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Bitcoin has become trendy among the news headlines, but when it comes to reliable investments, it still can't touch commercial property.
Talk about buying into cryptocurrencies may be fashionable, but so far it has proven to be nothing less than a rollercoaster ride. While there may be some big upside gains ahead, some experts fear it could turn into the biggest bubble human history has ever experienced. That's something which should definitely concern every Canadian who is investing for the long term.
Bitcoin prices have shot up at incredible multiples this year. That's a fact that cannot be ignored. Yet, it has also seen double digit drops in trading prices. Those serious fluctuations may be appetizing to day traders, but are the stuff sleepless nights and heart attacks are made of for those thinking about retirement, family wealth, and a legacy.
The new surge in interest and media attention on cryptocurrencies could likely drive up prices even further. Some have predicted it could hit $1M, after starting 2017 at just around $1,000. Though with just around one thousand individuals controlling almost half of all bitcoins, and lack of regulation, it is subject to extreme volatility and market manipulation.
It could become even more of a wild west landscape as thousands of promoters attempt to launch their own cryptocurrencies via ICOs (Initial Coin Offerings). Virtually anyone can launch their own digital currency today, and with more than 50 currencies being launched every month, it seems as though they are. Even among the biggest and best funded, it isn't always the cake walk it is made out to be. Canadian messaging app Kik launched its own currency to raise money in September 2017. It brought in $100M. Just 3 months later the company's market capitalization fell to almost half of that. There are talks of trying to find another blockchain platform, instead of the original Ethereum due to activity being dragged down by virtual kittens which have traded for as much as $1M.
If Kik can't pull it off, maybe Google or Amazon will one day, but there is no word of that happening yet.
For those investing for the future, reliable income in retirement, and security for their nest egg, so they have assets that aren't going to be evaporated right when they need it, commercial real estate still beat bitcoin hands down. Commercial property offers passive income, utilitiy and growth potential. It's more trusted asset than virtual coins that were dreamed up yesterday. It is insulated from market manipulation by a few big asset holders, due to the many ways that investors can control and improve their asset performance and value.
Bitcoin may be exciting. You might even find you are better off taking any change you spend on the lottery or scratch offs and betting it on bitcoin. Though if investing for a comfortable retirement to cover travel or future medical bills or to pass on an inheritance, there is really no comparison when weighing the benefits of cryptocurrency against real estate. Especially commercial property. Slow and steady still wins the race.