By Dayo Adesulu
As panic grips some cryptocurrency investors over the rapidly falling cost of a bitcoin from $20,000 in December 2017 to bellow $8,000 in February, many stakeholders are insisting that there is no cause for alarm, adding that the best time to invest more fund in bitcoins is now.
Besides, while the Senate last week warned its citizenry on the danger of investing in the cryptocurrency market, the Uganda government this week approved Bitcoin, adding, “Local currency to be phased out by 2020 as Bitcoin adoption takes effect.”
Moreover, some stakeholders from Canada and Nigeria who spoke during a conference tagged: ‘Bankthefuture’ held at Four Points, Lagos posited that cryptocurrency was the global future bank.
Yinka Orimogunje, a cryptocurrency expert who spoke at the event explained the evolution of money, adding that it started from metallic money to fiat money, to card money and now it can be decentralized
Evolution of currency
He said: “In those days, trade by barter was invoke. It was in the era when we used products for the exchange of values, be it goods and services. They were also known as commodity money.
“The problem we had was the difficulty of valuation, how to determine the value of a particular thing, most especially if you are trading the value of something within the same category or the same class.
“These whole things began to evolve and the world went into metallic money. We had standard metals like gold, silver and bronze, but the problem of metallic money was the weight.
“You cannot carry a lot of money in metals in your bag or in your pocket. So the metals were duly reducing. They needed to make gold, coins and the world kept revolving. The world went into fiat money. That was when a nation gave value to a particular currency and everybody buy and sell.
Later, the world revolved into card money. That was when we started knowing about cash money and card money. But then, they said that card money only represents fiat money. So when the evolution came, the world embraced it because it was the first time the world decentralized money.
Digital money can be decentralized. It cannot be banned, it cannot be shut down. That’s what the evolution of money is all about.”
Orimogunje predicted that so many people and countries who do not believe in cryptocurrency would regret it in the next ten years.
He said: “If you look at the rate of involvement and acceptance of cryptocurrency in the world, it’s so shocking. The good place to look at this is the coin market capitalization. In the coin market capitalization, you see the number of coins that are available in the space presently and the capitalization.
Something significant about cryptocurrency is that in a very short while it has been so embraced that the coin market capitalization has gone over to almost $800 billion. For you to understand what that means, it means that it has toppled corporations giants like Google, Facebook and Amazon.”
Also speaking, Mr Chris Ani, who spoke on security of investors’ accounts in cryptocurrency and their ability to access fund anywhere in the world said that in cryptocurrency, investors can safely keep funds with secured code.
According to him, it is designed with individual’s investor private key that allows you access to your money without the presence of a bank.
He said: “One beautiful thing about bitcoin and cryptocurrency technology is that you can be in Venezuela and exist the country with your one million dollars without going through a bank. All I need do is carry my wallet and password and exit to start a new life elsewhere.
“Through your phone, computer, laptop you can access your secured bitcoin wallet. Even if it gets destroyed, there is a kind of arrangement you can still make with the company and still recover your bitcoin.
“Somebody may say, if I have a wallet and the wallet shuts down tomorrow, (even though it’s not possible) will I still be able to access my bitcoin? As far as you have your private keys, you will access it.
“Wallet providers are just people who are like interface to your block chain, your bitcoin is still on your block chain, no wallet holds your bitcoin for you, they are all intermediary between you and your Block chain.”
He, however warned investors to activate Google authentication 2FA, adding, that’s very important to keep your account safe. “If you are trading on any exchange, please take this measure, it will not be easy for hacker to go into your account and siphon funds.
For Mr Silas Olatayo, a professional programmer and software developer said that in cryptocurrency business, patience is the key to success, adding that with patience, you can attain any height in cryptocurrency trading. At the same time, he added that as patient as you may be, you need to be smart and know the right coin to open.
According to him, there are so many shit coins out there, stressing that it’s called shit coins due to its affordable rate which probably was created to scam people.
He said: “So many people have lost money buying and trading shit coins that are not even on the block chain due to lack of knowledge.
In order to detect a shit coin, he urged investors to read the white paper of the company, noting that the white paper disclosed what the company is planning to do with their cryptocurrency.
He said: “A company may say it wants to invest in Education, Marketing, Telecomm and etc; such will be written in their white paper. Also, the list of people involved and their plans and projects will be stated in the white paper.
“I have lost money in cryptocurrency when I gave people money to trade and double it for me. After loosing money, I said to myself, I am a programmer, why don’t I learn this thing and do a research for two weeks. After that I quit every job, I didn’t write any code and started watching videos to learn.
“I entered into the market with $100 hoping I will lose the money but fortunately I didn’t lose the money, the money became ten times because I grabbed the knowledge first before investing.
On mining, he disclosed that Mining is not as profitable as cryptocurrency trading. According to him, mining is one of the strength and integral part of cryptocurrency, adding that without mining, there wouldn’t be cryptocurrency.
Asked if anybody could do mining, he explained that if you have a PC, you can just mine and you will earn a lot. He however cautioned that since we have a lot of miners, it’s become more competitive due to the mathematical problem you need to solve, adding that you need intense and a very good and fast system to do the calculation. So, if you don’t have a fast system, you may not earn anything in mining.”
Reacting to the drop in the value of Bitcoin that was $20,000 in December 2017, but now valued at 8,000, he said the development was not new, adding that the change is driven by market and the people.
He said: “Nobody can prophesy about Bitcoin, the market is the prophecy, people’s interest is the prophecy. The plans bitcoin has in place is the assurance that you cannot lose out if you start early.
“In the next one or two years from now, mark my word, the value of bitcoin will be so extreme that people will say, I wish I had invested.
The problem we have in Nigeria is that we don’t want to read. I read a lot about anything I am investing in. I don’t just put my money because it’s my hard earn money. It’s all about seeking knowledge, information and use that knowledge to empower yourself.”
On her part, Barrister Toyin Akinnola who flee in from Canada for the conference warned that anybody who wants to invest in bitcoin should be observant and careful.
She said: “You do not just hear about bitcoin and jump to it. Study it very carefully, go to experts, consult people and ask questions. “Don’t just put your hard earned money anywhere. “Go to forum and get people’s opinion. Don’t borrow and invest in cryptocurrency and don’t put too much money in it.
As an investor and trader, she advised investors not to buy bitcoin and keep, stressing that if you buy and keep, your action will determine the cryptocurrency economy.
She explained: “When you buy and keep your coins and there is no bitcoin in circulation, the demands will rise and bitcoin price will soar. But, it’s better we spread the opportunity for others to invest. Because if it is too high, people who would have invested will say crypto currency is for the rich. We want everybody to be financially free. Financial freedom is what everybody wants.”
Moreover, Mrs Funke Ajayi, one of the resource persons who based in Canada narrated her experience in the business. She said: “Few years ago, I saw cryptocurrency as an opportunity for financial freedom and I invested as a mother. While lamenting that many mothers who want to make extra income could not, due to child care.
She said: “I started with $50 because I wanted to invest an amount I knew if I lose it would not hurt me. That $50 today is over 3000 percent.
“You have to invest what you know if you lose will not hurt you. Secondly, do not be greedy. Try and cut your losses and be patient. Diversify your portfolio and minimize your risks. Look for good companies and diversify in different coins.”
She, however reiterated that there is future for bitcoin, adding that the rising and falling of bitcoin price is determined by speculations.
She said due to rumours of ban on some exchangers, people got afraid and started selling their coins.
“Some people who have multiple accounts and are scared of the unknown are the ones selling their bitcoins. The price is determined by demand and supply. If you keep selling, the price will go down. When something goes down, get ready for it to shoot up to a higher level. It is normal,” she added.
Meanwhile, Director, ‘BankTheFuture’ programme, Mr Francis Adeshina disclosed how he had adopted 157 children, paying their school fees through cryptocurrency proceeds.
He said: “I love people generally and my passion is to help and move them from a place of poverty to the place of abundance. I have 157 adopted children, whose school fees I pay and hope to grow it to 5000 in five years.
“This is why I think I need to secure a sure platform to generate money to do more because if you have more you do more.
“I am not interested in the much you have but how much you give from the much you have and the ease of getting what you have. That’s why the cryptocurrency space is a space of grace for abundance.
“I believe you don’t have to be in politics to do what government is supposed to do for its citizenry. The future of cryptocurrency is the future nobody can stop.
“When the internet came, people don’t understand it. People that were against it could not stop it. When they talked about change, nobody can stop change. Change can be accidental when you are not ready.
“Many people will still have that great regrets of ignoring cryptocurrency. The future of cryptocurrency is huge.
“As I speak now, only about one percent of the world are really earning from it. Meaning that 99 percent of the world population are sleeping.” Talking about the risk, he said: “Everything is a risk. Risk increases with ignorance and the bridge between risk and ignorance is danger. Risk is defined by your ignorance or knowledge.”