Do you have what it takes to be a bitcoin investor?

By Michael Rosenblat
Published on May 27, 2017

Bitcoin is booming and the world is taking notice. But with great opportunity comes great risk. At the conclusion of this buying frenzy, will you emerge victorious, or lose your shirt? If you want to find out what it takes to be a successful bitcoin investor, read on.

1) Are you patient?

Big changes in the world never happen overnight. As they say, "Rome wasn’t built in a day.” Bitcoin takes aim at some of the oldest institutions in our culture: banking, finance, and monetary policy. None of these age-old giants will be toppled in a short period of time. As such, bitcoin is playing the long game, measured not in days or years, but in decades. Patience is key to benefiting from bitcoin’s slow but steady rise.

2) Are you curious?

The reason that bitcoin is so hard to explain in a sentence or two is that it is so incredibly innovative that it can’t be summarized. Where do bitcoins come from? Who controls the supply? What is mining? How can something that isn’t physical be valuable? These questions and many others can only be answered by curious minds that have taken the time to research and learn about the many fascinating nuances of bitcoin. If you aren’t curious enough to dig deep, you won’t fully understand what you’re getting into.

3) Are you calm under pressure?

The bitcoin price has a habit of moving upwards sharply, with little warning, and eventually dropping just as quickly. From what we've seen in the past, the price tends to be higher after the crash than it was before the initial run-up. While trying to play the market can generate large profits, it can also generate losses just as big, and reacting emotionally has caused many amateur traders to end up losing much more than if they had not traded at all. Only those who do not crack under pressure can weather the storm and benefit in the long run.

4) Are you immune from the fear of missing out (FOMO)?

The quickly accelerating price of bitcoin has attracted a large number of newcomers. Forums such as the bitcoin subreddit are swamped with anxious requests for the best way to quickly acquire some bitcoins. “I don’t want to miss the boat!” they exclaim. In any bitcoin bubble, the people who buy at the peak price are almost always doing so for fear of missing out. Following the herd is a surefire way to get slaughtered as an investor.

5) Do you like to tell great stories?

Regardless of whether you increase your wealth through bitcoin, you’ll gain another valuable gift along the way: great stories. Bitcoin’s past is rich with tales of triumph and misfortune, lucky gains and massive losses, camaraderie and betrayal, mystery and intrigue, heroes, villains, and legends. Getting involved with bitcoin, even in a small way, makes you a part of its history, which will pay dividends for the rest of your life.

So how do you stack up? While nobody will be perfect in all five categories, do you feel like you ticked enough boxes to be a successful bitcoin investor? The good news is that many of these characteristics can be improved and developed over time. So if you feel a little unsure about one or two, there are ways to tune up your chances of success.

In the meantime, remember to hold your own coins, write down your recovery phrase, and never invest more than you can afford to lose. Good luck!

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