Think of cryptocurrency like any real currency (USD, EUR, CNY, etc), except this is using online platforms. It did not gained momentum and popularity until this year, thus resulting in bitcoin price of $900 this January to now a $11,712. Just like stocks, cryptocurrency are traded on exchanges; it can increase or decrease, with even greater volatility and higher risks, than that of stocks. One benefit for crypto traders is that it’s online and running 24/7, all seven days of the week. See the potential for profits?

And just like real currency where USD is the main player, bitcoin is the most popular and the most expensive, current price of $11,712 (at this moment as I’m writing this). Any other currency other than Bitcoin is referred to as an altcoin, alternative cryptocurrencies launched after the success of Bitcoin. There are more than 1250+ altcoins out there, only the ones that gain popularity and increase in demand will actually rise in price. My suggestion is to play around with one of the more popular ones (such as ethereum, bitcoin cash, ripple, iota, dash, litecoin, bitcoin gold, neo), then if you want, you can take your chances investing in ones that nobody has ever heard of, but do your research. See top volume cryptocurrencies.

Everyone will have their own opinions, how they got started, what they’re doing now, and that’s cool. Below is speaking from my experience and opinions.

Steps to fast start:
1. Sign up for coinbase or gemini (or both and see which one you like). These two are the most popular and trustworthy, you need at least one of them in order to transfer real money to buy cryptocurrency (from u.s bank or credit/debit card). I started with coinbase and currently have accounts in both.

Coinbase (get $10 of bitcoin when you buy/sell $100+ cryptocurrency using my referral)

  • User friendly app/website everyone usually start with to get the hang of the idea
  • Relatively higher fee, 1.49-4% depending on payment method
  • I normally do ACH bank transfer (lowest fees) which takes 3-5 business days. Credit card and debit card (highest fees) are made available instantly.

Gemini

  • Userfriendly but no app yet (just website)
  • Lower fees, less than 1% fee
  • Initial account verification may take 5-7 business days. After that, each bank transfer is fast and account is quickly pre-credited.

 

2. After you successfully create an account, follow instructions to transfer money into coinbase (or gemini). It’s easy, just follow their instructions. It can take up to a week depending on volume. By having coinbase or gemini, you are able to get funds into their platform to start trading in the crypto world. You are able to transfer money/profits back to your bank account as well. This is done by selling the crypto/exchange it back to USD, and it can sit in the platform as USD wallet for future buys or withdraw to bank account (with fees of course).

● Coinbase
○ Three major cryptocurrency you can choose from (bitcoin, ethereum, litecoin).
● gemini: bitcoin and ethereum available
○ Two major cryptocurrencies (bitcoin, ethereum)

3. Once you’re familiar the basic concept and had a chance to play around with it, there are two additional ways to make money.

1. USI-tech
automatic trading software that accumulates value of bitcoin through mining. (I think of this similar to that of Betterment or other robo investing platforms)

  • How it Works:
    • ○  A bitcoin package is set around $55-66, you can buy however many packages you want.As of this exact moment, the package price is .005036. For the price to be consistently at

      the USD value, the price in bitcoin obviously changes.

    • ○  Transfer btc from coinbase or gemini to deposit.
    • ○  Each day, five days a week, daily payout.
  • Pro: high returns, close to 1% daily payout. In 140 working days, you will make back close to 140% returns, give or take. Regardless of whether bitcoin rise or falls, you’re receiving a steady return. In the end of 140 days, you will have accumulated close to 40% more than bitcoin than the amount you put in. If during that period, bitcoin value increased, the profit technically even greater. Another pro is you get commissions too if you referred someone.
  • Con: some claim to be pyramid scheme, so don’t put in more than you’re willing to lose.

My take: To be safe, I put in some money and so far, I have been getting decent returns. Below is a snapshot to give an idea. It’s not a guaranteed set return (that would be a scam). Note that you can change what % you want to reinvest back vs. leave in your balance to withdraw. Withdraw is in bitcoin, so you need to transfer into coinbase or gemini.

 

2. Bittrex : cryptocurrency exchange to trade thousands of other altcoins (I think of this like trading stocks in platforms like scottrade/robinhood)

  • How it Works:
    • There is no way to directly transfer from bank, so you see why you need to have a coinbase or gemini account?
    • After creating an account, you would deposit your cryptocurrency here (simple, simply sending it to a QR code/address that’s randomly generated shown on the instructions)
    • On here, you can trade bitcoin against many other altcoins.
  • Pro: opens investment opportunities to many other currencies, and not just the 2-3 limited on coinbase/gemini. There are many up and rising altcoins that have the potential to increase in value. What if one of them is the next bitcoin? The risks can be higher because most of them may never reach that level. Do your research!
  • Con: no direct deposit of USD to this exchange. Sometimes people get confused because we like to calculate everything in real USD value, but on the exchange it is all in terms of Bitcoin or Ethereum, depending on the market you’re in.

My take: if you have the time to play around with it, give it a try. There are tons of youtube videos teaching people what their strategies are and how they go about making money trading. It comes down to how much time you have to learn and trade. Like stocks, there is no guarantee of profits but there are strategies and tips people have that may guide your personal strategy and decisions. I have some in my portfolio, and I check it every few days to see how it’s doing but I do not currently have the time to constantly make daily trades.

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Note that profits are subject to taxes as well. Not many people think about it but it may be taxed as capital gain. Laws and regulations are constantly changing and we’re finding out more about it as we approach tax time. My recommendation is to record down transactions. It’ll make it easier when the time comes.

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