By Lyn Chan
SINGAPORE — After peaking near US$69,000 last November, Bitcoin has been on a wild ride and it’s now hovering around the US$30,000 mark. And let’s look at the performance of other cryptocurrencies — there was the stablecoin disaster and Luna’s stunning crash.
For casual observers, disentangling the hype and shaking off the niggling doubt about crypto’s asset class viability from any genuine potential is tough.
Some, like Michelle — who declined to give her full name for publication— are curious. In January 2022, she leapt into the volatile crypto market. Her Bitcoin and Ether holdings also happen to be her first ever investments.
“This is the only investment that I have studied and am quite familiar with. I think that you should understand what goes on behind the investment that you are making. Also, I like the fact that I can buy as little or as much Bitcoin as I want,” she said.
Bitcoin’s recent meltdown did shake Michelle a little but she’s holding firm to her Bitcoin and Ether investments. The 32-year-old, who runs an edtech business, will be watching the current crypto market movement, hawk-eyed, over the next few days or weeks for further downward trend. She has so far invested S$2,400 in Bitcoin and S$500 in Ether.
However, if Bitcoin drops to below US$25,000, she “will stay away for a while”.
The fledging crypto investor talks about her attraction to crypto in a recent interview with Yahoo Finance Singapore.
What attracts you to crypto?
In the few months leading up to me first buying Bitcoin, whenever somebody mentioned ‘cryptocurrency’, ‘Web3’, ‘Bitcoin’ or ‘metaverse’, I would dismiss it, thinking ‘I don’t understand these things’, ‘it’s just a fad, it will pass’, or ‘it's too complicated’.
The turning point for me came when I suddenly realised that my mentality was similar to my parents’ generation, or earlier, when the internet age started to grow. We see some people getting left behind because they just didn’t want to learn about new technologies or thought they were irrelevant. I didn’t want to be that person that got left behind.
During the same period, I saw the trend of both local and international talent moving from big tech to Web3 and cryptocurrency start-ups. Big tech usually hires the brightest and the smartest, so if those talents are placing their bets on Web3 and crypto, there must be something there.
I also saw Facebook making the name change to Meta, which is a huge bet on Web3 as well. Facebook has the best and brightest of the industry doing the research on what the next wave of technology would be. If they are willing to change their name and strategy, then that’s a pretty good indication of where technology is headed as well.
Those factors gave me the confidence to get into crypto at the beginning.
Going into Bitcoin, many people have warned me that it’s volatile and unpredictable. But after researching, I decided to buy in because I believe in it – and not because I want to make a quick profit. It has just been a few months in for me now, but I want to be in it for the next five, 10, 20 years.
How did you start investing in crypto?
At the start of 2022, Bitcoin was crashing in the news. I was curious and checked it out. At that point, it was around US$42,000, down from US$67,000 at the highest point towards the end of last year.
I was intrigued because if it could reach US$67,000, then US$42,000 sounded like a good price.
I read up to see if it was worth buying some Bitcoin. I learnt that you don’t need to buy a whole Bitcoin, and you can buy as little or as much as you want, so I just threw in a few hundred dollars out of curiosity. Having a little skin in the game prompted me to do even more research to understand how it works.
What kind of due diligence have you done?
After I threw the first few hundred dollars into Bitcoin, I started to get really interested in it.
The first category of research I did was around the basics of buying and selling, like how to read charts, and how to identify patterns in the charts. I wanted to know when would be a good time to buy and to sell. After a while, I realised that I don’t want to become a trader and that I want to be in it for the long haul because I believe in the long-term value of Bitcoin. So, I just learnt the basics of how to read charts, and that was enough.
Then, I went into a period of trying to get a handle on knowing what Bitcoin would do next, so that I could plan what to do. I watched many YouTube videos, and eventually learnt how to differentiate between those who are merely posting clickbait content and those who really have good technical analyses. At the end of the day, I realised that no one really knows what Bitcoin will do next, and I just have to act based on all the information that I have at that point in time.
The last type of research I did was on Bitcoin itself as a project and how it works. The technology of Bitcoin just amazes me, and this is what keeps me on Bitcoin, even with its ups and downs. I love that it challenges the current monetary system. The blockchain technology behind it is amazing as well. It’s also interesting that there are charts that parallel the growth and adoption rate of Bitcoin to the early years of the internet and Amazon.
I saw a YouTube video of Bill Gates trying to explain what the Internet is to David Letterman in 1995. The interview took place only 27 years ago, and look where the internet is now. The way that Bill Gates explains about the internet is strikingly similar to the way people attempt to explain about Bitcoin today.
To keep myself updated with crypto happenings, I check the Bitcoin Reddit forum quite often, and I follow a few Bitcoin analysts on Twitter. I also check Coindesk, which is a publication for Bitcoin news. If any of those sources mention an interesting podcast or YouTube video, I’ll check those out, too.
I might not be super familiar with the intricacies of the crypto market, but I am so excited about the possibilities that Bitcoin can bring.
As with all other investments, definitely invest money that you are willing to spare and/or willing to lose. It’s just not wise to put all of your life savings into investments no matter how much you believe in it.
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