Bitcoin has been on most peoples radar for a few years now but wether or not it is a good long term investment as part of your retirement investments is a question not properly answered.
We look to institutional investors like the big insurance companies who have been trusted by investors since timely memorial to look after our money and ensure that it grows so that we can retire with enough money. Apart from the fact the the vast majority of people will not retire with enough money, these are conservative, highly educated and trusted investment nalysts that have returned growth over the long term for decades. The very reason we trust them is that they have a solid track record.
Bitcoin is a little different. For starters, most people do not understand what Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies are, what gives them value and how you use them. Once people begin to understand the use and underlying value of cryptocurrencies, they may be more inclined to create a crypto wallet and store some money in it for the future. At this stage, with so few people understanding it, many people are just not interested in risking money on what could end up being a huge scam. I have heard people say things like “the guy who invented it doesn’t even want to be known”. Others have heard that we are going to “need”to have some in the future, have seen rediculous growth levels (is it too good to be true) but the greed factyor steps in and they establish crypto wallets with money they can “afford to lose”.
Should I invest in Bitcoin?
This is an interesting question. Bitcoin is a currency like any other that is traded on a second by second basis with extreme volatility. It is most likely not part of your retirement portfolio so you have no exposure to the crypto markets, so perhaps it is first a good idea to understand crypto currencies before you jump in.
About Bitcoin and crypto currencies
Here are a few resources to better help you understand Bitcoin, the history of it and the emergence of cypto currencies.
- History of Bitcoin
- What gives Bitcoins value?
Bitcoins have value because they are accepted as a form of money and we can use them to buy goods and services. The growth of the users, merchants, and startups is extremely good news for Bitcoins. As with all currency, bitcoin’s value comes only and directly from people willing to accept them as payment.
For a complete set of questions and answers around bitcoin, please see the GAQ at Bitcoin.org
Where can a South African buy Bitcoin?
There are many bitcoin exchanges around the world but Luno is by far the most popular South African Bitcoin exchange and you’re invited to set up an account and get R25.00 free Bitcoin if you buy R500 or more Bitcoin excluding the fee. We alkso get R25.00 in Bitcoin so it’s a win win.
Luno is connected to most South African banks and makes the exchange procedure simple and easy. Be aware it can take up to 2 days for the deposit to show in your account before you are able to buy any bitcoin.
Where can I use Bitcoin in South Africa?
There are a number of high profile online shops that accept bitcoin as payment. You will be amazed at the well known list of vendors who will accept Bitcoin. These include:
- Runway sale
- Custom candies
- The tea merchant
- And a whole lot more….
Next time you go to a shop or are shopping online, take a careful look to see if they accept Bitcoin as payment.
Where can I see charts of Bitcoin’s value?
Bitcoin is now listed every currency exchange and currency conversion tool around the World. Below you will be able to see charts showing the rise and age of Bitcoin since it’s inception in 2008.
Viewing these charts and changing the time poeriod will likely keep you busy for hours.
Set up a Bitcoin wallet at Luno and start receiving regular information and updates about Bitcoin to increase your knowledge and help you make the buying decision.
Be careful when you invest!
As with most investments, there are always sharks out there waiting to defraud you or steal your hard earned cash. Here are few tips to protect yourself from becoming a victim.
- Never click links in an email, text message or whatsapp (rather open the website or app and login with your credentials)
- If the email sender looks familiar but the content is unusual, pick up the phone and call that person to verify they have sent you the email.
- Do not open attachments unless you are 100 sure of the origin and you are expecting it.
- Live like every email asking you to do something is trying to steal from you
It is very sad that we have to live like this, but until you are seasoned at recognising phishing/scam emails, just be careful!