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The 5 biggest misconceptions about cryptocurrency
Let’s bust the major Bitcoin myths.
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New technology is always something many of us approach with caution – it's just human nature. Fun fact: Despite being invented in the 1920s, television wasn't widespread until the 1950s or later in Australia but now it's impossible to imagine life without it.
Cryptocurrency looks like it's set for a similar path. When crypto arrived on the scene back in 2009, only a handful of those in the know were using the digital currency, but this year Finder research has shown that 1 in 4 Australians already own or plan to buy some cryptocurrency this year.
Misconception #1: You need a lot of money to start investing in cryptocurrency
Cryptocurrency is not just for billionaires. In fact, it's always been easier to invest small amounts of money in cryptocurrency than in traditional stocks and shares.
Most cryptocurrency investments don't have a minimum amount you can invest, and it's possible to get started with as little as $1 and then build from there. And, one of the major benefits of cryptocurrency is decentralisation, which means nobody is telling you what you can and can't invest in.
Misconception #2: Cryptocurrency is a worse investment than shares, savings or real estate
Cryptocurrency can be volatile, but this doesn't automatically mean it's worse than other forms of investment. It just means that prices move up and down more dramatically than other assets like shares or commodities. This is considered positive/highly attractive for day traders, although it can be a bit nerve-wracking for investors. The success of any investment strategy comes down to diligent research, experience and patience. While some people may feel safer putting their money into traditional shares or savings accounts, investing in cryptocurrency has some clear advantages too:
- Typically lower fees than investing in shares
- Permanent market uptime, so you can trade whenever you like
- Not tied to a single government bank or regulator
Misconception #3: You can't use cryptocurrency like real money
While crypto hasn't reached the point where you can walk into a Maccas and pay for a Big Mac, there are still plenty of ways to use cryptocurrency as a currency. The world of decentralised finance (DeFi) is expanding every day. Big businesses such as Facebook and even national governments in Japan and El Salvador are getting involved, developing their own cryptocurrency coins. With cryptocurrency, you can also:
Misconception #4: Buying cryptocurrency is hard and takes a long time to do
The way cryptocurrency works might seem confusing at first, but investing in crypto coins is pretty simple and can be done online in a few minutes.
When Bitcoin first started, it was a much more manual and time-consuming process, but these days you can get verified online and start buying cryptocurrency straight away. For example, the Finder mobile app allows users to be approved and trading in less than 3 minutes.
Misconception #5: Cryptocurrency is in a bubble and there is no right time to buy
Bubble is a very popular buzzword and some people argue that the cryptocurrency "bubble" will burst.
The reality is more complex. At the beginning of 2011, 1 Bitcoin was worth under AUD$1. By 2014, it was worth over AUD$400. By 2017 it had risen above AUD$20,000 and its 2021 peak so far is over AUD$70,000 for a single Bitcoin.
That doesn't mean there is zero risk. There will certainly be moments of panic for investors as the charts swing wildly – 2019 had a 71% drop in price. But no form of investment is risk-free.
One way to lower this risk is through dollar cost averaging. By placing a trade that repeatedly purchases a fixed amount of cryptocurrency no matter the price – say $100 each month – you can avoid some of the market's volatility and short-term instability.
One of the easiest and safest ways to get started is with an exchange that let's you buy coins like Bitcoin. Check out our top Bitcoin exchanges for beginners and start trading in minutes.
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