It will also depend on miners’ and users’ vision for the currency. If bitcoin really does undermine the decentralized nature of the network, and the democratic possibilities of the blockchain technology, people may look elsewhere for a cryptocurrency with more exciting potential. (For more insights on how the market has changed since the fork, read: What's Bitcoin Cash and Where the Heck Did it Come From?)
Bitcoin Cash is a proposal from the via BTC mining pool and the Bitmain mining group to carry out a UAHF (User Activated Hard Fork) on August 1st 12:20 pm UTC. They rejected the agreed consensus (aka BIP-91 or SegWit2x) and have decided to fork the original Bitcoin blockchain and create this new version called “Bitcoin Cash”. Bitcoin Cash can be claimed by BTC owners who have their private keys or store their Bitcoins on a service that will split (BCC)/BCH for the customer.
I used my Android phone to search for “bitcoin wallet” on Google Play, and gave up when it produced around 200 results. Copay was near the top. It only took two minutes to create a wallet, and it prompted me to make a backup: “Watch out! If this device is replaced or this app is deleted, neither you nor BitPay can recover your funds without a backup.”
Right now, I can use my bitcoin holdings to pay for purchases at Overstock (OSTBP), or book a hotel on Expedia (EXPE). But if I use bitcoin to buy $25 worth of socks on Overstock today, and the price of bitcoin quadruples next week, I'll feel like those socks actually cost me $100. Then again, if bitcoin crashes, at least I'll always have the socks.
The rules of the bitcoin protocol include the requirement that a user cannot send the same bitcoin more than once and a user cannot send bitcoin from an address for which they do not possess the private key. If a user tries to create a transaction that breaks the rules of the bitcoin protocol, it will automatically be rejected by the rest of the bitcoin network.
There are a few primary concerns surrounding bitcoin that potential investors should be aware of. First, it is not backed or regulated by the good faith of a government or other entity. This stands in stark contrast to the dollar, yuan, pound, and other forms of currency used around the globe. So, many people view bitcoin as something akin to Monopoly money, because it is neither a fiat currency nor is it based on something of tangible value like gold. In other words, a bitcoin is worth exactly what people perceive its worth to be. While, in a sense, this is true of any currency, the value of a bitcoin is much more fickle than other forms of currency because of its unregulated nature.
If you want to trade in cryptocurrencies, you’re going to need a platform on which to trade them, and an intermediary to communicate within the network of traders. Most of us lack the technological inclination or means to mine Bitcoin directly, or communicate and trade with miners directly, or store our digital currencies and assets. That’s where Coinbase comes in.
Hardware wallets are the option I recommend for storing your Bitcoin. They allow you to store your Bitcoins offline on a small piece of hardware. You plug the hardware wallet into your computer (with a USB) and transfer your Bitcoins on to it. This allows you to store your Bitcoin offline so that they can’t be hacked. When wondering how to invest in Bitcoin, I would definitelly go for the most secure wallet.
To receive payments, a wallet will usually generate a new address for each transaction. To send payments, the wallet will digitally sign transactions with the correct private keys and broadcast transactions to the bitcoin network. Once a transaction is confirmed by the network, the wallet will no longer be able to spend the same bitcoins used in the transaction again.
Miners take financial risks on hardware with the reasonable expectation that they will be able to earn a return. If one or the other chain is better equipped to service that result, then that will become the preferred chain of miners, and if they are within a few dozen dollars of each other in unit price, this preference can fluctuate algorithmically in ways that can have a dramatically negative effect on everyday users as difficulties rise and fall and make block times irregular.
Cryptocurrency exchanges will buy and sell bitcoin on your behalf. There are hundreds currently operating, with varying degrees of liquidity and security, and new ones continue to emerge while others end up closing down. As with wallets, it is advisable to do some research before choosing – you may be lucky enough to have several reputable exchanges to choose from, or your access may be limited to one or two, depending on your geographical area.
When thinking about how to invest in Bitcoin, you must always consider the cons of investing. The price of Bitcoin changes all the time. However, these aren’t just small changes. For example, after Bitcoin hit its highest price of $19,839 on the 17th December 2017, it dropped to $12,015 on the 22nd December. That’s a total loss of $7,824 in just 5 days!
Just like any other currency, you have to have a place to store your Bitcoin, or more accurately, store the private keys you can use to access your Bitcoin. These aren’t the type of wallets you buy at Target, though. The software comes in many different forms, most of which can be downloaded on your smartphone, tablet, or computer desktop. Here are the different types of wallets:
Another possible attempt at investing in bitcoin's value without buying bitcoins is with bitcoin futures. Bitcoin futures allow you to essentially bet on the cryptocurrency's value in the future; if you think the price of bitcoin will go up in the future, you could buy a futures contract. Should your instinct be right, and the price goes up when the contract expires, you're owed an equal amount to the gains. Notable places that offer bitcoin futures contract are the Chicago Board Options Exchange, or CBOE, and financial market CME Group.
While the number of companies and industries that allow cryptocurrencies to be used to pay for goods and services is constantly increasing (you can use Bitcoin to pay for some things on Expedia and Microsoft, for example), the vast majority of people who buy Bitcoin or other popular cryptocurrencies still primarily use them as long-term investments. Cryptocurrencies are a new market (Bitcoin was first introduced less than a decade ago) and therefore an extremely volatile investment. In this pricing graph from Coindesk, you can see how the price of Bitcoin has fluctuated since it first debuted almost a decade ago, down to daily changes in value.
One last secret, consider to diversify your investment portfolio. Spread your investment across multiple assets such as piggy bank, stocks, commodities, real estate, bank deposits and so on. Remember, digital currencies are a volatile investment and it’s not recommended for most people to invest their life savings. For example, if you have 5000 USD as your total investment, you might invest a large part of it into stable assets and keep 1–10% of it into cryptocurrencies. As for your crypto portfolio, most people start with just one coins (e.g. a little bit of Bitcoin). But with more experience you might find it compelling to research and invest in other reputable cryptocurrencies as well.
For those that don’t know, a hard fork is the only currently known method for developers to update Bitcoin software. Developers split the network and essentially create a new Blockchain with altered rules. The original and the forked version of the cryptocurrency have identical Blockchains all the way up to the block when the split occurred. From there on, the two networks exist independently.
Once you’ve signed up, feel free to wander around the dashboard and get to know the CoinGate platform. While waiting to get verified, you can add your Bitcoin address for future purchases immediately. Confirm it by email and you’re set. Now, when your account is verified, go ahead and visit the buy menu, where you can select your payment method of choice.