I've been buying Cryptocurrencies heavily for the past year now and I enjoy the spasmodic nature of the markets as much as I enjoy the blockchain technologies themselves. My first encounter with Cryptocurrencies occured in 2012 when I bought a new type of currency called Bitcoin in order to buy some products on Silk Road. I recall the whole experience was quite involved and it required a few hours downloading the Tor browser, setting up my Crypto Wallets, and buying Bitcoin. Had I kept those hundred or so Bitcoins at the time instead of buying drugs with them, I could have probably retired by this point (C'est la vie, I guess). But at the time, I saw the new currency as obscure, underground, and difficult to use, therefore I spent all my coins and let several years pass before buying Bitcoin again.
Then came 2017... the year that everyone from Grandma to Floyd Mayweather went all-in buying these exciting new virtual currencies. At the beginning of 2017 it was very apparent that the hype behind blockchain technologies would soon reach a fever pitch. Therefore I opened up a new Coinbase account, setup a Bittrex wallet, and spent $5,000 buying some Bitcoin and Litecoin. Bitcoin was hovering close to $1000 and Litecoin was near $4. I remember thinking at the time that I'd be quite happy if I doubled my money within 6 months. Given the returns that I historically get from my stock trades (which are usually negative), 100% gains by mid-year seemed like a long shot.
After buying my coins I simply sat on them and almost forgot I had them until May of 2017 when Bitcoin broke $2000 and Litecoin broke $20... I had more than doubled my investment and it was only springtime! Given the fact that I have been through my fair share of boom and bust periods, the conservative side of me opted to take some profits and I sold my Bitcoin & Litecoin for a 120% profit. It was around that time when I started researching various new Altcoins and exploring new uses for the blockchain outside of finance. Ethereum, Adex, Golem, Viberate, and Powerledger are some example technologies that I researched in-depth while I began to form a new love for the blockchain due to it's built-in efficiences and limitless possibilities. I realized that the future was all about blockchain, but I had no idea that the Crypto-Explosion was about to go into Ridiculous-Mode.
With my profits from Bitcoin and Litecoin, I bought into NEO around $10, Ethereum near $100, and Ripple near $0.20. My friends at Google praised Ripple and told me that I would make a nice profit on my investment if I held onto my coins for a year. Within a few months time, Bitcoin was reaching $5,000 and Litecoin was well into the $40s. It was Summer 2017 and I had given up on buying Bitcoin & Litecoin, realizing that 10X gains were no longer possible at current levels (or so I thought). I began throwing any spare cash I had into buying more Altcoins and whatever coins passed the 200+% gain mark got sold while I diversified into other coins. By the end of summer, Ripple hadn't moved much higher than $0.30, but my NEO was well into the $40s, and Ethereum was steadily climbing. As Thanksgiving was approaching, I had also diversified into Monero, Metal, and Adex, but Bitcoin was all you heard about everywhere you went. Every news channel, every lunch meeting, and every dinner conversation revovled around whether Bitcoin would reach $20,000 or not. John McAfee went so far as to claim that Bitcoin could reach $100,000 by 2019 and soon thereafter the prices of Bitcoin & Litecoin hit all-time highs of $19,000 and $330 respectively. I was kicking myself for selling the 300 Litcoins that I held just months prior, and December 2017 would be dubbed a "Bitcoin-Christmas".
The term "Just Hodl It" (with HOLD misspelled) appeared on every tweet and blog post I came across as the true meaning of these words of wisdom sunk in for me. I still held all my Altcoins, but they did not see the astronomical gains of Bitcoin and Litecoin. With the passing of Christmas, the prices of Bitcoin fell dramatically once reality set-in for most people that the astronomical gains of the past month were probably a bit overzealous. As prices drop and stabilize now, Bitcoin may eventually see new all-time highs next year and it may even one day reach $100,000 as McAfee predicts. I myself have totally moved on from Bitcoin and I plan to focus my attention on other exciting new technologies.
Even with this insane January drop in cryptocurrency prices due to crackdowns in China and uncertainty around cryptos future, I'm holding strong. Throughout 2018, my Altcoins should climb steadily and I plan on buying and holding as many as I can get my hands on at these current low prices. Ripple has seen impressive gains to date, but I'm quite excited about the future of NEO, Golem, Ripio and Stellarlumens. PowerLedger is also an amazing technology that utilizes the blockchain for renewable energy generation and distribution, which is something I hope to become involved in. One thing is for certain, the blockchain is here to stay and as new cryptocurrencies come and go we will utilize these technologies in unique and exciting ways that will completely transform our lives as well as the world around us.