These days, stocks in the US are regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission, precisely, because in the olden days, there were many stocks issued that were much like bitcoin, marketed to unsophisticated investors as a get-rich-quick scheme. The very definition of this investor is: “Being more willing to buy something the more its price goes up.”
How risky is investing in bitcoin compared to other financial assets? If the belief in bitcoin evaporates, it will free-fall and should be avoided as an investment tool. Go into bitcoin if you can bear the downside, but do not buy looking to strike gold. If you are fine with losing all your capital and you are curious about bitcoin, and you believe that the demand for bitcoin is still going strong, then do it.
Some investors – presumably ones who do not have teenage children – think bitcoin is “for the tech-savvy, difficult to buy and perhaps even harder to store safely”. This has given rise to funds that buy bitcoins or related assets such as mining companies. Last month, The Motley Fool described one ETF as The Worst Way to Buy Bitcoin. At the time, the story said, shares in the Bitcoin Investment Trust cost about twice as much as the bitcoins it owned, but typically they “have traded at an average premium of 39% to underlying value of the bitcoin”.
German technical enthusiasts and experts have long been at the forefront of Bitcoin innovation and adoption. Since at least 2011, Berlin (and its Kreuzberg district in particular) has been renowned for its strong hacker culture. Germany has thus served as the vanguard of the Bitcoin movement across Europe - perhaps even the world. As demonstrated by recent Lightning Network hackathons held in Berlin in 2018, nothing has changed in the intervening years.
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