“the investment objective of the Trust is for the Shares to reflect the performance of the price of bitcoin, less the expenses of the Trust’s operations. The Trust intends to achieve this objective by investing substantially all of its assets in bitcoin traded primarily in the over-the-counter (“OTC”) markets, though the Trust may also invest in bitcoin traded on domestic and international bitcoin exchanges, depending on liquidity and otherwise at the Trust’s discretion.”

Please note that virtual currency is a digital representation of value that functions as a medium of exchange, a unit of account, or a store of value, but it does not have legal tender status. Virtual currencies are sometimes exchanged for U.S. dollars or other currencies around the world, but they are not currently backed nor supported by any government or central bank. Their value is completely derived by market forces of supply and demand, and they are more volatile than traditional fiat currencies. Profits and losses related to this volatility are amplified in margined futures contracts.
Design issues. Despite Bitcoin's massive rise in popularity over the past several years, it is not immune to design problems. For example, starting late last year Bitcoin transaction speeds became very slow because of a scaling problem related to the way the Bitcoin blockchain works. (You can read the details here.) That issue did not end up creating the existential crisis for Bitcoin that some analysts predicted, and the problem has now more or less been solved via something called SegWit. Still, the Bitcoin scaling issue was a reminder that a new type of serious problem may creep up in the future that undoes Bitcoin.
Second: Investment in cryptocurrency isn’t something to be taken lightly. It’s extremely risky, extremely speculative, and extremely early stage still at this point in time. Countless speculators and day traders have lost their entire fortunes trading cryptocurrency. I was no different when I first started investing in crypto. The first $5000 I put into crypto fell almost immediately to less than $500 — a net loss of over 90%.
This ‘intangible’ worth that we ascribe to currency, which accounts for the vast majority of the value of all currencies, not just bitcoin, is ultimately what makes money work. Yuval Noah Harari captures this fact very well in Sapiens, where he lays out the case that the value of a given form of money is essentially an indication of trust in that form of money. It is our shared collective trust and belief in a currency that gives it value, not its intrinsic tangible utility or anything else.
I’m not saying that HODLing won’t make you great returns in the long run – in fact, I firmly believe it will. However, by taking profits when an asset’s price is high and buying again when it’s low, your HODL position only becomes worth more and more. That being said (and assuming you bought in absolutely convinced of the long-term perspective of your holdings), never sell all your holdings when taking profits.
I strongly disagree with what Robert & Brian posted. I have been following the crypto / blockchain space for 4 years and investing in it for nearly 3 years. I am seeing enormous amounts of financial & human capital, investor interest and passion flood this industry. Unless you are seeing the amount of work going on behind the scenes, it is easy to dismiss this stuff as frivolous or even "rat poison". However, Jamie Dimon just said that technology is the #1 threat to JP Morgan. The technology he is thinking about is blockchain / crypto. To borrow a quote from twitter, crypto is rat poison and the banks are the rats. Ignore this space at your own peril.
Great to get an update on this new asset class. I think any of us who ignore or dismiss cryptos are potentially missing a huge opportunity. As Dan says the risk reward is assymetric so why would anybody with a pragmatic attitude to investment not have at least a minimal exposure? Unfortunately too many people are happy to buy the negative propoganda of yesterday's winners like Jamie Dimon and Charlie Munger for whom the answer to the question of will bitcoin go to zero or a million will never matter! For most of the rest of us, we want to listen to the pros and cons of the narrative. Thanks RVTV for giving this important new asset class airtime. I would welcome more informative videos like this on cryptos.
Visa processes on average 1,700 transactions per second with the capability of up to 24,000 per second. In comparison, Bitcoin (BTC) capacity is 7 transactions per second. It appears Bitcoin is not scalable. Maybe Eos (EOS) with a capability of 50,000 transactions per second is more long term viable. Possible EOS and RIPPLE are worthy of small bets with potential of 1000X return on original investment due to scalability.
Recommendations and Information found on Cryptopotato are those of writers quoted. It does not represent the opinions of Cryptopotato on whether to buy, sell or hold any investments. Investors should be cautious about any recommendations given. All investors are advised to conduct their own independent research into individual coins before making a purchase decision. Use information at your own risk.
Just because there is this element of luck, however, does not mean that you necessarily shouldn’t play the odds, if you so believe with very good reason that those odds are in your favor. What you do have to make sure of, however, is that you have such good reason to believe that those odds are in your favor, and that you don’t put up more than you can afford to lose, given the odds. The key takeaway and lesson to be learned, again, is to invest, both in speculations and in ‘safer’ investments, based on firm knowledge of the underlying asset and intrinsic analysis, to the extent possible, and never merely based on price movements.

If you can figure it out, use MACD (the divergence and convergence of moving averages) to help you understand if we are in a bull or bear market, and to help you understand why the price just dipped or shot up. Other indicators are very useful, but MACD is particularly useful for the tactic being discussed because it gives you a quick visual of the current trend.
Some futures brokers can have bigger margin requirements, and some require high minimums to open an account, like $25,000 at TD Ameritrade. The futures exchange guarantees traders will get what they are owed but can demand more cash be put into the account if the bet is losing money. That's a serious risk when speculating on a volatile asset like bitcoin, LaPointe says.

Since there is a prevailing thought that the most valuable aspect of bitcoin is the blockchain technology behind it, investing in blockchain is another way of tangentially investing in bitcoin without the worrisome volatility. There are many large companies that have been developing their own blockchain networks for a variety of purposes that may be worth looking into.

Steindorff: Investment assessments for established and emerging projects are conducted to ensure each project’s team and underlying technology fit within the guidelines of our general thesis and pass our initial set of criteria to weed out superficial, low growth and fraudulent offerings. Upon approval, our researchers collect, review and analyze all relative qualitative and quantitative data pertaining to the project’s team, thesis, code, security, vision, momentum, partners, roadmap, operations, structure, geographics, cryptography, incentive design, applications, utility, compliance, industry specifics, token mechanics, economics, competition and growth potential. You have to remember there is no P&L, there is no way to calculate a present value of future cash flows for a protocol. Since many of these projects are essentially developer tools at this point we think some of the strongest signals come from tracking engagement and involvement on Github and the strength and passion of the developer community around a project.


Investing in cryptocurrencies and Initial Coin Offerings ("ICOs") is highly risky and speculative, and this article is not a recommendation by Investopedia or the writer to invest in cryptocurrencies or ICOs. Since each individual's situation is unique, a qualified professional should always be consulted before making any financial decisions. Investopedia makes no representations or warranties as to the accuracy or timeliness of the information contained herein. As of the date this article was written, the author owns no cryptocurrencies.
Consensus Method – One of the main differences between cryptocurrencies is their verification method, and the oldest and most common method is called Proof of Work (POW). A computer has to spend time and energy solving a difficult math problem to gain the right to verify a transaction. But the problem with this method is that it needs a huge amount of energy to operate. On the other hand, Proof-of-Stake (POS) systems try to solve this issue by letting the users with the largest share of the currency verify the transactions. These systems claim faster transaction speeds and require less processing power to operate. However, concern over security means that few coins use an entirely proof-of-stake-based system.
However, as I’ve mentioned before, this is far more difficult, if not impossible, to do with cryptocurrency, more than even normal investment vehicles like stocks. I’ve seen people who think that bitcoin has hit a peak and must necessarily stop going up sell, intending to wait until bitcoin falls again to buy in again and make maybe a 20% extra profit, miss out entirely because bitcoin kept going up and never came back down. There are numerous stories of those who bought into bitcoin at $1 or less, but sold well before it ever reached even $10, much less $2500.

Futures contracts are used to manage potential movements in the prices of the underlying assets. If market participants anticipate an increase in the price of an underlying asset in the future, they could potentially gain by purchasing the asset in a futures contract and selling it later at a higher price on the spot market or profiting from the favorable price difference through cash settlement. However, they could also lose if an asset's price is eventually lower than the purchase price specified in the futures contract. Conversely, if the price of an underlying asset is expected to fall, some may sell the asset in a futures contract and buy it back later at a lower price on the spot.
Returning to the question of calculating potential investment upside here, there are countless other ways to make projections on the future potential value of bitcoin, and I encourage you to try to make some depending on your personal beliefs regarding the level of success bitcoin might have, and the ultimate utility it might provide to the world. For instance, if you see bitcoin primarily as a way to simplify making international transactions and cut out inefficiencies there, you might look to see what the overall market size is for a solution that might solve that problem and capture that market. Western Union, as one example, is a company with a market cap of $9 billion. Consequently, it might be reasonable to expect that bitcoin’s true ultimate value would be something roughly in that order of magnitude, if this were to be bitcoin’s one true long term use case.
NEW YORK, Aug. 2, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Grayscale Investments, LLC, the sponsor (the "Sponsor") of the Bitcoin Investment Trust (the "Trust") (OTCQX:GBTC), announced that a fork in the Bitcoin blockchain occurred yesterday, August 1, 2017. The Sponsor is monitoring events relating to the fork and the Bitcoin Cash resulting from the fork. A record date has not been established for the purposes of any distribution that may be made in connection with Bitcoin Cash. The Sponsor will announce a record date, if any, once established.
To the other point, gold’s coveted status in jewelry is merely a derivative property of its perceived value, which leads to its designation as a status symbol. Without that underlying perceived value, it would command far less value in jewelry. Consequently, the question still remains about the gap between the industrial and medical value of gold and the actual value of gold as determined by the market. Where does the value in that gap come from?
There are many groups on Facebook where you can find likeminded folks who will happily talk crypto all day but the problem is that 99% of these groups are filled with people who have only a very basic understanding of cryptocurrency and the knowledge available here is not particularly strong. I have recently left almost every single group on Facebook as, in my opinion, they are largely filled with FUD.
A cryptocurrency is a digital currency that is created and managed through the use of advanced encryption techniques known as cryptography. Cryptocurrency made the leap from being an academic concept to (virtual) reality with the creation of Bitcoin in 2009. While Bitcoin attracted a growing following in subsequent years, it captured significant investor and media attention in April 2013 when it peaked at a record $266 per bitcoin after surging 10-fold in the preceding two months. Bitcoin sported a market value of over $2 billion at its peak, but a 50% plunge shortly thereafter sparked a raging debate about the future of cryptocurrencies in general and Bitcoin in particular. So, will these alternative currencies eventually supplant conventional currencies and become as ubiquitous as dollars and euros someday? Or are cryptocurrencies a passing fad that will flame out before long? The answer lies with Bitcoin.
Cryptocurrency price movements can be massive. In a day you need to be comfortable with the idea of our investments going up and down 50%. Somehow making a loss feels 10 times worse than making the same gain feels good. This is why only investing what you can afford to lose is so important. If you are over invested in crypto, you will be more emotionally susceptible to buying at the highs and selling at the lows.
This can all be a little confusing and James Altucher gives a great overview in his ebook Cryptocurrencies 101. The way I see it is that each cryptocurrency can be viewed as a public company. You would do your due diligence to figure out a companies potential for growth long term before investing in its stocks and James argues that the same diligence must be applied when investing in crypto. The main question to be asked here is:

First one piece of good news: You can buy fractions up to the eighth decimal place of bitcoin. That means you don’t need to plunk down the nearly $17,000 you often see quoted as the price for a full bitcoin — which is probably for the best, as we noted above. As of Thursday afternoon, that one ten-thousandth — four decimal places or 0.0001 — of a bitcoin is worth about $1.65.

As for investing an initial lump sum to begin getting exposure in this space, my personal strategy would be to do a semi-timed dollar cost average, if one is particularly concerned that they might be investing just before a local minimum market crash, but also particularly concerned that the price may keep rapidly appreciating ad infinitum, and would like to get in before that happens. That is, I’d decide the total lump sum I’d be willing to set aside to invest here, say, $10,000, and invest 33% or 50% of it immediately. Then, if the market did crash, I’d be psychologically very happy, and be super excited to invest another 33% or 50%. On the flip side, if the market continued to rise indefinitely and never fell again, I’d also be happy that at least I was able to get exposure to the market and didn’t miss out entirely. A 33–33–33 split would allow me to invest 3 times when I felt the market was at a particularly good time for investment, and a 50–50 split twice. Just random arbitrary examples of divisions I might do here, depending on how exactly wary I feel about the market at the present moment in time.

Beyond that, for most people, the best (i.e. simplest) way to invest in bitcoin starts with setting up a cryptocurrency wallet. Some of the better-known sites where you can do this are Coinbase, Bitstamp and Bitfinex, although there are a number of other platforms out there, as well. Once you establish an account, connect it to your payment source — a bank account or a credit or debit card — via two-factor authentication. Of note: It’s important to use a tool like Google Authenticator rather than just relying on text-based authentication, which can be more vulnerable to cybertheft, when investing in bitcoin.
Sia is the very first decentralized storage platform that’s based on and secured by the blockchain technology. Through the blockchain tech, Sia can provide much reliable data storage options that do not have a single point of failure, can offer more storage space – at much lower costs than traditional cloud storage providers. Besides the obvious, investors are readily jumping on the Sia-train for one more reason: Privacy. Unlike cloud-storage provides, Sia’s tech gives you all the keys to your own (encrypted) data, and mandates that no third party will control nor access your files.
Bitcoin fundamentally changes this equation. Unlike even gold, bitcoin is nigh impossible, when stored correctly, for anyone to confiscate without consent. The addresses at which bitcoin values are stored are protected by ‘private keys’, which can be thought of as a password or a key to a lockbox. Without this private key, it is generally impossible to steal the bitcoins held at the public address to which the private key corresponds. So long as you keep this private key secure, your bitcoins are secure.
"Virtual currencies might just give existing currencies and monetary policy a run for their money," International Monetary Fund director Christine Lagarde predicted last fall. "Citizens may one day prefer virtual currencies, since they potentially offer the same cost and convenience as cash — no settlement risks, no clearing delays, no central registration, no intermediary to check accounts and identities," she said.
This is only the beginning. You don’t expect a horse to become a world champion racer straight from the womb. It takes time, training, and a fair bit of luck. The same is true of bitcoin and blockchain technology. But just because a horse may not be a world champion just quite yet, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t bet on that horse in the long run. If you see potential in that horse, and are willing to wait it out for the long run, go ahead, bet on that horse. One day, it might just take over the world, and if it does, you might just win big.
There are already a number of proposed solutions to this issue, such as the implementation of the Lightning Network, but in order to implement these solutions, the majority of bitcoin miners must agree to update their bitcoin software. Many bitcoin miners are reluctant to do so, in large part because high transaction fees are good for miners, at least on a short term basis, as it means they earn far more per each block mined. The implementation of the Lightning Network and other solutions threatens to take away this extra revenue stream. Hence, users of bitcoin and miners of bitcoin find themselves at odds with a very understandable conflict of interest. It’s unclear as of yet how this will be resolved, though it seems the community is pushing forward towards a resolution, and I’m of the personal belief that they’ll get there eventually.
While we invest at every stage, we believe the best returns lie at the earliest stage, where deal flow is critical. To be successful at an early stage we believe a fund needs to be able to add value to those teams via feedback on their protocol design, access to a broader pool of investors, and help attracting partnerships and engineers. We believe our disciplined long-term investment approach combined with our attractiveness to early protocol development teams will be a part of our unfair advantage.
A bitcoin is a virtual currency first introduced in the year 2008 by an anonymous group called Satoshi Nakamoto. It’s an open source peer-to-peer cryptographical system (direct connections without an intermediary) where transactions happen through a public ledger called blockchain, handling users’ data anonymously. Eight years since its introduction, bitcoin is today the most widely used and accepted digital currency.
Just like any other currency, you have to have a place to store your Bitcoin, or more accurately, store the private keys you can use to access your Bitcoin. These aren’t the type of wallets you buy at Target, though. The software comes in many different forms, most of which can be downloaded on your smartphone, tablet, or computer desktop. Here are the different types of wallets:
I know for a fact that I’m certainly not remotely smart or knowledgeable enough to pull off this kind of short term investment that aims to profit from market sentiment alone, especially not in the turbulent, mercurial waters of cryptocurrency, and that’s all I can say about this here. On top of this, the existence of black swan events that can crater an entire market unpredictably short term introduces a variable that inherently is just about impossible to predict, and makes short term bets like this even more dangerous.
It can do this by making the problem more or less difficult, by requiring more or less zeros at the beginning of the output that solves the problem. The more zeros that are required at the beginning of the output, the more exponentially difficult the problem becomes to solve. To understand this why this is, click here for a reasonably good explanation.
In the year 2018, we’ll see these aspects and more flourish. Imagine all of the industries in the world and imagine if each industry had a cryptocurrency backing it. Bitcoin is a very generic coin used in anonymous wealth transfer. We’ll see fewer of these generic coins come to exist; we’ll start to see very creative and ingenious applications of specific technology in very specific industries.
 Historical statistical data of a growing economy has proven that it works: Looking at the S&P 500 over a 5-year period, it has achieved a return of around 60%. The same can be said for the FTSE 100, which achieved a return of 25% over the same time period. Markets generally tend to trend upwards over a period of time, so with this in mind, long-term investing does have its merits. This can be said not only about the last 5 years, but for almost every 5 years throughout the history of the new economy.
That’s the case as I see it for bitcoin. In the case of most altcoins, however, I don’t see remotely enough to even begin to justify the possibility of long term gain in the first place. Even with speculations, or perhaps especially with speculations, it’s incredibly important to thoroughly analyze a given investment opportunity for at least the potential for long term gain and success, and assess the magnitude of that possible gain, and then to weigh that potential versus the likelihood of outright failure of the speculation. With most altcoins, their value over bitcoin or ethereum is far from clear, and generally superficial or minor at best.
Bitcoin Investment Trust is an entity that was established to give investors a way to get exposure to the bitcoin market without actually buying their own bitcoin. The trust itself owns a substantial amount of the cryptocurrency -- roughly 200,000 bitcoin currently. Each share of the trust works out to just under 0.001 bitcoin, meaning an equivalent net asset value of roughly $6.50 with bitcoin prices near $6,500 per token.

“The insurance will cover loss of bitcoin by, among other things, theft, destruction, bitcoin in transit, computer fraud and other loss of the private keys that are necessary to access the bitcoin held by the Trust… The insurance policy will carry initial limits of $25 million in primary coverage and $100 million in excess coverage, with the ability to increase coverage depending on the value of the bitcoin held by the Trust.”
For instance, if you wanted to send $100,000 of ethereum somewhere, you’d need to buy all that ethereum and withdraw over the course of 10 days (assuming you withdrew perfectly each day every 24 hours — realistically more like 11–14 days) back to Coinbase or your personal ethereum wallet before you could then send that ethereum on to somewhere else all at one time, like you would need to do in a token sale.
If people have trusted gold to date as a store of value because of its inherent scarcity and resistance to centralized control and price/supply manipulation, bitcoin does all that and more, and does it all better. Gold’s scarcity, as illustrated above, is anything but constant, and we’ve more than doubled our world’s supply of gold in just the last 50 years. Bitcoin, on the other hand, has a precisely and publicly known proliferation schedule, and will approach the limit of its supply in just a few more decades.
Again, while this all seems incredibly far-fetched today for most people (but not all, as the present day European migrant crisis has made abundantly clear), it happens much more often than one might expect. A little remembered fact is that the United States itself once outlawed the possession of gold, back in 1933 with Executive Order 6102, and forced all its citizens to relinquish all gold to the United States at a fixed price of $20.67 per troy ounce.
Hey, Will, I like this! Thanx for the info. I’m somewhat new to cryptos but not to investing — my Dad invested in the stock market since I was a kid and as an adult I was a registered investment advisor representative for a large US institution. One conclusion I’ve come to is that the skills and approach for crypto investing are no different than those for the stock market. I use the same strategies and analyses I use for stocks and etf’s and feel completely at home in the crypto market. Yes, I deal with more brokerage accounts, etc., but the principles are the same.
This leads to what’s known as a bank run, where the bank fails because it is unable to fulfill all the withdrawals customers demand. This can escalate quickly into a systemic bank panic, where multiple banks begin to suffer the same fate. Each successive failure compounds the collective panic, and quite quickly, the whole system can begin to collapse like a house of cards.
Investors exchange the base currency of Bitcoin (BTC) or Ethereum (ETH) for a stake in the initial stages of the project. The project will thereafter issue their native tokens to investors in return for the base currencies. This is similar to an Initial Public Offering (IPO), where stocks of companies will be offered to the public. Here’s an article outlining the differences between an ICO and an IPO.
A bitcoin is a virtual currency first introduced in the year 2008 by an anonymous group called Satoshi Nakamoto. It’s an open source peer-to-peer cryptographical system (direct connections without an intermediary) where transactions happen through a public ledger called blockchain, handling users’ data anonymously. Eight years since its introduction, bitcoin is today the most widely used and accepted digital currency.
Allows developers to build enterprise solutions on the ICON network. The network already has dedicated blockchains for banks, e-commerce, hospitals, insurance, universities and securities. This means that an application built on the ICON banking blockchain could be used by any bank on the network. The ecosystem also allows for information and data to be shared amongst different sectors in the network. This means insurance companies can easily and securely share data with banks on the ICON network.

So, unlike an ETF, the amount of Bitcoin held does not increase or decrease from market activity like people buying in or selling out (with the exception of new entrants who must be accredited investors, and in that case they must wait a full year to trade their shares). This creates a situation where the amount of Bitcoin purchased with a single share of GBTC does not always equate to the fair market value of the underlying asset.
The appeal for many is the fact that Bitcoin is decentralized, meaning no specific group or governing body has control over it. Instead, it is secured by advanced cryptography, a set of military-grade encryptions, and regulated by a network called the Blockchain. The Blockchain acts as a digital ledger, confirming buyer/seller funds and establishing the order in which transactions take place.
The Bank for International Settlements, the central banker for global central banks, has warned that cryptocurrencies in the future could become a "threat to financial stability" if regulators aren't vigilant. U.S. regulators appear to be playing catch-up. As of Feb. 6, the cryptocurrency working group put together by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin had held a single meeting.
To buy/sell on Coinbase or GDAX, you need no wallet, as Coinbase/GDAX will keep your coins for you. You’ll want to enable Google Authenticator for two factor authentication and keep your passwords and your phone incredibly secure, however, as if someone hacks your account, all your money is gone for good with no recourse. This happens a lot. Use a super strong password that you have not used elsewhere and that no one knows and that you won’t forget.
The difficulty is knowing when the trend has changed, as such, I hedge altcoins and BTC against each other and make changes in my portfolio when a change in the trend becomes more obvious. When BTC dominance is falling, altcoins tend to perform better and vice versa, but this is not always the case, when they rise together, my gut instinct tells me that significant volumes of new capital are entering the market.

Bitcoin isn’t just an unknown commodity: it will always be an unknown commodity. Bitcoin doesn’t have the fundamentals that investors typically use to analyze an asset. Most stocks or bonds can be analyzed based on some trait of the instrument. Stocks have P/E ratios and dividends, for example, while bonds have return percentages. Bitcoin has no fundamentals that can be easily measured.
Long-term investing is simply as its name says – taking a long-term view of investments. Everyone defines ‘long-term’ differently. In the stock market, ‘long-term’ normally means anything that lasts years… However, given the fact that the cryptocurrency market moves extremely quickly, we can scale that number down to couple of months or a year. If we look at stock market investment, the legendary investor, Warren Buffet, is an advocate of long-term investment because of the many advantages it has to offer.
A futures contract commits its owner to buy or sell an underlying commodity, currency or market index at a set price on a given date weeks or months in the future. In most cases the trader never takes possession of the corn, crude oil or bitcoin covered by the contract. Instead, gains or losses are reflected in the changing price of the contracts themselves as the underlying asset rises or falls.
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