Bitcoin's value is skyrocketing -- here's how to figure out if you should sell

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  • It’s a tough choice to decide whether to sell some of your bitcoin or keep all of it invested.
  • Some experts recommend selling between 20% and 50% if you are risk-averse or have pressing financial needs.
  • It also makes sense to sell some of your bitcoin if you don’t want to wait years for a potentially massive payoff.

If you had invested $US100 in bitcoin seven years ago, it would be worth around $US28 million today.

Even if you had hopped on the train three years ago, a $US100 investment in 2014 would be worth $US5,000 today.

Of course, those lucky early investors can’t just spend those earnings right away – they’d have to sell their digital currency first. That’s created an agonizing dilemma for people with thousands of dollars in their virtual wallets: Should they cash in on some of their investment now, or leave it untouched, potentially earning them even more money, but risking a crash that could leave them empty-handed?

Some cryptocurrency experts recommend cashing in a portion of your bitcoin now, especially if you’re risk-averse or have pressing financial needs.

“If someone’s looking to pay the bills, it may be logical to take out, say, a month’s worth of necessities,” Josiah Hernandez, chief strategy officer of the bitcoin ATM network Coinsource, told Business Insider. Someone who needs the money shouldn’t feel bad about selling 30% to 50% of their bitcoin, he said, although they should still keep at least half invested. That way, they won’t be filled with regret years down the line should bitcoin’s value continue to surge.

Likewise, Linas Rajackas of the investment services company Kaiser Exchange said it’s not a bad idea to sell enough of your bitcoin to make back what you originally put in.

“If you have low risk tolerance, and your bitcoin exposure becomes significant, you might consider selling a part to get back your initial investment and keep the remaining amount of bitcoin without any risk,” Rajackas told Business Insider.

However, if you don’t have your eye on a new house, car, or other major investment, you should stay put, they both said. After all, bitcoin hit a high of over $US17,300 this week, and is up more than 1,500% from last year, and the upside is well worth the wait, they say.

Still, there are plenty of risk-taking investors who aren’t touching the cryptocurrency. JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon called the currency “a fraud” that will “end when people lose a lot of money,” for example. Meanwhile, Bridgewater Associates founder Ray Dalio called bitcoin “a bubble” that is destined to pop.

But for the loyal investors who have stayed with bitcoin for years, the potential for huge earnings is too high to pass up.

“I would never advise anyone to sell all of their bitcoin,” Aaron Lasher, cofounder of the digital asset company Bread, told Business Insider. However, he said selling 20% to 30% is a reasonable strategy for those who don’t want to wait years for a potential windfall.

“My target price for bitcoin is really really high – I’m thinking $US250,000 a coin within five years. But I’m willing to wait 10, so my time horizon is huge, Lasher said.

“The real magic is that it is up to the individual. It is their money and they get to do with it whatever they want.”

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