Advertising
Advertising

The Evolution of Cryptocurrency And How To Tap Into It

The Evolution of Cryptocurrency And How To Tap Into It

Cryptocurrency has actually been in existence for over 10 years. Granted, the term ‘cryptocurrency’ was as good as obscure before Bitcoin emerged, it still existed.

The first pretty known try at cryptocurrencies was in Holland in the early 90s. Back then, gas stations were being raided regularly and this problem caused headaches for the whole community, particularly the gas station owners who didn’t feel good with putting guards’ lives at risk for the protection of their own businesses and establishments. Regardless of this, they also had to make continuous profits, meaning they had to stay open night after night, further exposing themselves to criminals and thugs.

The idea came to put cash into smartcards and like that, e-cash was invented. This invention not only reduced the risk of robbery for the gas stations, it also made truck and car drivers feel safer on the road and travel light. This led to Albert Heijn, the main gas retailer, pressing banks to come up with a means of allowing shoppers and consumers to pay exactly from their bank accounts. This move led to the creation of the Point Of Sales (POS) machine which has become ubiquitous today.

Advertising

Jump to about 25 years later. Cash technologies began being initiated by internet pioneers David Chaum and Stefan Bands. Handcash, a control scheme for spams, was created by Andy Back. However, digital cryptocurrencies were first proposed by Wei Dai and Nick Szabo, who developed b-money and bit gold respectively. Both made use of handcash as their work proof algorithm.

These innovations led to the creation of cryptocurrencies which are used for transactions today, especially Bitcoin (created by Satoshi Nakamoto). When first created, Bitcoin was worth about $0.00001. However, since its creation, Bitcoin (and frankly, other cryptocurrencies) has increased in value immensely. Cryptocurrencies are of different types, each patronized based on the preferences and transactions intended by the user.

Making Money With Cryptocurrencies

Making money follows pretty much the same principles when it comes to cryptocurrencies. For the sake of streamlining, I’ll talk about using Bitcoin, the most popular and widely used.

Advertising

Now, before we discuss any money-making tactics, it is worth remembering that as of this publication, the value of 1 Bitcoin (1BTC) is $900. Hopefully, this will help you to realize the implication of the techniques we’ll discuss and just how rich they could make you.

Direct Investment

The most widely used method of making money through Bitcoin is through direct investment. The process is quite direct, actually. You create a wallet and begin buying Bitcoins (exchanging Bitcoins for money). As you get more Bitcoins, you could wait till the currency gains a higher cash exchange rate, use your Bitcoins in making other transactions or simply do both.

A Website About Bitcoin

An alternative is to set up a website that’s basically about Bitcoin. The site gives an in-depth explanation on the ins and outs of effectively using and managing a Bitcoin account. While you make money from ads and other promotions on your site, you also generate income by opening accounts while collecting a commission, offering account management services (for a fee, of course) and basically becoming a financial advisor to your clients.

Advertising

To do this effectively however, you have to have a wide and broad knowledge about Bitcoin yourself. The last thing you’ll want in this career line is to be sub-par and offer your clients inadequate services.

Mining

The third way to generate income from Bitcoin is to simply mine it (that’s right, you can make Bitcoin!). This method is the money-generating method that’s been affiliated with Bitcoin for the longest time. Bitcoins are mined through solving mind-numbing algorithms and codes that create blocks, which are in turn compiled to the open ledger. This ledger comprises every trade, purchase and transaction ever made using Bitcoin.

Without those who mine, Bitcoin would go extinct sooner or later. The system needs miners to keep expanding and functioning efficiently. As a new block is created, the miner responsible is gifted with Bitcoins for his troubles. This reward system serves as an incentive for new miners to spring up, thereby keeping the entire system alive and propelling the operation further.

Advertising

The mining of Bitcoin has become a more stressful process over time, due to its increased worth, patronage and the complexity of its algorithms. From easily mining on your home PC, it has evolved to a process where you’ll either have to buy your own mining hardware, get a laptop with insane specs or merge with other miners in a mining pool that uses the collective power of you all.

Mining a Bitcoin is an extremely intensive process and it requires a massive amount of processing power on your computer. This is to verify transactions on ledgers and ensure the smooth running of the system, which is daily getting increasingly crowded.

The same principles hold for most transaction-based and investment-centred cryptocurrencies. Even apart from Bitcoin, other cryptos have large values. Tapping in and making money through them is very easy.

More by this author

Tanvir Zafar

The founder of ISU Technologies, passionate in writing about entrepreneurship, work and technology.

20 Best Places to Work for a Great Career in 2019 How to Be Innovative and Creative at Work 15 Best Books for Entrepreneurs to Start Reading Right Now 8 Powerful Reasons to Love Your Enemies 22 Team Building Activity for Work That Are Fun and Encourage Creativity

Trending in Money

1 How to Invest for Retirement (The Smart and Stress-Free Way) 2 How to Nix Your Credit Card Debt in Less Than 3 Years 3 Top 5 Spending Tracker Apps to Manage Your Budget Smart in 2019 4 How to Use Credit Cards While Staying Out of Debt 5 How to Use Debt Snowball to Get out from a Financial Avalanche

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Published on May 7, 2019

How to Invest for Retirement (The Smart and Stress-Free Way)

How to Invest for Retirement (The Smart and Stress-Free Way)

When it comes to stocks, I bet you feel like you have no idea what you’re doing.

Everyone who’s not a financial expert has been there. I’ve been there. But, time is passing and you need to be crystal clear with how you’re investing for your retirement.

Otherwise, it’s back to work until you can afford not to. So, how can you invest for retirement when you’re not a financial expert?

You take the time to learn the fundamentals well. If you do, you can grow your wealth and retire happy. The best part is that you don’t need to be a financial expert to make smart investment decisions.

Here’s how to invest for retirement the smart and stress-free way:

1. Know Clearly Why You Invest

Odds are you already know why should invest for retirement.

But, maybe you know the wrong reasons. It’s time you get clear on why you’d like to retire. Here are some questions to help you get started:

  • Will you spend more time with your family?
  • What does retirement mean to you?
  • Are you looking to launch that business you’ve been holding off for years?

Everyone wants to retire but not for the same reasons. Once you’re clear for why retirement is important for you, you’ll focus on making it happen.

Investing in the stock market allows you to take advantage of compound interest.[1] All this means is that your money earns money on top of its interest. A reason why investment in the stock market is one of the best ways to plan for retirement.

2. Figure out When to Invest

“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”– Chinese Proverb

It’s true if you’d had started investing when you were 10 years old, you’d have a lot more money than you do today.

The reality is that most people don’t start investing until it’s too late. So, if you’re currently waiting for the perfect time to start an investment, it would be today. Open your calendar and block out 2 to 3 hours to choose how you’ll invest for retirement.

Advertising

A quick way to get a snapshot of where you stand is to use Personal Capital. Input all your personal information and spend some time setting your retirement goals. Once completed, you’ll know where you stand with your retirement.

Having a savings account for retirement isn’t planning for retirement. Why? Your money loses value when you factor in US inflation.[2]

3. Evaluate Your Risk Tolerance to Create the Perfect Portfolio

Investing your money well depends on your emotions.

Why?

Because when the market drops most people panic and withdraw their money. On average, the US stock market yields an annual 6% to 7% ROI (return on your investment.) But, this won’t happen if you’re worried about short-term loses.

Before you invest your next dollar, know your risk tolerance.[3] Your risk tolerance determines the number of risky and safe investments you’d have.

Regardless of your investing style, you need to view investing for retirement as a long term game. Know that some years you’ll lose money but recoup this in the long-term.

Avoid watching market-related new. Also, create a double authentication to log in your investment account. This way you’re less likely to withdraw your money.

4. Open a Reliable Retirement Account

Depending on your circumstance, you may need to open a new brokerage account. This is the account is where you’ll invest your money.

If you’re currently working for a company, odds are that they offer a 410K investing account. If so, here’s where you’ll invest most of your money. The only problem with this is that you’re limited to the stock options that are available.

You do have the option to open a separate IRA (individual retirement account.) Here are some of the best brokers:

  1. Vanguard
  2. TD Ameritrade
  3. Charles Schwab

5. Challenge Yourself to Invest Consistently

Committing to invest for retirement is hard, but continuing to do so is harder.

Advertising

Once you’ve started investment for your retirement, you run at risk from stopping. Often you’ll want to contribute less, so you’d have more money in your pocket.

That’s why it’s important that you create a budget that allows you to invest each month. If you’re working for a company, you can set a percentage for the amount you’d like to contribute each month. Most people by default contribute 1% but aim to contribute 10% to 15%.

Be the judge for how much you can afford to contribute after covering important expenses. To stay motivated, use Personal Capital to view your net worth.

A benefit to contributing money to your retirement account is not taxed. For example, if you earn $100 and invest 10%, you’d contribute $10, then get taxed on the remaining $90. As of 2019, the most you’re able to contribute towards your 401K is 19K but this can change.

6. Consider Where to Invest Your Money

The most common way to invest your money is in stocks, but it’s not the only way. Here are other ways to invest:

Robo Advisors

Robo-advisors[4] are fancy algorithms that’ll choose the best investments for you. Sites like Wealthfront make it easy for first-time investors to invest their money. You’d input information about yourself and set your risk tolerance.

Then, set your monthly contribution amount and your robo-advisor would do the rest. Robo-advisors charge a fee to manage your money, but less than regular advisors.

Bonds

Think of bonds as “IOUs” to whomever you buy them from.

Essentially, you’re lending money and charging interest. Like stocks, not all bonds are equal. Some will be riskier than others depending on their rating.

Here are the different types of bond categories:[5]

  1. Treasury bonds
  2. Government bonds
  3. Corporate bonds
  4. Foreign bonds
  5. Mortgage-backed bonds
  6. Municipal bonds

Mutual Funds

Picture a group of people dumping all their money in a jar that’s managed by a professional. This is how mutual funds work. The fund manager manages the money looking to earn capital gains (interest.)

One of the best types of mutual funds is index funds. Since these funds don’t try to beat the market and instead follow it, they need less research. Because of this they often charge the lowest fees and yield the best long-term results.

Advertising

Real Estate

Yes, buying a home is an investment when done correctly.

Imagine buying a home and using it as a rental property. After repairing it, you receive a monthly surplus check of $100 to $200.

This may not sound like a lot, but repeat this process enough times and you’d earn a large amount of passive income. That’s why real estate is one of the best investments to not only retire but become wealthy.

But, it requires a lot of money to start and you should expect losing money along the way as you learn the process.

Savings Accounts

Your money can still grow in a savings account. Nowadays most online banks offer a 2% annual return. Although the average inflation is higher your money will be available when you need it.

7. Master Disincline to Dodge Short Success

Investing for retirement is a long-term strategy. That’s why you need to master delayed gratification. All this means is delaying short-term pleasure for something bigger in the future. Research shows that those who have delayed gratification are more successful.[6]

So how can you master delayed gratification?

By building your discipline.

Think back to what retirement means to you. A clear purpose will help you avoid withdrawing your money during a market downturn. It’ll help you contribute more towards retirement when you’d want to waste it instead.

Your journey towards retirement will be long, so reward yourself along the way. Choose a reward that’s relevant and meaningful, so that you reinforce positive behavior. For example, after contributing more towards retirement, treat yourself to dinner.

8. Aggressively Invest on This One Investment

I’ve mentioned several types of investments but haven’t covered the most important one.

It sounds cliche but here’s why you’re your best investment towards retirement. The more you know, the more money you’ll be able to make. The more good habits you adopt, the more secure your retirement will be.

Advertising

More importantly, investing in yourself is an investment that no one can take away. There’s no market downturn nor tragic circumstance that’ll wipe your knowledge and experience.

But, how can you invest yourself?

Reading books, blogs, and anything that’ll help you learn new topics daily. Listen to podcasts and audiobooks on your commute to/from work.

Save money to buy courses and hire coaches. I used to believe hiring coaches was a waste of money when I could learn the subject alone.

But, coaches see your blind spots and hold you accountable. Hiring the right coach will help you achieve your goals faster than you would’ve alone.

Retire Happy with Excess Money

The key to a secure financial future doesn’t only belong to financial experts.

It’s possible for you and I. What if you were able to retire earlier than most people and weren’t a financial planner? What if you were able to focus on what you enjoy doing the most while your money was working hard for you?

I know this sounds impossible now, but the truth is you’re capable of taking charge of your retirement. I’m not a financial expert but I’ve learned how to invest my money by reading books and learning from others.

Investing your money is scary. So start small and invest a small amount of your money with a robo-advisor. Feel your money drop and rise for a month or two. Then, invest more and keep this up until you’re aggressively saving for retirement.

One day, you’ll wake up with a net worth you’re proud of – confident about your retirement. You now know a few strategies you can use to invest in your retirement. Will you take action to retire happy?

More Articles About Making Wise Investment

Featured photo credit: Matthew Bennett via unsplash.com

Reference

Read Next