Price history: this is relevant if I have made the decision that I want to invest. If it is an established asset I will be looking at its long-term price history, does it move in cycles (see Siacoin as an example), if so, which cycle is it in right now or does it have stable growth (see DASH)? If growth is stable I am less sensitive to the current price as I believe in long-term growth, I will only avoid if it is in a spike and will wait for the price to settle. If it moves in a cycle, unless it is early in a cycle, I will wait until the end of the current cycle before investing.
Once you’ve established your portfolio, or you have built up a cash/Bitcoin position with previous profits, it’s time to start buying in. It’s advisable to do this in parts instead of doing it all at once, due to the volatility in the crypto market. Timing the market is extremely difficult, and, according to almost every expert, it can’t be consistently done.
In addition, we have other financial institutions trying to build up their crypto portfolio while the price is still low. Goldman Sachs setting up a 100% dedicated cryptocurrency trading desk, Bloomberg’s Galaxy Crypto Index Fund, Coinbase’s custodial services now set up for large institutional investors, Susquehanna getting into the mix trading millions of dollars of bitcoin for their wealthy clients, and now Blackrock, the world’s largest investment fund manager is looking to also get into the mix.
There are hundreds of altcoins, and more appear every day. Most altcoins are little more than Bitcoin clones and they do not survive for very long. They only change minor features, such as its hashing algorithm, distribution method, or transactions speed. One exception is Litecoin, which has branded itself as “silver to Bitcoin’s gold.” The reason for that is that, in addition to using a different hashing algorithm than Bitcoin, Litecoin has a much higher number of currency units.
Steindorff: QTUM is an emerging smart-contract platform with a strong team and promising future. You can think of QTUM as a bitcoin/ethereum hybrid in the sense that the platform enables smart contracts to be built atop bitcoin’s UTXO blockchain. This is an important technological achievement as it enables mobile and IoT compatibility for smart contract backed decentralized applications, a feature not currently available with Ethereum. Mobile compatibility will accelerate the proliferation of smart-contract adoption among businesses while simultaneously broadening its use case as a digital currency via mobile friendly QTUM wallets. Additionally, QTUM has shifted away from the Proof of Work consensus model (Bitcoin/Ethereum) and instead leverages the Proof of Stake model which rewards QTUM token owners for confirming transactions via “staking” instead of “mining.” Without getting into too many details this method is both more environmentally friendly and less prohibitive for individuals to participate than the Proof of Work method. Since launching in early 2017 QTUM has garnered a massive community throughout the Asia-Pacific and the United States. We believe the QTUM team is unrivalled in Asia and their protocol stack has the potential to become the dominant Smart Contract platform of Asia.
For many investors, being able to invest in bitcoin through the Bitcoin Investment Trust is worth paying a fairly expensive fee. The trust sponsor deals with all of the mechanics of investing in bitcoin, including obtaining cryptocurrency tokens, holding them in safekeeping, and then making any future transactions as necessary. Investing in the trust is as easy as buying or selling shares when the stock market is open, and that has real advantages over the lengthening processing times involved in handling actual changes of ownership in bitcoin tokens themselves.
While the number of merchants who accept cryptocurrencies has steadily increased, they are still very much in the minority. For cryptocurrencies to become more widely used, they have to first gain widespread acceptance among consumers. However, their relative complexity compared to conventional currencies will likely deter most people, except for the technologically adept.
Look at what the price has done over 1 hour, 24 hours, 1 week, 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, etc. and set limit orders just under highs and lows. For assets that are somewhat stagnant, this can net you solid buying and selling opportunities in the short term. This strategy essentially mimics fibonacci retracement levels, but requires none of the technical knowledge.
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.
A stop-loss is triggered once the price of an asset hits your determined lowest price. When it’s triggered, the stop-loss will automatically sell for the next available price. For example, you bought Lisk at $14 and its value is $32 now. You want to realize your profits, but you’re not quite sure if the mania has cooled down yet. You set your stop-loss at $30 and go to bed. When you wake up, Lisk is at $27, but your stop-loss sold it just a little below $30.
Digression aside, that sums up most of the thoughts I have about the primary things to be cautious about when it comes to bitcoin investment. There are a few more practical matters to be extremely cautious about (namely, how you store your cryptocurrency), but I’ll address those in the next part, which will be an actual how-to guide showing actually actionable steps for those interested in getting into bitcoin investment.
This gave birth to a whole new industry of business, companies like Verisign were created to ensure sites asking for your credit card details were in fact who they said they were by creating digital certificates that employed encryption to online shoppers. Eventually, most fraudsters were stomped out. The same thing is happening in the blockchain space right now and with it, a whole new industry is taking shape to change blockchain for the better.
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.
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.
Bitcoin essentially dictates the cryptocurrency market because the most popular trading pairs are Bitcoin ones. Most Altcoins do not actually have a direct USD value and only hold a value in Bitcoin, which is then converted to USD to give their USD value. Usually if Bitcoin does badly, altcoins do worse. In a bull market, bitcoin generally goes up slower than altcoins. This leads us to believe that although Bitcoin is volatile, it is less so than other cryptocurrencies.
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