The Chain is powered by Vocal.
Vocal is a platform that provides storytelling tools and engaged communities for writers, musicians, filmmakers, podcasters, and other creators to get discovered and fund their creativity.
How does Vocal work?
Creators share their stories on Vocal’s communities. In return, creators earn money when they are tipped and when their stories are read.
How do I join Vocal?
Vocal welcomes creators of all shapes and sizes. Join for free and start creating.
To learn more about Vocal, visit our resources.Show less
2017 was, in many ways, the year of Bitcoin. It was certainly the year in which the coin gained the most popularity, and in which the coin saw the most growth. Perhaps most importantly, it was also the year in which cryptocurrency hit the mainstream. No longer the stuff of early adopters and computer enthusiasts, these currencies have become a major part of the financial landscape. At the moment, the biggest question being asked by investors is whether there's still time to hop on that particular investment train. There's also a very valid question of whether it's even worth doing at this point. The answers require knowing a bit about Bitcoin and what it represents.
It's perhaps best to be honest about Bitcoin. While there are some lovely philosophical underpinnings to the currency, the truth is that today's investment has very little to do with the spirit of the original coin. Instead, those jumping on the bandwagon—including some major names in finance—are doing so because of the benefits of Bitcoin investment. As the best-known cryptocurrency, this is the coin that is best posed to move and to move well. There are few who are going to argue with the fact that it's seen unprecedented success, though many will also note that it's seen some fairly major corrections recently.
Bitcoin makes sense because its highly public nature gives it at least the overall feeling of legitimacy. While its origins are still shrouded in mystery, there are enough people now holding the exchanges accountable that investors can start to feel secure putting their money into the currency. There still might be some major issues that need to be fixed with Bitcoin, but there's no doubt that money is there.
One of the most pressing reasons to buy Bitcoin now is, of course, that no one knows what's coming next. It's impossible to say if the coin's recent correction means that the value has stabilized or if it is going to surge again. It's certainly possible, especially given the fervor of those in the BitCoin crowd. It's time to invest because it's entirely possible that Bitcoin is headed for yet another rally. If you don't get in now, you might find yourself totally priced out of the market. That's definitely a problem to avoid, especially if you have long-term hopes for the currency.
It's also important to remember that there's only a limited amount of Bitcoin out there to be mined. Once it's all out, that's it—no new supply. This isn't like a traditional currency where more money can just be printed. Once that point is reached—and miners will reach it sooner than many think—the value of each existing coin is going to go up just due to scarcity. If you can't get into it while new coins are being mined, there is a very good chance that you will be forever locked out of this currency.
Your Next Move
If you do want Bitcoin, your best bet is to look at one of the more reputable exchanges. The cost is higher and transaction fees aren't cheap, but they're where you can get the money safely. If you have an overabundance of computer power and don't care about your electricity bills, you can also try to mine—something that's definitely out of the hands of casual investors at this point. Instead, read a few reviews and hit the exchanges to get into the game. With a little careful legwork and a bit of money, you too can invest in this digital commodity.
Realistically, the best reason to get into Bitcoin is that it's going to stick around for the foreseeable future. There's a real limit on how long it will be even remotely affordable, so do what you can to invest today. It's not a complex process, but it is one that will require you to move quickly.