Making millions in bitcoin trade isn’t everyone’s cup of tea


Suneeti Ahuja Kohli

Published: Thu 18 Mar 2021, 5:02 PM

In 1995, America’s notable scientist and author Clifford Stoll published a column in Newsweek predicting decline of the Internet. “Why cyberspace isn’t, and will never be, nirvana,” he argued. Today, we know how wrong that assessment was.

Last week, a conversation on cryptocurrencies with a few friends drifted from whether they are good or bad investments, to knowing how the experience of trading is, what was the amount invested, and gains made. Before long, names of the platforms were shared, and account created.

“It was the fear of missing out that prodded me to invest. I invested in four cryptos, two of them are in deep red, but the overall portfolio is profitable. I still don’t understand the gyrations in cryptos. I base my moves on community posts on my platform and reading up on the net,” says Christopher, a senior executive at a Dubai-based firm, who started investing in digital currencies last year.

A lot of investment decisions are often made like this, following the success stories of other people with the hope of inspiring someone else with our investment choices. But any kind of investment without understanding the product is a gamble.

One of the biggest drawbacks of this asset class is volatility. The trust and comfort we have in fiat currencies isn’t there in any cryptocurrency. Besides, there are so many unknowns for retail investors.

Industry confidence is building, but it might take some time. “I’m very bullish about cryptocurrencies. And the reason for my optimism is already apparent in the markets. The huge post-pandemic stimulus packages that governments around the world announced resulted in inevitable inflationary pressures within fiat currencies. Cryptocurrencies present the perfect hedge against these negative influences. Taking a long-term view, the opportunities in decentralised finance alone will ensure a sustained relevance. This may give enough opportunities for cryptocurrencies to go mainstream,” says Khurram Shroff, whose IBC group pledged the largest Bitcoin investment deal at 100,000 Bitcoins to set up the Miami 2.0 Blockchain Strategy Foundation. Hundred thousand bitcoins are worth $5.5 billion (as on March 16).

Shroff’s optimism is shared by a number of hedge funds and institutional investors, including JP Morgan, and even Elon Musk, whose firm Tesla recently announced a $1.5 billion investment in Bitcoin. India, on the other hand, is mulling a ban on trade and use of cryptocurrencies.

“The current investment thesis for a majority of institutions is based on assumption that Bitcoin will likely become a full-fledged alternative investment asset in the longer term. This will cause sizeable outflows from gold and other such assets to Bitcoin. As such, the price target can be seen as more of presumptuous in nature,” says Vijay Valecha, Chief Investment Officer, Century Financial.

“A full-fledged regulatory framework by major G10 central banks is the need of the hour. Until major government authorities and central banks are on the same page, long-term scenario for cryptos is likely to be affected by any negative news coming out of the regulatory and compliance space,” adds Valecha.

It’s always recommended to cut through the hype and stay focused on building wealth through tried and tested means. However, for those itching to test waters on this front, make sure you do not borrow money to invest. Get debt-free, ensure there are enough savings in emergency fund, and goal-based investments in equities, and then maybe, venture here. The bottom line is, invest on what you can afford to lose.

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