Have you ever read the full terms and conditions of anything? You know, when you sign up to a website, buy a new app, or simply download some new software? That little tick box that we all just click and then get on with it…
Well, I have actually read a few over the years from start to finish. And the truth is, most of the time I would have been better to just tick the box and get on with life.
However, occasionally if you take the time to read through the ‘fine print’ you can find something of interest. It might not sway your decision on whether to proceed or not, but you may stumble across something noteworthy that makes you more informed about your decisions.
For example, I was reading through the terms and conditions of a website that you can buy bitcoin through. In their ‘general’ terms and conditions it says the following,
‘There is no mechanism to reverse a cryptocurrency transaction. This means that we cannot send cryptocurrencies to new addresses if the original address you gave us was incorrect.’
This is one part of trading in bitcoin that scares a lot of people. And most people I speak to about bitcoin are unaware of this risk. The fact is that if you enter your bitcoin wallet and put in a ‘z’ when there should be an ‘x’ and the trade goes to a different wallet — tough luck.
That’s scary. If you send your savings to the wrong bank account, you can simply call the bank and get them to reverse the transfer. It might be a little complex — and embarrassing — but you can get it done. Crisis averted.
But if you accidentally send bitcoin to someone you don’t mean to, well, kiss your bitcoin goodbye. So, if you’re going to buy bitcoin from anywhere or from anyone, make sure you thoroughly understand the terms and conditions…read the fine print. All of it.
That’s why the bitcoin site I was looking at also states,
‘You should learn about cryptocurrencies and take independent advice as to whether cryptocurrencies are appropriate for you.’
That’s good advice. And it’s why I try to make sure readers of my premium investment service, Revolutionary Tech Investor, are up to speed with the both the importance and the risks of buying bitcoin.
Risk and reward
Make no mistake. Investing in bitcoin is as risky as it comes.
However, the opportunity in Bitcoin today is not to be missed.
In fact, recently the price of bitcoin hit all time highs. And one bitcoin is now worth more than an ounce of physical gold.
I put this milestone to a friend of mine the other day. He’s an economist for one of Australia’s major mining companies. His response? ‘I don’t get it.’
And that was his reasoning for not buying any bitcoin. It’s a problem I encounter with many people I speak to about bitcoin. Most people simply don’t get it. But when I ask them about gold, or the cash that sits in their bank accounts, they get that.
In reality, bitcoin is no different.
If you ask someone to explain why the spot price of gold is US$1,214 per ounce, typically you’ll hear gold is a finite resource with a history of value attached to it. And people will mention sentiment and perception.
These are all valid arguments. And they’re just as valid for bitcoin. Except bitcoin has other advantages. It’s easily useable in the online world. It can be effortlessly shifted across borders without intervention from governments or banks. It’s a lot easier to transport and store. And there’s still a strong element of anonymity to it.
If you haven’t yet invested in some bitcoin because you still ‘don’t get it’, then do your research. That’s the first step towards getting to understand and getting involved in bitcoin. Bitcoin is a frequent feature in the pages of Revolutionary Tech Investor. You can find out more here.
And one final point, don’t forget that bitcoin is highly volatile, extremely early stage, and still a very disruptive and controversial topic. It’s subject to huge price spikes and falls, and carries the possibility that it could become virtually worthless. That’s high-risk. If you’re not comfortable with that, then it’s probably not for you.
But I believe this highly disruptive new financial technology is as important as the invention of money itself. And over time its use will become widespread. If I’m right then, long term, learning about bitcoin today will pay off in spades.