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The advantages don’t stop there, however. Bitcoin is also ‘pseudonymous’, meaning that while all transactions ever conducted on the network are public and known by all as everything is recorded in the blockchain, unless someone knows who owns the bitcoins that are being used in these transactions, there is no way to trace those bitcoins and transactions back to a given person or entity.
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.
That conversation would become the starting point of my ever-growing obsession with digital-assets. Shortly after I made my first investment, I became an active participant in a small and extremely passionate community of bitcoin enthusiasts. It became increasingly obvious to me how distributed ledger technology would become the primary catalyst for the disintermediation of trusted third parties while simultaneously birthing an entirely new asset class.
What he means by that is that for some reason, people tend to buy stocks when they’re going up in price, and sell them when they’re going down. At face value, this makes no sense. We wouldn’t buy a watermelon when it was $10, and sell it when it was $2. With groceries, it makes intrinsic sense to us to buy watermelons at $2, not $10, but seemingly not so with our investments.
Grayscale Bitcoin Investment Trust, or GBTC, which tracks Bitcoin’s market price, has seen its net asset value hit its lowest point since the cryptocurrency’s price surged late last year. Shares of GBTC are down around 80 percent since Bitcoin hit a high of $19,511 in mid-December. The price of Bitcoin has dropped nearly 66 percent during the same time period, making the premium to the cryptocurrency almost nonexistent. The fund has traded at more than twice its net asset value.
The Times reported Wednesday that while the exact launch date of the new trading operation is not yet set, the move came after the bank's board of directors signed off on the initiative. Goldman is also set to "create its own, more flexible version of a future, known as a non-deliverable forward, which it will offer to clients," according to the report.
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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?

Even the Dutch tulip bubble, which is classically regarded as one of the first instances of massive speculative market mania, saw increases only on the magnitude of 10–100X — not even remotely close to 100,000X+. And even the most successful of extremely risky angel investments in companies, such as Peter Thiel’s initial $500,000 seed investment in Facebook, see returns on the scale of 10,000X or so or less — Thiel’s $500,000 investment, had he held it all the way to the present day, would be worth $6.8 billion, or approximately a ~13,500X gain. More incredible than just about anything else, certainly, but still nowhere even near Bitcoin’s meteoric rise in price.
Steindorff: We believe that we’re still in the early stages of adoption of decentralized protocols. The technology itself is evolving quickly and most of the technology is aimed at developers, not at end users. However, the run up in prices has attracted more interest in the space. This is a feature, not a bug. It is part of how tokenized protocols bootstrap by levering off of interest from investors, attracting new developers, and ultimately driving more adoption. 
With the advent of smart contracts made possible by the blockchain, however, this is (soon-to-be) a thing of the past. One can create a simple smart contract at effectively almost no cost that specifies in code that each party will send it $100 in bitcoin, and that upon the completion of the election process, it will either send all $200 to the party that bet on Donald Trump winning the election, or send the $200 to the party that bet on him losing the election. No ifs, ands, or buts. The code is clear, objective, and deterministic. Either the contract is fulfilled in one direction, or it is fulfilled in the other. No need to trust the other party in the bet at all, much less a third party to mediate.
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Believe it or not, this actually isn't unusual for the Bitcoin Investment Trust. Trust shares traded at more than double the price of the trust's underlying bitcoin at times, although occasionally, they've fallen close to parity between share prices and bitcoin value. There's simply no guarantee that on any given day, prevailing prices for the shares will be anywhere close to what the bitcoin market would suggest they should be worth.
That’s the case as I see it for bitcoin. In the case of most altcoins, however, I don’t see remotely enough to even begin to justify the possibility of long term gain in the first place. Even with speculations, or perhaps especially with speculations, it’s incredibly important to thoroughly analyze a given investment opportunity for at least the potential for long term gain and success, and assess the magnitude of that possible gain, and then to weigh that potential versus the likelihood of outright failure of the speculation. With most altcoins, their value over bitcoin or ethereum is far from clear, and generally superficial or minor at best.

Litecoin was developed in 2011. While it has faltered of late in value with the other cryptocurrencies, if it gains back that value, it will be because of its strengths in comparison to bitcoin: Significantly faster transaction time (one major complaint when bitcoin exploded was that the increase in users slowed down transactions tremendously) and a larger number of crypto tokens.


In the simplest terms, a futures contract (or a future) is an agreement to buy or sell a certain product on a fixed date. Futures are used as both an instrument for mitigating risks associated with price volatility of vital commodities, and as a tradable derivative product. A comprehensive Cointelegraph primer timed to the launch of the first regulated BTC futures last December is still there for anyone in need to recapitulate the essentials.
NEW YORK, Nov. 3, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Grayscale Investments, LLC, the sponsor (the "Sponsor") of the Bitcoin Investment Trust (OTCQX: GBTC) (the "Trust"), announced today an update on the planned distribution of the Bitcoin Cash currently held by the Trust to shareholders of record ("Record Date Shareholders") as of the close of business on November 6, 2017 (the "Record Date").
Over the past six months, the cryptocurrency crash has brought out the skeptics. In fact, the ongoing “Crypto Winter” is a healthy cleansing of the ecosystem because the correction is effectively separating long-term value creators from short-term day traders. All in all, we believe that a “Crypto Spring” will arrive. And, institutional capital, a.k.a. the sticky, smart money, could possibly usher in this new season.
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