BCH is a cryptocurrency established as a result of the hard fork that took place to manage the scalability problem. Bitcoin Cash has a number of significant differences to Bitcoin: it is advertised as being faster and cheaper to use, the maximum block size is eight megabytes against one in previous Blockchain, and it has an emergency difficulty adjustment feature. Bitcoin Cash also uses 0-conf (or zero-conf) which allows for nearly instant transactions, meaning Bitcoin Cash transactions are almost always confirmed in the next block.
Just like you use an ATM for your local money (USD, EUR etc.), you can now use an ATM for Bitcoin! The only difference is, you cannot use Bitcoin ATMs to withdraw money. You can only use it to buy Bitcoin. The best thing about Bitcoin ATMs is that they are simple, easy to use and you can use cash/paper money. That’s one of the easiest answers on how to invest in Bitcoin.
Second, two coins could survive the split, both with their own name and ticker. (In this case Bitcoin ABC seems most likely to get the name “Bitcoin Cash” and “BCH,” but this could differ from one service to the next.) This is where you need to be particularly careful, as there’s no replay protection. When you send one coin you may unintentionally send the other along with it — or vice versa. To avoid this, you need to first split your coins by using a splitting tool, for example, or by sending your coins to an exchange or other type of service that will split the coins and send both back independently. (Again, there’s no rush to do any of this. Until you know what you’re doing, it’s best to do nothing at all.)
Currently, Bitcoin can only handle 3 to 7 transactions per second. So, as Bitcoin becomes more popular, the time it takes for the Bitcoin network to verify a transaction becomes longer. If this problem isn’t fixed soon then the fees to send Bitcoins will increase, and so will the time it takes to send Bitcoins. This may have you wondering not about how to invest in Bitcoin, but should I invest in Bitcoin?
Maybe only one coin survives the split. In that case, wallets and other service providers will presumably support this coin, either right away or later on. If you hold your private keys and your wallet supports the coin, you will be able to transact. If your wallet does not, you’ll need to extract your wallet seed or private keys and insert them in a wallet that does. (There’s no rush to do any of this.)
But before we get to the tutorial steps, it's really important to know what we're getting into. Increasingly I hear from students making mistakes due to rushing into Bitcoin because of all the hype. There's so much fragmented or misleading information out there. My aim here is to strip it to total basics without putting you off for another 4 years (hopefully).
To be clear, the controversy is internal to Bitcoin Cash, a community that split off from the main bitcoin community more than a year ago. So it's not clear why it should have any negative impact on the value of mainstream bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies. But cryptocurrency trading tends to be highly correlated—when one cryptocurrency starts to fall in value, others often follow.
Ripple (XRP) is a more recently popular cryptocurrency, although some argue that it can't really be called a cryptocurrency at all. It does, however, have a market cap of $19.2 billion as of this writing, 3rd largest amongst cryptocurrencies. Ripple is meant to act as something of a payment processing system that could allow for instant international money transfers. It has partnered with several notable companies, including American Express.
Robinhood started as a fee-free stock brokerage and recently expanded into the world of digital currencies. The best part: No fees! You can buy and sell Bitcoin and other digital currencies completely fee-free on this platform. Since February 2018, Robinhood supports Bitcoin and Ethereum trades and market data for another 15 currencies. Robinhood Crypto is technically a separate account from a Robinhood stock account. Crypto accounts support market and limit orders.
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:
Competing cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin is by no means the only blockchain-based cryptocurrency out there. Another popular option is Ethereum, and there are plenty of others. Bitcoin leads in cryptocurrency market share today, probably because it was the first currency of its kind. But there's no guarantee that it will enjoy a market-leading position forever.
The specific technical details of the schism aren't very interesting—Bitcoin ABC wanted to tweak the bitcoin protocol, and Wright's faction favors maintaining something closer to the original design. But the schism has devolved into a power struggle over who will control Bitcoin Cash in the future. Wright's critics worry that having him closely associated with Bitcoin Cash could damage the reputation of Bitcoin Cash.
This time, Bitcoin ABC will introduce several changes. The first and probably main one is called “Canonical Transaction Ordering” (CTOR). While transactions can currently be included in a block in almost any order, under CTOR, transactions must be included in a specific order. The Bitcoin ABC development team believes this offers a couple of technical benefits, in part related to (future) scaling improvements.
In case you forgot what bitcoin is, it's not a physical form of currency, nor is it a company or corporation that can go public. So there isn't exactly a stock for it, per se. However, you can treat the bitcoins you have as an asset that can be bought and sold, and its value as the bitcoin stock price. The fluctuation in price can be tracked in the same way you can track any other stock in your portfolio.
Instability is good for Bitcoin. In general, political unrest is not good for the stock market -- whose value is tied to established companies that depend on government services, stable financial institutions, a dependable workforce and so on. However, unrest is good for Bitcoin, which is resilient to political unrest because it is not a government-backed currency. There's evidence that recent unrest in Asia contributed to the Bitcoin price surge. If you think the future holds more instability for governments and traditional banks, you might find Bitcoin to be a compelling investment.
In order to buy bitcoins, local currency, like the U.S. dollar or Euro, must be exchanged for bitcoins. In this process trust users must trust the Bitcoin exchange to secure money and not run away with funds. It’s best to use a regulated Bitcoin exchange. Most exchanges offer information about their regulatory compliance on their websites. If an exchange seems shady and doesn’t offer information about regulation or who’s behind the site, it’s best to find a different exchange.
Abra is a bitcoin-based digital wallet app that lives on your smartphone. It is the easiest way to buy, sell, store, send and receive bitcoin from anywhere in the world. It’s similar to a brokerage, but it’s also a wallet. Abra supports bitcoin as well as over 50 global currencies which means you can convert in and out of bitcoin or any available currency, easily. You can also send bitcoin to anyone who has a bitcoin or an Abra wallet and receive bitcoin or money.