Bitcoin is a form of digital currency, created and held electronically. No one controls it. Bitcoins aren’t printed, like dollars or euros–they’re produced by people, and increasingly businesses, running computers all around the world, using software that solves mathematical problems.
If that doesn’t make much sense to you don’t worry –-you’re in the majority.
How is this relevant to students?
As it turns out, Bitcoin and other forms of cryptocurrency are becoming increasingly popular in the world of college students. Many may not understand what they’re getting themselves into when they invest in these new currencies, which leaves students at serious risk of losing money that might be needed for more important things like textbooks.
According to research conducted by The Student Investor, 81% of college students are using their loans or another form of financial aid to purchase cryptocurrency. Not only is this is incredibly irresponsible but it could also ultimately prove disastrous for struggling students who don’t understand the possible consequences that come with purchasing Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
As cryptocurrencies continue to gain popularity with the younger generation of investors, it seems likely that this trend will continue. What do you think? Do you think students should invest in Bitcoin or is investing money into cryptocurrency a mistake that will leave them broke and desperate for more financial aid?
Pros and Cons of Bitcoin
While some people may have made a fortune investing in Bitcoin, the cryptocurrency is no different from any other economic tool, cyclically surging and plummeting in value.
Bitcoin has been credited for being one of the most successful currencies ever created… But what do you think? Should students invest in it? Or is this whole thing nothing more than a bubble?
The financial crisis of 2008-09 is still fresh in the minds of many people, especially young adults. At that time, not everyone saw their investments go up in smoke. But cryptocurrencies could be different than other investments because they aren’t attached to any stocks or commodities… only what investors are willing to pay for it.
So, should students invest in Bitcoin?
Read on and decide for yourself. But first, check out these pros and cons of just one type of cryptocurrency: BITCOIN.
Bitcoin Pros (what people like about it):
- It’s decentralized meaning no banks can control your money.
- Transactions are secure thanks to blockchain technology.
- Bitcoin is anonymous, making it perfect for criminals.
Bitcoin Cons (what people don’t like about it):
- Bitcoin can be stolen in hacking attacks when you least expect it.
- Bitcoin is difficult to track—the U.S. Treasury named it “highly vulnerable to exploitation by criminal organizations.”
- People are inflating the currency by “mining” more Bitcoins, which will eventually make them worthless.
- Transaction fees keep rising as more people buy in.
So, what should you do? While this might be a fun trend at first, experts believe that it’s ultimately going to be bad for investors—especially young adult college students who are already at a disadvantage because of their age and inexperience.
The truth is that no one knows what will become of this currency. Will you gamble your money on a risky investment? Or, will you avoid it entirely to keep your finances safe from an inevitable crash?
How did Bitcoin become such a popular trend?
Bitcoins mean ‘freedom’ for many people, especially college students who are just starting their lives after graduation. It also offers the ability to send money anywhere in the world within minutes rather than wait days for wire transfers.
Bitcoin is also appealing to people who are tired of seeing the Federal Reserve print money, debasing their existing savings. And for people who want to have an option of becoming untraceable at will.
Another reason that Bitcoin is so popular among college students is the fact that they are accustomed to quickly changing technologies, which make them easy prey for questionable investment tools like cryptocurrencies.
While everyone keeps talking about how new and exciting Bitcoins are, no one seems concerned with the limitations of this currency—that it’s volatile, expensive, and impossible to track. Before you get too excited about cashing in on Bitcoin, consider these drawbacks.
- The currency is volatile—it can soar one day and crash the next.
- Bitcoins are difficult to acquire unless you know how to “mine” them yourself.
- Bitcoins are anonymous which makes them perfect for criminals or other people trying to keep their financial activity hidden.
- You can’t trace bitcoins to see where they came from or what information is associated with them.
- The value of bitcoins is not set by any bank but rather by individuals willing to buy and sell them. So, there’s no guarantee that the dollar amount will remain stable.
Invest in Bitcoin only if you are willing to take a big risk. While it is possible that bitcoins could become the world’s primary currency, it hasn’t happened yet—and until it does, avoid making any investments in it.
Instead, look for safer options when planning your own investment strategy. It might be better to spend your time at the library or in the classroom to earn a degree that actually has value.