Here’s My Bitcoin Strategy – What’s Yours?

by Mark Alexander

22:21 PM, 13th December 2017
About 2 years ago

Here’s My Bitcoin Strategy – What’s Yours?

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Here’s My Bitcoin Strategy – What’s Yours?

Some say that each Bitcoin might be worth $5,000,000 in years to come!

Well if they are right I will settle for owning just one thank you very much 🙂

Some say it’s the modern economic version of ‘Tulip Mania

The truth is, I have absolutely no idea whether the recent growth in popularity of the social experiment known as Bitcoin is a bubble, as portrayed by the media, or the future of world currency. One thing is for sure though, I’m not going to be betting my shirt on it either way.

I started looking in to Bitcoin in around Spring 2016 when it was worth about $600. I should have bought a few then but I didn’t. Damn!

I took another look a few months ago, when the value broke through $5,000. Then it dropped back to $3,600 for about a day and I thought to myself then, maybe I should buy now? But I didn’t ….. double damn!

This week, Bitcoin broke though $17,000 and has since fell back a bit. It always seems to drop back immediately after a massive spike.

Thankfully though, a few weeks ago I decided to dip my toe in. I opened an account with a company called Uphold.com and got approved within a few days. Before that I’d opened an account with Coinbase, but for some reason I couldn’t connect my Maltese bank account Grrrr! Hence, my first transaction was with Uphold and was only for £500.

Why such a small amount you may well ask.

Well having been a landlord for nearly 30 years I have to admit that I’ve become a bit of a skeptic. Despite being recommended to that particular platform by my best friend, who got into Bitcoin in March 2016 when I should have, I wanted to make sure my money actually got there. Eventually it did, after five days of checking every hour, so I transferred another £5,000.

My thinking was, if Bitcoin doubles in value, I will take my initial £5,500 out and have a nice holiday. If I lose the lot I skip one of my holidays. Either way, it’s no big issue. If I ever get my initial £5,500 out then I have no real risk at all leaving the rest in. If I lose the lot then so be it.

My Bitcoin Shoes Story

Like my new shoes?

OK, fair enough, they are not to everybody’s taste but that’s not the point. I love em!

Being a bit of an exhibitionist they caught my eye when they popped up on a Facebook advert. Love em or hate em, at least they will be a talking point at Xmas parties! LOL

The real point though is this; when I chose my size, clicked the order button and was redirected to the payment page I was presented with a variety of options; Visa, Mastercard, PayPal ……. and low and behold Bitcoin!

This got me thinking, because up until then I had seen Bitcoin a bit like Monopoly money, not real but a bit of fun. So I decided to check out which other retailers accept Bitcoin, and that was my lightbulb moment. Bitcoin is accepted by loads of the big brands including Microsoft, Dell, Expedia, Starbucks, Sports Direct Online and so many other big names that it blew my mind. OMG I thought, this is a real currency! But then I thought …. hang on …. very few governments recognise it as such and cannot trace it. There isn’t a Central Bank of Bitcoin and there is no way to regulate bartering or for Governments to stop this.

Let me explain in even simpler terms. If I were to swap a tax consultation for a crate of champagne, nobody would be any the wiser and I’d certainly not have to declare it as income. Is that why Bitcoin is becoming so popular?

By the way, I couldn’t bring myself to pay for my new shoes in Bitcoin. In years to come I don’t want to be thinking to myself ‘those stupid shoes cost me what would now be £50k in Bitcoin’ LOL

Am I getting greedy?

Just a few weeks into Bitcoin and I have to ask myself, and I getting greedy or just wising up?

I thought more about the claims from people who say Bitcoin will be 10% of the Forex market and each one will be worth $5,000,000 … and so I did a bit more digging and a lot more thinking. If we look at the ‘black market’ alone it is believed to consist of 10% to 20% of the global Forex market. Bitcoin started as a ‘black market’ currency but ….. and this is big ….. it has now gone mainstream and isn’t even taxed. If you divide the value of all the legal currencies in the world by 21,000,000 (which is the maximum amount of Bitcoins there will ever be in existence) and then multiply by 10% (a theoretical global market share of Forex) then you end up with a figure of $5,000,000. On that basis it doesn’t seem so daft does it?

Anyhow, I digress.  Having discovered this I learned a bit more about the other crypto-currencies, which aren’t as well known as Bitcoin but are also achieving spectacular growth in value. They all have a different purpose, which I have only just learned and won’t go into here, but there’s; Litecoin, Dash, Bitcoin Cash, Etherum and a few others. I needed a way to justify speculating on those too, and of course I found it. We’ve all done it haven’t we? You know …. when we want a new car or something badly enough we always manage to find a way to justify buying it don’t we?

So, I decided that having sold one more property than I had initially intended to this year (lame excuse I know!) my liquidity reserve were slightly larger than they needed to be. £10,000 larger as it happens, which also just so happened to be just the right amount to speculate £2,500 on each of the above mentioned other crypto-currencies..

Why I don’t ‘invest’ into crypto-currencies

I see Bitcoin and other crypto-currencies as a bit of a punt, a gamble if you like and at best speculation. Perhaps the only reason “I’m in” is that I’m afraid of being left out? That’s been a significant contributor to my ‘self-talk’ for over a year and I think that’s perhaps, at least partially, why I eventually took the plunge.

And yes …… I’ve read all the negative media, of course I have. Some say that if Bitcoin continues on its current trajectory there won’t be enough electricity in the world to power the computer processing that trading it requires. Well maybe that’s true, or maybe it’s just propaganda put out there by those who cannot control it and are afraid of where it could take us. If it isn’t propaganda, you can bet your bottom dollar that the IT boffins will find a solution to make the processors more efficient. I remember my first mobile phone. It was a handset connected to a battery the size of a breeze block …. I kid you not! It came with 4 hours of standby and 20 minutes of talk-time. Compare that to where we are with mobile phone technology now.

And if you’re wondering why I haven’t mentioned crypto-currency mining….. well I’ve also taken a punt on that, details HERE if you’re interested.

So, in summary, I don’t consider that I have invested into crypto-currency …. but in years to come I may change my mind and say it was the best investment I ever made, or maybe I will have to skip a few holidays.

So there you have it.

What are your thoughts on Bitcoin and other crypto-currencies, and if you’re ‘in’, what’s your strategy?



Comments

Trendo

11:39 AM, 15th December 2017
About 2 years ago

Re: tax on crypto profits, as far as i am aware if you spread bet cryptos via etoro or similar then no tax is payable. You are also working within a "safer" more regulated environment and no risk of having coins hacked from exchange or wallet as you wont actually own any, but simply trade on the price of the crypto! Can anyone confirm this ?

John Frith

12:10 PM, 15th December 2017
About 2 years ago

I have just dipped my toe in the water, but I'll limit my comments to two areas. Security and fees.

Security: Although the "blockchain" technology is accepted as a secure way to keep a transparent ledger of cryptocurrencies, when it comes to keeping track of the currency, there's a bit of a "Wild West" mentality going on. I've read of at least a couple of cryptocurrency exchanges being hacked, and hundreds of millions of pounds in value being stolen, with no legal recourse. This was only possible because the exchange "held" individuals "wallets" - the misleadingly titled little app that doesn't actually hold any currency (because currency don't exist outside the blockchain), but instead holds the hashkeys without which the blockchain will not allow the currency to be sold. I think that some exchanges are now regulated - I don't know if this means that they now have compensation schemes if the exchange goes belly up?
Anyway, my way to avoid this risk is to hold my wallet outside the exchange (I use the opensource Electrum). You can still buy and sell through any exchange. The tradeoff is that because the wallet is not in the "cloud", to trade you have to get hashkeys from wherever you have installed your wallet. As I am not a trader, this isn't a problem for me.

Fees: Many people won't care about fees as they are hoping for 100%+ returns, but I don't like paying them. I'm aware of 3 "fees". One is the cost of selling (and has nothing to do with the value of the transaction). This is a figure you decide - the more you're willing to pay the quicker the transaction will be recognised by the blockchain. So market forces reign, but it's quite expensive (I seem to recall my vendor having to pay over £5 in bitcoin to have it done reasonably quickly). I see this as currently a big impediment to it being accepted as a currency.
The second fee is a hidden one, and it's the buy / sell spread. These seem to start at about 3% and can be eye-wateringly high if you want to pay by credit card, paypal, or worst if you want to remain anonymous (cash). Call it a free economy tax on the dark economy!
The third is from the exchange rate of the currency that you buy or sell in. I'm talking about short term (minute by minute) fluctuations which I've seen up to 3%, affected by inneficiencies in the market for cryptocurrency in a particular currency.

Trendo

12:14 PM, 15th December 2017
About 2 years ago

Hi John, you may want to take it offline alltogether and store on a hardware wallet https://www.buybitcoinworldwide.com/wallets/#hardware-wallets

Tobias Nightingale

18:18 PM, 15th December 2017
About 2 years ago

Unless I am mistaken, in which case someone can correct me, but while you may be able to buy bitcoins from 'coinbase'. there is no feature to withdraw them to a bank account which renders the only use for the 'bitcoins' in the account to be used to buy from a vendor that does accept them.

Mark Alexander

18:23 PM, 15th December 2017
About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Tobias Nightingale at 15/12/2017 - 18:18
I can’t comment on Counbase but you can definitely withdraw to a bank account with Uphold.com

You also get virtual credits cards with Uphold

Dinah South

7:52 AM, 16th December 2017
About 2 years ago

Ive bought a Bitcoin Tracker Fund with Hargreaves and Landsdown in a SIPPS so no CGT. Its an ETF tracking the price of Bitcoin but linked with the Euro. I felt this was a good opportunity without worrying about wallets and mining but getting in before I feel the fear of missing out which I should of done 6 months ago... I feel its like an opportunity (maybe) of how someone years ago said facebook or amazon... if I loose my £2880 (which the Government will kindly top up 20%) then no tears but maybe....time will tell.

Mark Alexander

9:41 AM, 16th December 2017
About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Dinah South at 16/12/2017 - 07:52
I’ve not come across that Dinah, please post a link if you have one.

Dinah South

9:59 AM, 16th December 2017
About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Mark Alexander at 16/12/2017 - 09:41
http://www.hl.co.uk/shares/shares-search-results/x/xbt-provider-ab-bitcoin-tracker-eur

Search under shares and type Bitcoin, there are 3 options and can be invested under Sipps and ISAs even if I get a lower return the tax saved is worth the growth (we hope). I agree with Mark the FOMO is too tempting.

Mark Alexander

10:23 AM, 16th December 2017
About 2 years ago

Had to Google FOMO “Fear Of Missing Out”, yes I definitely suffer from that. It’s what got me into property LOL

Colin Marshall

14:52 PM, 16th December 2017
About 2 years ago

You can obtain a 40% cushion from any falls in value by using USI Tech who give you 140% back over 140 days approx. Circa 1% a day return! If you're interested you can sign up here **affiliate link removed by moderators - sorry but this is against “House Rules”**
Thanks

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