Bitcoin: The End of the Beginning

While bitcoin put in a stellar year, that doesn’t mean Main Street investors have missed the boat yet. 2018 makes the perfect time to jump into crypto assets and currencies…

Editor’s Note: We’re excited to announce that Ian King has joined Banyan Hill as our cryptocurrency expert. Ian is an experienced trader who started a firm to educate and advise cryptocurrency speculators. To read his interview with Jeff L. Yastine, click here.


Bitcoin surged a mind-blowing 1,500% last year, leading many experts to call for “the end of bitcoin.”

But this rally isn’t over yet.

This isn’t the end; it’s only the end of the beginning for cryptocurrency markets.

Everyone has heard of bitcoin. But few people own it. Even fewer understand it.


That’s going to change in 2018.

Author Malcolm Gladwell defines “the tipping point” as “the moment of critical mass, the threshold, the boiling point” in which “ideas and products and messages and behaviors spread like viruses.”

Crypto assets reached this tipping point in 2017.

Bellwether crypto bitcoin surged nearly 1,500%, and total market cap of the crypto space surged from $18 billion at the start of the year to over $600 billion.

But while bitcoin put in a stellar year, that doesn’t mean Main Street investors have missed the boat yet. 2018 makes the perfect time to jump into cryptocurrencies…

The Crypto Game Has Changed

In just nine years, crypto assets have ballooned from a tiny project among libertarian-minded cryptography experts to a global phenomenon.

Corporations and governments are hiring blockchain experts to figure out how to integrate this new technology into their existing businesses.

Expectations for the future of this new asset class range from the Holy Grail that replaces all middlemen on transactions (including banks and governments) to the world’s greatest Ponzi scheme orchestrated by state-sponsored actors in North Korea.

However, I believe investing in bitcoin in 2018 is actually a safer bet than it was two years ago. While the same astronomical returns might not repeat, the risk of total loss has been dramatically reduced.

Easier Trading

One of the keys to opening up growth in this sector is simplifying access to new investors. Apps such as Coinbase make buying and selling bitcoin much easier than before.

Coinbase replaced YouTube as the most downloaded app on iTunes. With a few swipes and taps, investors can now swap their dollars for bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin. You can buy bitcoin from the comfort of your couch or while watching your 8-year-old’s soccer game. The market is open 24/7/365.

Globally, there are roughly 30 million bitcoin wallets open. However, many crypto investors own more than a few, so the number of people who actually own bitcoin is likely closer to 10 million.

While there has been rampant growth in wallets in recent months, investors haven’t emptied out their savings and brokerage accounts into the crypto universe. Out of those 30 million wallets, only 3 million contain more than $1,000 in bitcoin, and only 1 million contain more than $10,000 in bitcoin.

Keep in mind the total crypto market cap at $800 billion is just 0.3% of the $215 trillion in total assets globally. There is still ample room for this market to grow as more investors open accounts.

No speculative mania has ever been easier for everyone in the world to participate in than the crypto markets, yet this would qualify as the most underowned, concentrated bubble in history.

Beating Wall Street

Main Street investors have been watching from the sidelines for too many great opportunities while Wall Street and the investing elite have prospered.

Take the case of Facebook.

While shares of Facebook Inc. (Nasdaq: FB) have risen 355% since its 2012 initial public offering (IPO), early-stage investors were sitting on gains of up to 60,000% before reaching public hands.

Uber now commands a $48 billion private market valuation. This is 12,000 times higher than its original valuation of $4 million.

But not one cent of this increase in value has reached the public. Rather, all the gains have accrued to Silicon Valley insiders and large institutions.

This is not the same with crypto, where everyone has an equal shot of finding the next Uber, Amazon or Google.

Wall Street is just now starting to get involved. The Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) and the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) launched bitcoin futures in December, which helps the markets function. Goldman Sachs is launching an institutional crypto trading desk.

This all signals that cryptocurrencies are here to stay, and there is still plenty of money waiting on the sidelines for those who jump in now.

2018 and Beyond

In the last few months, bitcoin and the rest of the crypto world went mainstream. The barriers to entry are gone, and savvy investors now see the potential of this new investment class.

And since institutional money is still en route, this market — and the gains — will only increase.

That’s why I say this marks the end of the beginning. The question is no longer whether bitcoin will be essential to a diversified portfolio. It is now a matter of what percentage you want to own, and what other crypto assets are your best bets.

That’s what I plan to help you with in 2018 and beyond.

Editor’s Note: Do you have any experience buying and selling bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies? What kind of profits have you made? And do you have any questions about cryptocurrencies? If so, please leave a comment below sharing your stories or questions.


Ian King cryptocurrency bitcoin expert at banyan hill publishing signature



Ian King
Editor, Banyan Hill Publishing

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  • Martin Mccloud

    Ian, Will you be providing a subscription service in the near future focused on cryptocurrencies or fintech?

  • Gbemi Tijani

    can a lay person just invest in crypto-currency transactions without prior training or orientation & possibly on line? is any training mandatory ? A few agency in developing world like Nigeria are planning a cryptocurrency academy?any difference in the bitcoin & cryptocurrency?

  • Larry Warner

    What wallets and portable devices do you recommend or had the best experience with?

  • kevin eckart

    I’ve got a Ledger Nano S hardware wallet. Works great.

  • kevin eckart

    Looking forward to your commentary here. In early 2017, I found the on ramp to crypto to be very difficult but went with Coinbase as it seemed to be the easiest. Lots of good projects out there and even more pump and dump / scams.

  • C.Taylor

    Would like to know which crypocurrency exchange has the most variety and is easy to navigate for beginners.

  • I’m new about 8 weeks in in the Crypto world. It’s so fun. I have BTC, ETN, ETH, LTC, and CRPT. I’m addicted to watching the exchanges and researching. But I do have one question that’s really bugging me I can’t find the answer.
    I don’t understand how retailers can sell goods using a volatile currency. For example: perhaps I sell you a pair of shoes for $10, you give me $10 I give you shoes. Now, in crypto world – I sell you shoes for basically the equivalent of $10 in Bitcoin and you get shoes. Well, BTC may only be worth $1 the next day or $50 so the retailer may lose or make money on the sale. That seems odd to me…..can you explain if I’m missing something here.

  • TimSingleton

    I am 55 so my main rule is ‘Don’t lose the money.’ Having said that, I figured I could get in and get out and well, if I lost it, I was also practicing the rule ‘Don’t risk what you cannot afford to lose.’

    Happy to say that I got in, decided on what I was willing to risk and made a couple of times my money, I think close to five times.

    Then, I pulled out the money I had invested and put it back in my cash account. I now own 7 different currencies, 6 of which are all paid for with house money.

    Am I doing it correctly? I have no idea, but I got more money than I started with. It also seems to grow fast enough to buy some smaller cryptos at a rate that I am still smiling.

  • Martin Kip

    I’ve got some of the cryptocurrencies ETH BTC LTC and found Coinbase to be the easiest to use for the basic investor, there rates are a little high compared to other brokers but the convenience of storing your currency in their vault and the direct transfers to your bank account make the extra price worth it. ETH @ 460 LTC @ 97 BTC @ 2412.

  • revelation99

    My main concern is mid to long term holdings. I understand how governments work. They are control freaks. There are already governments out there that are balking at crypto currencies. The Fed has already expressed interest in creating a ‘Fed Coin’. Governments don’t want to relinquish control of their money. They lose control of the economy that way. I think it’s just a matter of time when the only cryptos allowed are government ones. Russia and others are actively looking into cryptos for their governments. I think that maybe cryptos are good for the short term. Once governments get in on this it might be game over.

  • Glenn Richard Williams

    I started my coinbase wallet in the beginning of 2014. Since then I have been buying and selling BTC. I would buy some at $250. and when it went over $1000.00 I would sell it, eventually it would drop back down and I would buy even more. Last year when it hovered around the $230-$250. range for the longest time I kinda lost interest in it for a few months wen I should of been buying more. Then it started its march back up over $1000.00, so I sold most of mine at $1100.00 figuring it would drop back down, guess what happened, it never looked back. I bought one at $7200.00 and then some pieces of it several times. I’m holding on to it now. I also own litecoin and ethereum through coinbase. Now I’m buying many different cryptos on Binance and Bitstamp. Ripple (xrp) at $.26, now over $3.00. Other ones, TRX, BNB, XVG, and several others. I was buying precious metals since 2004, but have lately put my extra cash into the crypto markets because they are here to stay and the dollar will eventually print itself into oblivion.

  • Glenn Richard Williams

    Can you store all your cryptos on one Ledger, and can you move your tokens back and forth to exchanges to sell or trade them

  • Glenn Richard Williams

    I use several exchanges but I just opened a Binance account and find they have the most crypts and are easy to use. If your American, I would suggest you open a coinbase account, Link an ACH from your bank, fund it, buy ethereum, then you can fund any other exchange by sending ethereum, then start trading what you want.

  • Glenn Richard Williams

    practice makes perfect, but do some research first, plenty of online training. Google cryptos.

  • kevin eckart

    Most major coins are supported by the leader and transferring them between the ledger and exchanges is as simple as transferring between exchanges.

  • Glenn Richard Williams

    Thanks. is the Ledger nano s one of the better ones?

  • Glenn Richard Williams

    you can also set up another exchange like Binance which has a lot more tokens and flexibility than Coinbase. I have a coinbase account also and fund them with a ACH, then send eth to Binance to trade for other tokens.

  • A. Radmore

    Can’t anybody just cut to the chase? Why so long winded? Do you not have a list of buy and sell? Or do we have to pay for that too. Seems every time you click on one of these all you get is buy this and nothing else. Not happy!

  • Dunton Francis

    First looked at BTC in 2011 and just did not understand it and the prospect (as many had with Mt Gox) of taking a 100% loss made me look away. Started researching and investing early in 2017. Very small at the beginning and then adding on pullbacks. I have some positions that I hold and have been arbitraging on some of the newer up and coming alt-coins such as BAT, ANT, EOS, CVC, DNT. I have personally avoided XRP as it is not a true crypto and the owners Ripple Labs have held onto 62 billion of the coins. Don’t trust that aspect. I buy thru Coinbase and trade on Bittrex and Binance and have the Exodus wallet that also allows inter-wallet exchange on the coins they support, maybe 10-15. Good luck to everyone.

  • Tamas Orban

    Why I think the True cryptos are the ones where the transactions cant be regulated, taxed, traced. The whole idea is for someone to accept 10 “x” and not let anyone else have anything to say about it… The community would accept the coin and use it for certain exchanges and not put it up for speculation on a market. Who knows what the future entails, hopefully not a Mt. Gox type situation with all the exchanges. That being said, if you have the time to sit and stare at trends, you can make a killing daily buying low, selling high. Good luck choosing which coins have a future and trusting the developers and architects behind them. For me, Ethereum looks like the next internet, and IOTA for the IOTs.
    PS… Keep a wallet, don’t trust the exchanges to safeguard your investment.

  • Sara L Tripp

    Ian, it’s refreshing to hear your position on Bitcoin and crypto currencies! There’s a lot of nay sayers out there. Question: is there an easier way to get money into Coinbase or Gemini? They severely limit how much and how often you can invest. Is there some secret I’m missing?

  • Freda Young

    I got in late in the game, 2017. I am 64. I joined a bitcoin club and once you complete the program you will earn 74 bitcoins.

  • George Quamina

    I thought I understood the concept of Crypto currencies as a virtual way of simplifying and securing worldwide financial transactions between two or more parties, facilitated by a string of unique software generated characters. However, lately I’ve been distracted by the notion that physical coins really exists. Which is it? If physical coins do actually exist, then WHY???

  • George Quamina

    Bittrex, if you can get in

  • George Quamina

    You can fund it with BTC or ETH

  • Lisa Wilkins Laird

    I began investing in cryptocurrency in 2016 when it was around $600 and Ethereum was $11. Today after several deposits and withdrawals my wallet is around $60k. I also invested around $500 in XRP in the summer of 2017. Today that wallet is worth around $4500. I took a chance and deposited some funds for my daughter’s college. I did it in the fall and doubled my money in 3 months. Don’t invest if you don’t have it to lose. And do what I did. Invest and then when you make your money back, withdraw it. You are now playing with the “house’s” money.

  • Charles Odukwe

    you dont need any crypto academy to buy it. Nigerians are always looking for a way to rip people off. Just do a little internet research on your own. and buy.

  • Sherry J Mendez

    Credible exchange platform to trade bitcoins at furcoins no sign up, no charges, no fees but prompt service delivery and satisfaction

  • Mike Wilson

    My first time doing this type of correspondenc…
    I am on Coinbase which is very easy to buy & sell. Also, have a Bittrex account (with only one small purchase) which is too complicated in my opinion. I would like to buy/sell other cryptos but can’t seem to locate help in finding a easy to use trading platform. Been on many hours of You Tube, etc and no one really provides the basics & detailed instructions
    on the various platforms and getting set-up. Really frustrating and time consuming.
    Mike W.

  • Michaele Ignon

    I am actually writing to ask questions about the US Freedom Checks Matt Batali has talked about. I am a bit confused as I invested in all 5 of these mining stocks on Dec 1st and have been waiting and investigating to get an idea of when to expect my checks to start coming. I started by calling your help line and was directed to call all these companies individually to find out what they were offering individually, which I did. They made me aware of their dividend dispursments which I noted but none of them were aware of anything called US Freedom checks.Did I miss something? Did I invest in the wrong stocks. I went back to see if that was the case and it seems we were directed to purchase these stocks with our agents and buy them as stocks which is what I did. Can you help me unravel this mystery and get me on track?