Early investors in the Bitcoin (BTC) have made thousands, even millions of dollars.

If youre not familiar with so-called cryptocurrency, it is essentially electronic money. Think of it as dollars that only exist in cyberspace. It is a purely digital asset designed primarily for transactions just like money. You can buy stuff with BTC, and you can accept it as payment. But like more traditional currencies, you can also buy and sell it as an investment. Its no different than buying euros, or yen, or yuan with dollars. If you buy Bitcoin, you are betting it will increase in value relative to other currencies.

Federal Reserve Notes (IE US Fiat Currency) on the other hand are controlled by a select few wealthy elites and are not even accountable to the US government or taxpayer.

Note:If you already have a Bitcoin account and wallet, you can skip down to the section titled 4 Easy Steps to Buy Gold with Bitcoin. If you dont own Bitcoin, read this section for links to resources that will get you on your way.

Before you can buy gold or silver with BTC, youll need to acquire some of the cryptocurrency. As with most unfamiliar things, the process can seem a bit intimidating, but it really isnt complex. Its basically a 2-step process. has apage that walks you through the steps.

Set up a wallet A Bitcoin wallet is pretty much what it sounds like a place to securely store your cryptocurrency and facilitate transaction. Its really no different than putting dollars in your billfold. You stick your money inside and keep it there until you need to spend it. Then you pull out your dollars, hand them over to somebody else, and they put them in their wallet. A BTC wallet operates on the same concept, except it all happens via computer. When you set up your wallet, you will get a unique digital address and a security key.Bitcoin.orghas a page to help you chose the wallet thats right for you.

Get Bitcoin Once you have a wallet, you can acquire Bitcoin. There are a number of ways to do this. You can accept them as payment for goods and services. You can buy them from another Bitcoin user. You can even mine them. But the easiest way to get Bitcoin is to simply buy them through a reputable Bitcoin exchange site using your bank account. Its really no different than buying euro or yen through an exchange.Bitcoin.orgprovides a lists of exchanges from around the world.

Purchase PreciousMetals-Once you have some bitcoin in your wallet, you are ready to buy gold and silver. Move on to the next section below called4 Easy Steps to Purchase Gold withBitcoin..

Purchasing gold and other precious metals with Bitcoinis even easier than using your bank account. You can very simply convert your BTC into gold and silver in four simple steps. Our precious metals specialists will walk you through the process and answer any questions that may come up.

First call(888) 465-3160to talk with one of our knowledgeable specialists, or you can chat discretely and directly at .

Once you finalize your order, we will generate an invoice priced in Bitcoin through the payment network BitPay. You will receive the invoice via email.

With invoice in hand, you can very quickly and simply pay it in Bitcoin using your wallet.

After the transaction processes, we will ship the metals directly to you, or you can set up a storage account through us.

There are a number of advantages to owning Bitcoin. Most of these revolve around anonymity and security. BTCis built on a decentralized platform known as the blockchain. Because of its nature and its inherent redundancy it is virtually impossible to hack the system or trace transactions, as long as you take steps to protect your personal information. Following are the top five advantages of owning BTC.

Currently, there are no sales taxes levied on the acquisition of Bitcoin. While the IRS does require you to report capital gains on the sale of Bitcoin, you can buy BTC and use it in everyday transactions without incurring tax liability.

A series of random letters and numbers makes up your wallet address. Unless you choose to reveal it, nobody can connect it toyou. This greatly increases privacy. You can transact business discretely usingBitcoin. This limitsthird partyaccess to your personal financial data and decreases the risk of identity theft.

The Bitcoin system is built on redundancy. Because multiple copies of every transaction exist on the blockchain, nobody can get your bitcoins. There is currently no way for governments to seize or freeze your wealth.

Bitcoin has significant upside. BTC and precious metals both offer alternatives to government monopolized fiat currency. They play a similar role as free market, sound money. But as with any financial instrument, there are potential pitfalls. Diversifying your cryptocurrency portfolio with precious metals can help mitigate some of the potential downside and put you on in an overall stronger financial position.

Bitcoin has an amazingtrack record so far. The blockchain hasproven to be a groundbreaking technology,and BTChas tremendous potential for continued growth. But it is still very young. As with any game-changingtechnology, the landscape is constantly shifting. HowBitcoin will evolve over time remains to be seen.Volatility can be both a blessing and a curse for investors. Gold and silver have a multi-millenia long history as a trustedstore of value. People have used precious metalsas money, for most of human history. Records of gold transactions exist dating back to 600 BC. The earliest coin minted from precious metals (an alloy of gold and silver) is more than 2,700 years old.

Many economists believe a massive stock market correction is overdue and the country will likely to slip back into a recession. Gold and silver historically perform extremely well in tough economic times as people flock to precious metals as a financial safety net.

While the federal government hasnt found a way to effectively collect taxes on Bitcoin, politicians in D.C. will eventually figure it out. Precious metals dealers are not required to report purchases of gold and silver, and precious metals areone of the last private and discreet financial investment options remaining.

The online, crowd-sourced nature of Bitcoin has created some instability in the past. Power struggles between key figures in the Bitcoin world have disrupted the market from time to time. While things currently appear stable, there is still potential for problems. Because gold and silver are tangible, physical assets, diversifying your portfolio with precious metals can add an element of proven stability.

Portfolio Diversification- The meteoric rise in the price of Bitcoin might tempt you to invest everything you have into the cryptocurrency. But no competent financial adviser or brokerage firm would ever recommend putting all of your wealth into a single investment. You wouldnt put all of your money into a single stock. You wouldnt put all of your wealth into a single bond, and you shouldnt put all of your wealth into a cryptocurrency.

Bitcoin may well continue to increase in value relative to the dollar, but it is still wise to diversify. As with any asset, there are uncertainties in the Bitcoin market, including potential forks and the proliferation of new cryptocurrencies competing for market share.Silver and gold bullion are the perfect physical commodities to compliment your Bitcoin portfolio.

Like precious metals, Bitcoin has its foes. In some cases they are the same people. Many of the foes are just naysayers who dont see the investment value in cryptocurrencies or precious metals. But some generally government agencies and central bankers want to limit the use of precious metals and Bitcoin because they threaten their power.

The IRS wants to crack the anonymity of digital currency in order to collect taxes on transactions.

In November 2016, the IRSfiled a petitionin the District Court for the Northern District of California asking for authorization toserve a summons to Coinbasein order to gain access to user information.

The John Doe summons relates to the investigation of an ascertainable group or class of persons, that is, United States taxpayers who, at any time during the years ended December 31, 2013, through December 31, 2015, conducted transactions in a convertible virtual currency as defined in IRS Notice 2014-21.

In December, San Francisco attorney Jeffery Berns filed asked a court to quash a subpoena demanding the release of the information. He says he held Bitcoin at Coinbase but never sold it. A few months later, his firm had to drop the suit when the IRS said it wouldnt target him, but he vowed to continue the fight. (Fortune:

We will, however, continue our efforts to protect the rights of Coinbase customers regarding this patently overbroad summons. Thus, we plan to file a motion to intervene in the enforcement proceeding on behalf of other Coinbase customers who have contacted us and expressed their interest in fighting the summons, saidthe firmin a statement.

Government law enforcement agencies want to pierce the veil of Bitcoin anonymity for a different reason to keep you safe.

Governments around the world have been waging a war on cash in the name of keeping it out of the hands of criminals. While this is superficially plausible, its really about control over the financial system.

By controlling access to your own money, banks and governments increase their control over you. They can collect maximum taxes and fees, they can track purchases, and they can even manipulate your spending habits by imposing negative interest rates that effectively charge you for saving.

From WSJ: Eliminating high-value currency would increase the cost and difficulty of hoarding cash.

Now were beginning to see the same arguments against Bitcoin as weve seen against cash. Bloomberg asked the question:Are Bitcoins the Criminals Best Friend?

But when federal law enforcement closed the Silk Road, the wildly popular online illegal-drug emporium that used Bitcoin as a medium of exchange, politicians and policy makers took notice. Criminals, it turns out, really like bitcoins, which can be exchanged for nefarious purposes on the Dark Web, with complete anonymity and, it seems, impunity.

Government has already waged a very real war on gold. On April 5, 1933, Franklin D. Roosevelts Executive Order 6102 which [forbade] the Hoarding of gold coin, gold bullion, and gold certificates within the continental United States. Americans who owned gold were told to deliver their gold to the bank and in exchange receive paper dollars of equivalent value, $20.67 per ounce at the time.

There will be alternatives to the dollar, and this might be one of them, said former U.S. congressman Ron Paul. If people start using bitcoins en masse, itll go down in history as the destroyer of the dollar, Paul added.

Former US House Representative (TX), author and physician

Marc Faber is a Swiss investor, publisher of the Gloom Boom & Doom Report newsletter and is the director of Marc Faber Ltd, which acts as an investment advisor and fund manager

Dr. Doom said in an interview on Squakonomics that given the choice between gold and Bitcoin, he would chose gold. But he said he recognizes the value of Bitcoin as an exchange currency.

I think bitcoins, or something similar, have a lot of merits because in theory, you could purchase a Bitcoin here in Thailand, and then you travel to the US, or to Britain, and with that Bitcoin, you can buy goods. I am not sure in the future whether it will be possible to carry gold from A to B, or even transfer money from A to B. Im not sure.

But gold and Bitcoin are two very different kinds of currencies, in the sense that gold will always have some value. Bitcoin will have value as long as there are exchanges.

At various times in history, feathers have been money, shells have been money, dollars and euros are money, Bitcoin is money, gold is money, and silver is money. There are many different kinds of money.

But he still prefers precious metals because they are tangible and not dependent on any network or system.

Bitcoin is digital. If the power grid goes down, your bitcoins are worthless. Im not anti-Bitcoin but physical gold does not have the disabilities of Bitcoin and digital currencies like the [U.S.] dollar.

American lawyer, regular commentator on finance, and a New York Times bestseller

Chairman of SchiffGold, CEO &Chief Global Strategist of Euro Pacific Capital

If you thought QE 1,2, and 3 were bad, wait until you get a load of QE 4. Were going to have to print a lot more money under President Trump than we printed under President Obama. And were still heading for a currency crisis. Were still heading for a sovereign debt crisis. All of the problems that you believed existed and that caused you to buy gold while Obama was president all of those problems are bigger now that Donald Trump is president Look, you can hope for the best. Maybe Im wrong. But you better plan for the worst, and you better buy some gold.

At the end of the day, there is no substitute to having something physical in ones possession. With physical gold, there is no 3rd party between yourself and your investment. Some say if you dont hold it, you dont own it.

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