Like many people, I too have been seduced by the get-rich-quick scheme of buying cryptocurrency. Bitcoin is all the rage and has been the top dog since its inception. However, there are other cryptocurrencies out there.
Back in 2014, as a shrewd ‘investor’, I looked beyond the headlines and towards a lesser-known option called Litecoin. What with the notable benefit of being cheaper than Bitcoin and with a quicker transaction times, I reasoned that I was sure to make a hefty profit.
With that, I started the tortuous process of learning how to buy Litecoin, which was insanely difficult back in 2014. I was well out of my depth. Nonetheless, I found a shady corner of the internet to buy some for around £1000 and waited patiently for the price to shoot up.
Needless to say, the price plummeted and for the next 4 years I licked my wounds and cursed my stupidity for buying into the hype.
But come December 2017, the price did eventually rocket.
I wasn’t stupid after all. I was a genius.
Then I began the process of figuring out how to sell my Litecoin to realise my gains. I soon realised I had made a series of foolish errors with the storage of my Litecoin which I don’t pretend to fully understand, meaning that I thought I had lost my money. Once more, I was back to being an idiot.
Thankfully, I found a guy on the internet who said that he would be able to extract my Litecoin, for a fee. So far, so good. But I would need to hand over my private account key details to him. Essentially, I was being asked to trust my money with an unknown Malaysian dude, of whom all I knew was his posting history on reddit. With no other choice available, I handed my details over to him to work his magic. In the end, he was as good as his word and he did manage to get me my money.
Why Is This So Hard?
It shouldn’t be this difficult. The process of owning, buying and selling cryptocurrency is just not as safe or straightforward as it needs to be. So, for now, this world is too complex and unregulated a place to put your money. People forget their passphrases and lose access to their money all the time. This has resulted in over 20% of all Bitcoin being lost for good, due to errors made by users in the storage or transaction of their crypto. I wouldn’t expect to lose all my money if I had, but in the world of crypto, it was only the good nature of Mr Malaysia that stopped me from adding another tale of woe to the pile.
Hacks happen frequently and millions gets stolen. Prices shoot up and down due to little more than exuberance and fear. In short, if you are thinking of buying cryptocurrency as an investment, think carefully.