Bitcoin has slammed full force into financial markets around the world in the last few years, as it’s seen some massive price movements. Unsurprisingly, that has attracted attention of many novice and professional traders who wish to take the leading cryptocurrency by the horns, and make a profit on its rising exchange rate. On a larger scale, the demand for all sorts of decentralized currencies continues to outpace supply, with the market increasing from $5 to $10 billion in 2016 alone. Could Bitcoin – which makes up 90% of that market – be on its way towards an unstoppable climb? Just last week its exchange rate surged past $1,137, reaching within $30 of its all-time high of $1,165.89, set in November 2013. What everyone’s talking about is no longer, “When will it end?”, but rather, “How to get in on the action?”
Bitcoin, the world’s first web-based currency was introduced by Satoshi Nakamoto, the believed-to-be originator of the cryptocurrency, on 31 October 2008 to a mailing list devoted to cryptographic technology, and was released as an open-source software for Windows on 9 January 2009. The first real-world transaction using Bitcoins took place in Jacksonville, Florida in the beginning of 2010 when a programmer offered to pay 10,000 Bitcoins for a pizza on the Bitcoin Forum. Bitcoin’s exchange rate at the time put the purchase price for the thin bread at around $25. In the following 4 years, as more businesses started to accept the new payment method, Bitcoin made its first major rise to fame, climbing from a handful of coins to over 5 million.
The buzz for Bitcoin remains on a high pitch ever since; its market cap has gone from $1 million in November 2010 to $15.9 billion in December 2013. Though the digital currency has also seen some record lows – for example, a hack in 2013 on Mt. Gox, the world’s biggest virtual exchange, saw it plunge beneath $400 – its price has stayed rather stable in the last two years. Bitcoin kicked off 2017 by passing $1,000, having outperformed all central-bank-issued currencies with a 125% climb in 2016.
Opening a trading position on Bitcoin can be performed in two ways. You can trade the currency on one of Bitcoin’s online exchanges, or you can trade Bitcoin derivatives in the form of a contract for difference (CFD) via an electronic, commission-free trading platform. There are a few major advantages to CFD trading on Bitcoin:
- Affordable and simple: Lower commissions and intuitive trading platforms.
- The power of leverage (typically 1:10): To buy 1 Bitcoin worth more than $1,000, you only need $150 in your trading account.
- 24/5 availability: Around-the-clock trading opportunities.
- Short trading: Ability to ‘Sell’ the asset even when you’re not holding it. This, in the hope that its price will go down.
Bitcoin CFDs are offered by online brokers such as Fortrade Ltd.