Navigating the new world of cryptocurrency

Navigating the new world of cryptocurrency

I don’t think the world of finance has ever had this much change in such a brief time as we have had in the last 5-10 years. I am obviously talking about cryptocurrency and everything that comes with it.

If you look back at the 200,000% increase (or whatever ridiculously high number it is) that Bitcoin has had, you will kick yourself for not putting $100 into it back in 2008. The reason that you probably did not put anything into it is because of the fear that came with it. Everyone you talked to was certain that Bitcoin would go to zero, that was not the case. The fear is still there because it is non-regulated, but the government could drop the hammer to ban it and it could drop to zero instantly. So, what’s the big deal? Can you make a million dollars in a year or lose it as soon as you put it in? From my research I’ve received some commonsense approaches to crypto to help you navigate uncharted waters.

First off, my attitude has changed in the past year or so. In my very first Young Money column, I’m sure I bashed it, thinking it was a waste of money. The disclaimer should go out that I currently have money in cryptocurrency, but it was because I took the right attitude. By “right attitude,” you must enter the mindset that the money you are investing is already lost. Be okay with counting that money as lost as soon as you invest it. I had heard of people across the nation taking our second mortgages to invest in Bitcoin and that is the epitome of dumb. To risk your financial wellbeing on crypto or looking to crypto to be your “financial savior” will leave you extremely disappointed — only do it with the amount you can afford to lose.

Increasingly, you will hear “get rich quick scheme,” and in some cases, it is. Crypto like Dogecoin, Shiba Inu (which I lost money on, surprisingly) and Floki Inu really have no backing behind them, and people still make money. There’s no real reason for them to exist, other than being a meme, and if they don’t have a purpose, it can lead to some people getting rich quick and others moving in the opposite direction.

Looking at your crypto day to day will leave you a nervous wreck — trust me — because of how volatile the market is. Have a long-term mindset with crypto, just like stocks. If the coins are useful and bring value to people’s lives, long term would be the way to go. That is also something that Shaquille O’Neal said: “I invest in things that’s going to change people’s lives.” If you like it or not, cryptocurrency is changing people’s lives, and I’m not telling you to look to Shaq for financial advice but next time you are on the Internet, take a peek at his net worth. I can promise all of it did not come from his basketball salary.

Crypto is becoming more mainstream, and that’s scary for a lot of people, including me. Bitcoin still has a reputation for crime, some of that includes drug trafficking, money laundering, a variety of fraud and even ransoms, and that is where the uncertainty comes from.

In talking to a local accountant, they state that a lot more people are asking earnest questions about having part of their portfolio into crypto and there is probably a reason, because it’s here to stay. Some coins and crypto are completely useless, and those should not even be looked at. I’ve made that mistake, so you don’t have to. Others are useful coins in the meta verse, and actual companies that are just decentralized, such as Helium, which provide hotspots, or Audius, that is like a decentralized SoundCloud.

It will take work to investigate all of this and weed out the good and the bad, but with the correct knowledge and research, it could pay off handsomely in the long run. Again, I’m not saying to go out and put your life savings into crypto, only the money you are comfortable losing. Next time, I’ll write about NFTS ... just kidding, that’s a completely different animal.

Holmes County native BJ Yoder is an insurance agent by day and a finance enthusiast by night. This column is for informational purposes only. He can be emailed at

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