• In the United States, although Coinbase seems the go-to option in many cases, bear in mind that’s only an exchange, not a broker. You would be wiser to choose, for instance, TradeStation, one of the most reputable brokers, with a great site, great trading options and a solid mobile app. Because, you know, the crypto market moves so fast that you want to be able to check it while you’re drinking your Chai latte on your commute or waiting for your friends to show up at the bar.
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At the same time, it’s entirely unclear how governments will respond to bitcoin as it continues to grow, and if they’ll attempt to crack down in a very strong way and prohibit the use of bitcoin, or the creation of bitcoin related service companies, such as exchanges. If exchanges were banned from operating, for instance, it could very well make it very difficult for most people to transact between fiat currencies and bitcoin, and render the latter far less useful than it otherwise might be.
Avoid borrowing money. One of the drawbacks when credit cards were the most popular way to pay for Bitcoin was the concept of borrowing money on such an unpredictable investment. When you borrow money that requires you to pay interest (credit cards and personal loans, for example), you risk having to pay extra for an investment that doesn’t give you a return, which exponentially increases your risk.
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.
Investors exchange the base currency of Bitcoin (BTC) or Ethereum (ETH) for a stake in the initial stages of the project. The project will thereafter issue their native tokens to investors in return for the base currencies. This is similar to an Initial Public Offering (IPO), where stocks of companies will be offered to the public. Here’s an article outlining the differences between an ICO and an IPO.
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"Virtual currencies might just give existing currencies and monetary policy a run for their money," International Monetary Fund director Christine Lagarde predicted last fall. "Citizens may one day prefer virtual currencies, since they potentially offer the same cost and convenience as cash — no settlement risks, no clearing delays, no central registration, no intermediary to check accounts and identities," she said.
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.
Civic is a “secure identity platform” that provides on-demand, secure, and low-cost identity verification on the blockchain.  Civic is trying to eliminate the need for usernames and passwords, so it provides multi-factor authentication without a password, username, physical hardware token, or third party authenticator. All the data is fully encrypted in the app. This means that the creators/owners do not have any access to your personal data, and you only share what YOU want to share about yourself.
At the same time, it’s entirely unclear how governments will respond to bitcoin as it continues to grow, and if they’ll attempt to crack down in a very strong way and prohibit the use of bitcoin, or the creation of bitcoin related service companies, such as exchanges. If exchanges were banned from operating, for instance, it could very well make it very difficult for most people to transact between fiat currencies and bitcoin, and render the latter far less useful than it otherwise might be.
Some of the collateral perks included increased liquidity of the market and transparent reference prices – in other words, more legitimacy and stability. At the same time, crypto futures held a promise for an alleged horde of retail investors who were interested in crypto assets yet wary of trading them on unregulated spot exchanges. Perhaps the biggest advantage of Bitcoin futures for this category of traders is security: since owning a cash-settled crypto future does not entail touching a coin itself, the scheme does away with fears of hacking and theft of cryptoassets. However, a flipside of not owning an actual coin is that futures traders would not be eligible for free coins in an event of a fork.
Are my investments safe with the dev team? The first rule of investing should always be the preservation of capital. Can you trust the dev team with your money? Are you about to leave your money with founders who have been involved in previous scams? If you see these telling signs, back off immediately. The coin’s price might grow for all you care, but it is just not worth it to put your capital at such risk.
The most common mistake people seem to make is investing solely based on the price alone and its short term historical trajectory, and nothing else. The second mistake is investing in assets that they don’t actually understand or believe in long term, are not planning to hold for at least 5 years, and will be tempted to sell if the price begins to fall in the short term. The third mistake is believing that they’ve already missed the boat on the most established and successful cryptocurrencies, like bitcoin and ethereum, and that consequently they should invest in much less established, much more speculative ‘altcoins’ to achieve truly outsized gains, for no truly good reason besides the fact that the price/market cap for the altcoin is a lot lower than bitcoin’s, and seems like it has more room to grow. The fourth mistake is day trading, and trying to capitalize on short term market movements. I’ll address each of these in turn, and why I believe them to be mistakes.
Consensus Method – One of the main differences between cryptocurrencies is their verification method, and the oldest and most common method is called Proof of Work (POW). A computer has to spend time and energy solving a difficult math problem to gain the right to verify a transaction. But the problem with this method is that it needs a huge amount of energy to operate. On the other hand, Proof-of-Stake (POS) systems try to solve this issue by letting the users with the largest share of the currency verify the transactions. These systems claim faster transaction speeds and require less processing power to operate. However, concern over security means that few coins use an entirely proof-of-stake-based system.
In general, bigger market cap coins are less risky but have a lower chance of phenomenal returns. On the other hand, lower market cap coins generally have much more risk attached, but sometimes have the potential for greater gains. In cryptocurrency you must be aware that a large market cap coin can still potentially lose 70% or even 100% of it’s value.
TIP: If the RSI is really high (like 70+ on all time frames), then the asset is considered “overbought” and the rally probably only has so much longer to go before a dip. If the RSI is really low, like 30 or less on all time frames, we are “oversold” by that indicator. There is no actual limit to how high or low the RSI can go, but you can see in the chart above (which shows the RSI on daily candles) that the oversold and overbought states are not the norm and are generally not sustained for long. Simple indicators like this can help you time your trades when timing your trades. Just remember, indicators help you analyze historic data, they can’t predict the future!
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.
This part will be wildly subjective. Crypto has the potential to realize many ‘rags to riches’ stories, but its volatility makes it unpredictable. As a precaution, the money you put in crypto should be money that you are fine with losing. I cannot emphasize the importance of this as we often underestimate how the volatility affects our emotional capacities. The upside is huge, but it comes with lots of risks and, if I may put it, emotional torment.
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.
When I saw the price of bitcoin fall to $9,500, I pressed buy, defying the wisdom of two finance titans and my wife. One hundred dollars, or 0.0101 bitcoins. (A few days later, I bought another $150.) By the time we got to our hotel, my stake had already gone up 10%. One week later, it was (briefly) up 100%. My wife's opinion of me has reportedly decreased by the same amount.
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.

How about investing in Ether (ETH) at the start of 2017 when it was worth less than $10? These spectacular gains would have made you extremely rich, and this possibility is what excites many entering into the cryptocurrency world. ICOs provides you with the opportunity to invest in the project at its earliest stage, and if they are successful in executing their vision, then investors will stand to reap the potentially tremendous returns.
Trustlessness in this sense is a huge component and advantage of bitcoin and cryptocurrency at large. Another ground-breaking innovation the blockchain introduces is the concept of a smart contract, or a contract that similarly requires no trust or middleman to mediate, but is rather contractually executed in a deterministic fashion through code run on the blockchain.

Investors exchange the base currency of Bitcoin (BTC) or Ethereum (ETH) for a stake in the initial stages of the project. The project will thereafter issue their native tokens to investors in return for the base currencies. This is similar to an Initial Public Offering (IPO), where stocks of companies will be offered to the public. Here’s an article outlining the differences between an ICO and an IPO.
The problem with this is that just about everyone else investing in these things is thinking the same thing, and everyone involved is effectively playing the greater fool theory, expecting that they will be smarter than everyone else and be able to time the market better than everyone else, and get out before everyone else does, and before the price eventually collapses. By mere inviolable fact, most people who engage in this form of speculation are guaranteed to lose in a big way. Over enough iterations, the eventual likelihood of loss generally grows to become one, in my opinion, as one must continue to time a market correctly time and time again for this to work. While it may seem like the market will continue being bullish for you to get in and get out before things go south, this is true of every moment in time right up until things go south all at once. Inevitably, at some point, the gravy train will have to derail and explode in a rolling ball of fire.
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.
Speculations, on the other hand, are like the Wild West of opportunities. They’re extremely high risk, extremely volatile, and could on one hand multiply one’s principal manyfold, and on the other, dissipate it all into thin air. A seed ‘investment’ in Facebook, for instance, could be considered a speculation. In the vast majority of cases, such an investment is likely to fail outright and lose all of the money invested. In a few instances, however, that investment just might succeed, and return tens, hundreds, or even thousands of times the principal invested.
If you are considering investing in cryptocurrencies, it may be best to treat your “investment” in the same way you would treat any other highly speculative venture. In other words, recognize that you run the risk of losing most of your investment, if not all of it. As stated earlier, a cryptocurrency has no intrinsic value apart from what a buyer is willing to pay for it at a point in time. This makes it very susceptible to huge price swings, which in turn increases the risk of loss for an investor. Bitcoin, for example, plunged from $260 to about $130 within a six-hour period on April 11, 2013. If you cannot stomach that kind of volatility, look elsewhere for investments that are better suited to you. While opinion continues to be deeply divided about the merits of Bitcoin as an investment – supporters point to its limited supply and growing usage as value drivers, while detractors see it as just another speculative bubble – this is one debate that a conservative investor would do well to avoid.

Right now, I can use my bitcoin holdings to pay for purchases at Overstock (OSTBP), or book a hotel on Expedia (EXPE). But if I use bitcoin to buy $25 worth of socks on Overstock today, and the price of bitcoin quadruples next week, I'll feel like those socks actually cost me $100. Then again, if bitcoin crashes, at least I'll always have the socks.
Just like any other currency, you have to have a place to store your Bitcoin, or more accurately, store the private keys you can use to access your Bitcoin. These aren’t the type of wallets you buy at Target, though. The software comes in many different forms, most of which can be downloaded on your smartphone, tablet, or computer desktop. Here are the different types of wallets:
First, there's a clear lack of differentiation. There are, as noted, over 1,600 investable cryptocurrencies for folks to choose from. That's simply too many. You could probably get rid of 1,500 of them, and virtual currency investors would still struggle to keep track of the partnerships, projects, and missions of each of the remaining digital currencies. It's just impossible to weed out which virtual currencies have staying potential and which don't.
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.
There are a number of issues with this, however, and a lot of things would have to go right before this occurred. There are several cryptocurrencies, for instance, with ethereum being the most notable, that are already far larger than litecoin, and it would have to be demonstrated that there’s some reason something like ethereum couldn’t simply take the place of bitcoin, and that litecoin would have a better shot at doing so than the larger players that already exist in this space.
You might buy in to your Ethereum position at $1000, you set your sell position $1300. Your sell order could take days, weeks, months, years or till the end of time to be filled. Once it has been filled, you then take that profit and you roll it over in to a new buy over at, say, $1100. Choosing good targets for your buy and sell orders is crucial if you want to be a successful swing trader but overall swing trading cryptocurrency is pretty easy – set your orders and then just wait.
Steem has a built in inflation of 100% annualy and no coin limit. The platform itself (Steemit) has grown considerably since the Coin launched and currently has over 70,000 users. Steem is the fundamental unit of account on the Steem blockchain, and all other units (Steem power and Steem dollars) derive their value from the value of Steem. There is no need to hold on to Steem in its cryptocurrency form. Instead, it should be used either to purchase Steem dollars, Steem power or be converted to Bitcoins.

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.

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If you are wary of using your own funds to invest in Bitcoin, loans are an option. You can borrow money from a family member or friend, or you can use a peer-to-peer lending platform like SoFi to leverage funds for Bitcoin investments. However, be cautious when borrowing money for an investment. Interest rates can eliminate any gains you get from the investment, and the risk of losing money in such a volatile market is high.
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.”
• You don’t necessarily need to understand MACD, RSI and Bollinger Band, the algorithms that help you decide if your currency has peaked or bottomed – though every bit of extra information can help move away from gut instinct to informed decision-making. But if you want to become a pro, maybe learn a bit of technical analysis (i.e. interpreting chart patterns). It works most of the time, though we’d say you should throw in a bit of fundamental analysis (i.e. contextual assessment) for good measure
Debit cards, on the other hand, allow you to buy cryptocurrencies available on the platform pretty much instantaneously. Simply by transferring funds from that card to the platform, you can purchase cryptocurrency in an instant. However, debit cards cannot be used to sell crypto, to deposit money in one’s account, or to withdraw money from one’s Coinbase account. On Coinbase, debit cards can be used exclusively to purchase crypto, and even then, only in smaller amounts. With a debit card, the limit is much lower than with a bank account ($1,125). It should be noted, though, that limits are, or can be, increased by purchasing cryptocurrency and spending a particular amount of money in doing so, either from a bank account or a debit card.
Investments, under this distinction, would be clarified as things that could generally be safely assured not to suffer from dramatic, catastrophic losses in the absence of dramatic, catastrophic situations. Coca-Cola and Walmart might be considered investments. They’ve been around for well over a century and a half century respectively, are massive, mature companies with a healthy track record of stable, non-volatile growth, and show no general signs of turmoil that might portend a sudden collapse in value.
Some futures brokers can have bigger margin requirements, and some require high minimums to open an account, like $25,000 at TD Ameritrade. The futures exchange guarantees traders will get what they are owed but can demand more cash be put into the account if the bet is losing money. That's a serious risk when speculating on a volatile asset like bitcoin, LaPointe says.
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