Is it wise to use bitcoin for your retirement savings?

There are rumblings that we could see bitcoin used for retirement accounts.

Bitcoin is the flavour of the month, and a rash of reports of the rise and rise of the stateless digital currency has turned it into one of the world’s largest commodities.

Now there are rumblings that we could see bitcoin in retirement accounts.

Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency created around nine years ago when it was worth about 9c a coin. Its value has increased to a whopping US$14,141 as of 4 December 2017.

One of the reasons for the popularity of this type of currency is that it cuts out the need for banks and financial institutions to act as a middle man. No surprise, with trust in banks at a low point. It is little wonder it has attracted the focus of investors, making it (in theory) an appealing option for retirement investment.

However, there is speculation as to whether the incredible surge in bitcoin value will also lead to the biggest bubble since the 2000 dotcom crash.

Since bitcoin’s creation, there have been around 1000 other cryptocurrencies developed in its wake. While most will end up being worthless, many predict that bitcoin will at least survive.

But at what value, no one can predict.

Still, the loss of faith in financial institutions may make cryptocurrencies ‘the new black’, with the appeal of “a peer-to-peer version of electronic cash that would allow online payments to be sent directly from one party to another without going through a financial institution”.

There are currently 16.7 million bitcoins in circulation at a total value of US$277 billion (at the time of writing). The number of bitcoins to be circulated will be capped at 21 million, meaning their ‘exclusivity’ may further increase their value.

But is it a safe investment?

The code upon which bitcoin works has never been hacked, although individual online wallets that hold bitcoin cash have been robbed by hackers.

There have been a number of ‘heists’ that have yielded hackers almost US$90 million in total and such attacks are what make bitcoin such a high risk.

And the nature of a cryptocurrency is such that should you be hacked or lose the password to your digital wallet, your money is gone with no recourse.

In other words, once it’s gone, it’s gone for good. One bitcoin tracker estimates that around US$61 billion has been lost through mislaid passwords or corrupt hard drives.

But this risk is not enough to thwart potential bitcoin investors.

Venture capital company Blockchain Capital published statistics showing that two per cent of adults held bitcoin but 19 per cent planned to within five years.

This could push the value up to hundreds of thousands of dollars, or not, no one can safely say.

The underlying lesson is that if you’re willing to take a risk and have expendable funds, then bitcoin may be a good investment. But with the risk comes the chance that you lose it all. Such is the nature of cryptocurrencies.

Read more at The Australian

Would you be willing to bet your retirement on it? Or would you rather sit back and play it safe? Have you invested in bitcoin? How have you fared from your investment?

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    COMMENTS

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    MICK
    11th Dec 2017
    10:42am
    One needs to understand that a move from fiat currency to cryptos is well under way. Whether we end up with Bitcoin or another government designated crypto is anybody's guess. What is certain is that money as we know it is dead.
    Some large online businesses are already accepting Bitcoin. The writing is on the wall.
    roy
    11th Dec 2017
    10:56am
    I knew MICK would be the first to comment, he is an investment expert,travel expert, skiing expert and Government expert, where does it all end? MICK for PM.
    Please do not give financial advice unless you are qualified and authorised MICK, you could be in big trouble.
    MICK
    11th Dec 2017
    11:29am
    Don't bother taking twaddle roy. You really have no idea do you.
    Jealousy is a curse mate.
    Janus
    11th Dec 2017
    11:33am
    MICK has another name which we all know: FIG JAM

    HOwever, MICK is welcome to have and to express his opinions. We just don't have to believe or agree with them.

    I actually agree with one part of his note: "The writing is on the wall." I know...I looked. It's indisputable. Or indisputible (choose 1).
    Waiting to retire at 70
    11th Dec 2017
    12:07pm
    Mick,
    Is it like the 'paperless office' of the 80's?

    I think it is as sure an investment scheme as tulips were - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tulip_mania
    Puglet
    11th Dec 2017
    12:08pm
    Roy, if my financial advisor/investor manager gave me the generalised comments Mick provided he’d be out the door! Mick has pretty much said what business journals have been floating around for ages. He’s probably right - ‘money’ is on the way out but I think we’ll be dead before it dies! BTW, Roy there’s a big difference between advice and comment.
    Rae
    11th Dec 2017
    12:31pm
    Do you have a comment roy or is it you just don't like MICK?
    MICK
    11th Dec 2017
    1:03pm
    If you think about it Puglet we already use plastic cards which have displaced paper money. Given that there is a growing number of businesses using Bitcoin, and some are multinational, I don't think one has to think too hard to see where we are headed.
    Remember also that governments will love it. No more cash economy means they lose not $1 in tax.
    The other bad aspects aspect are governments who may decide they are going to have negative interest rates to force people into risky assets. Also, if we have a GFC then your money will be frozen as well as banks charging you for keeping your digital money on their books with negative rates.

    Hope you are right Puglet. I give it 5 to 10 years. Put it in your book and 'tell me off' if not done and dusted within that time period. I'll eat humble pie. Seriously.
    roy
    11th Dec 2017
    1:22pm
    Rae, I absolutely adore MICK, he is such an expert on all things and I seriously think he should be our PM, don't you?
    He holds the record for comments on this site and is so repetitive mainly knocking Mr Turnbull and often uses expletives that really have no place on this site but that's the nature of the man I suppose, he must be great to sit next to at dinner parties or just imagine him next to one on a transatlantic flight.
    Anonymous
    11th Dec 2017
    4:08pm
    roy, MICK is right to knock Mr Turdball and his inept Lieberal-Hillybilly COALition.
    roy
    11th Dec 2017
    4:45pm
    Knows-a-lot, yes we would be much better off with Shanghai Sam Dastyari and Shifty Shorten the used car dealer in charge of our "lucky country". I want MICK in charge, no more no less, he is he most astute man on this site, do you agree?
    downunder
    11th Dec 2017
    10:59am
    Bitcoins nice and fine, but only invest the amount you can loose without going broke
    The pom
    11th Dec 2017
    11:01am
    At my age (84) with a satisfactory amount of investments to keep my wife and myself I won't try Bitcoin or any other crypto money, but I reckon 50 years ago I would have tried a small fling on it.
    MICK
    11th Dec 2017
    11:42am
    Probably a smart call. Who knows where Bitcoin is going. The only sure thing is digital currency is coming. Already here so it won't be long before cash is gone.
    Charlie
    11th Dec 2017
    11:41am
    Don't know anything about it, don't even understand why it exists, but any (get rich quick money making scheme) has got to be a hell of a risk, where somebody wins and somebody loses.
    Unless its run by Robin Hood, I don't want any part of it.
    john
    11th Dec 2017
    3:01pm
    Only safe investments even betting on horses should only be done with money you can afford to lose, totally. Then you win or you lose but your still alive financially!
    If you don't have the spare , don't involve yourself at all.

    For me Bitcoin I can't fathom , but stockmarkets have me concerned as well sometimes, its like a giant TAB gambling house, a gamble , sure things which are few and far between are the only way to go.

    So don't go unless you're sure.

    And how can you ever be sure.

    Buy a building, then sell it , it's made of something.
    Charlie
    11th Dec 2017
    5:40pm
    Ah Robin Hood friend "little John"
    youngunpassingthru
    11th Dec 2017
    7:00pm
    Bitcoin is an alternative currency not a 'get rich money making scheme'. No one ever suggested it was.

    Would you call the Swiss Frank or the Euro 'money making schemes' if they appreciated against the dollar?
    ex PS
    12th Dec 2017
    9:32am
    Bitcoin, the chain letter of the naughties. Some will make loads others will lose everything. It reminds me of when we were kids and an enterprising shop owner offered to buy our old useless shillings and pence of us before it was made useless, when changes like this occur there is always people lining up to take advantage.
    Rae
    11th Dec 2017
    12:29pm
    Well the fiat money took off after 1971 so it was only a matter of time until someone other than banks started creating money.

    I like the idea of the secrecy of it. There will be no way to know who has how much.
    casey
    11th Dec 2017
    12:48pm
    Why is my inbox full of people trying to sell me bitcoin everyday. I send them to the spam folder, but every day there is more. Where does it end?
    MICK
    11th Dec 2017
    1:00pm
    Who would know where Bitcoin is going. Some pundits say the run is only the beginning but history tells us that mums and dads get in as the big end of town gets out. What happens after that is always the same.
    roy
    11th Dec 2017
    1:15pm
    Please clarify "what happens after the that is always the same".
    Thank you in advance.
    MICK
    11th Dec 2017
    1:56pm
    Show a little knowledge.
    When the system collapses mums and dads are always caught out and they lose a lot of money. The big end is for the most part out.
    Surely you understand that? If not do some research or go get papers for the 12 months before a stock market crash and see the poison being pushed onto those who cannot see what is coming.

    There is an old saying in America that when taxi drivers start becoming conversant with the stock market then the end is nigh. No, not the ride!
    Puglet
    11th Dec 2017
    1:57pm
    Casey, I don’t get emails flogging bit-coin but I do get lots from nice Nigerians and Russians called Olaf or Samson wanting to make me a millionaire. All I have to do is send my bank details and pass word. Perhaps we should swap?
    Ausdigga
    11th Dec 2017
    1:39pm
    I can't help thinking if it looks like a pyramid scheme and sounds like a pyramid scheme, well you know what happens sooner or later .
    Puglet
    11th Dec 2017
    2:18pm
    I think you are probably right. Increased Demand is driving the value of bitcoin up just as Mick says. Eventually what goes up must come down. Venture capitalists will do well because they know when the pyramid will fall. The average investor is usually uninformed and they (us) will be left with ginormous losses. Crime bosses, people buying illegal drugs on line etc like bit coin cause there is no regulation, no legal protection and no way to prove who is doing what so it really is buyer beware!
    Priscilla
    11th Dec 2017
    2:13pm
    It will be a very long time before money as we know it goes! Using cards is a mug's game and all you do is pay the banks fees to use your own money. Wake-up.
    john
    11th Dec 2017
    3:20pm
    The greatest disaster for the working person in Australia and probably all over the modern world , was when your pay packet began being placed straight into your designated bank. No questions or complaints allowed , it just happened.
    In fact I worked with a chap who was the last person in a very large national company to demand and get his money in cash every pay day. Until he retired.
    The rest of us just fell into line.

    Then the thievery and gouging of accounts began and has become such a racket that we need to call a Royal Commission into banking and Insurance and superannuation, probably every ten years! Because the average not that well informed person, has really no idea what is being done to them.

    This has been a tragedy for AUSTRALIA, maybe because we were the perfect population sized, large area nation, that hunting down and understanding generalisations of your banking and loan rules. Sometimes branches separated by a thousand miles, you know head office said this!!! Was magnificently perfectly able to be hidden , in account penalties and bank rates , ATM fees and how much it cost the banks to rob you. We don't know we have the feeling though that sometimes it just doesn't feel right.
    In fact a certain north states bank is going to have some problems very soon.
    Its been the greatest racket since the history of human beings.
    But we modern humans just had it pulled over our eyes, hidden in plain site! Corruption in banking in the name of "make your own rules" no politicians wuith the guts to look closer, so what are they getting out of this?

    11th Dec 2017
    2:46pm
    Yes - put all your super in bitcoin
    Will be worth a trillion dollars soon

    Go on Mick
    roy
    11th Dec 2017
    2:51pm
    It MICK does it. I will follow, I would be a fool not to especially as he told me to show a little knowledge above.
    MICK why are you not our PM or Treasurer then Australia really would be the "Lucky Country" I'm really serious not tongue in cheek MICK.
    roy
    11th Dec 2017
    2:53pm
    Forgot to ask you MICK, did you buy tulips or Dot Com shares, just taking MICK?
    Anonymous
    11th Dec 2017
    4:02pm
    Roy - you think he'll be better than the worlds greatest treasurer?
    Take us into a trillion dollars in debt maybe at the height of our next economic boom?

    He may well borrow and invest in bitcoin and make Oz the world's richest country, and we will have universal pension for all, single pension increased to $100k a year, and we all live happily ever after
    john
    11th Dec 2017
    2:51pm
    Well I clicked onto cryptocurrency, dictionary explanation,describing this , and I have no idea what the hell I was reading. So there you go, that's why the world has wealthy people and tricked losing people everywhere! No one can understand what is being done to make money or lose money, so I imagine Bitcoin will survive JUST , yes only just , for how long ? Ha ha ha !

    11th Dec 2017
    4:04pm
    Bitcoin etc. strike me as being nothing but a scam. What is actually produced to underpin their value? Nothing, so far as I can tell. It's all smoke and mirrors. Furthermore, I'm sick and bloody tired of getting bloody junk e-mail about goddamned Bitcoin!
    casey
    11th Dec 2017
    4:37pm
    Totally agree with you
    roy
    11th Dec 2017
    4:49pm
    I've been told to sell my Bitcoin right away and invest in Blockchain Collision, oh decisions decisions, what should I do MICK?
    62% gain in just 7 hours, just what should I do?
    roy
    11th Dec 2017
    5:02pm
    IBM, Amazon, Facebook to name a few are diving deep into Blockchain Collision, should we follow or not?
    You heard it here first!
    arbee
    11th Dec 2017
    5:05pm
    A fool and his money are soon parted, in this case bitcoin will take the money and those who invested will be the ones shedding tears. This will make the dot-com bubble burst look minute in comparison.
    Not Senile Yet!
    11th Dec 2017
    5:21pm
    Forgive me but Mick has already done Bitcoin!
    I can hear him snickering from my place!
    The reason for all the adverts and emails is because the wealtht are now pulling the pin with very healtht profits!
    So their money has to be replaced to prevent a Total Collapse!
    As more & more go in...the Micks of the world withdraw steadily...ha ha.!
    It is too late for Bitcoun profit...the cycle completes when everyone jumps in...so the Shrewd & now even wealthier jump out!
    You are ten yrs too late!
    But Mick has a Valid point...if enough get in and Companies start accepting it as payment...then it may survive! But profits will dramatically drop as the Big Investers leave!
    roy
    11th Dec 2017
    7:43pm
    The MICKS of this world, how dare you! MICK would not leave the good people of this world in the lurch, he is one lovely guy, he loathes people like Malcolm Turnbull and wouldn't dream of making a profit from ordinary people unlike those awful people at the big end of town, wash your mouth out Not Senile Yet. He does mention above and I quote, "when the big end of town gets out". See his post of 1.56pm.
    Young Simmo
    11th Dec 2017
    5:50pm
    OK, I haven't read all the comments written so far but, I do have a dumb question as some will call it. Can somebody tell me in plain simple English, (Kindegarten language), how I can easily invest $100 into Bitcoin just for a little dabble. If I loose it, I promise I will not cry. If it turns out to be too technical and complicated, I will put it on a surer thing like the West Coast Eagles to get the 2018 flag.
    Anonymous
    11th Dec 2017
    6:24pm
    old simmo, the tigers will not only give you better odds but also more security as long as you put real money on them.
    Young Simmo
    11th Dec 2017
    6:34pm
    heesker99, What's all this old business, when I went to school, 7 and 7 equaled 14 and in January I will be 15. Please don't tell me I am living in a dream world.
    GrumpyOldMan
    12th Dec 2017
    8:31pm
    OK Young Simmo. Playtime it is. Join Coinspot. You will need id and a stringent verification process to protect your assets. Transfer your $100.00 from your bank to theirs. It will show as an $AU balance. Look at all the material you can and decide which crypto currency you would like to purchase. If you wish to put it all into Bitcoin then go ahead. They will deduct a transfer fee ($2.00) roughly on a hundred. Coinspot's prices always seem to be a bit more than some other exchange's quotes however, they use the same figure for buying or selling. If you sell, the money in your $AU balance goes up. You can then withdraw it to your bank account. That's it. I recently purchased $100.00 worth for a 93 year old friend on my account. Her current value is now $250.00. She thinks it is great telling her friends she has bitcoins and she loves the way the price varies. If she decides to cash out I will just settle with her and leave her purchase in my lot. All the negative advice you read here is mostly from people who don't have, won't have or just can't be bothered. I spend $100.00 very 3 months on standard lotto tickets. Same numbers for over 35 years. Guess which has given me the highest returns in the last 3 months?

    11th Dec 2017
    6:19pm
    just ask labor mick if he will accept bitcoins from those who rent his property?
    youngunpassingthru
    11th Dec 2017
    7:26pm
    The value of Bitcoin comes from using it as an alternative to fiat currency, it's ultimate purpose is not an investment vehicle. Bitcoin has use as alternative peer to peer payment system, and moving large sums overseas. Also more anonymous than credit card or paypal.

    The dollar has value by belief in government fiat, Bitcoin is independent of government. The power of its encryption proves its existence. However, if the internet went down or electricity stopped, then it couldn't be used or stored, or accessed in any way, so would have no value, whereas you could still trade silver or gold.
    Tis only me
    11th Dec 2017
    8:28pm
    I think we're all a little wary of what we don't understand. Anyone would be foolish to sink all their savings into Bitcoin, but aren't we all advised to diversify with our 'investments'? I certainly don't really understand the whole crypto currency thing and I'm not too good with technology either, but I wouldn't mind buying a couple of hundred dollars worth to see how it goes. I have a trusted relative who can look after it for me. Mick is correct in saying there are businesses around the world accepting Bitcoin. Japan has recognised it as legal currency. After years of people in high places knocking it - let's face it big bankers hate it - I wouldn't mind betting there are many wealthy people getting in on it now, at the same time as they are telling all we plebs that it's a 'bad' thing to do.
    Blossom
    11th Dec 2017
    8:32pm
    I have unsubscribed numerous divisions of that group. Now I just delete them straight away if I recognise the name. There is a few that they use different numbers for
    Pass the Ductape
    12th Dec 2017
    8:04am
    I have a little bit - not much - and not the bits we're talking about, but some of the other bits....and I intend to hang onto these bits, because if the other bits don't work out, at least I'll still have a little bit to spend!
    ex PS
    12th Dec 2017
    9:36am
    If something looks too good to be true, guess what.
    Reagan
    12th Dec 2017
    2:23pm
    .
    Whether we like it or not, Bitcoins are here to stay. What is exciting about it is the fact it’s decentralised i.e. not controlled by one institution and banks are getting a little bit worried. Even some governments are embracing this new technology for e.g Japan.
    Some lose, some win, could be a highly risky and folks with mortgages, credit card debts and those on a limited budget should apply caution. Same caution you would use if gambling, because in essence that’s what it is. I see no harm in investing small amounts, Simmo mentioned $100, as long as you don’t really need that money for basic living, go ahead and have some fun. I am seriously thinking of investing a small sum, money I can afford to lose.
    Young Simmo
    12th Dec 2017
    2:35pm
    Yes Reagan, I wouldn't mind having a little dabble but am not sure how to go about it. I get the occasional email which I assume is a scam and dump them. I need some basic guidance but, nobody seems to be a full bottle on the subject.
    Reagan
    12th Dec 2017
    2:49pm
    Hi Simmo, wise to ignore the emails. Better to get through a broker of your own choice and only use money you would otherwise use for jam. It's very difficult to explain in a post, but here are a couple of links which may help you to get a better insight:

    https://99bitcoins.com/bitcoin-whiteboard-tuesday-what-is-bitcoin/

    https://btradeaustralia.com/buying-bitcoins/
    Pass the Ductape
    12th Dec 2017
    6:11pm
    I'm a bit confused by the costs of these things. As Simmo suggested - say they invest a hundred dollars - but then, how does one apply a hundred dollars to purchase bitcoin, when each bitcoin is presently worth say twenty thousand dollars each?
    Young Simmo
    12th Dec 2017
    11:38pm
    Yeh, after watching the ABC tonight I have decided that I will look for some other type of fun. I might invest in the "Let's save Mr Dyastari fund".
    GrumpyOldMan
    13th Dec 2017
    5:53am
    Ductape, put simply think of bitcoin like any currency. Our dollar goes up and down against all other world currencies which are controlled by the worlds banking institutions. Now like a Dollar, you can have 2 cents worth if you want, or a thousand or a million. You can have 1 bitcoin or just a tiny part of one if you wish. Being separated from banks or governments, the value of bitcoin or other crypto's is universal. Look at ebay for instance and note the variations in prices around the world on any item. If something costs 1 bitcoin in Australia, it costs 1 bitcoin wherever you buy it from. when you transact in cryptos there are no bank skimmings. For those who sill believe bitcoin is just a silly fad, google which multinational businesses accept it as legitimate payment. Here are 100 companies who do.
    http://www.ebay.com/gds/100-Companies-That-Accept-Bitcoins-As-Payment-/10000000206483242/g.html
    Pass the Ductape
    13th Dec 2017
    8:12am
    Acknowledge the info G.O.M. Thanks....makes things a little clearer.
    Old Geezer
    13th Dec 2017
    7:52pm
    It's starting to look profitable for me to hook up that old drive and get that bitcoin off it now. I took out the hard drive and kept it as I was concerned about the wrong people accessing my information but it seems there is something more valuable left on it.
    Old Geezer
    13th Dec 2017
    7:54pm
    I think that highlights how easy it is to lose it as no one but you knows you have got it.
    Reagan
    13th Dec 2017
    11:23pm
    Make sure you have several back ups. Once it's gone it's gone!
    Old Geezer
    14th Dec 2017
    9:34am
    Problem is that these ewallets don't back up. I have a backup of old drive and it's not on it.
    Old Geezer
    14th Dec 2017
    9:36am
    All it will take is one big system malfunction and people will lose confidence in Bitcoin as there are no backups of who has got it anyway. Nothing even physical like cash either.
    Greg
    14th Dec 2017
    10:50pm
    Back-up or clone? Cloning will copy drive exactly as is.
    GrayComputing
    14th Dec 2017
    11:45am
    Get ready to loose your life savings
    Just another pyramid scheme waiting to collapse (again)
    People joining now are the worlds biggest suckers (again)
    ex PS
    16th Dec 2017
    9:13am
    So, money issued by a Country is generally backed up with a gold reserve, what underpins the value of Bitcoin? What assures us that this commodity has an actual value.
    GrayComputing
    16th Dec 2017
    11:37am
    I understand that gold reserves are mainly a fiction too


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