Cryptocurrencies really are one of the most volatile investments anyone can make. Yes, it’s possible to strike gold in cryptocurrency and we are sure you have heard of all these cryptocurrency millionaires. The reality is that it takes time for your portfolio to grow and these Bitcoin millionaires that you hear about got in exceptionally early and in some cases waited 8 years to see exciting returns.
Had I actually done my research and believed that it was a fair bet to make that one day bitcoins would be worth far more than even the height of the local maximum bubble at the time, it absolutely could have been the right decision to buy in then, even if it crashed later temporarily to $200. What wasn’t right was buying in simply because the price was going up and I had a fear of missing out.
The easiest way to invest is to sign up at Coinbase.com. If you sign up with a referral code, you get $10 when you purchase $100 in bitcoin or ether. I’ve linked my mom’s referral code here if anyone is interested. Straight to her retirement fund! (In the interest of having zero monetary gain from my fiduciary advice, however, just email me if you use this link and buy over $100 of bitcoin, and I’ll send you the whole $10 my mom receives on her end as a referrer — so you get $20 for investing $100. Not bad!)
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That conversation would become the starting point of my ever-growing obsession with digital-assets. Shortly after I made my first investment, I became an active participant in a small and extremely passionate community of bitcoin enthusiasts. It became increasingly obvious to me how distributed ledger technology would become the primary catalyst for the disintermediation of trusted third parties while simultaneously birthing an entirely new asset class.


However, into the second week of June the optimism all but evaporated. The highly-awaited EOS mainnet launch got off to a very shaky start with bug issues and a series of delays; the South Korean cryptocurrency exchange Coinrail experienced a hack; as other exchanges, including Kraken, face increasing scrutiny by US authorities into allegations of price manipulation. The mainstream media continues to run screaming headlines about the terrible fate awaiting the prudent investor… plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.
Dubbed as NXT 2.0 – Ardor is a scalable blockchain platform that natively supports a wide range of features including voting, privacy based coin mixing, account management, blockchain storage, transaction aliasing, and built in marketplace creation. However, Ardor’s implementation of child chains is the stand out feature that makes this platform a truly innovative project.
Dan Caplinger has been a contract writer for the Motley Fool since 2006. As the Fool's Director of Investment Planning, Dan oversees much of the personal-finance and investment-planning content published daily on Fool.com. With a background as an estate-planning attorney and independent financial consultant, Dan's articles are based on more than 20 years of experience from all angles of the financial world. Follow @DanCaplinger

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.
Dubbed as NXT 2.0 – Ardor is a scalable blockchain platform that natively supports a wide range of features including voting, privacy based coin mixing, account management, blockchain storage, transaction aliasing, and built in marketplace creation. However, Ardor’s implementation of child chains is the stand out feature that makes this platform a truly innovative project.
This is where the ‘crypto’, incidentally, in cryptocurrency comes from. Cryptographic hash functions are fundamentally necessary for the functioning of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, as they are one-way functions. One-way functions work such that it is easy to calculate an output given an input, but near impossible to calculate the original input given the output. Hence, cryptographic one-way hash functions enable bitcoin’s proof of work system, as it ensures that it is nigh-impossible for someone to just see the output required to unlock new bitcoins, and calculate in reverse the input that created that output.
Government regulation is a looming threat for many in the world. It is quite easy for a government to ban centralised cryptocurrency exchanges. They will not be able to control decentralised exchanges. This means that cryptocurrency investors should be able to trade freely on a decentralised cryptocurrency exchange, even if there is negative regulation in their particular country.
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This article is a very high level introduction to the Grayscale Bitcoin Investment Trust (OTCQX:GBTC). If you are unsure about what Bitcoin (BTC-USD) is, then you can start by reading some of my articles on the subject. Alternatively, if you're a visual learner there are many great videos that can get you up to a basic level of understanding. Let's begin.
With cryptocurrencies, diversification simply doesn't exist. We'd like to think it does, as there are more than 1,600 investable virtual currencies, each with their own plan of action and often proprietary blockchain -- the underlying digital and decentralized ledger responsible for recording all transactions without the need for a bank. But the fact of the matter is that most cryptocurrencies tend to move in tandem with bitcoin, the largest digital currency of them all. This association almost always negates the impact of diversification.
The financial crisis of 2008 highlighted yet another risk of the modern banking system. When a bank goes out and spends the 90% of net deposits it holds in investments, it can often make very bad bets, and lose all that money. In the case of the 2008 crisis, banks in particular bet on high risk subprime mortgages. These were mortgages taken out by borrowers very likely to become delinquent, to purchase houses that were sharply inflated in value by the rampant ease of acquiring a mortgage.

What would be a good portfolio for a newbie today, I just keep losing with these popular Altcoins? Are you seeing just as much significant growth today (like doubling) as before with your portfolio? I need a fresh portfolio today that has just as much potential as the day when you had bought into your Altcoins. Can you also give an idea of the percentages of the spreads you mentioned in your wallet? Also, with the influx of coins/icos, do you think alot of coins will lose value and it will be harder to find the gem amongst the rocks?


Unfortunately, the FDIC is just as dramatically underfunded as banks are. As the FDIC itself acknowledges, it holds enough money to cover just over 1% of all the deposits it insures. In other words, if banks reneged on any more than 1% of all their deposits, the FDIC itself would also fail, and everyone would yet again be left in the dust without recourse.
It is an exciting time to get involved in cryptocurrency investing. It is a new asset class that is currently delivering better returns than the traditional markets (as of writing these lines). However, it is also important to have a strategy. Not having an investment plan for cryptocurrency investing, or any other market for that matter, can result in heavy loss of your funds. A long-term investment approach is just one strategy that you can choose to adopt. You can even vary the long-term investment approach to suit your own style. The most important thing is to have a plan for each scenario that might happen.
If you are wary of using your own funds to invest in Bitcoin, loans are an option. You can borrow money from a family member or friend, or you can use a peer-to-peer lending platform like SoFi to leverage funds for Bitcoin investments. However, be cautious when borrowing money for an investment. Interest rates can eliminate any gains you get from the investment, and the risk of losing money in such a volatile market is high.
Generally speaking, diversification -- the ability for investors to buy stocks in different industries and sectors, or based on market cap, growth rate, or dividend yield -- has allowed investors the opportunity to maximize their long-term capital appreciation potential. If one sector is doing poorly, a diversified portfolio might be hedged with another industry or sector that's thriving. Plus, with the ability to load a diversified portfolio with dividend-paying stocks, complete with reinvestment, it's often easy to build wealth over time. All it really takes is patience, discipline, and the resolve to buy stocks at regular intervals over time, regardless of how "high" or "low" the market is trading.
You would have heard of Bitcoin and the ‘altcoins.’ How this naming convention started was because back in the days of 2011, forks of Bitcoin appeared in the markets. The forks, or clones, each aspire to serve a niche area, aiming to be ‘better’ than Bitcoin. Since then countless new crypto has emerged, eroding away Bitcoin’s crypto market cap dominance. These altcoins are gaining market share at an alarming speed. Ten times or more growth has been observed in a time span as short as six weeks (see PIVX, an altcoin).
This can be an interesting way to gauge the bitcoin market without all the work of getting bitcoins, but it comes at a price. Literally, you'll be paying very high premiums. The stock recently split to make things more affordable, but the premium remains steep. As of this writing, one share from GBTC is worth 0.00100396 BTC, or $6.77. Yet shares are going for $10.70. You'll also need to factor in management fees as well. As a result, some think it's more worth it to just own the bitcoins yourself.
A conservative strategy is to wait until a price starts going back up to buy and then wait until it starts coming back down to sell. You’ll miss part of the run and you’ll miss your chance to sell at the highest possible price, but you’ll be taking safer bets a lot of the time if you wait for some confirmation of an uptrend or downtrend. This is generally true even though you could end up missing some buying opportunities this way.
Choose trusted wallets and exchanges. The hype surrounding the cryptocurrency market has led many people to jump in headfirst without checking whether they are doing business with reputable sources. As the market starts to settle in the coming years, it’s likely that up to 80% of the wallets and exchanges currently in business will disappear. Don’t make an already risky market worse by choosing an untrusted wallet or exchange.
Its language choice is what gives this project a clear advantage. It allows developers to code decentralized apps in an existing, widely adopted programming language, C#, which is a huge advantage because it allows any current C# developers to begin exploring the platform, its uses and blockchain power with a minimal learning curve. This will undoubtedly lead to faster adoption and growth. Also, the project has backing by Microsoft and a very active development team. All these features make Stratis a winning project to invest in.
Litecoin was developed in 2011. While it has faltered of late in value with the other cryptocurrencies, if it gains back that value, it will be because of its strengths in comparison to bitcoin: Significantly faster transaction time (one major complaint when bitcoin exploded was that the increase in users slowed down transactions tremendously) and a larger number of crypto tokens.
Bitcoin has forced itself to become an investment; the severe volatility its value goes through on a daily and even hourly basis makes it much harder to use as currency. By the time a bitcoin transaction is complete, it could be worth less than it was when you first tried to use it. That has made it seem more viable as an investment than as a currency to many, but investment analysts remain wary of bitcoin still.
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Going back to my personal story, ultimately the crash from $1200 to $200 for bitcoin was the best thing that could have ever possibly happened to me. At the time, of course, it certainly didn’t feel that way. It felt like I had made an absolutely stupid, foolish decision, and had lost all my money. In fact, I did make a stupid, foolish decision, but not for the reason I thought at the time. I didn’t make a stupid, foolish decision because the price had cratered to $200. I made a stupid, foolish decision in deciding to invest in bitcoin and altcoins without actually having done my research and without really knowing anything about them.

Even the Dutch tulip bubble, which is classically regarded as one of the first instances of massive speculative market mania, saw increases only on the magnitude of 10–100X — not even remotely close to 100,000X+. And even the most successful of extremely risky angel investments in companies, such as Peter Thiel’s initial $500,000 seed investment in Facebook, see returns on the scale of 10,000X or so or less — Thiel’s $500,000 investment, had he held it all the way to the present day, would be worth $6.8 billion, or approximately a ~13,500X gain. More incredible than just about anything else, certainly, but still nowhere even near Bitcoin’s meteoric rise in price.


But not everyone is convinced it’s a good idea. On Dec. 6, the Futures Industry Association -- a group of major banks, brokers and traders -- said the contracts were rushed without enough consideration of the risks. Last month, Thomas Peterffy, the billionaire chairman of Interactive Brokers Group Inc., wrote an open letter to CFTC Chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo, arguing that bitcoin’s large price swings mean its futures contracts shouldn’t be allowed on platforms that clear other derivatives.
Some of the collateral perks included increased liquidity of the market and transparent reference prices – in other words, more legitimacy and stability. At the same time, crypto futures held a promise for an alleged horde of retail investors who were interested in crypto assets yet wary of trading them on unregulated spot exchanges. Perhaps the biggest advantage of Bitcoin futures for this category of traders is security: since owning a cash-settled crypto future does not entail touching a coin itself, the scheme does away with fears of hacking and theft of cryptoassets. However, a flipside of not owning an actual coin is that futures traders would not be eligible for free coins in an event of a fork.
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