2017 – Although many people would argue that it was the year the news were dominated by a certain over-tweeting President, the truth is everyone was actually watching Bitcoin.
We haven’t seen such a cultural response to anything relating to the financial markets since the stock-broker rock stars of the 80s.
Analysts has said that up to a third of millennials would invest in Bitcoin until the end of 2017. Once again, some people used this to blame millennials for not investing in more traditional markets like shares, property or bonds. Bitcoin was featured in mainstream comedy series, respected news websites and publications. No matter where you turned you were likely to hear something about the famous cryptocurrency.
Although it seemed as Bitcoin was alone on its meteoric rise – almost all cryptocurrencies received a bit of attention. The standout attention–getters where Ethereum and Ripple.
The reason these two received more market attention was because Ripple was presented as a payment protocol for institutional clients – and even managed to sign on American Express as a client. Ethereum touted as the “dark horse” cryptocurrency – it brought to the table faster and more effective transactions, open source implementation and ultimately lower transaction costs. At least when it was being used as intended – as a currency.
Ethereum was also boasted as the better Bitcoin and to a certain extent it met that lofty proclamation. Bitcoin did have slower transaction times, higher fees and required a certain ecosystem to function. The industry took notice too.
According to easyMarkets a long established CFD broker:
“Both of these cryptocurrencies came to easyMarkets attention – after the resounding success of Bitcoin which we introduced in 2017 we thought we could give our customers even more access in this new and exciting market of cryptocurrencies, with Ripple and Ethereum.”
The question though is why trade cryptocurrencies? The most obvious benefit is volatility. These assets move much more rapidly and frequently than traditional products such as stock, bonds and commodities. This is partially the appeal of the forex market also compared to the aforementioned assets. You could almost say that cryptocurrencies are the forex market’s hyperactive cousin. easyMarkets notes that volatility can carry significant risk, so taking the appropriate risk management measures such as stop loss (which the company offers for free) is absolutely recommended.
This is especially attractive to traders that have strategies that take perform small and frequent trades like intraday trading.
Another benefit is that many markets have positive or negative correlations – you will see gold increase in price when stocks are down, currencies also generally move inversely to stocks and bonds. We have seen cryptocurrencies act as “safe haven” assets during the Korean Missile crisis in 2017 as traditional currencies slipped. Having more choice allows you to optimize your trading.
Finally, this is a completely new world, every new high each of these reached was a historical high, we don’t know what the future holds, but we know it’s going to be exciting.