Derivatives trading is the culmination of a wild year for bitcoin, which captured imaginations and investment around the world, propelled by its stratospheric gains, and its anti-establishment mission as a currency without the backing of a government or a central bank, and a payment system without a reliance on banks. The derivatives contracts should thrust bitcoin more squarely into the realm of regulators, banks and institutional investors. In addition to the contracts at Cboe and CME, which will start trading Dec. 18, Cantor Fitzgerald LP won approval from regulators to trade binary options, and LedgerX, a startup exchange, already trades bitcoin options.
Investing in the cryptocurrency market is exhilarating, but it is also important to make sure your cryptocurrency is secure; there are too many stories of cryptocurrency funds being stolen because of lax security. Hardware wallets are the best way to protect your cryptocurrency, and this article provides more information on hardware wallets and how you can get secured.
Traditionally, with a legal contract, two parties agree to certain terms with the understanding that if one party reneges, the other party can seek legal recourse with the governmental justice system. Lawsuits, however, can often be inordinately expensive, and in many cases the outcome is far from certain. A good or bad lawyer can make or break a case, and one is also at the mercy of a judge and/or jury and their subjective, possibly mercurial whims. Not the most efficient or foolproof system.
We think ‘Total Net Wealth’ is an exceptionally important consideration when making any investment. The reason is to reduce our risk by diversifying amongst different asset classes like property, bonds, stocks & shares, gold, cryptocurrency etc. This means that if one asset class like cryptocurrency goes down, you do not have all your eggs in one basket.
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Bitcoin still is the king of crypto. It drags altcoins down hard when it drops, but, conversely, doesn’t necessarily cause altcoins to spike when it rises. Ultimately, you will have to decide whether your end game is to build as much Bitcoin holdings is possible by exchanging your altcoins, or whether you believe altcoins have a sustainable, profitable future too.

I don’t short. I don’t have any fundamental issue with shorting; I think it is a good tool within all markets for driving accurate pricing, whether stocks, Forex or Cryptocurrency. I just don’t do it within crypto for a couple of reasons. Firstly we are in a very long bull run, so I don’t want to trade against the momentum and secondly, these assets have a greater % upswing potential than down.
I don’t chase the market. I have, and I have been burned. FOMO is not part of my strategy and I covered this in my blog. When a coin is making a parabolic move, and you chase it you can easily be caught as it drops back. If something goes up 20x in a short space of time, it has to do another 20x from the original position for you to achieve a 2x. There are always other trades out there.
Speaking to that last point now (the ’second’ mistake I mentioned at the beginning of this part) I’m of the personal opinion that it is incredibly important to not only invest solely in things that I truly believe have the real potential to succeed in a big way long term, but to actually commit and hold to that investment, once I make it, no matter what happens with the price short term. If some fundamental fact underlying my investment changes, I can certainly re-evaluate it, but if the price drops 90% or even 95% in the short term for no particular reason except a collapse of a local maximum in price speculation (e.g., a bubble popping), I must never be tempted to sell and try to ‘time’ the market in any way. Instead, I have to hold that investment with firm conviction in what I believe the eventual price based on fundamentals is worth, regardless of how the market values it in the present moment.
What I ended up learning was something the smartest people in the investment world had learned a long time ago. Benjamin Graham, the mentor of Warren Buffett, who became the richest man in the world by practicing the principle of value investing, has a pretty wonderful analogy that I think is worth repeating here. You should buy your stocks (or any investment, generally) like you buy your groceries — not like you buy your perfume.
But here, more than anywhere else, is where you need to proceed with caution. Bitcoin is already incredibly risky, imagine what risks smaller and lesser-known crypto brings. Rounding out a portfolio with other cryptocurrencies may be able to help you evaluate the state and perhaps the future of that market, but many of them can quickly prove to be a flash in the pan. The sudden rise of initial coin offerings -- a method of crowdfunding new cryptocurrencies in a way that avoids venture capital entirely -- has many people excited for the future, but also has many wondering if it's going to create an even more dangerous bitcoin bubble.

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.
Which would you trust? My personal bet would be absolutely, wholly, and unequivocally bitcoin. With the new US currency, I would be effectively required to trust that the US government would act without fail over the entire course of its indefinite existence to practice perfect fiscally responsible habits and not screw up its economy in any dramatic ways. I would also be aware that even under perfect circumstances, the currency would be fundamentally designed to inflate, and consequently my money would continue to lose value over time if I decided to hold and save it.

For those who can remember back to the 90s, when the internet first started there was also no shortage of scams, fake professional looking e-commerce sites were popping up all over the place ready to take your credit card payment only never to deliver the product. If you were lucky, that would be the end of it. Otherwise, the less fortunate would have to chase down additional charges placed by the scammer once they had your credit card details.
This, too, is not merely a theoretical matter. Ethereum did indeed hard fork after the DAO hack, and split off into ETH (the current dominant blockchain for ethereum) and ETC (the ‘classic’, or original blockchain for ethereum). As of this time, ETC is worth over $20 a coin — more, in fact, than all of ethereum was worth before the hack. Had I kept my ethereum on Coinbase or another exchange like it at the time of the hard fork, I personally would have lost 5 figures in ETC (at present values) merely because the exchanges wouldn’t give me access to these coins that I rightfully owned.
Opportunities on this scale only seem to come about when the world is going through mass technological change. Yes, i’m likening bitcoin to the dot-com era and the thousands who made bank because they chose to become early adopters of the technology. They saw opportunity and took a risk which paid off immensely once the rest of the world got over their prejudice and realised the value.

When a market is as volatile and unpredictable as this one, diversification is what ensures gains while limiting risk. Additionally, unlike most other markets, the cryptocurrency market tends to act as one cohesive unit, meaning that diversification does not threaten profits as it would in other markets. Rather, it ensures that one singular cryptocurrency’s drop in value will not have a large effect on your portfolio.


The US hasn’t been immune to these crises, either. The US began its foray into fiat currency with the issuance of Continental Currency in 1775. Just three years later, Continental Currency was worth less than 20% of its original value. 13 years later, hyperinflation entirely collapsed the currency, and the US had to pass a law guaranteeing that all future currencies would be backed by gold and silver, and that no unbacked currencies could be issued by any state.

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Lower fees: If you take an active trading approach to investing, then it is expected that fees from exchanges will trim your profits. With a long-term investment strategy, all the investor has to do is select a few cryptocurrencies, and then wait. A long-term investor does not trade every day, therefore, they do not have to worry about trading fees.
Bitcoin’s main benefits of decentralization and transaction anonymity have also made it a favored currency for a host of illegal activities including money laundering, drug peddling, smuggling and weapons procurement. This has attracted the attention of powerful regulatory and other government agencies such as the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), the SEC, and even the FBI and Department of Homeland Security (DHS). In March 2013, FinCEN issued rules that defined virtual currency exchanges and administrators as money service businesses, bringing them within the ambit of government regulation. In May that year, the DHS froze an account of Mt. Gox – the largest Bitcoin exchange – that was held at Wells Fargo, alleging that it broke anti-money laundering laws. And in August, New York’s Department of Financial Services issued subpoenas to 22 emerging payment companies, many of which handled Bitcoin, asking about their measures to prevent money laundering and ensure consumer protection.  
Finally, my personal preference is to avoid keeping all my eggs in one basket. Despite the fact that a hardware wallet like Trezor is technically one of the most secure options for keeping your coins safe with a fair amount of redundancy in recovery options, the fact remains that one day I might somehow lose access to my coins held within Trezor. I might suffer a concussion, for instance, that causes me to forget the password or the PIN required to access the Trezor, or perhaps I lose my Trezor and am unable to locate or decipher my recovery seed.

If you understand the difference between leveraged and non-leveraged positions, so you could choose between them. (Also, bear in mind not all broker platforms offer leveraged trade.) Leverage means you only have a small percentage of what you invest or trade. You can own $50 out of $1,000, with the rest borrowed from a broker. In its turn, the broker works on several risk levels, offering higher returns for higher risk. However, you yourself do not own the underlying asset; the broker does.
It didn’t take a genius to see a clear arbitrage opportunity here, and I wrote up a quick blog post detailing this opportunity and fired out a single Facebook post telling my friends about it. From that post and just a few hours of work, I ended up earning almost 17 bitcoins entirely for free — worth over $45,000 today. I had plans to scale this strategy en masse, but singlehandedly ended up killing the program almost as soon as it started, when Coinbase finally came to its senses and realized just how much money it was hemorrhaging here with no hope for eventual recoupment (at the time, the lifetime value of the average customer was only something like $25 to Coinbase — a far cry from the $75 they were offering).

Cboe’s futures market is a niche player in derivatives trading, which could limit how many contracts change hands in the initial days. Fueled by contracts on the VIX, the Cboe Futures Exchange handled 56 million contracts during the first three quarters of 2017, according to data compiled by the Futures Industry Association, the industry’s trade and lobbying group. CME traded 3.1 billion contracts in the same period.
At the time, however, these concerns seemed to have faded from the mainstream media’s radars. It wasn’t until May that they resurfaced full-blown following the publication of the San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank’s letter suggesting that the advent of Bitcoin futures and the coin’s price decline did not ‘appear to be a coincidence.’ The Fed analysists explained that the rise of crypto futures for the first time gave the ‘pessimists’ a tool to counteract the ‘optimists’ who had previously fueled the growth unimpeded. Another attestation in a similar vein has been Fundstrat’s Thomas Lee’s attribution of falling Bitcoin prices to Cboe futures’ expiration that made rounds in mid-June.

With cryptocurrency projects, you are mainly investing in young startups. The sobering statistic is that 90% of all startups fail. We see no reason why the failure rate of cryptocurrency projects should be any lower in the long term. That’s right; if you invest in 10 random cryptocurrency projects, on average you ought to expect 9 of them to eventually be worth nothing.
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.
When all is said and done, there will hence be 21 million bitcoins. Exactly that, no more, no less. Elegant, no? This eliminates yet another risk with extant currencies, gold included: there are absolutely no surprises when it comes to knowing the present and future supply of bitcoin. A million bitcoin will never be found randomly in California one day and incite a digital gold rush.

There are other ways you can incorporate "bitcoin stock" into your portfolio as well. The Bitcoin Investment Trust (GBTC) is one notable option that operates similarly to an exchange-traded fund. It is a trust that owns bitcoins it is holding, and by buying shares of it, you can essentially bet on bitcoin value without actually owning any of your own (their bitcoins are secured using Xapo, Inc. as storage).
Because of this, I actually personally keep my cryptocurrency distributed in several reasonably safe baskets. For instance, despite Coinbase being an exchange that fundamentally requires some trust, they are more trustworthy than almost any other exchange on a technical level (their customer service, however, leaves something to be desired), and it is virtually impossible for their coins to be hacked to any significant degree, and all those at risk of being hacked are fully insured. As a consequence, I leave some of my coins with them, merely because in many ways, I trust their technical security measures more than I trust my own. Before GBTC started trading at such an absurd premium, I also kept some of my funds with them, both in part to diversify across multiple platforms to reduce the risk of losing all my coins with one bad black swan event, and also because it was the only immediately easy way to put some of my retirement funds into bitcoin, short of creating a self directed IRA.
Bitcoin (BTC) has been engaged in a predictable up and down pattern where it absolutely crashes at the beginning of any year and then sky-rockets as the year nears its end. Bitcoin held steady at around $19,000 in December 2017, and then sure enough – crashed big time to around $6,000 at the beginning of 2018. At the time of writing, March 8th 2018, the price of Bitcoin is relatively stable between $10,000 and $12,000. In my opinion, the price will run again soon.

What is needed is an electronic payment system based on cryptographic proof instead of trust, allowing any two willing parties to transact directly with each other without the need for a trusted third party. Transactions that are computationally impractical to reverse would protect sellers from fraud, and routine escrow mechanisms could easily be implemented to protect buyers.
This is when I first saw the light, and realized that investing in altcoins that I didn’t really believe in, and that didn’t really have any truly compelling reasons they would ever overtake bitcoin or deserve any level of market share, was an incredibly foolish move. It was certainly true that these altcoins did often gain on bitcoin and appreciated far more rapidly in many cases while the bubble held strong, but the moment it began to collapse, the altcoins were the first to go, and often fell all the way to zero.
Understand why the dip happened. Did the dip occur due to some rumor that will likely have a temporary impact? Was the crypto overbought and now it needs some time to cool off? Did it just fail an all time high twice and now we are likely headed for a longer term correction? If you have this answer, then you can better gauge if you should be buying the dip. To this point, also keep an eye on the news. Bad news can cause a correction to deepen, good news could result in a quick turnaround (making it hard to get buy orders in if you are waiting for signs of recovery before buying).
It’s important that enough miners keep trying to mine blocks because this is another valuable service miners provide the network. Bitcoin, like gold, is powerful as a store of value because it is decentralized and trustless. There is no one central authority who holds all the power over bitcoin, just like no central authority holds power over gold.
The same growth trajectory is how I see bitcoin, cryptocurrency, and blockchain technology at large playing out. If all goes well — and there’s no guarantee it might, everything indeed might fail and all our hopes and dreams might gang aft agley — there’s no reason at all that bitcoin can’t one day surpass even our wildest imaginations today, just like the internet did before it, and fundamentally rewrite the script for how we interact with money and the world as a whole.
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Over the past six months, the cryptocurrency crash has brought out the skeptics. In fact, the ongoing “Crypto Winter” is a healthy cleansing of the ecosystem because the correction is effectively separating long-term value creators from short-term day traders. All in all, we believe that a “Crypto Spring” will arrive. And, institutional capital, a.k.a. the sticky, smart money, could possibly usher in this new season.
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