The why, the what and the how every investor may gain access to bitcoin
Special thanks to contributing editor, Julia Hyman — The InvestorIntel community has a passion for investing in gold and precious metals, a tried and true investment that has stood the test of time.
In our modern age, a new digital form of gold has taken center stage in the way of Bitcoin. Due to Bitcoin’s outstanding and consistent performance, we wanted to take some time to explain and outline the value of Bitcoin and other digital currencies to help educate you about the future of your investing.
First things first, what is Bitcoin?
Bitcoin (BTC), often referred to as “digital gold,” is the first and world’s largest digital currency that uses blockchain technology to manage a decentralized, immutable ledger. Bitcoin is not controlled by any central authority, giving you complete control over your money, and has a shared record of every transaction ever made.
Since Bitcoin is on a public ledger, anyone can view the transactions and balances taking place at any time, but they cannot tell who is behind them. In other words, you are unable to tell who is sending what to whom. The Bitcoin Network is secured by miners who verify transactions, and in turn, they are rewarded for their time, computing power, and effort with newly generated Bitcoins. Bitcoin has never been hacked and has been available and online without interruption since its inception.
There is no need to go through a bank or clearinghouse, which means lower fees, no frozen accounts, can be accessed in every country, and there are no pre-requisite or arbitrary limits. Bitcoin uses peer-to-peer technology to enable instant payments 24 hours a day, and you can hold your coins in a digital wallet on your mobile device or computer. The price of a Bitcoin is determined by supply and demand. When the demand for Bitcoins increases, the price increases, and when demand falls, the price falls.
With Bitcoin’s discovery and success, many other projects, altcoins, and stablecoins emerged, taking advantage of blockchain technology. With that in mind, let’s take a look at how Bitcoin compares to gold.
Bitcoin vs. Gold
It’s no surprise that since gold is a physical object and Bitcoin is a digital currency, it’s challenging to ascertain Bitcoin’s value and why investors are paying as much as $18,500 for a single Bitcoin.
Firstly, both are actually very rare resources. Like gold, there is a limited amount of Bitcoin available, and neither are issued by a central bank or federal government. Additionally, both have very liquid markets where fiat money can be exchanged for them.
With a secure and established system in place for weighing and tracking gold, it’s very hard for one to steal, corrupt, or pass it off as fake. In comparison, Bitcoin has an encrypted, decentralized system with complex algorithms that make it difficult to corrupt.
There will only ever be 21 million Bitcoin ever minted in its entire existence. Currently, over 90% of Bitcoin is already in circulation, as there is 18.5 million Bitcoin actively in circulation, with an estimated several hundred thousand lost in the ethers forever. Bitcoin has a very limited supply, considering the global access to the decentralized currency. For perspective, there are over 45 million millionaires in the world, not enough for each one to own one Bitcoin.
Now looking at baseline value for gold, historically, there have been many uses – from luxury items to specialized applications in electronics, medicine, and more. Bitcoin also has tremendous baseline value, but not just because it was the first to introduce blockchain technology. There are billions of people all over the world without access to traditional means of finance and banking. With Bitcoin, funds and value can be sent around the world with little to no fee. Bitcoin is changing peoples’ lives.
Unlike gold, Bitcoin has an array of use cases and is already being used across the globe. Its price also acts independently from other asset classes, proving it a solid hedge against traditional stock holdings, especially because it’s deflationary by design. Both the current and maximum supply of Bitcoin are known entities, while it’s unknown when all the gold in the world will be mined from the earth.
Now that you are well-educated on the similarities and differences between Bitcoin and gold, let’s move on to USDC, which is basically the digital version of the U.S. dollar.
What is USDC?
USD Coin (USDC) is a fully collateralized US dollar stablecoin. It is a token issued on the Ethereum blockchain and is the brainchild of Circle, an open source project. USDC is issued by regulated and licensed financial institutions that maintain full reserves of the equivalent fiat currency in a 1 USDC to 1 USD ratio.
Stablecoins have value because they allow institutions, market makers, and retail investors to send, receive, borrow, and exchange billions of dollars on the blockchain, with no banking intermediaries, and for these transactions to take place within minutes, not hours or days.
With our dedicated partner, Voyager, there’s no cost to swap your USD to USDC, and you can even earn up to 8.5% interest APR on your USDC! Let us share more below.
What is Voyager?
Voyager is the #1 crypto broker & altcoin destination in the U.S., working on expanding internationally in early 2021. As a publicly traded, regulated, and audited company, Voyager gives you full transparency and is a crypto broker you can trust.
The Voyager app connects to multiple exchanges, offering investors unmatched access to the crypto market, competitive prices on trades with enhanced price discovery, access to liquidity, and fast reliable execution through our smart order router technology – all in one convenient place. The Voyager app is supported on both the Apple App Store & Google Play Store.
The Voyager app makes it easy and simple to buy and trade Bitcoin & 50+ crypto, commission-free. Voyager also gives you the ability to earn 8.5% interest APR on your USDC & 5.5% on your Bitcoin – all you have to do is hold it in your Portfolio.
Did you know banks earn 14% to 19% interest on every dollar you deposit, but are now only paying on average less than 0.5%?
Voyager has partnerships with a variety of billion-dollar market makers and lending platforms to generate the interest it shares with its customers. Because crypto has a decentralized lending ecosystem, it is not burdened by the limitations of traditional finance, and we share at minimum 85% of our interest earnings with our customers.
To participate in our interest program, users must maintain a monthly average balance of each coin. There are no lock-ups and no limits. Rates are subject to change and will be announced monthly. Terms and conditions apply.
Getting started on Voyager is easy! Sign up for Voyager in less than 3 minutes, connect your bank account, and instantly trade crypto, it’s that simple!
As a member of the InvestorIntel community, you are eligible to receive $25 in FREE BTC when you use code INTEL when signing up for Voyager.
How to Get Started with Voyager in Less Than 3 minutes:
- Download the Voyager app from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.
- Create your account by submitting your personal information. We are required to collect this information for regulatory reasons, but your information is always safe with us!
- Link your bank: Connect your bank account by navigating to the User Icon on your Market Screen. On your account page, tap “Bank Accounts” and add your bank.
- Fund your account: To deposit USD, go to your account page and tap “Transfer Cash or Crypto” & tap “Deposit to Voyager Account” and select USD. Then enter the amount of USD you’d like to transfer and “Slide to Deposit USD.” Now you can trade instantly!
- Trade: On the “Market Screen” pick any digital asset you would like to purchase by tapping on its name. Tap buy and insert the amount of USD you’d like to spend and slide the “Slide to Buy” banner to complete your purchase.
That’s it! We hope this article was helpful to you.
Don’t forget to use code INTEL to receive $25 in FREE Bitcoin when you download and sign up for Voyager today!
A special thank you to investopedia.com for being a great resource for this article.