If you have not heard of cryptocurrency at this point, you may just be living under a rock. While the first was made back in 2009, they have since exploded in popularity and notoriety. The uses for them expand as we continue into the 2020s and more and more people are looking at them as a legitimate resource now.
This may be why crypto has investors turning their heads more than ever. If you are just getting started, there are plenty of ways to get involved in this field. It might seem out of reach or too difficult to understand at first, but don’t worry!
How Does it Work?
The first was Bitcoin, and it remains the most valuable one. Now, when it was first created, it was made to be a form of online payment that took out a middleman (that being a bank or credit card company, primarily). However, since then it has exploded into the mainstream.
For now, there are a limited number of online retailers that accept crypto as a form of payment. If you would like to a list of places that do, you can look at this page: https://smallbiztrends.com/2021/12/who-accepts-bitcoin.html. However, there are plenty of other ways to use the tokens.
As the name implies, these tokens are essentially digital money. You can convert other types of money into crypto – for example, the United States dollar or the Euro. The name comes from “cryptography,” which is writing and solving codes. That is how people “mine” for Bitcoin – they compete with others to quickly solve math equations and the winner receives some of the coins!
Something to keep in mind about this is that there are little to no regulations in place for them. That was the intent, though, so while it does come with some risk it also comes with a lot less meddling by the government. No government or bank controls the way they are made or how much they are made.
As I mentioned above, there are a lot of ways you can use this currency. Of course, there are a variety of types. Some of them are specific to certain platforms (such as Ether, which is the form of payment on the application Ethereum), but that is not the case for all of them.
I will start with the big-ticket item. Investing in cryptocurrency is the latest market trend that we have seen growing immensely right before our eyes. There are a lot of ways to go about it, and for that reason it can feel a bit intimidating to dip our toes into.
Some of the ways you can invest include purchasing EFT funds or stocks. You can even put them in a retirement fund, if you want. If you are feeling uncertain you could look at crypto investment companies for more guidance on the specifics of these processes.
Just keep the volatility of the market in mind. Thus far, Bitcoin has had the longest standing value and is worth more than the other tokens. This doesn’t mean that will always be the case, so consider diversifying the types you choose.
You may purchase large pools of crypto in a trust fund or get a future. Getting stocks in companies that use them is also a method of investing. While there is some risk involved, it does not seem like it is going away any time soon.
Making Online Purchases
I touched upon this briefly before, but you can use your tokens to purchase things online. Not every retailer accepts them. You may want to look out for the symbol for Bitcoin or Ether (or other coins) near the checkout button. You can read more about the popularization of it in online shopping here: https://www.euronews.com/next/2021/12/04/paying-with-cryptocurrencies-these-are-the-major-companies-that-accept-cryptos-as-payment.
Now, I do not only mean buying physical objects of course. There are other things you can purchase such as Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) that fall under investments to some extent but are not always classified as such. Despite the controversy surrounding them, this is something you can do with your coins.
Some things you could consider include buying technology or software. Big companies like Microsoft accept crypto as a form of payment for their office suite now, as just one example. However, there are many options out there.
Even insurance companies are starting to jump on board. Some companies allow you to purchase policies with them. Many others accept them for premium payments!
Making In Person Payments
Funny enough, some physical retailers also accept these virtual payment options. The first thing that comes to mind is that some car dealers are actually allowing customers to pay in Bitcoin. I must admit, back when it was first launched in 2009 I never expected that to happen!
Some department stores also accept it, though you probably should not count on it as your only form of money. If you’re not sure, you can always check retailer websites or simply call ahead. Some cell phone developers have ways to store it in your digital wallet on their platforms.
Now, if you are looking to start purchasing with your virtual tokens, you will probably want to get a debit card of some sort. You can read more about that in this article if you are curious, but you can get them from whatever crypto exchange you prefer to use. This is a secure form of paying with them.
Making the decision to invest in crypto should not be made lightly. It can be a confusing world to understand, after all. There is risk involved in not fully knowing what you are purchasing, and the market is highly volatile to boot.
That being said, the risk is often worth it. Do research into whatever token you choose to invest in and consider talking with a professional to understand all of your options. Don’t limit yourself to one form of coin if you don’t feel confident! Even in this form, we should seek to diversify our investment portfolios.