Over the last 14 years, investors have been attracted to Bitcoin (BTC) for many reasons — from being a potential solution to the economic woes of the existing fiat economic system to reaching the unbanked and diversifying portfolios. However, a large portion of the general public sees Bitcoin as a gateway to financial freedom amid growing fiat inflation and geopolitical uncertainties.
Traditional banking systems have, time and again, served as a tool for centralized governments to dictate financial access, especially during emergencies. Most recently, the Ukraine-Russian war served as a case study for how cryptocurrencies helped the displaced and the unbanked access funds for basic necessities.
As intended by the creator Satoshi Nakamoto, Bitcoin seeks to bring power back to the people. No amount of regulations, sanctions or bans can stop people from using Bitcoin as money. Beyond that, a calculated investment in Bitcoin has the potential to bring people closer to attaining their dream of financial freedom. But how can people achieve that?
The massive volatility of cryptocurrencies coupled with the restlessness of an investor is a recipe for an instant loss. Many fail to understand that Bitcoin — unlike other cryptocurrencies — is a long-term investment. Hence, Bitcoin veterans recommend holding the asset during bull markets and buying the dips during bear markets.
According to data from UpMyInterest, setting aside a few off-years, Bitcoin holders witnessed a mean annual return of 93.8%, which in its best-performing year, spiked to 302.8%.
As simple as it sounds, hodling (crypto lingo for holding assets) has proved difficult for investors. Some factors that trigger abrupt Bitcoin selling include the spreading of FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt) and price movements.
While it makes sense in the short-term to earn profits off Bitcoin’s volatility, zooming out the price chart reveals a long-term greater incentive in holding. Moreover, investors owning Bitcoin will always have the option to utilize this spending across geographical boundaries without losing value.
Considering Bitcoin as a viable long-term investment option, many investors tend to implement the dollar-cost averaging (DCA) strategy. This involves setting aside a predetermined dollar amount from a regular income to be reinvested in Bitcoin every day, week or month.
While El Salvador was initially criticized for adopting Bitcoin as a legal tender amid crippling inflation, the country could repurpose the resultant unrealized gains to fund social projects, such as building hospitals and schools.
With the Bitcoin bull run running out by 2022, Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele followed a strategy similar to DCA, wherein the country would purchase 1 BTC every day.
We are buying one #Bitcoin every day starting tomorrow.
— Nayib Bukele (@nayibbukele) November 17, 2022
When Bukele announced his plan for buying Bitcoin, it was priced roughly at $16,600, as shown by data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and TradingView.
Since then, BTC’s price has surged 40.46%, providing much-needed relief to Salvadorans. Investors looking for financial freedom must pursue a similar strategy while reacting to market changes and public sentiment.
When it comes to the long-term holding of Bitcoin, the key is not to trust any other third-party entity with the assets’ private keys. Investors who store Bitcoin on crypto exchanges unknowingly give away complete control of their assets.
Ever since the FTX fraud came to light, the case of self-custody grew stronger. Investors that suffered losses owing to the alleged misappropriation of funds realized the importance of self-custody. Maintaining ownership of the private key — via self-custodial wallets — becomes paramount for those that seek financial freedom in its truest sense.
Will be sending an email every week strongly advising our people to never keep savings on any exchange, including @paxful This is the way ! Self custody your savings ALWAYS! pic.twitter.com/DI95Gaa5Y6
— Ray Youssef (@raypaxful) December 11, 2022
The FTX fallout also forced crypto exchanges to prove the existence and safety of users’ funds in order to avoid a low liquidity situation.
Binance Releases Proof of Reserves System | Binance Support https://t.co/pdA2OdvAKG
— CZ Binance (@cz_binance) November 25, 2022
Although hardware alternatives for crypto self-custody require an upfront investment, it is up to the users to choose an ideal method of storing the private keys, even if it means writing the private keys on a piece of paper.
The three practices mentioned above — hodl, DCA and self-custody — form the main pillars of financial freedom. However, users are not limited from trying other strategies that suit their needs.
Achieving financial freedom with Bitcoin is possible. Given the nascency of the crypto ecosystem, investors are advised to focus on the long-term benefits of Bitcoin while reaping short-term gains in the process.