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If you've bought bitcoin and have seen lows of about R49 000 and highs of R176 000 in 2019, you might be wondering what to do next. Should you sell? Should you buy?

Marius Reitz, Luno’s general manager for Africa, says it’s difficult to tell someone whether to buy, sell or hang on to a cryptocurrency. People invest for different reasons. Are you buying and holding because you believe bitcoin is going to be part of a new financial system? Or are you buying and selling (like trading shares) to make a quick profit? Do you want to buy more now because the price is lower than it was a month ago?

Whatever your reason, bitcoin’s price progression over time has steadily increased and is characterised by booms (when the price goes up a lot) and busts (where the price falls a lot).

Over time, the price has increased but, ultimately, it’s your choice whether and when to buy, sell or hold.

One of the ways around bitcoin price swings is to commit to investing a set amount of money each month on a certain day, just like a debit order. By doing so, you will benefit from bitcoin price averaging and reduce the effects of market movements. This means that some months you'll pay more and some months you'll pay less, but over time it will average out and you won't be worrying as much about the perfect time to buy or sell.

Cryptocurrency adoption may be growing, but it's important to bear in mind that we are at the very beginning of moving to a new financial system. The price volatility of bitcoin is proof that it is still early days. It's important to take a long term view of the market, and we believe this means a major transition in the way the world thinks about and uses money in the next 5 to 10 years. Luno