Bitcoin has captured America’s imagination. Whether or not the cryptocurrency will ultimately turn out to be a good investment or just a passing fad remains to be seen. Indeed, in the past several months Bitcoin prices have enjoyed a run-up that makes the 1999 tech bubble look staid by comparison. That excitement — the promise of sudden riches or sudden ruin — has a lot of people wondering how a bitcoin investment actually works.
Bitcoin v alt balancing: my BTC v altcoin positions are balanced relative to how Bitcoin market dominance is trending, you can see this chart on CoinMarketCap. If Bitcoin market dominance is at 50% but falling, then my Bitcoin position will be at less than 40%. If Bitcoin market dominance is 50% but rising then my Bitcoin position will be over 60%. The reason I keep it ahead of the trend but never 100% of one is that BTC v altcoin market cycles change, there are times when they trade inversely and other times where they rise and fall together and as such this gives a more even growth trajectory.
Ripple (XRP) is a more recently popular cryptocurrency, although some argue that it can't really be called a cryptocurrency at all. It does, however, have a market cap of $19.2 billion as of this writing, 3rd largest amongst cryptocurrencies. Ripple is meant to act as something of a payment processing system that could allow for instant international money transfers. It has partnered with several notable companies, including American Express.
Nevertheless, NVIDIA and AMD aren't absolved from downside, either. In fact, you could say the two are stuck in a pervasive cryptocurrency conundrum. As a result of the high demand for GPUs, graphics card prices have shot through the roof. In doing so, it's angered their core gaming customers, who are being forced to pay significant premiums for graphics cards at the moment. These companies could risk alienating their core customer and do nothing or they could create a GPU specific for miners, hurting the growth they've received from miners by increasing supply.
Bitcoin hit its 2018 low early on Feb. 6, the morning of a key Senate cryptocurrency hearing, briefly undercutting $6,000. The chairmen of the Securities and Exchange Commission and Commodity Futures Trading Commission both urged stronger oversight. But the financial regulators stopped short of sounding an alarm. Nor did they call for any legislation to rein in cryptocurrencies. In the weeks after that hearing, Bitcoin rebounded to around $11,000 but it has retreated yet again to below $7,000.
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.
Because we believe the cryptocurrency market to be quite volatile, having a defensive portfolio to counter that volatility is good. 50% of my portfolio is low risk (compared to crypto risk management), which means that it will be holding Bitcoin for the long term, because it has a lot of longevity. It is the oldest cryptocurrency in the space, and is the first coin that newcomers are likely to invest in because of the exposure it regularly gets in the press.
Pro Tip:If you want to invest, but aren’t keen on using your own funds, consider utilizing accrued interest on a savings account to invest. Compare savings accounts and their interest rates. If you put a lot of money into savings every year, you could fund a sizable investment with just the money the bank pays you in interest. It eliminates your personal risk and maximizes your chances of a return.
Cryptocurrencies have attracted the attention of several investors all over the world. But in general, institutions did not participate in the market. Back in August, the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), which operates an important number of regulated exchanges all over the world, announced its intention to launch a new institutional-grade crypto platform known as Bakkt.
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.
If somehow, you’ve only heard of one cryptocurrency, it’s probably Bitcoin. It is the biggest cryptocurrency — it currently has a 40%i share in the total cryptocurrency market cap! It is the oldest cryptocurrency and it still dominates in the market. So, if Bitcoin continues to increase like it did in 2017, then investing in Bitcoin might be a good idea for 2018.
Cboe capitalized on their partnership with Gemini, a cryptocurrency exchange ran by the Winklevoss brothers, and used their experience with tracking crypto assets’ prices to create a tool called Cboe Gemini Bitcoin Futures Index. CME Group created its own price tracking instruments, CME CF Bitcoin Reference Rate and CME CF Bitcoin Real Time Index, in cooperation with a UK-based firm Crypto Facilities, which has a vast experience with cryptocurrency derivatives.
Update 1st October 2018: The cryptocurrency market has been volatile as ever over the last 6 months. Unless you are a skilled trader, it is harder to make money in a bear market than in a bull market – and we have been in a bear market for some time now. Personally, I have stopped trading and I am now focussing on growing my portfolio passively using a cryptocurrency trading bot – you can find out more about this here. If you are new to crypto, read on!
That said, just as with everything, there’s survivorship bias here. What you don’t hear about are the profusion of people who lost their entire fortunes investing in cryptocurrency. While there are a few ways you can beat all the odds and come out vastly ahead in cryptocurrency, there are infinitely moreways you can lose everything you put into it and end up in a much worse place than where you started.
Indeed, some market movements are fundamentally unpredictable in their short term timing. Two very vivid examples of this were the collapse of Mt Gox for bitcoin, and the hacking of the DAO for ethereum. Both of these events absolutely cratered the price of bitcoin and ethereum respectively, and both of them were fundamentally unpredictable in their exact timing. These are examples of the black swan events I mentioned that are certain to continue playing a large role in short term price developments for bitcoin and all other cryptocurrencies at large, that make it doubly dangerous for those who day trade.
Ideally, you’ll keep the coins yourself on your own hardware device, which is ultra secure. I recommend Trezor.io (as of this writing, they’ve just run out of stock, but are only backordered a few days if you’re willing to pay a premium) for this purpose. Ledger Nano S is also good and cheaper to boot, but I personally haven’t used it and it’s very backordered in sales. I can recommend Trezor 100% wholeheartedly, however.
* Bitcoin Investment Trust does not currently operate a redemption program and may halt creations from time to time. There can be no assurance that the value of the shares will approximate the value of the Bitcoin held by the Trust and the shares may trade at a substantial premium over or discount to the value of the Trust's Bitcoin. The Trust may, but will not be required to, seek regulatory approval to operate a redemption program.
Last month, Chainalysis published a study revealing that BTC investors and speculators held their positions over the summer, while markets seem to have become more stable overall. The monetary aggregates reportedly were “extremely steady” during the summer, showing that the amount of BTC held for speculation was stable from May to August at around 22 percent of available BTC. The amount of BTC held for investment also showed stability during the same period at around 30 percent.
In 2011, a study of academics by the University of California indicated that most individual investors achieve results that are worse than standard investment benchmarks. One of the main reasons was that people were trading emotionally, rather than following a clear strategy. Simply put, if in the past they entered a trade that “coincided with pleasure” they would try to repeat those actions and avoid those that “generated pain.”
With this strategy, I’ve been trying to build a systematic approach to buying low and selling high that will continuously increase the value of my portfolio. It rides the big waves of the crypto market in a relaxed way. Don’t try to predict anything, but just go with the flow. Also, don’t sweat the small movements. The market is incredibly volatile, and the sooner you accept this and learn to ignore it, the better.
A question to everybody out there who knows more about cryptos and blockchain than I do (so basically everybody...): is there actually a real life application for cryptos for Joe Sixpack who does not live in a 3rd world country? I owned bitcoin at some point and it was a pain in the a.. to make any use of them. So, is there something nowerdays which would make my life easier if I used cryptos? Answers very much appreciated.
There are far too many variables and unknowns to take into consideration with most speculative bets, and cryptocurrency in particular, to be able to hope for anything so nice and clean as an exact mathematical probability of how + or -EV a given bet on a given cryptocurrency might turn out, just as there are far too many unknowns to calculate the precise fundamental present and future potential value of a cryptocurrency for the purpose of value investing analysis, but regardless, holding both principles at large as a general guiding strategy in determining one’s actions here and elsewhere is a good bet.
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.
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: