The appeal for many is the fact that Bitcoin is decentralized, meaning no specific group or governing body has control over it. Instead, it is secured by advanced cryptography, a set of military-grade encryptions, and regulated by a network called the Blockchain. The Blockchain acts as a digital ledger, confirming buyer/seller funds and establishing the order in which transactions take place.

I enjoyed this interview. One growing use case for assets on blockchains is the tokenization of scarce digital assets in video game economies. This use case makes game items into digital bearer assets. World of Warcraft gold was an early example of this concept but blockchains are enabling the concept to grow even further. Digital game items and currencies potentially have value if game curators can manage supply effectively and there is sufficient demand for scarce game items/currencies from users. This has already started with in-game item purchases for games such as Fortnite. The next frontier to monetize in-game item purchases is to tokenize game items that can be used with third-party platforms. This is happening in an inefficient manner today with the CS:GO game skin gambling economy. I know it sounds wild but a google search will show this use case is potentially worth billions of dollars.
Even though rebalancing means a bit more work (there’s no portfolio tracker to my knowledge that does this yet), you can use this method to establish the relative presence of an overarching type of coin in your portfolio, like the financial transactions/protocol/utility coin distribution. Are utility tokens taking up a bigger and bigger part of your entire portfolio? Then it’s a good idea to identify why this is happening and consider selling some of the leading utility tokens to buy some more transaction or protocol coins.
Furthermore, I would be forced to use an intermediary financial institution such as a bank to hold my money for me, and thereby expose myself to yet another layer of required trust and accompanying risk. I would also be aware that these institutions would almost certainly practice fractional reserve banking to the maximum extent they could get away with it, such that they would be extremely fragile to small perturbations and vulnerable to things like bank runs and runaway systemic banking collapses.
First of all, just to clarify the amounts being staked by most players: you don’t need to be rich. You don’t even need to be crypto-rich. You just need to know the basics about how financial markets operate (and understand that you have no guarantees either way), decide if you want to buy the underlying asset or trade a CFD (Contract for Difference) derivative, and stake a certain minimum deposit.

Cryptocurrency investors have speculated that Amazon might accept Bitcoin or one of its digital rivals. That specific cryptocurrency would vault past competitors as a trusted store of value and useful medium of exchange. Amazon even registered the domains AmazonEthereum.com, AmazonCryptocurrency.com and AmazonCryptocurrencies, kicking such talk into high gear.
If the underlying blockchain won’t be the one to be used, the application is definitely doomed. If, for example, Ethereum fails to scale, its applications will fail to deliver. I do believe that the utility tokens that will enter the mainstream will do so by creating a service that’s much better than anything we have right now. These will be the so-called “killer applications,” whose returns will be beyond imagination. High risk, high reward.
If you are a Beginner based on the bullet points above, you are likely somewhat experienced in the world of cryptocurrency investment, and have seen some success in the market. However, the strategies that you undertake tend to only be slightly above market and you find trading difficult when the market takes unusual turns that throws something unexpected at your trading strategy.
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.
A key component is not to worry about trying to time the market perfectly. Even the most seasoned investors aren’t able to consistently buy at the absolute bottom and sell at the peak. Worrying about this causes stress and leads to mistakes caused by emotional reactions, which should be avoided at all cost. We are merely smart apes, and by accepting this, we can become very successful apes.
Under the Bretton Woods system, numerous foreign governments held US dollars as an indirect and more convenient method of holding gold, as US dollars were supposedly directly exchangeable at a fixed rate for gold. However, by 1966, gold reserves actually held by the US were already pitifully low, with only $13.2 billion worth of gold being held by the government.

I’ve also seen plenty of people who intend to hold long term, but lose faith when they see their investment crater 30%, 50%, or even 70%. At this point, they lose faith, and decide to sell their investment to at least recoup some of their initial capital, and not lose everything outright. Thus, they end up buying high and selling low, and then having double regret when bitcoin eventually ended up rebounding even higher than the ‘high’ they bought at.
This ability to transact more anonymously in a digital, global fashion than ever before has indeed opened the gateway to some of bitcoin’s more infamous use cases. Much illicit activity has been enabled by this pseudonymity of bitcoin, including the sale of drugs and other illegal goods online. A more recent development has also been ransomware, whereby malware can now cut straight to the chase and lock up your computer and demand straight up money in the form of bitcoin in exchange for the release of your computer’s data.
There are also similar tools for the crypto market — for example, Cryptoindex 100 (CIX100) is an automated index calculated by a machine-learning algorithm which analyzes cryptocurrencies. This tool allows traders to build sophisticated portfolios of 100 coins with reduced volatility and risks. Due to automation, human influences are reduced to a minimum. After the portfolio is built, an investor can track coins via specialized platform services from time to time.
Gold, unlike fiat currencies, requires no trust and faith in a government to responsibly manage its money supply and other financial dealings in order to believe that it will retain its value well over time. This is because gold has no central authority that controls it and effectively dictates its supply and creation arbitrarily. Gold is fundamentally scarce, and only a small amount of it can be mined every year and added to the whole net supply. To date, the estimated total of all the gold ever mined in the history of humankind is only 165,000 metric tons. To put that in perspective, all that gold wouldn’t even fill up 3.5 Olympic sized swimming pools.
For instance, if you wanted to send $100,000 of ethereum somewhere, you’d need to buy all that ethereum and withdraw over the course of 10 days (assuming you withdrew perfectly each day every 24 hours — realistically more like 11–14 days) back to Coinbase or your personal ethereum wallet before you could then send that ethereum on to somewhere else all at one time, like you would need to do in a token sale.

Hence, no rationally self-interested bitcoin miner would ever try to mount a 51% attack, as in all likelihood, they would lose massive amounts of money doing so and gain almost nothing from the effort. The only reason someone would want to conduct a 51% attack is to attempt to destroy faith in bitcoin — large governments, for instance, who might one day feel that their fiat currencies that presently provide them great value to them are becoming threatened by bitcoin. However, the likelihood even of these enormous entities to successfully conduct a 51% attack is already becoming vanishingly small, as mining power increases.
There are hundreds of altcoins, and more appear every day. Most altcoins are little more than Bitcoin clones and they do not survive for very long. They only change minor features, such as its hashing algorithm, distribution method, or transactions speed. One exception is Litecoin, which has branded itself as “silver to Bitcoin’s gold.” The reason for that is that, in addition to using a different hashing algorithm than Bitcoin, Litecoin has a much higher number of currency units.
Paypal was one of the first large-scale financial companies to come out in support of Bitcoin, but it has quickly become harder to find exchanges that allow customers to purchase through Paypal. Cryptocurrency purchases are at a high risk for chargebacks, which has caused some exchanges to ban the usage of Paypal. However, for small transactions or more anonymous buying, Paypal might be a good option for you.
Some of the more notable cryptocurrencies, though, offer some things that bitcoin does not, making it harder to definitively call them a bitcoin copy. It's natural to be interested in them. Do your proper research, discuss with your financial advisor, and use your common sense -- don't put more of your money into these than you can afford. They're riskier than usual.

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.


Bitcoin is a digital currency, also known as a cryptocurrency, and is created or mined when people solve complex math puzzles online. These bitcoins are then stored in a digital wallet that exists on the cloud or the user’s computer. Because bitcoins are not housed in bank accounts, brokerage, or futures accounts, they are not insured by the FDIC or SIPC.
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