If you invested in Bitcoin during its early days, you are probably a millionaire now.
In just over a decade, the label maker of digital currency has enjoyed an amazing success story, soaring in value from just over a few cents per coin to nearly €70,000.
Since the beginning of the epidemic, its value has increased tenfold. It has penetrated Cryptocurrency by being a niche interest to have a much wider appeal. Celebrities are endorsing it, Premier League clubs are taking part in the event and it is advertised on the sides of Dublin buses and railway bridges across the country.
potential investors You have tens of thousands of cryptocurrencies to choose from, with countless different uses but how many Can it really be a sound investment?
Financial planner and How To Be Good With Money host Ewen McGee is questionable. He told prime time that everyone wants to get rich fast. « The way I think about investing money – it’s long, boring, slow. And it works. »
Eoin believes that any successes people may have so far are largely due to luck. In order for cryptocurrencies to have a long life, they must not only become widely accepted, but also fundamentally accepted by everyone on the planet.
He said, “The reality is that when it comes to cryptocurrencies, having so few people in the world, accepting that this is a real value and that it is true will never create a situation where it will last forever.
“Because it’s not about accepting a few people. It’s about accepting everyone that this is something we can share with each other.
« Until they get that mass market, it’s never going to take off as something that would be mainstream. »
The main stream may not be a million miles away. Half a million Irish already own a cryptocurrency. Perhaps not surprisingly, the age group most likely to buy it is 25-34. It’s a statistic that Eoin is hearing for the first time.
« My immediate reaction is you’re thinking 25-34-year-olds right now, they’ve been in a really tough deal, » he said.
Eoin believes that, financially, they have been hit hard from several directions and that crypto may present an opportunity for them to get a deposit for a home and perhaps be driven by fear of missing out.
Eoin is very active on Instagram and says that nothing generates the kind of comments that occur when discussing cryptocurrency. He makes a short video, and the comments really flow.
There is an active online community of crypto enthusiasts who truly believe that cryptocurrency and the underlying blockchain technology will change our lives, freeing us from what they see as central bank tyranny and inflation. It is a cornerstone of Web 3.0 where, it is said, everything will be decentralized, including our money.
We spoke to a number of Eoin’s followers on Instagram, and eventually we caught up with Michael Moran at Co Kildare. Michael’s background is in technology, but he’s been investing in cryptocurrency for a number of years and usually sells out pretty early as he admits. « I’m an emotional investor, » he jokes.
Earlier this year, he sold his classic BMW and put the money directly into cryptocurrency. This will be a long-term investment that is determined to sit on it for several years. He is also planning a more significant long-term investment.
“I’m thinking about cutting my pension and starting to take some of that money and put it into a cryptocurrency and maybe a little spread across a couple of the majors,” he said.
“The prospect of huge returns makes investing in cryptocurrency a bewildering proposition.”
Michael said he has always made good decisions in his life, with money and possessions, and although this will amount to 30% of his pension, he is confident that it is a risk he can take.
« It’s a risk at the end of the day, » he said, « but you know, the rewards are at risk. So sometimes you have to take that chance. »
Michael is not alone. More and more people are looking at cryptocurrencies as a growing asset class, and a potential store of wealth for the long term.
Early adopter James Nagle founded crypto brokerage Bitcove with his brother Peter in 2014. They now have a chain of Bitcoin ATMs in convenience stores across Ireland. James has seen the influx of investors since the start of the pandemic, which he credits with people tired of negative interest rates on bank savings. Cryptography is something they see as giving a better return.
But not all cryptocurrencies are created equal. While Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin are doing well, there are tens of thousands of other coins out there. Some are used in video games, some started out as a joke and then went off. Others exist only as a way to make money for their creators.
A popular scheme is « pump and dump », where the majority of the coins mined are held by the founders. Then a campaign on social media artificially inflates the price of the remaining coins before the planned and sudden collapse. Innocent investors are burned, while creators are shying away from returns. For those who invest, it’s about sorting the good from the bad.
“We scan every coin we have on our platform,” James told Prime Time. “We make sure that the founders verify, that they don’t hold too many tokens. The crypto is new, it’s exciting, but you have to do your due diligence.”
The potential for huge returns makes investing in cryptocurrency a bewildering proposition, but it has also introduced new frontiers for scammers to entrap people into making a quick buck. It’s a time when investment scams are booming in Ireland right now – €8m were stolen in the first seven months of 2021, double the same period last year, which was double the year before.
At the National Cybercrime Bureau in Harcourt Square in Dublin, Director of Detectives Michael Cryan told Prime Time that 99% of these scams involve cryptography.
Wanting investors are lured in by popups that lead to cloned websites. Some receive financial advice from people they match on dating apps. Ultimately, this leads to them buying what they think is cryptocurrency, but in reality, their money is being stolen.
Some scammers even play the long game, sending out regular charts and graphs to show people their non-existent investments, and encourage them to invest more money in it.
Even with legitimate investments, there are risks involved. Encryption is no different. In the weeks we’ve spent looking into this, bitcoin has fallen from around €58,000 per coin to €40,000 per coin.
Hardcore crypto investors will say now is a good time to buy, while the Bank of England warned last week that Bitcoin speculators are still losing every penny.
For Eoin McGee, this volatility is concerning. Cryptocurrency is supposed to be a currency but the current traditional currencies do not rise and fall significantly.
“No one can actually tell what will happen with cryptocurrencies,” said Eoin. “Because of that, it’s a fun time to be around.
« But because no one knows what’s going to happen, make sure that any exposure you have is no different from the exposure you would have if you went to the races or the dogs. »
« Spécialiste de la télévision sans vergogne. Pionnier des zombies inconditionnels. Résolveur de problèmes d’une humilité exaspérante. »