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Bitcoin could help to obtain financial services, making them more accessible



The price of Bitcoin (BTC) has recently shot up after months of stability. In April and May, trading prices came in between the narrow range of $9,000 and $10,000, with realized volatility falling to its lowest in three years by mid-July. 

The speculation behind the price move has come amid economic uncertainty brought about by the COVID-19 outbreak, coinciding with record low-interest rates and an increasingly volatile stock market. The question is: Will the recent rebound in the cryptocurrency reflect the start of a price spike, which was last seen in 2017?

The recent Bitcoin surge has actually coincided with that of gold. This reinforces the point of view of some analysts who have long since suggested that investors should treat both Bitcoin and gold as safe-haven assets during unprecedented market disruption and volatility.

Related: Where, oh where has Bitcoin volatility gone? Part 1

Nigel Green, the founder and CEO of deVere Group — an independent financial advisory organization — mentioned last month that “investors are flocking to safe-haven assets, in particular those not tied to any specific country such as Bitcoin and gold.” He added:

“Bitcoin is currently realising its reputation as a form of digital gold. Up until now, gold has been known as the ultimate safe-haven asset, but bitcoin — which shares its key characteristics of being a store of value and scarcity — could potentially knock gold from its long-held position in the future as the world becomes ever-more tech-driven.”

Related: Where, oh where has Bitcoin volatility gone? Part 2

Democratizing access to safe-haven investments

While the principle of investing in some of these potential safe-haven assets — Bitcoin, gold or even the property market — is well and good, how can everyday household investors begin to capitalize on this trend?

Fortunately, new technology platforms and apps have appeared and gained in popularity over the past few years, providing the opportunity for both fledgling and experienced participants to invest in assets that are not always easily accessible or easy to understand.

Some well-known examples of such platforms include:

Robinhood: Perhaps the most well-known out of all the new investor apps, Robinhood allows users to invest in thousands of stocks with as little as $1, using a “fractional shares” method. Investors can customize portfolios with pieces of different companies and funds to help reduce risk, and trades placed during market hours are executed in real time, meaning full transparency on share prices.

Ziglu: This challenger platform makes it easy for interested investors to dip their toe into Bitcoin. With no hidden fees, using Ziglu is a fast and simple way to buy and sell crypto, with cryptocurrency assets up to 50,000 British pounds insured against cyberattacks.

Goldex: The trading technology at Goldex helps you find the best available deals from the world’s first gold marketplace in an easy-to-use app. Market prices can be checked in real time, as well as every aspect of your order including execution price and commission, so you know exactly what you get.

LendInvest: Calling itself the United Kingdom’s leading platform for property finance, LendInvest offers short-term, development and buy-to-let mortgages to intermediaries, landlords and developers across the U.K. by using technology to create a better loan experience.

In addition to these popular digital-access solutions, there are also technology platforms that let people invest in even more exotic alternative assets, such as luxury handbags and racehorses.

These companies and many more all have the common function of lowering the barriers to entry for the ultimate benefit of the everyday investor. In the case of Bitcoin, for example, our ambition is for people to eventually use cryptocurrencies just like they would with any other fiat currency.

I think all currencies, traditional and digital, should be integrated into the financial services sector. Let’s face it, accessing any currency through a bank has never been easy. We think all currencies including digital should be treated equally and be equally accessible.

Whatever your passion — whether you have a gut feeling of the next big win, or a simple preference to access so-called safe havens during these uncertain times — modern technologies such as crypto and blockchain provide you with all the needed instruments for investments that have only become possible in recent years.

This article does not contain investment advice or recommendations. Every investment and trading move involves risk, readers should conduct their own research when making a decision.

The views, thoughts and opinions expressed here are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.

Mark Hipperson is the founder and CEO of Ziglu — a cryptocurrency trading platform. Previously, he co-founded Starling Bank where he was responsible for helping to secure a U.K. banking license with regulators and obtaining $70 million in initial funding. He was also responsible for the design, build, implementation and support of the bank’s IT services platform, apps and infrastructure. Mark started his career at Barclays where he was the deputy chief technology officer and head of technology for the Barclays Group.

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