Over the course of 2017 the price of bitcoin rose to astronomical levels. It is now attracting the attention of the mainstream media as everyone attempts to join the gold rush.
However, many are worried that bitcoin is too much of an unknown quantity and that it is just a bubble waiting to burst.
Bitcoin for Traders
The volatility of bitcoin makes it very attractive to traders, where instead of buying and holding for a long period of time, you attempt to buy bitcoin at a point where it is low, and sell again before the next drop. With prices rising and falling 20% or more on some days, you can see how this would be a good way to make money. But only if you know what you are doing.
As with any investment, it is possible to lose all your money trading bitcoin, and it makes sense to educate yourself before you get started. There are a number of bitcoin trading courses available on the internet, and for a relatively small price they will give you a good grounding that you need to get started.
What exactly are we talking about here?
In 2008, in the aftermath of the global financial crisis a mysterious individual (or group) named “Satoshi Nakamoto” wrote a white paper first introducing the idea of bitcoin, a fully decentralised crypto currency that could be used across the world with no interference from governments. A few months later, in 2009, the code was released as open source software, meaning it was freely available for anyone to use.
Unlike other currencies, like the UK pound, or US dollar, bitcoin is not insured by any central authority, nor is its price supported by a physical asset like gold. This leads many people to believe that the price is based simply on perception and could be well over inflated.
On the plus slide, as it is not controlled by governments or central banks, you can send money anonymously and directly to people, cutting out all the transaction costs that are associated with traditional money transfers. This has could people very excited about the use of crypto currencies in financial services, but also, alas, in the criminal world.
Some people saying that bitcoin is just getting started and that the price could rise much further. But others are not so sure.
In recent weeks the price has fallen significantly as regulators in a number of countries, such as China and South Korea have moved to shut down the exchanges where bitcoin is bought and sold.
But nonetheless, people who bought bitcoin just a few short years ago have gotten very rich, and there are a number of stories of teenagers who have become millionaires.
Much of the focus for 2018 is not so much on Bitcoin as it is other currencies. What happens to Ethereum and Ripple? And is there still money to be made joining
Without question this is a complicated and fast moving space, making it an interesting area to monitor for 2018.