“I would like to invest some money in this new company.” – Is what he said at the end of 2016.
“Oh no, here we go again.” – I thought.
It wasn’t the first time he had said something like that. I must admit though, if we had invested all the times he said he wanted to, we would have been filthy rich by now. But with me being a Capricorn, I crave financial stability so I said no all the other times. This time was different though. He was so adamant about doing this and he gave a good pitch:
“I want to invest in a company called Ripple. Ripple have come up with a new payment system called RippleNet which implements blockchain technology to make financial transactions faster, safer and much more cost effective. They are set to replace the current outdated payment system that banks use world over.” – You understand this was music to my Capricorn ears.
Where he lost me a bit is when he told me we weren’t buying shares in the company but we would be buying XRP, the cryptocurrency coin that Ripple had chosen to use for this network. This worried me a lot. The only cryptocurrency I had heard about till then was Bitcoin. And what I knew about Bitcoin at the time was that it was shady. Not only because it was mainly used by arms dealers, people traffickers and other kinds of bad people on the ‘dark web’ but also because no one owns Bitcoin as a company and anyone with the code and enough server power can mine it or even copy it or destroy it. To me that’s like having an illegal money printing press in the basement. It just feels wrong. Moreover, Bitcoin’s mining process is so energy inefficient they say it costs more energy to mine Bitcoin than it does mining gold! Bad news for the planet.
Thankfully it was explained to me that xrp isn’t just a coin being mined by anyone, but they have an actual product they’re selling. A banking system that will use their cryptocurrency coin on it. A banking system by the way that is now being implemented by different big financial institutions like Moneygram, American Express and Santander bank.
I didn’t (actually I still don’t) know a lot about the other coins that are out there. What I’ve learnt so far is that there are more than 2000 cryptocurrencies. Most of which have no actual use to them. They were created as a joke or a scam. People bought these ‘altcoins’ cause of hype on social media and that’s how they got their value.
A lot of people lost their shirt, but also their savings, cars and even their houses, on betting on the wrong horse. I’ve also learnt that recently several countries have been working on legislation for the crypto market. Which hopefully means a lot of these silly coins will disappear and people venturing onto the market will be more protected by the law.
As I said I still don’t know much about cryptocurrency and the crypto market. All I know is that if you have a partner investing some of your life savings into one of these cryptocurrencies this is worth having a look at:
- Can you afford to lose the money you want to invest without it impacting negatively on your financial situation? I.e. I won’t lose my house if I lose my investment.
- Is there a real-world use case connected to this cryptocurrency? Study what you want to buy!
- Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. There is more to life than just cryptocurrencies!
- Don’t blindly believe the hype that’s being created online. Do your own research!