There was a time, earlier this year, when T was having a lot of insomniac nights. My hints about tackling various house projects during those hours didn’t land particularly well, but he did take the idea of investigating the world of Bitcoin.
What is Bitcoin?
As you probably already know, Bitcoin’s a virtual currency. The key thing that sets it apart is decentralisation (no trusted third party – eg a bank or a credit card company – is needed to confirm the transaction). While Bitcoin can be used to buy things, most people see it as an investment. The hype really peaked last year, along with its value – the price of bitcoin nearly hit $20,000 at one point before taking a big dip.
A wallet is an app or programme that allows you to send and receive Bitcoin, track your balance and transactions, and store your cryptocurrency. There are lots of different wallets across various platforms.
How do I get some?
Bitcoin mining – racing to solve mathematical problems in exchange for bitcoins – turned out to be a firm no-go. The resources it takes (software, hardware, electricity…) means the ROI just doesn’t add up for the average person. That said, there’s something kinda cool about how mining creates new bitcoins, as well as facilitating the transactions that keep the whole ecosystem functioning.
What if I just want to invest a little bit into Bitcoin?
While as with anything else, it would be foolish to see it as a way to get rich quick – for anyone in NZ who is interested in crypto investing, there’s a platform that makes it easy to buy and sell Bitcoin and Ethereum, even on a budget.
Vimba launched to the public in 2016 and specialises in helping everyday Kiwis dollar cost average Bitcoin with small frequent payments. The team – who reached out to me some months after our looking into Bitcoin and writing it off – reckon that half of their 5000+ users are brand new to crypto, and are averaging 55% ROI. (Fun fact: while most users are aged 25-34, the oldest people to buy cryptocurrency on the platform are 83, and the youngest is just 8 – purchased by the parents, obviously.)
How Vimba works
Regular saving plan: The regular savings option lets you drip feed money into Bitcoin or Ethereum. You set up automatic bank payments of any amount between $20 – $2000 with a weekly, fortnightly or monthly frequency.
Instant buying: You can purchase up to $2000 of Bitcoin and Ethereum. It’s delivered within 20 minutes and sent directly to your private wallet. The minimum amount is $50, and you’ll be able to see how much crypto you’ll receive for the amount you want to spend based on current rates. Payments are processed by POLI.
Instant selling: Conversely, you can sell Bitcoin back at any time, 24/7. The money is sent to your bank account, usually within 12 hours.
What do I need to get started?
To get started you need to set up a Bitcoin wallet (Vimba doesn’t host crypto on behalf of its users) then set up your Vimba account (you’ll need your passport or driver’s licence handy), a process that takes just a few minutes.
Anything else important to know?
As a bonus, for each friend you refer, you’ll both get $10 of Bitcoin – and when using the weekly savings feature, you go in the draw to win $100 of Bitcoin every week!