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Is it time to buy Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple and other cryptocurrencies?

Some people may be wondering whether it’s time to get back into cryptocurrencies at the moment.

Readers who have been following cryptocurrencies may have seen that Bitcoin has recovered some of its losses:

Bitcoin (BTC) has gone up by almost 40% to US$8,127 over the past month.

Ethereum (ETH) has gone down by close to 5% to US$452 in the same timeframe.

Ripple (XRP) is roughly the same price at US$0.44.

Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is up by about 6% to US$803.41.

It seems that anything with ‘Bitcoin’ in its names has done well whilst the other major cryptocurrencies haven’t done so well. However, they are all well below their all-time highs.

The problem for me is that none of these cryptocurrencies make its holders any ongoing money. It’s not like a property generating rent or a business making profits.

The only way to make money is to sell it for more money than you bought it for. You’d need a crystal ball to know when Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency is going to be higher than it was before.

Cryptocurrency hype has long since faded since the all-time highs in December 2017. The amount of new money entering the system just pushed the price higher and higher. And now there are far less buyers. The greater fool theory is as applicable here as it is to anything.

There is a very good chance that one cryptocurrency will stand above all others in 10 years time. Perhaps that will be Bitcoin because of its global awareness and overall current value. Perhaps it will be one of the new cryptocurrencies that are technologically superior and have fixed some of the issues with Bitcoin.

A dark horse bet to be the leading internet currency could be something offered by Facebook which is rumoured to be working on creating a cryptocurrency-like form of money.

Personally, I’d much rather stick to exciting tech shares like Altium Limited (ASX: ALU) and Appen Ltd (ASX: APX) for growth.

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Motley Fool contributor Tristan Harrison owns shares of Altium. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of Altium and Appen Ltd. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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