“You must be crazy” is what most of you are probably thinking. You’re right. I’m crazy; crazy about acquiring knowledge. After last year’s Bitcoin pandemonium, I decided to share with you my Bitcoin journey so that you can make an informed decision, if you’re not already in it.
I will not go through in detail of “what is Bitcoin” now because the information can be easily researched through the web. However, I will attempt to address some common questions, and if you should decide to take the risk and want deeper information, you can visit my upcoming Bitcoin Part II post (Coming soon)
7th December 2017 – Sitting in front of my laptop in the hotel room as my wife sleeps in – My favourite news site, Channel News Asia reported that Bitcoin had zoomed past USD$13,000 (SGD $17,600). I still remember talking to my dad about bitcoin back when it was less than USD$1,000. But who dared to buy back then? On hindsight, if I bought it and waited…
I still vividly recall the emotions when I decided to sign up for an account; partially filled by the ‘fear of missing out’ (FOMO) emotion, and also filled by, “I want to know how this works” thought.
I had questions: how do I start; where do I start? I did a frantic search online because time is money and every moment I wasted meant that the price could have inched higher, making the price more expensive. At this kind of price, as the guy whom I buy breakfast from every morning rightly said in Chinese (用钱买钱), it’s like “buying money with money.”
I signed up with a local Bitcoin exchange account whose rates I deemed to be reasonable. In Singapore, signing up an account with a local cryptocurrency exchange requires you to verify your identity, which is kind of missing part of the point of holding on to/using bitcoin: Anonymity.
I verified my account with my trusty Macbook Air that I bought with me to Taiwan, only to be stopped at one point: fund transfer. I couldn’t transfer money to the Bitcoin exchange because I didn’t bring my physical 2FA bank authenticator, and my other bank’s 2FA authentication is sent through the phone, and I didn’t turn on auto-roam! GGMAX!
When I got back to SG on the 10th at night, I immediately transferred SGD $1000 from my bank into the Bitcoin Exchange. I received the funds in my bitcoin account the next morning and bought my very first portion of bitcoin (0.04410286) at SGD$ 22538 (USD ~$17,000). In the four days that I had to sit out because I was overseas, the price had already went up by 20%, making it 20% more expensive!
*FYB SG Exchanged has closed down.
I now use Coin Hako instead. Input my referral code [ DANIELCHIA_477194 ] to get free $20.
Note: A single bitcoin can be split up into 100,000,000 Satoshi. You can actually buy a fraction of a bitcoin.
I transferred another SGD $2,000 more into the exchange at the price of SGD $24,000 per coin. This makes a total of $3,000 SGD invested.
As of 2nd October 2018 at this time of writing, Bitcoin’s price is at USD$6500 (SGD $9000); a fall from the highs of US $19,000 (SGD $25,000). My $3,000 invested on Dec 2017 became $1,000 by July 2018. A loss of about 66%. What happened?
Like every good show, just as we are getting to the fun part, these words will pop up: To be continued…
I’ll be doing a basic question and answer format that incorporates answers from various finance professionals integrated with my own thoughts:
BASIC RISK ANALYSIS
Question 1: Should I invest/put money into bitcoin?
Ans: This will depend on a variety of factors, and there are questions only you can answer
- Yes: If you’re in for the knowledge and experience like I am, then put in an amount that you can absolutely afford to lose (e.g $100). I treated the $3,000 that I put in as “course fee”. If you attend any Bitcoin or popular finance/fintech seminar, you would know that they charge hundreds to a few thousand for the attendance fees alone. Honestly, some parts of this ride was painful and I didn’t know if it would crash, but the whole experience – emotional roller coaster, constant research, learning to read technical charts was learning in itself.
- MAYBE: If you are moderately risk tolerant, Bitcoin having reached a ‘bottom’ at this time of writing, how much can Bitcoin possibly go up in %? Are the gains worth the risk? Some say it can go up to as high as $100,000 in the near future, some say even $1,000,000 since there are 100 million satoshi (which mean each satoshi represents 1c) in the distant future. But what if it crashes when confidence falls?
- MAYBE: If you think it’s an asset class that is worth diversifying/allocating into, then experts suggest that a safe amount to allocate is between 1% to 3% percent of your net worth that you can afford to lose.
- BIG NO: If you are risk adverse and can’t bear to lose even $100 of your hard earned money, then don’t try. It’s going to be a painful ride even if it doesn’t crash.
On Bitcoin’s Continuity
Question 2: Isn’t Bitcoin a big bubble that’s just waiting to explode?
Ans: At the time of writing, Bitcoin has already died 309 times. If you frame it positively, it can be said that Bitcoin has also survived that many times. As this Forbes writer rightly points out, “Bitcoin Is Not Dead“.
Question 3: Will Bitcoin be here to stay?
Ans: I think it will stay in some form or another. The blockchain industry is still relatively young. Only time will tell. I am of the opinion that it will, but I stand to be corrected. Stay tuned to this blog for moderately updated news
Bitcoin Part II – How to own your first bitcoin
Disclosure: I occasionally hold some small amount of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
Views and opinions expressed are those of the author and should not be taken as financial or investment advice. Buying and trading cryptocurrencies should be considered a high-risk activity. As usual, readers are advised to “Do Your Own Due Diligence” (DYODD) before taking any action related to content within this article