Be skeptical of the hype. According to Welch, “in every way, the cryptocurrency market is a flow of supply and demand.” It’s one of the reasons it fluctuates so wildly. “When you see a lot of hype and excitement around a volatile investment that depends on supply and demand, take pause and look at what’s really going on.” He advises to take caution when you start to hear phrases like “get it before it’s gone” and “you won’t want to miss out on this.” A lot of hype can often be the precursor to a crash.
Welcome to the new year. You may have noticed Bitcoin’s extraordinary take-off last year, during which a majority of cryptocurrencies experienced huge gains. What does 2018 have in store for Bitcoin and all of the other cryptocurrencies? You’re soon to learn why things might not happen as you would expect. Let’s dive into the year of the AltCoins and see how a lot of coins other than Bitcoin will take the spotlight.
Grayscale Investments, LLC (“Grayscale”) is the sponsor of Bitcoin Investment Trust, Bitcoin Cash Investment Trust, Ethereum Investment Trust, Ethereum Classic Investment Trust, Litecoin Investment Trust, XRP Investment Trust, Zcash Investment Trust and Zen Investment Trust, and the manager of Grayscale Digital Large Cap Fund LLC. The trusts and the fund (collectively, the “Vehicles”) are private investment vehicles, are NOT registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) or any other regulatory agency in any jurisdiction, and are NOT subject to the same regulatory requirements as SEC-registered exchange traded funds or mutual funds, including any requirement to provide certain periodic and standardized pricing and valuation information to investors. Shares of the Vehicles are not insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or any other governmental agency. Investments in the Vehicles are speculative investments that involve high degrees of risk.
With things like brain wallets possible, this means that even in the worst case scenario, you can literally store your bitcoins in your brain and nowhere else, and thereby easily prevent their confiscation. Just yet another fundamental innovation in the evolution of currency that bitcoin has made possible — its fully intangible nature is actually an asset.
Numerous banks and other financial institutions failed across the world, and had to be bailed out by governments at the expense of their taxpayers. This underscored the fragility of the modern financial system, where the health of our monetary system is reliant on banks and other financial institutions that we are forced to trust to make wise and prudent decisions with the money we give them. Too often for comfort, they fail to carry out this fiduciary responsibility to an adequate degree.
These are tokens built on one of the above mentioned platforms. They give access to a specific blockchain application, and are designed for a specific task. Utility tokens are not really my cup of tea yet, as they’re extremely risky due to two things. It’s still too early for mass adoption of these utilities because the technology is not ready yet (Ethereum’s scalability issues, for example), and because we don’t know what platforms will actually become the blockchain backbone of the digital world.
Market share: this can be defined as the proportion of market capitalization that a cryptocurrency has. A large market share typically indicates dominance. For example, Bitcoin’s market share is currently 60% (at the time of writing) of total market capitalization of the cryptocurrency space. We can use this as an indicator to determine the long-term viability of cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, in our portfolio.
You can trade immediately as much as you want by sending a wire (only applicable for US customers) to your account following their deposit instructions. There’s a $10 fee for this that GDAX charges, on top of whatever your bank charges to send wire transactions. This is the fastest method to deposit any amount of money you want and trade immediately with no limits, but not the cheapest.
This is just my 0.02$, as always, I can be completely wrong, and I maintain the right to contradict myself in the future. Also, for the record, this article references only my opinion and is for information purposes only. It is not intended to be investment advice. Seek a duly licensed professional for investment advice if you want to. And, remember, always do your own research (DYOR).
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.
In the case of less risky users which prefer long-term investment, it is important to build a diversified cryptocurrency portfolio. Fiat investors usually use benchmark indices such as S&P500 and Nasdaq Composite as they allow the opportunity to trade whole sectors easily and manage complicated portfolios in a straightforward investment, thus reducing the risks and volatility of the portfolio.
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.
Bitcoin (50%) – When speaking about cryptocurrencies, it means speaking of Bitcoin. Bitcoin is the base asset for the other alternative coins, and is the primary decentralized crypto currency. Bitcoin was created by Satoshi Nakamoto back in 2009. Bitcoin is designed to function just like physical currency, which transfers value, and as time goes on more places accept Bitcoin as a legitimate way of payment.
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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These are cryptocurrencies bound to blockchains that allow for the creation of applications on them, such as Ethereum, NEO, Cardano, Lisk, VeChainThor, and many more. The underlying platforms of these coins create an actual need – and thus a demand – for the coins, as they are needed to make use of the applications and buy into ICOs. In my opinion, these coins are currently the safest and have the largest growth potential, as the blockchains they are built on have the capacity to become the foundation of the decentralized world.
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.
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.
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No. 2: Cryptocurrencies provide a unique and attractive combination of returns and volatility: Crypto assets are appealing because they enjoy relatively low correlation to other asset classes, like bonds (negative correlation) and gold (zero correlation). In other words, crypto assets can be an ideal way for investors to diversify a portfolio consisting of stocks and bonds. Research shows that a 2 percent exposure to crypto assets in a portfolio could, on average, boost returns by up to 200 bps. Five percent exposure could boost performance by over 500bps, nearly double that of a typical stock/bond blended portfolio. At the same time, active managers seeking retuns better than the market will possibly seek the high volatility of Bitcoin and other digital currencies.