In case you haven’t heard, Bitcoin is back.
The controversial cryptocurrency was all over the headlines during 2017 when it reached its then-peak price of US$19,783 in December. But then the bubble popped – and the hype around it faded nearly as quickly as its price did.
But Bitcoin’s made a strong comeback since then, breaking new records. Most recently, it hit a new peak of US$35,607.10 on Wednesday.
Pundits say that this time is not like the last – veteran investors from the US, such as Stanley Druckenmiller and Paul Tudor Jones, have backed what’s been dubbed ‘digital gold’ and the ‘ultimate hedge’ during a recession.
The coin has well and truly moved into the mainstream; institutional investors have poured billions of dollars into the coin, and it’s even forced JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon to backtrack on calling Bitcoin a “fraud”. In fact, JP Morgan analysts predicted in a recent note that its price could reach as high as US$146,000.
But there are still the same concerns that Bitcoin is a risky investment, and hinges too much on investor sentiment. That hasn’t stopped comparisons between Bitcoin and gold, however, as millennials flock to the cryptocurrency.
At Yahoo Finance, we’ve been following its rise-and-fall-and-rise-again closely. I learnt so much about it that I decided to throw some money behind it, and found it to be a very simple experience.
If you’re a total beginner when it comes to investing, let alone investing in cryptocurrency but curious on how to get started, here’s what I did.
Choose an exchange
There are several user-friendly Bitcoin exchanges or investment platforms from which to buy and sell cryptocurrency. Some of the biggest and most popular platforms include CoinDesk, Coinbase, Kraken, Coinspot, Binance, Terrexa, and more.
I wasn’t particularly fussy about which to choose – beginner-friendly was my only requisite – so I went with Coinspot after it was recommended by someone who knows a bit about this space (he co-founded a cryptocurrency brokerage).
This process is straightforward; create an account and input your name and email address, and some other personal and contact details.
As it’s an investment platform, you’ll need to upload images of your Australian driver’s license or your Australian passport (just one is needed) by way of identification.
Alternatively, an Australian Government-issued photo ID card is acceptable, too, along with your Medicare card.
Why do you need to do this? It’s for your own security – according to Australian anti-money laundering laws, a full identity check is necessary to deposit or withdraw funds through investing platforms.
After that, submit that for verification, confirm your mobile number (you’ll get an SMS with a six-digit code) and away you go.
Deposit your funds
Once your account is created, you need to move some money into your Coinspot account (or whichever exchange you choose).
There’s a number of ways you can deposit funds into your account – Coinspot options include PayID, BPay, POLi, or cash deposits.
I have a PayID account already, so that was the most straightforward method for me. I just followed the instructions and shot $250 to my Coinspot account through my mobile banking app.
Coinspot says the fund transfer will happen instantly, which is more or less true; I had to wait about a minute for the money to land.
Buy Bitcoin… or whatever else you want
Now for the fun part! This is where you pick the digital currencies you want to buy. Coinspot makes it really easy to do this at the literal click of a button.
Since CoinSpot is a cryptocurrency exchange, you actually become the owner of a little slice of Bitcoin every time you make a purchase.
Hit ‘BUY BTC’, then decide how much of your account funds you want to invest. As I’m just dipping my toes in the water – and I wanted to invest in some other coins, too – I invested just $100 to start with.
Note that investing doesn’t come free; Coinspot fees for buying, selling or swapping your coins come to 1 per cent of every investment. So a $100 investment will actually be $99.
So far, I’ve invested $120 in Bitcoin, $40 in Ethereum, $30 in Litecoin, and $20 in one of crypto’s newest players, Polkadot, which was launched in 2020 by a co-founder of Ethereum.
Have you invested in Bitcoin? Get in touch at email@example.com.
Disclaimer: No money or commission has been received for the production of this article, and the editorial views remain entirely independent. This does not constitute financial advice. Views of the author do not necessarily represent views of Yahoo Finance or parent company Verizon Media. Past performance does not guarantee future performance.