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Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years I’m sure you’ve at least heard of Bitcoin or one of the many other cryptocurrencies that are now on the market. Maybe you’ve seen viral news articles like this one; where if you had invested just $100 in Bitcoin back in 2010 it’d be worth a cool $75MILLION today.
Friends, I have a confession to make. I first heard about Bitcoin back when they were less than $1 a piece! The idea of cryptocurrencies sounded intriguing to me, but I failed to do any further research and never bought. Oh what could have been…
But enough of the regretful daydreaming! Back to today’s reality: I am still incredibly bullish on the future of cryptocurrencies (Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, etc.). I don’t think its too late to invest in them. I believe in the long run, cryptos are here to stay and that the blockchain and everything it represents is a technological game changer.
However, those are just my own thoughts. The literature for cryptocurrency is beyond the scope of this single blog post. Instead I will be reviewing my favorite Crypto-wallet, Coinbase, and why I choose to use them for all my purchases.
What is Coinbase?
Coinbase is essentially two things:
1.) A platform/exchange where users can buy and sell digital currencies.
2.) A digital wallet to hold your cryptocurrency.
Based out of San Francisco, CA – they were founded in 2012 (early into the crypto game). And as of this writing, have almost 9 million users registered with over $20 billion in transaction volume.
Needless to say, they are the market leader if you are looking for a U.S. based digital wallet. Coinbase is currently offering three cryptos to buy and sell on their platform: (Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin). These are the three largest cryptocurrencies by market cap respectively. My guess is that they will continue to increase their offerings in the future as the market adapts and changes.
When I decided that I wanted to purchase Bitcoin, I did a ton of research on wallets. Ultimately, these were the 3 main reasons why I chose to go with Coinbase.
Top 3 Reasons Why I Chose Coinbase
1.) My Money Is Safe
This was the single biggest reason I decided to use Coinbase for my Bitcoin purchases. Cryptocurrencies are maturing but are still in their relative infancy, and like anything in it’s early iterations you are going to see some pain. I read all about the story of Mt. Gox (one of the early crypto-exchanges) that got hacked for almost $300 million. The investors who had money on there never got it back and I sure as hell didn’t want that to be me. So when I was picking a wallet, the largest concern for me was security. I wanted to make sure that some random hacker couldn’t get a hold of my wallet and skin me for my entire investment.
Good news: Coinbase is safe.
Most experts in the field suggest you keep your digital currency stored offline. It all sounded like a hassle to me, so I was ecstatic to find that Coinbase actually stores 98% of its digital currency offline in safety deposit boxes! (One less thing for me to do)
What that means is, even if Coinbase were to be hacked, the hackers would not be able to access the vast majority of investor funds. They could only hack the online money, which amounted to 2%.
The final decision maker for me here was the fact that for the remaining 2% of online funds, they had insurance for every investor up to $250,000. It was just the extra peace of mind I needed, knowing that I could safely invest up to 250k on Coinbase without worrying about getting hacked and losing it all.
2.) Immediate Exchanges
If security was my #1 concern with investing on Coinbase, exchange speed was my second. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are volatile, there’s no sugarcoating that – a 10% price swing on Bitcoin is not uncommon. I wanted to be sure that whatever exchange I used, locked in the price I executed my order at reliably.
I am happy to say that as of this writing, I have always paid for my cryptocurrencies at the price I executed at. Because of the nature of the current network, it’s common for it to take up to 5 days for your Bitcoin or Ethereum to show up in your wallet, so the importance of reliable orders can’t be understated.
*Real life story: I executed an order for Ethereum at ~$90 each. Because of the volume of transactions, it took about 4 days for the Ethereum to arrive in my Coinbase wallet. Within that short 4 day timeframe, the price of ETH had skyrocketed to over $300! (cryptos are crazy) I was extremely pleased to see that I did not pay even a penny over the price I had ordered at.
3.) The Software Is Top Notch
This was just the icing on the cake. From a UI/UX standpoint, Coinbase is top notch. They truly look the part of a San Fran based startup. No matter what the program or product is, designing user friendly intuitive software is very important to me. Both the desktop version, and the iOS App are a pleasure to use.
Here’s a look into the dashboard, where you can buy/sell or link accounts.
Another huge plus is the fact that the software allows you to link multiple accounts to your Coinbase profile. That means you can purchase Bitcoins through a checking account, PayPal, or even a credit card.
A+. If you’re looking to buy some Bitcoin, I can’t recommend Coinbase enough! I use them personally, and have experienced nothing but good things.
I’m a crypto-Bull for sure. My investment philosophy for Bitcoin and other cryptos is to buy and hold for the long term (10 years minimum). And no, I don’t think it’s too late to jump into them as an alternative investment class.
That being said, please do not go and bet your entire house on Bitcoin! Obviously no one here is a fortune teller. Anything can happen. So, don’t make bets you can’t afford to lose. I personally think investing a small portion of your net worth in cryptocurrency is a low-risk extremely high-upside proposal.
Sign up to Coinbase through this link, and you’ll receive $10 Completely Free!
(You need a minimum $100 deposit to get the $10. But you can think of it as an immediate 10% return on your money! 😉 )
Mr. Smart Money
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