South Carolina, US, 6th June 2022, ZEXPRWIRE, Cryptocurrencies have been all the rage for some years now. Their popularity shot up the most in 2021 when top cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum went on to make new all-time highs. However, despite the increasing role of cryptocurrencies in the global financial system, most Americans are yet to take up crypto. According to Shari Bevan, only about 16% have crypto in their portfolio as of 2022.
Now that cryptocurrency prices have dropped over the last few months, it is possible that more people may be interested in cryptocurrency. However, Bevan states that, before investing in cryptocurrencies, there are several factors that an investor should consider for a better chance of long-term success.
According to Shari Bevan, the first step to successful cryptocurrency investing is understanding cryptocurrencies. Cryptocurrencies are digital transactions on a public ledger that is secured cryptographically. The log is called a blockchain, and no one can alter a transaction because of the cryptography involved. Several vital technologies make this possible, including private and public-key pairing, elliptical curve encryptions, and hashing functions.
While there were many attempts at cryptographic money in the past, Bitcoin was the first successful cryptocurrency. Bitcoin was created by an anonymous figure called Satoshi Nakamoto. Bitcoin’s first mover advantage gave it a leg up over other cryptocurrencies, but many other successful ones have come up since Bitcoin hit the scene in 2009. Each of the cryptocurrencies that came after Bitcoin has a unique value proposition.
Bevan also notes that one of the big questions people have regarding cryptocurrencies is how to buy them. A few years ago, buying cryptocurrencies was a hectic process, even for a relatively tech-savvy individual. However, this is no longer the case as cryptocurrency exchanges have made the process straightforward. Bevan notes that some of the most popular cryptocurrency exchanges today are: Coinbase, Binance, and Kaken.
However, before you move to engage any of these exchanges, you need to know their requirements. For instance, they do KYC, and you must provide identification documents before you open an account. On top of that, you will be charged fees for crypto trading on exchanges.
That said, Shari Bevan cautions that knowing what cryptocurrencies are and where to buy them is only a tiny fraction of successful crypto investing. One of the biggest hurdles keeping many away from crypto is a lack of understanding of what makes crypto valuable. After all, anyone can come up with a coin, right?
While anyone can develop a cryptocurrency, not all of them have value. According to Shari Bevan, some of the fundamentals that make a cryptocurrency valuable are: decentralization, scarcity, transaction privacy, utility (use cases), and the ability to store value.
Another issue that cryptocurrency investors need to be aware of is storage. According to Shari Bevan, some investors choose to store their cryptocurrencies in cryptocurrency exchanges simply for their convenience. However, for better security, savvy investors opt to store them in cold storage wallets.
Bevan states that a cryptocurrency investor can choose two types of wallets. The first category is called a hot wallet, and is software based. According to Bevan, the main advantage of hot wallets is accessibility through a computer or even a phone. The other wallets category is those that can store cryptocurrencies offline through a USB device. These wallets are called cold storage wallets. Since they can be disconnected from the internet, cold storage wallets are generally safer than hot wallets.
While there is increased retail and institutional interest in cryptocurrencies, Shari Bevan warns investors to be aware of the risks involved. Bevan states that one of the most significant risks to owning cryptocurrencies is forgetting the seed phrase of a wallet. Since this seed phrase is not recoverable, losing it means losing access to your crypto investments for good. Bevan also states that there is a risk of losing cryptocurrency through hackers. Hackers use advanced techniques to steal passwords and defraud investors of their crypto assets.
Shari Bevan says that there are viable alternative ways to get exposure to the crypto market without buying crypto. They include Buying shares in cryptocurrency companies, investing through ETFs, or investing in companies that hold crypto in their portfolios.
Another issue that Shari Bevan has noted is that many investors are unsure of how much of their total portfolio should go to cryptocurrencies. Bevan argues that there is no magic number and that it all depends on investors’ risk appetite and the goals they want to achieve off their cryptocurrency investments.
Overall, Shari Bevan believes that the cryptocurrency market is still young and presents many opportunities for long-term growth. However, it comes with a lot of volatility simply because volumes are still low relative to traditional markets like stocks and real estate. As such, it’s essential only to invest what you can afford to lose and do serious due diligence before investing in any cryptocurrency.
Shari Bevan is the founder of Bevan Wealth & Tax Strategies, a Charleston, South Caroline based finance company. She has more than 25-years of experience in the industry, offering a wide array of services ranging from retirement planning, tax planning, financial risk management, and asset transfers.
Investment advisory services offered through Change Path, LLC, an Investment Advisor. Bevan Wealth & Tax Strategies and Change Path, LLC are not affiliated.
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Disclaimer: The views, suggestions, and opinions expressed here are the sole responsibility of the experts. No Sahyadri Times journalist was involved in the writing and production of this article.