How to buy an investment stock in Australia
Posted On July 13, 2021
Aussie investors are betting that the rise of bitcoin has the potential to transform their world, with a boom in the virtual currency’s use as a currency and a huge number of investment firms investing in it.
But how much is the boom really worth?
Here are the answers.
Read moreAussie bitcoin boom: How much will it pay out?
Aussie investors have been betting that bitcoin will become a viable investment for more than a decade, and now have a major reason to do so.
The US government has taken a leading role in setting the bitcoin price in the United States, and many of its central banks have been encouraging the digital currency to move higher.
In the first three months of 2018, the price of bitcoin, or altcoin bitcoin, jumped more than 400 per cent in a week to a record high of $US8,094.
That’s almost $US6,000 per coin.
The surge was fueled by a string of big-ticket announcements from China, India, Brazil and other emerging markets, and a surge in demand for the digital asset, which is widely viewed as an alternative to traditional currencies.
Bitcoin is currently trading at around $US15,000 (NZ$18,300).
It is currently not regulated in the US and its value fluctuates wildly depending on what country you live in, and the quality of the currency itself.
But it is widely regarded as the next major currency after the dollar and its exchange rate has risen over the past year.
The value of bitcoin surged on the news that US authorities had said it would be legal to buy the digital coins.
“There is a lot of hype around bitcoin,” said Tony Woodcock, chief executive of Digital Asset Holdings, which owns more than half of the Australian Bitcoin Investment Trust, or ABIT, the country’s first and largest bitcoin fund.
Abit’s biggest fund, ABITS, has been buying up the coins, and it’s now worth about $US10bn.
It has also been the target of an international crackdown on the cryptocurrency, which was introduced by the US in December.
US President Donald Trump signed an executive order on January 26 that allows anyone to buy bitcoin at a US exchange.
Bitcoin has also hit a record $US2,000 ($3,000) in Australia, with some investors expecting it to reach $US3,500 in the near future.
In New Zealand, where the value of the cryptocurrency has also risen, there have been warnings of a bubble.
The Reserve Bank of New Zealand has said it has been warning about the risks to the value since December.
But Mr Woodcock said he was confident the cryptocurrency could reach its peak by mid-2018.
Mr Woodcock also said he believed the US government was “doing a great job” in setting bitcoin’s price and has given it the green light to continue buying.
“They have made it a lot easier to trade bitcoin,” he said.
It was a different story in Australia where it is not regulated and it is unclear whether it will be able to move up in value as the dollar strengthens.
The Reserve Banks of Australia and New Zealand have also been warning the value could reach $AUD2,300, which would be a huge jump from its current $US1,300.
In August, the Reserve Bank said the price was likely to be “significantly higher” by the end of 2019.
However, Mr Woodruff said the cryptocurrency was still in the early stages of its development and was in no way a bubble and was worth a long-term investment.
He said the government’s decision to move it from a virtual currency to an established currency was a good move.
“It shows they are listening to the voices of the people and there is a real sense of optimism around bitcoin right now,” he told ABC Radio’s 7:30 program.
There has been a “huge amount of hype” around bitcoin in the past 12 months, he added.
“There are a lot more people getting into bitcoin, a lot less people putting money into the market.”
In September, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) said the bitcoin market had become “highly leveraged”, which it described as “a significant risk to the economy”.
The regulator said there was a risk of “high leverage” in the market, and that it would monitor the price closely.
While the US dollar rose against other currencies in September, it was relatively subdued.
China has been the dominant player in the bitcoin economy, with more than US$1.5tn (NZ£1.3tn) in bitcoin transactions in 2018.
Its economy accounts for about 40 per cent of the global total, but the central bank has been clamping down on digital currencies.
Last year, the central government announced it would ban bitcoin trading from 10 of its trading platforms, which included the bitcoin exchanges BTC China and BTC