Okay — so that’s about it for investing in the dominant cryptocurrencies available today. If you want to invest in other more speculative altcoins, you’ll have to create your own wallets for them, and investigate the best and most secure solution for doing so yourself. This should generally be a good exercise in any case to determine if you meet the bare minimum requirements for responsible investment in a given altcoin.
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!
Cardano (ADA) is a fully open-source, decentralized, public blockchain and cryptocurrency. Cardano is very similar to Ethereum, and the team wants to build on that. Cardano aims to operate a global smart-contract platform which will deliver much more advanced features compared to its competitors. Loads of existing investors are excited because Cardano is the first blockchain founded on scientific philosophy, and also the very first provably secure proof of stake algorithm.
Created by Charlie Lee, a former Google engineer, Litecoin is an open-source payment network that operates on a global scale. It is not controlled by any centralized power, and it uses the “scrypt” as proof-of-work. It is similar to Bitcoin but has the advantage of offering a faster rate of generation and therefore faster transactions. This is one of the main reasons why its enthusiasts continue to invest or hold onto the coin even after finding out that its founder sold his stack.
Stratis also recently announced its “Breeze Wallet”. This is a specialist wallet that aims to increase the privacy of both Bitcoin and Stratis platform users. This Bitcoin wallet will have Tumblebit built in, which is an incredible deal and will raise awareness of Stratis tenfold. This will likely trigger a price hike. Read our in-depth article on Stratis coin here.
For instance, if two parties decide to make a bet on Donald Trump winning the election, historically, this could only be done by either word of honor or by some ad hoc legal contract. For a say, small $100 bet, it would be absolutely a non-starter to pursue legal action in the case that one of the parties decided to renege on the deal in the aftermath of the election. Normally, the reneged-upon party would simply be left in the dust without recourse.
Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.
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’re aware of the risks and still willing to take the plunge, this is what you need to know about investing in bitcoin: Cryptocurrencies exist in an unregulated, decentralized digital sphere without involvement by (or protection via) a central bank. This is part of bitcoin’s appeal. People or entities can buy and sell cryptocurrency anonymously, and there are fewer middlemen taking a cut of transactions. But it also means you can’t just buy bitcoin via mainstream investing tools like a brokerage account.
These characteristics make Bitcoin fundamentally different from a fiat currency, which is backed by the full faith and credit of its government. Fiat currency issuance is a highly centralized activity supervised by a nation’s central bank. While the bank regulates the amount of currency issued in accordance with its monetary policy objectives, there is theoretically no upper limit to the amount of such currency issuance. In addition, local currency deposits are generally insured against bank failures by a government body. Bitcoin, on the other hand, has no such support mechanisms. The value of a Bitcoin is wholly dependent on what investors are willing to pay for it at a point in time. As well, if a Bitcoin exchange folds up, clients with Bitcoin balances have no recourse to get them back.
Historically speaking, the stock market has been the greatest creator of wealth. Sure, it hits its rough patches from time to time, with 20 bear markets in the S&P 500 occurring over the last 90 years, according to data from Yardeni Research. But at the end of the day, stocks have returned an average of 7% annually, inclusive of dividend reinvestment, and when adjusted for inflation. Compared to bonds, commodities, CDs, and other assets, the stock market has trounced them all over the long run.
A long time horizon also gives us the opportunity of compounding gains over time. Look at the cryptocurrency market as the challenge to find the next Amazon and potentially enjoy larger long term gains. Who wants to be the type of guys to sell Amazon when they were up a little in the year 2000 and miss out on nearly two decades of heavy gains? Also, if you are convinced about the long term growth potential of a cryptocurrency project, why sell it in a few months time?
On a bitcoin exchange, the investor trades at the coin's full price. For example, if bitcoin is trading at $8,000, an investor spends $8,000 on every coin priced at that amount. Most futures contracts involve leverage, allowing the trader to put up only a small fraction of the asset's price, but for bitcoin this "margin" is unusually high, at more than 40 percent. So the investor could control one $8,000 bitcoin for just over $3,200, plus a small fee for the transaction. If the price jumped 12.5 percent to $9,000, the gain would be 32 percent of the sum invested.
The aspect that makes a coin unique apart from the others is known as its value proposition. A coin must have a value proposition that either enhances or adds on to Bitcoin’s limitations. For example, Bitcoin only allows for 7 transactions per second, whereas some of the newer coins allow for thousands or more transactions per second. This results in not only faster transfer speeds but cheaper fees as well.
Unfortunately, the gold standard collapsed multiple times during the 20th century and was ultimately abandoned altogether by almost every nation in the world, because governments effectively played fractional reserve banking with their gold reserves. Who could blame them? It must be irresistibly tempting, knowing that in all likelihood, the vast majority of the time, only a fraction of people will ever want to trade in their dollars for gold. Why hold all that gold when you could hold just a fraction of it and get to spend the rest with no consequences in the short term?
The emergence of Bitcoin has sparked a debate about its future and that of other cryptocurrencies. Despite Bitcoin’s recent issues, its success since its 2009 launch has inspired the creation of alternative cryptocurrencies such as Litecoin, Ripple and MintChip. A cryptocurrency that aspires to become part of the mainstream financial system would have to satisfy very divergent criteria. While that possibility looks remote, there is little doubt that Bitcoin’s success or failure in dealing with the challenges it faces may determine the fortunes of other cryptocurrencies in the years ahead.
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