Crypto, Metaverse and NFT’s-Is it time to Invest?

For you naysayer’s, it is time to admit that investing in 2022 is not the same as it was even 10 short years ago. For those who have resisted the urge to research Bitcoin or Shiba Inu coins based on the premise that they will never last, you might want to change your outlook. The world is evolving rapidly and technology that might seem absurd to those in their 50’s, the younger generations are not only embracing them but leading the charge to further expand.

Bitcoin is a form of currency that utilizes blockchains to verify transactions and avoid duplication, theft, etc. It was the granddaddy of cryptocurrency and despites periodic swoons, has proven staying power. All other block chain based currency are referred to as alternative “alt” coins. So a logical question is there a real world use for Bitcoin? No exactly, but neither is gold and look how that famous commodity has held its value for thousands of years. Bitcoin has become the standard of which other alt currencies are held to and thus in some ways, the new digital gold. Its massive volatility has seen it reach an all-time high of $65,000 in November of 2021 and now just a few months later, it is the $30k range. We have seen it before and it has bounced back time and again. The recent alt coin funk is closely following the slide of tech stocks and the trajectory probably will remain the same for some time as it is these tech companies that are embracing the use of new, less regulated currencies.

Despite the recent slide, new alt-coins come out weekly and now number in the hundreds, many of them with the capability of becoming and everyday currency. The sheer number is options makes investing in such a new and volatile product even more complicated. Furthermore, there are no prospectus to review or sales figures to compare year-over-year.

To further complicate matters, in order to invest prior to a coins massive growth, it means having to visit somewhat sketchy DCE’s or decentralized exchanges such as Pancake Swap. When purchasing on these DCE’s, there is a risk as no “company” is backing the swap. If your trade does not make it to your wallet, finding it on the blockchain and restoring it, is quite intimidating. If you do make use of DCE’s, utilize a reputable wallet (such as Trust Wallet) and then a quality external wallet for longer term storage of tokens. Despite all of this, it is still discomforting to know your investment exists only on the block chain and that your wallet only serves as a digital record keeper of the codes that identify your coins.

New coins, such as the promising Luck block (LBlock) lottery coin are now available of Pancake swap and at less than a penny, the time to purchase. If you wait for them to hit the centralized exchanges such as Binance, Coinswap or Robinood, your chances of seeing massive upticks is significantly lessened. However, it is comforting to know what when you purchase a coin on a centralized exchange, it has a relatively proven track record and is now able to be purchased on more secure site. Your level of comfort needs to guide where you invest your money. If you want to try a DCE, invest small to start before dicing in head first. Additionally, be aware that fees can be quite significant, especially if your transferring funds from credit or debit card.

I mention LBlock because it is one of the first to show real world utility and not just hype of potential which is the case for most others. In general, investing in crypto currencies is a gamble and based on little more than popularity. To further emphasize this point, meme coins like Doge and Shiba Inu are wildly driven by colorful CEO’s like Elon Musk, YouTuber’s and Hollywood figures alike. This does not mean they are not worth the investment, you just need to look past the redundant pump videos and look at the coins developers future growth plans and retailer acceptance.

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Looking at this in a little more detail, the Dogecoin “killing” meme token, Shiba Inu, has created entire ecosystem with additional coins, gaming, NFT’s and more. Is this enough to start separating new alphas’ from the pack? (dog pun intended). This remains to be seen and will probably require a few years before real serration occurs. However, it does provide some insight as to where you can start looking to invest. However, looking beyond the positives, seeing the price of Shiba at well below 1 penny should be a reason for concern for some investors. If your excepting the coin to hit $1, you first need to understand that that would require it to outpace the market value of all crypto currencies combined. Why? The developer intentionally created one quadrillion coins meaning, each coin holds little value as their is an abundance.

In comparison, Bitcoin will never have much more than 20 million by design and why this rarity makes for a much larger per coin value. This does not mean that Shiba Inu and other meme coins are not good investments, just that you need to know some basic details about the coin before making a reasonable decision.

My advice is to pick a few and start watching their activity. This will provide a glimpse into the volatility and begin to peak your interest to learn more about staking, mining, etc. Just be weary of the YouTubers whose daily videos promote unsubstantiated claims of trends and potential. Remember, we all know the potential is there, but very little data available.

I mentioned earlier about retailer acceptance or new developments within the coins ecosystem. These are tangible results whereas the use of graphs charting market movement by the second are fascinating, but nearly impossible to interpret with any real certainty. There is some economic science behind these graphics, but mostly just smoke and mirrors used to pump their favorite coin Worse, many are influencers paid to promote an investment, a definite sign to move on to the next video.

When you do make the leap into opening an account with Robinhood, E-Toro, Coinbase or other centralized exchanges, keep in mind which coins you would like to invest in. For example, Robinhood has been delaying introducing Shiba Inu for some time despite its run into the 10 largest markets caps in 2021. Whatever their reasoning, specific exchanges pick and choose what you can purchase from them. To reach the newer, unknown coins, you will need to dig even deeper.

Ultimately, pick your platform and after watching a few coins, start investing slowly. Use the first few months as a learning curve and find your level of comfort. As I mentioned before, this is a popularity contest and reading up on forums such as Reddit can provide good information as to what people are hyped about. As with YouTube, most people on these forums have no real data to go on and are dreaming big with a gamble of which they want you to join. If you look beyond these baseless claims, you will soon see the massive amounts of people that are interested and where the general trends are heading.

If for no other reason, add some to your portfolio for fun and to not be the one who “misses” out. I have missed a few massive runs by weeks and it has been the difference between a 400% and 4,000% return. Obviously a return like this is hard to come by, but they do exist and once you acknowledge that in some form, many will survive and you might just get lucky.

When it comes to NFT’s and the metaverse, I am still unsure of where to invest. For those new to this game, NFT’s are non-fungible tokens which translates into a digital assets representing a real-world item such as art, music or video. These are unique and have their own digital signature meaning no one else will own or trade for what you own. Part o f my skepticism is that real world prices have ben paid for virtual artwork that one person ones but others can duplicate copy of the image of the internet. Go figure that one out! This is where I hesitate and say to be careful of buying any NFT for significant money.

Combined with the coming metaverse, NFT’s may have a more “real world” use as people will theoretically spend more time in the 3 dimensional, virtual reality where their apartment can be adorned with a one-of-a-kind art piece. Looking for the best digital fashion? You may someday be forced to overspend on an avatar to represent your online presence in lieu of digging through clearance bins for a respectable smile.

Ultimately, I am not sure where the metaverse and NFT’s will lead but I do believe it will happen. If your looking to get in early, well its way too late for that. Purchasing real estate in the metaverse will cost you nearly the same price as your own home. Ready for a second mortgage, one where you can’t even live in one? However, you can begin to see how tightly interwoven alt coins, NFT’s and the metaverse are even today. An alt coin will be used to purchase NFT and other items in a metaverse VR world. If this doesn’t make you a little interested, just remember smart phones did not exist until 2007 and look where we are today. It will happen in some form and once it gets moving, you are going to want to be a part.

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