Columns, Opinion

Modern Toolbox: It’s always the right time to invest in crypto

With the recent bull market, a lot of my friends have been approaching me and asking whether they should start investing in crypto right now, or if it’s too late.

The short answer? No, it’s not too late.

In fact, you’re very early. Maybe the crypto that you buy now will, in the short-term, lose its value. That’s concern No. 1 for most newcomers: the volatility. However, no matter how you look at it, if you invest in mainstream cryptocurrencies that will be able to scale into the future at any point in the next few years, your investment is early and will be rewarded tenfold in the coming decades.

Jaeyoung Choi

Here’s why.

We’re currently in the infancy of the technology. The first cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, was only made 11 years ago. It’s a technological development that has no real problem being future-proof — unlike a physical asset such as a car. Therefore, it will undoubtedly be more valuable in the future.

A good example to contextualize is gold.

If you bought gold 100 years ago, your investment would have increased in value by nearly 480%. That’s already a lot.

But imagine if you had been a Spanish conquistador in the 14th century, when not everyone was aware of gold and its value.

If you owned any gold back then, that gold would be tens of thousands of times more valuable today.

Now, as a conquistador, would you go looking for more gold? Or would you keep pushing it off looking for a better time to participate in the gold markets?

Concern No. 2 for the more savvy investors is the transaction costs.

Right now, both Bitcoin and Ethereum have transaction costs, in which a portion of the crypto you are sending will be burned and used to power the transaction. That portion goes to pay miners and node hosts who make the transaction possible.

In crypto ecosystems, the transaction costs can vary wildly by time of day and volume of usage. During the 2017 crypto boom, transaction fees on Bitcoin shot up to nearly $60, and the average at certain times on the Ethereum network has reached just below $40 in this current bull run.

Alexia Nizhny/DFP STAFF

However, the Ethereum ecosystem has been continually updating to lower the transaction costs. By the end of April, when the Berlin hard fork goes into effect in the main network of Ethereum, the transaction costs may not go down, but they’ll become more stable.

Transaction costs on the road to large-scale adoption will inevitably be a little volatile, but that’s the price you pay to be early in the game.

Here’s another comparison: When the Macintosh, the first mass-market personal computer, was released, it was sold for around 11% of the median income that year, making them exorbitantly expensive — only the rich could afford Macintoshes.

However, with continued updates and developments in technology, costs were lowered and we now live in a time when 59% of the world uses the internet, whether through a tiny little computer or through actual computers.

With increasing adoption, costs behind the systems in cryptocurrency will inevitably go down, and the value of cryptocurrencies will go up.

So why try to time the market right now? Don’t regret not investing today 10 or 20 years down the line. Crypto is the future, and it won’t wait for you.

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