What started off as a little known and even less understood technicality has burgeoned into a global phenomenon. But is cryptocurrency all the so-called experts make it out to be? Can you really get returns from investing in bitcoin and similar coins? The answers to these and other pressing questions have never been easy to answer since bitcoin emerged in 2009. Luckily, it’s been over a decade since then, and we have learned a great deal.
Cryptocurrency can actually be a valuable asset in your investment portfolio. However, you need to have realistic expectations of what you can earn. As a matter of fact, a great deal of the losses and disappointment people encounter comes from a misconstrued “get-rich-quick” view of cryptocurrency.
Trading vs Investing Cryptocurrency in Kenya
Investing and trading bitcoin aren’t interchangeable terms. There is a difference between the two which is important to understand before putting your money into it.
It all comes down to the duration between when you buy and sell. Trading cryptocurrency mainly happens for a shorter period of time. Traders earn their profits by monitoring the fluctuations of cryptocurrency values and selling or buying based on the existing demand at that given point in time.
There is a chance that one could make returns in this way. However, values change round the clock, and it, therefore, calls for allocating a significant amount of time to keep track of these fluctuations and knowing when to sell or buy.
Investment on the other hand entails thinking in the long term. A cryptocurrency investor would wait for a more prolonged period before selling. This strategy can pay off depending on the circumstances. For instance, the value of one bitcoin in USD has grown steadily from roughly $600 in 2016 to an all-time high of more than $60,000 in 2021.
How Cryptocurrency Stacks Up Against Other Investments
One misconception that has surrounded crypto is the view of it as being a scam. On the contrary, cryptocurrency is similar to other investments. Certainly, as with stocks or real estate, for example, there is a degree of risk involved. Unscrupulous entities can use digital currency to scam unwary investors, just as they can with other kinds of investment. The difference comes into play when considering that crypto is relatively new and therefore slightly more volatile.
That aside, cryptocurrency offers the possibility of making higher returns from your investment. In April 2020, the value of bitcoin averaged $7,000. A year later, the figure stood at approximately $50,000 for one bitcoin. That’s an increase of more than 600%. By comparison, high-interest savings accounts in Kenya offer up to 7% interest per annum, while mobile money savings accounts attract an interest of up to 6% annually. Kenya’s inflation rate is around 5%. Money market funds in the country can offer interests as high as 10% while treasury bills and bonds issued by the Kenyan government can hit highs of 20% or more.
It is recommended to have a diversified investment portfolio. This way, risk is spread across different ventures, minimizing the impact of loss on your earnings. Furthermore, it isn’t advisable to put all your money into a single option, be it crypto or otherwise.
Making Smart Money Moves With Cryptocurrency
Most importantly, buying and selling cryptocurrency in Kenya calls for a better understanding of it and the underlying technology, blockchain.
Before you set aside a portion of your finances, do as much research as you can. There’s a wealth of information available online. Take Yellow Card Academy, for instance. This platform offers in-depth, informative lessons on cryptocurrency for free. Regardless of how informed you are on the matter, there’s content that can help you make more informed decisions.
Another thing to keep in mind is that peer-to-peer exchange platforms can be risky, as you are buying from or selling to third parties who may not hold up their end of the bargain.
With a business to consumer (B2C) platform, you buy and sell directly to and from the company. This eliminates the risk of dealing with intermediaries. A great example of this is Yellow Card, an Africa-focused cryptocurrency startup that is empowering people around the continent by making cryptocurrency more accessible, thereby advancing financial inclusion. Yellow Card does this by making it easy to buy or sell bitcoin with shillings for trading or investing at the best rates. That way you don’t have to pay exorbitant fees to use cryptocurrency.
The company also constantly educates the public on the nuances of crypto trading and investment and tips to keep in mind. For instance, before choosing a given platform, it’s important to assess their performance and success to build confidence and be more assured that your money is in good hands.