As the end of the year approaches, it is time to reflect, set financial goals (that then helps us reach our dreams and best lives!) and look at investments—including cryptocurrency. Crypto is becoming more prevalent in the world, yet can be complex and difficult to understand. We chatted with Ayelen Osorio of Netcoins—Canada’s most experienced cryptocurrency exchange, on a mission to make crypto more accessible for women—about demystifying cryptocurrency. After all, it’s estimated that, by 2026, women in Canada will control close to half of all accumulated financial wealth; it’s definitely time to get financially literate on all types of investments! —Vita Daily
Hi Ayelen! Please tell us a bit about yourself and Netcoins to start!
My name is Ayelen Osorio and I’m the Content & Community Manager at Netcoins—a platform that allows Canadians to buy, sell and trade cryptocurrencies. With this role, I’ve made it my mission to bring women along with me on my journey to understanding cryptocurrencies. Personally, I find that money and investing have been a man’s game for too long. For example, Canadian women weren’t officially allowed to have a bank account in their own name until 1964. It’s time to close the financial gap that exists and I believe cryptocurrencies are paving the way for this.
For the true beginner/newbie, please explain cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin. What is it, how does it work and why the heck is it so buzzy these days?
Cryptocurrency is digital money. It’s money like the euro, the dollar or yen. The difference is that it exists only in a digital form and is not managed by central authorities (like banks or governments). This means that we aren’t reliant on a bank if we wish to access, withdraw, or move our money (bitcoin). By bypassing banks, we’re able to send bitcoin from one part of the world directly to another in a way that’s instant, secure and with minimal fees. In that context, you can begin to see how bitcoin is revolutionary to an outdated financial system. One of the reasons why bitcoin (to be specific) is so buzzy comes down to scarcity. There will only be 21 million bitcoin. Ever. This is different to the unlimited supply that exists for the dollar. Because bitcoin’s supply is scarce, it will be protected from devaluation and hyperinflation in the long term. Let me explain why scarcity matters when it comes to money.
In 2007, Zimbabwe printed so much money that its currency lost value. They experienced an 89.7 sextillion percent of hyper-inflation year over year. People had to carry barrels of cash just to buy bread. They couldn’t afford to pay for medicine or food. So you begin to see how the lives of regular citizens were decimated into extreme poverty because of the money decisions made by governments. Now, fast-forward to today, governments are printing a tonne of money as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic. While printing money is great for the short term, savvy investors fear their money will lose value in the long term. Both institutional and retail investors are looking for alternative ways to store wealth and they’re looking at Bitcoin.
How does cryptocurrency add value to our investments? How can it help us set and achieve our financial goals?
Investors looking to diversify their portfolio can benefit from a blend of both traditional assets (like stocks) and non-traditional assets (like cryptocurrencies). Keep in mind that similar to stock trading, you need to be comfortable with a certain level of risk. A common misconception about cryptocurrencies is that you have to buy an entire cryptocurrency. That’s not true—you can start out really small. You can buy fractions of a bitcoin like 0.5 BTC, 0.1 BTC, 0.01 BTC. So even if you’re relatively risk averse, you can still test out the crypto waters with just $10. When we look at the market today, stocks, real estate, bonds all have really high valuations. It’s becoming harder and harder to tap into them as investments and build wealth. Especially for millennials. On the contrary, many bitcoiners believe that bitcoin has the potential for a really high upside. The fact that you can buy fractions of a bitcoin offers an opportunity to build wealth in a way that’s affordable and accessible for everyone.
What are your top tips for beginners looking to start investing in cryptocurrency?
At Netcoins, we strongly recommend that everybody do their own research (DYOR) before investing in cryptocurrencies. It’s important for you to form your opinions and test them out on other people so you know they can stand on their own. We recently created our Crypto Academy to help you on your crypto journey. The great news is that investing in cryptocurrencies is super easy and quick. At Netcoins, we pride ourselves on our seamless onboarding process (we’ve worked so hard for it!). If you’re wanting to invest with us, you would just have to create an online account, deposit Canadian dollars, then buy your cryptocurrency of choice. It’s that easy and quick. Please always remember: never invest more than you’re willing or ready to lose. And if you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to the Netcoins team. We’d love to help guide you.
Christmas is coming: would cryptocurrency, in your opinion, make a good gift?!
Yes, absolutely. Keep in mind that when it comes to investments it’s important to zoom out and look at the bigger picture. In 2010, 1 bitcoin was worth less than $0.10. Now 10 years later, in 2020, 1 bitcoin is worth over $20,000 CAD (at time of writing). Giving someone the gift of bitcoin can be a very unique way to support someone on their financial goals. What better gift is there than that?
Win! $500 in BTC (Bitcoin)!
We have a winner! Congrats Sara K. of Burnaby, B.C., who will receive $500 in BTC (Bitcoin)!