Moreover, in the event of a hard fork, whereby two blockchains are created, and consequently, two sets of coins that you technically should own, only some exchanges will actually give you access to both sets of coins. Most notably, Coinbase has explicitly stated that they will only give you access to the dominant blockchain that emerges from a hard fork, no matter how much value the market assigns the non-dominant chain. They may or may not give you access to the other coins in the future, but there is no guarantee either way. In any event, with any exchange you are fundamentally agreeing to trust them to give you access to both sets of your coins, even if they say they will. If you own your coins yourself in your own wallet, however, you need to trust no one. You will automatically own both sets of coins by default in the event of any fork.

Hey RV, could we maybe do a bit more of a technical/tradable look at crypto next? This along with John Burbank's section was very general discussion with rehashed netscape/internet analogies, removing middle men which offer nothing new. Focus is always on the transaction coins (admittedly there was more on smart contracts here) but what about other industries for blockchain: decentralized data, personal data, computing power, energy, supply chain etc?
Factom is useful for all kinds of business apps, and they have got a huge contract with more than 25 smart cities in China. They are also working with other countries to create immutable database, which will allow government to secure their data. Factom had initially raised 5.3 million dollars in its Series A funding, but the company is so appealing that private investors were compelled to increase their investment in Factom. Factom raised a total of 8 million dollars in April 2017 from various high-profile investors, including Tim Draper, Stewart Title, and Bill Gates. See more on Factom cryptocurrency here.
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!
The futures markets are characterized by the ability to use very high leverage relative to stock markets. Futures can be used to hedge or speculate on the price movement of the underlying asset. For example, a producer of corn could use futures to lock in a certain price and reduce risk, or anybody could speculate on the price movement of corn by going long or short using futures.
This is especially true given the number of new cryptocurrencies that have entered the market. There is no industry that is targeted by only one cryptocurrency, and even if you manage to find such an industry, new players will likely surface. IOTA was the crypto that didn’t use blockchain; now there’s Nano, Circle, and Hashgraph. Ripple was the crypto for banks; now there’s Stellar slowly eating away at Ripple’s first mover advantage.
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.
It’s almost 10 years into the introduction of the first virtual currency, the Bitcoin and yet, neither the Govt in India nor the RBI have been able to provide a proper regulatory environment, for the crypto currencies to thrive in India. There are many reasons cited: National Security, Threat to convention currency and unregulated investment, causing severe loss to various investors, who are not well versed in these new avenues of investment.
Indeed, some market movements are fundamentally unpredictable in their short term timing. Two very vivid examples of this were the collapse of Mt Gox for bitcoin, and the hacking of the DAO for ethereum. Both of these events absolutely cratered the price of bitcoin and ethereum respectively, and both of them were fundamentally unpredictable in their exact timing. These are examples of the black swan events I mentioned that are certain to continue playing a large role in short term price developments for bitcoin and all other cryptocurrencies at large, that make it doubly dangerous for those who day trade.

very interesting arguments on the Visa/Mastercard situation; these two companies profit so strongly from the oligopolistic market structure which gives them annuity returns, high FCF yields thus have become stock market darlings. would be great to get more info whether these companies can be disrupted in what time frame (soon or long patience required). I would not mind very soon disruption...; out of curiosity, in Switzerland, someone wants to bring the land/title register on to the blockchain, a move which I would view very positively. are there any similar moves elsewhere?
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Visa processes on average 1,700 transactions per second with the capability of up to 24,000 per second. In comparison, Bitcoin (BTC) capacity is 7 transactions per second. It appears Bitcoin is not scalable. Maybe Eos (EOS) with a capability of 50,000 transactions per second is more long term viable. Possible EOS and RIPPLE are worthy of small bets with potential of 1000X return on original investment due to scalability.
Returning to the question of calculating potential investment upside here, there are countless other ways to make projections on the future potential value of bitcoin, and I encourage you to try to make some depending on your personal beliefs regarding the level of success bitcoin might have, and the ultimate utility it might provide to the world. For instance, if you see bitcoin primarily as a way to simplify making international transactions and cut out inefficiencies there, you might look to see what the overall market size is for a solution that might solve that problem and capture that market. Western Union, as one example, is a company with a market cap of $9 billion. Consequently, it might be reasonable to expect that bitcoin’s true ultimate value would be something roughly in that order of magnitude, if this were to be bitcoin’s one true long term use case.
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.
Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are continuing to rise in popularity, drawing both first-time and experienced investors. While the process to buy and sell Bitcoin has been simplified over the past few years, many people still find it confusing. With banks, credit card issuers, and governments worldwide getting involved with rules and regulations on how the currency can be bought and used, it’s no wonder some people are wary to invest in cryptocurrencies.
One further benefit to bitcoin is that it is truly yours to own, and you can keep it yourself, without the need for a bank or any other intermediary, and use it just as easily as you might a credit card. This ensures that you won’t fall victim to a banking system collapse brought on by fractional reserve banking or irresponsible government and financial institution fiscal policies in general. It also ensures, however, that no one can take your money from you even on an individual basis, global financial apocalypse aside.
If you have a brokerage account, you can expect the bitcoin user experience to be similar. And, as with a brokerage account, you’re likely to pay transaction fees whenever you buy or sell. That means day-trading bitcoin probably isn’t a great strategy — since those transaction fees could quickly eat up any profits. If you’re using bitcoin instead of PayPal, Venmo, etc., check first to see if the seller will charge you a fee for paying in bitcoin.

Ripple – Ripple was launched by OpenCoin, a company founded by technology entrepreneur Chris Larsen in 2012. Like Bitcoin, Ripple is both a currency and a payment system. The currency component is XRP, which has a mathematical foundation like Bitcoin. The payment mechanism enables the transfer of funds in any currency to another user on the Ripple network within seconds, in contrast  to Bitcoin transactions, which can take as long as 10 minutes to confirm.


There were many reasons for the crypto community to eagerly anticipate Bitcoin futures’ introduction to regulated derivatives markets. Futures have long been seen as the first stepping stone on the path to reconciling the world of crypto finance with the system of traditional financial institutions. Existing within a well-defined legal and operational framework, futures contracts offer legitimacy and security that judicious Wall Street firms were waiting for in order to finally jump onto the crypto bandwagon.
It is important to note that the use of Zcash is not just for cybercriminals who engage in illegal transactions in the dark web. There are a number of legitimate reasons why a user would opt for anonymous cryptocurrencies such as Zcash, including a couple who are into eye-brow raising bedroom toys; an entity who would like legal services for a private matter like bankruptcy; a company who would like to protect its trade secrets or supply chain information from competitors; an individual with a chronic medical condition who would like to buy his pills online anonymously; etc. These are all examples of individuals seeking anonymity for privacy reasons.
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.
Similarly, if you were able to bet at 1:2 odds (meaning if you bet $100 and win, you get $200) that a coin would yield heads, this would also be very +EV (positive expected value). The coin would still yield heads half the time, but that half of the time, you would earn $200, and the other half of the time, you would only lose $100. Hence, repeating this bet an infinite number of times would allow you to dramatically earn more money than you lost yet again.
While the number of merchants who accept cryptocurrencies has steadily increased, they are still very much in the minority. For cryptocurrencies to become more widely used, they have to first gain widespread acceptance among consumers. However, their relative complexity compared to conventional currencies will likely deter most people, except for the technologically adept.

This article is a very high level introduction to the Grayscale Bitcoin Investment Trust (OTCQX:GBTC). If you are unsure about what Bitcoin (BTC-USD) is, then you can start by reading some of my articles on the subject. Alternatively, if you're a visual learner there are many great videos that can get you up to a basic level of understanding. Let's begin.

Virtual currencies, including bitcoin, experience significant price volatility. Fluctuations in the underlying virtual currency's value between the time you place a trade for a virtual currency futures contract and the time you attempt to liquidate it will affect the value of your futures contract and the potential profit and losses related to it. Investors must be very cautious and monitor any investment that they make.

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