentor with a good trading strategy, it’s the most profitable means of making money with Bitcoin.
If you are trading crypto, you can make use of trading bots like 3Commas and Cryptohopper which will automatically trade for you – you just need to signup and connect them to your exchange account and pick a certain set of parameters to execute your trades.
We have reviewed both trading platforms:
When Bitcoin first started, it was possible to mine the blockchain for Bitcoins using your desktop computer. However, as people got wind of the price increases with the cryptocurrency, more people started buying better computers for mining. Eventually, it wasn’t long before tech companies began designing and building “mining rigs.”
With a mining rig, you could mine different coins faster, producing better returns. However, technology kept improving, and miners kept getting smarter. Miners started connecting multiple platforms to increase hash power, creating “mining farms.”
Soon, mining companies started forming in Asia, backing by subsidized energy costs, enhancing mining profitability. As the Bitcoin Mania crept toward the all-time high of $20,000, more miners started coming online, improving the hash rates.
However, it made it near impossible for anyone to mine Bitcoin using regular computers and specialist rigs called “ASICs” were produced which costs thousands of dollars.
However, there is a way to make money mining Bitcoin without moving to China to set up a mining farm. With the recent drop in Bitcoin price from the $11,000-handlle to the lower $ 8,000’s, many mining companies are going broke that bought equipment at prices above the $10,000-handle.
As a result, you can find second-hand mining rigs, with plenty of service life, for auction prices on sites like eBay. Purchasing one or two of these professional rigs and set them up in your garage and you can mine some less-popular coins and then trade these for BTC on an exchange.
The returns won’t be great but they are a way to get your foot in the door and if you pick a good coin and hold it, it may increase in value later on.
Become a Bitcoin Consultant
People that get involved with Bitcoin find themselves learning a lot about cryptocurrency in a short period. For some people, the information overload is too much to handle, and they can’t grasp the topic. Others find the blockchain and hot and cold wallets fascinating, soaking up all the technicalities around the industry.
If you start learning about Bitcoin, 6-months later, you’ll find yourself an expert about everything to do with the topic of cryptocurrency. If you put in the time to study how the markets work, and how to trade, sell, and buy cryptocurrency, that’s valuable knowledge.
Some people will pay you to learn what you know. You could put together information courses on how to trade, buy, and sell, crypto, and then promote it through social media. Selling a virtual product means you keep no physical inventory, reducing your overhead costs of doing business.
Bitcoin consultants are in high demand, even in a falling market. If you build your reputation as an expert in crypto, eventually, you’ll start to obtain a client base. When the next Bitcoin bull-run comes around, you’ll find yourself in the perfect position to benefit from the next bubble.
Network Marketing Opportunities
When you put the words “networking” and “Bitcoin” in the same sentence, most people start to hear alarm bells going off in their heads. At the height of the Bitcoin bubble, there were plenty of network marketing schemes promising bitcoin for noting.
These network marketing scams typically offered people an investment shareholding in a bitcoin mining farm. As more investors came into the system, the farm buys more equipment, and the hash rate of the farm improves.
However, many of these farms were a scam. They would operate for four to six-months, bring in thousands of suckers through network marketing schemes, and then disappear with everyone’s money. Since most of the farms registered as businesses in China, the investors lose everything overnight.
However, in the wake of the bubble and the economic destruction of network marketing scams, new businesses developed to fill in the gaps. Now there are legitimate network marketing opportunities in cloud mining.
If you do your research and find a reputable Bitcoin network marketing company, it offers you a foothold into the industry. It typically doesn’t cost much to enter into network marketing organizations, and the returns are fantastic if you work hard to build your downline.
One of the biggest benefits of Bitcoin and a feature that makes it valuable to people using it online is its decentralized nature. Bitcoin is not under the control of any government or central bank. Essentially, it’s a lawless currency. However, Bitcoin gets its integrity from the blockchain technology, supporting every transaction that goes through the network.
People manage blockchain, not banks or governments. As a result, you don’t have to adhere to financial laws surrounding lending. Lenders in the fiat currency market of US Dollars need to adhere to financial legislation and register as a financial services provider to engage in transactions with investors and the public.
However, you don’t need any of this compliance to do this in the cryptocurrency world. As a result, nothing is stopping you from setting up an exchange if you wish. There’s no-one that will prevent you from setting up a lending agency wither. Both of these markets offer unique opportunities for people to make money in the next evolution of Bitcoin.
There are already lending platforms available at offshore exchanges. Unchained Capital, BTCpop, and Bitbond borrow your bitcoin for an APR interest rate of up to 15-percent. You can use these lenders to grow your Bitcoin profits. All you do is send them your Bitcoins, and they send you a monthly income or an increase in the equity of your cryptocurrency account with the exchange.
These lenders then use your crypto to trade the markets, banking the profits they make with your capital after paying you your interest.
Threats to the Future of Bitcoin
Investing in Bitcoin is not without risk. As with any asset class, you need to understand the risks involved with the digital currency before you hand over your dollars for digital tokens. There are numerous risks to the Bitcoin economy. However, in this article, we’ll look at three that we believe could damage the future of the cryptocurrency and your profits.
The first issue we have with Bitcoin comes with the technology used to run the blockchain. Last month, Google announced it successfully manufactured the world’s first quantum computer. The 53-qubit machine is said to be the first in an evolution that will see processing power double with each new generation.
If that’s the case, then we only need three or four evolutions of the technology before it can crack 256-bit encryption. If this were true, then quantum computers would allow hackers to infiltrate and take down the blockchain.
With computing power exceeding the blockchain capabilities, it won’t be long before Bitcoin becomes obsolete. It’s unclear at this stage if another cryptocurrency using quantum computing would rise to take its place.
The second risk to Bitcoin’s future comes in the form of financial fraud. Twitter user @bitfinex’d did a marvelous job of covering the 2017 Bitcoin bubble. @bitfinex’d believe the sole reason for the rise in Bitcoins price during the bubble was due to tether.
Tether is a “Stablecoin” that traders use to escape the market during volatile periods. You sell your Bitcoin for tether at a 1:1 value and then wait for the price action in the market to settle. You then exchange tether for Bitcoin and keep trading.
However, @bitfinex’d show that tether pumped billions of dollars’ worth of tethers into the market, with no proven reserves to back the tokens. As a result, they “pumped” the market higher. When they eventually stopped printing tethers, the market price of Bitcoin collapsed.
There are various other institutions that back @bitfinex’d claims, and think that the entire bull-run was one of the biggest financial frauds in history. The issue is that Bitcoin is not a regulated market. Therefore, the SEC struggles to put together a case to take the owners of the tether company to task for their actions.
The final threat to Bitcoin comes in the form of Bitcoin whales. According to research, 20-percent of Bitcoin addresses hold more than 80-percent of all of the Bitcoins. When these “whales” decide to sell or buy Bitcoin, they cause massive shifts in pricing. Take, for example, the Mt. Gox trustee.
This trustee managed the sale of thousands of Bitcoins in the first quarter of 2018. The trustee sold off $312-million worth of Bitcoin between January and June 2018. Some analysts believe that these sales were the catalyst for the sudden crash in Bitcoins price around the same time.
In Closing – Is Bitcoin the Future of Money?
As you can see, there are plenty of strategies for making money with Bitcoin. Which methods you decide to use is up to you, but you can be sure that you’ll start earning Bitcoin soon after starting your journey.
By positioning yourself before the next big Bitcoin bull-run, you stand to make a killing when the next price run begins. However, there’s no guarantee that the event will ever take place. With so many existential threats to Bitcoin’s existence, there’s a chance the entire crypto-ecosystem could implode.
However, regardless of whether Bitcoin survives the next decade or not, it’s changed the financial system forever. Governments are now talking about implementing state-sponsored cryptocurrencies for payments. Private institutions are working on improvements to the blockchain, and new ideas for digital currencies.
Bitcoin has already changed the future of money. However, it remains unclear if it will be here in the future. Whether we see Bitcoin succeed in global adoption in the coming decade, or we see it slide away into obscurity, there is still value in it in today’s market.
Use these strategies to make yourself a cryptocurrency portfolio and earn some money from Bitcoin.