A College Student’s Guide To Cryptocurrency

I’ve wanted to make this article for quite sometime now because I believe crypto is the future of money (and so much more) and Millennials should be the early adopters. The purpose of this article is to simply explain where to buy currencies like Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, and Ether (commonly known as Ethereum), and what to do with your coins as a young college student like me.

First, create a Coinbase account. Coinbase is a US based company that works directly with your bank to allow you to purchase each of the cryptocurrencies I listed above. The fact that banks work with Coinbase is important because there are only a handful of these types of companies that US banks will actually let you spend money with. So please, do not try to buy coins anywhere else as those sites are mostly fraudulent and will steal your information. 

From there it’s simple. You pick and choose which currency you want, how much in USD you want to spend, and a week or so later you will have the amount you paid for in your digital wallet. My advice for now is to HODL, which means “hold on to dear life” or more simply, hold forever. You shouldn’t be investing in crypto to get rich overnight, it will take a long time for the value of your purchase to appreciate into a significant ROI.

If you’ve made it this far, you’re probably asking, “Why invest in something I can’t see?” or “What’s the point of all this?” When people think negatively of crypto, they think of a few things. A lot of people say that it’s unwise to invest in something you can’t see that has “no backing”. These people claim that banks have the backing of the US Government and the Federal Reserve in case things go wrong, when cryptocurrencies don’t offer this. For those people, let me explain that 97% of all USD is already cryptocurrency. All those numbers you see your bank account do not actually translate into an actually dollar being stashed in a vault somewhere. Don’t believe me? That’s how the Great Depression happened. People panicked and wanted to withdraw all their money from the bank, only to find there wasn’t actually enough paper money for everyone. If you have money in the bank, you already own crypto in the form of USD.

Cryptocurrencies are backed by the entire community (referred to as an ecosystem in the crypto world) and technology called “Blockchain”. Blockchain is an irrefutable, unchangeable distributed ledger. It cannot be hacked. It is instantaneous. It is worldwide. Essentially, it is a public audit system that works way better than any professional auditor out there. It is a constantly peer reviewed ledger. This technology is the backbone of the crypto world and in many cases, blockchain technology will probably be running our lives even outside of the way we use money by 2030.

All in all, if you’re a college student like me, you might want to start thinking about investing your money. Stocks are hard to buy directly without a broker and we’re also, for the most part, broke students. Investing $500 in a stock that might appreciate 0.19% in a year is not much money, but investing $500 in a cryptocurrency like Bitcoin could yield 2x -5x return in a year. That’s why I started investing in cryptocurrencies. Just remember to diversify your portfolio and HODL until you’re ready to take profits.

You can check the entire crypto market at coinmarketcap.com but please, don’t panic sell. Panic selling is when you sell off your assets when the market is in a dip. Always refer to the saying “be greedy when others are fearful and be fearful when others are greedy” AKA buy when everyone is selling! Buying low and selling high is the name of the game. Currently, we are in the dip. So why not?

By no means am I a financial adviser and I am not qualified to recommend the purchase of any assets including digital ones. If you have questions, email me at jordan.mitchell@cortland.edu


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